Wednesday, 6 April 2011
Convert or go to hell - patients in Pakistani Hospitals told!
Christian family pressured into watching their family member seep into unconciousness, whilst he was being told to convert to Islam or be eternally damned.
Non-Muslim patients in Government hospital are being aggressively told to convert to Islam or they will go to hell. In Pakistan Today Reporter Urooj Zia tells a comprehensive story about the unsavoury activity that is affecting minorities detrimentally:
(Click here to read article)
We need to be impartial in our condemnation of the act itself as the people that undertake this mission have a set belief that they are saving people from damnation and attaining "savaab" for themselves. Savaab is a divine reward or merit if you prefer for obedience, abstinence and devotion. It is a Quranic scriptual benefit and I can understand why people of an Islamic inclination would want to be vigorous in appeasing their God. We Christian's are the same and I am aware of several large hospital ministries that are focused on saving souls at the point of death.
However, Christian ministries have a more tactful and respectful approach in which the patients family is often consulted and partakes in any spiritual activity. Moreover, requests for termination or avoidance are accepted via patients or the families. The zealots in Pakistani Hospital's seem not to be aware of the freedom of choice that God has allowed people on this earth. If God wanted us to all accede to his will he would have created automatons and not free thinking beings.
We know that God is saddened by the loss of souls and that every soul saved causes rejoicing in heaven, the parable of the lost sheep informs us on this point. But irrespective of our personal desires we must allow people to make an honest and heartfelt commitment or salvation will not materialise. Just reciting a prayer will not save us in the Christian faith and I am not enough of an Islamic scholar to know if a similar stance is correct for Islam, but my perception would be that the situation is similar.
It is disturbing to see that our Christian brother Zain caught in crossfire and critically ill, passed out while the radical conversion team was forcibly attempting to Save him from damnation. However, the fact that his family was told to stay silent by the zealots whilst the family were trying to share potentially the last moments of Zain's life, or trying to encourage his survival - is diabolical!
To be fair the determined zealots did approach all patients and not just minorities. They sought confirmation of Islamic tendency by requesting a recital of the Islamic prayer known as Kalma (There is No God but Allah, and the Prophet Mohammed is his Last and Final Messenger). However, the offensive nature of the incident is not in attempts to save a soul but the overbearing nature of the approach to patients and their emotionally drained families.
Nurses did not intervene stating they were to busy and short staffed and security personnel decided to refrain from action, on the assumption that they too would receive "savaab".
The Christian family stated that they were too scared to speak out against the action of men from the religious faction called Tablighi Jamaat, because they feared
reprisals such as the initiation of a blasphemy case.
More needs to be done to protect our minorities in Pakistan, so that they can enjoy the freedoms of expression, faith and choice, that we so verily enjoy here in the UK.