Nepali Muslims ask Christians for help against Hindu extremism

» 10/05/2011 17:02
NEPAL

by Kalpit Parajuli
Catholics express full solidarity but Muslim leaders opt for silence. Faizan Ahmad’s widow slams her community for its fear to talk about her murdered husband’s case. Nepali Islamic Sangh President Najrul Hasan Falahi calls for “a fair and immediate investigation”. Christians are committed to minority rights.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – “I call on Catholics and all Christians in the country to join us in fighting for minority rights and a secular state,” said Najrul Hasan Falahi, president of the Nepali Islamic Sangh. He also wants a fair and immediate investigation into the murder of Faizan Ahmad, his organisation’s secretary general.

On 26 September, two unidentified men shot dead the Muslim leader as he left a mosque (see Kalpit Parajuli, “Nepal, Muslim leader shot to death while leaving a mosque,” in AsiaNews, 27 September 2011). Catholics and other minority groups responded to the act by expressing their full solidarity and publicly calling for minority rights to be enshrined in the new constitution.

Ahmad’s widow, Meher Banu Faizan, slammed the silence of Muslim leaders and of her community over her husband’s death.” They are afraid to talk, but I don’t care about my life if no one can help me.” She said. “I don’t care if my husband’s murderers also kill me. I want to bring them to justice.”

According to her, police is feeding the fear because instead of trying to find the culprits they are trying to lay blame on party insiders.

Former Nepali Islamic Sangh president Gulam Rasul Miya said that police should focus on the investigation rather than interrogating party members and complicating things.

“Five innocent Muslim leaders have been arrested and tortured by police because they demanded a fair and immediate investigation.” For him, “all minorities must fight together and protect one another.”

Meanwhile, Catholic leaders are engaged in special initiatives to protect religious minorities. They want changes to certain parts of the new civil and penal codes, if not their outright removal.

Parliament must still debate a bill that would impose heavier penalties on evangelical activities in the country.

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