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Christians experiencing growing legal nightmare under “shari’a” in Islamic republics

Christians in Islamic republics are experiencing a growing legal nightmare. Muslim shari’a law prohibits Christians testifying against Muslims in court.

As a result, in Pakistan and Iran, Christians are without rights in any court case involving a dispute with a Muslim.  Likewise in criminal court, Muslims are guaranteed impunity for crimes committed against Christians. In Islamic republics, such impunity and legal discrimination has fueled persecution.

However, the resulting insecurity of non-Muslims is shrugged off by Islamic authorities. Such traditional dhimmitude or subjugation under Islam gives non-Muslims yet one more reason to embrace Islam.

As Islamic fundamentalism rises in such countries as Turkey and Egypt, which have not been Islamic republics, but are constitutionally secular states with a Muslim majority, the question of shari’a is ever in the forefront. Do Muslims have more rights? Under shari’a, they do — dramatically so. But in a secular republic, everyone is theoretically equal.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to appease politically powerful hardline Islamists, reports Elizabeth Kendal of the Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin — even though shari’a conflicts with the law of the land. Weak and fearful governments are increasingly opting for “reconciliation” and “harmony” over justice.

That’s exactly what’s happening in Pakistan, reports Kendal. Even the Human Rights Commission in Pakistan recognizes the problem:

“Legal discrimination against religious minorities and the failure of Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments to address religious persecution by Islamist groups, effectively enables atrocities against these groups and others who are vulnerable.”

Pakistani police are now seeking to whitewash the 2 March 2011 assassination of Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, who was a Christian, by shifting the blame from those who claimed responsibility, Muslim militants — and instead blame Bhatti’s Christian relatives.

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