Vijaya Laxmi Tripura
What would happen, if Christians or Hindus were using coronavirus aid to convert Muslims in Christianity or Hinduism? There would be massive media offensives with headlines in the top newspapers and television channels for weeks, exposing “conspiracy against Islam”. The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Fox News, BBC, Al Jazeera, and all other global media outlets would be competing in “investigating” such “heinous conspiracy” against Islam.
But things are just the opposite when Muslims use coronavirus aid to convert Christians and Hindus into Islam.
According to information, church leaders and human rights activists in Pakistan are speaking out against a video in which an Islamic cleric claims his organization is using COVID-19 food aid to convert non-Muslims to Islam. Pakistani Christians claim this cleric and his organization are misusing the COVID-19 pandemic to abuse Pakistan’s already persecuted religious minorities.
Appearing on Mandi Channel, an Islamic TV channel in Pakistan, an Islamic cleric claims his organization, named Dawat-e-Islami (Call of Islam), is converting non-Muslims to Islam using COVID-19 food aid. The cleric specifically brought up an example of a man who recently converted to Islam.
“The staff of the organization offered him conversion against food which he accepted,” the cleric claimed. The cleric went on to say the converted man was renamed Muhammad Ramdan and has started following the Islamic ritual of fasting.
Approximately 45 percent of Pakistan’s population lives below the poverty line, earning most of their income through daily labor jobs. Pakistan’s national lockdown, which started on March 21, has cut off many of these laborers from earning daily wages.
Pakistan’s Christian communities have been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to widespread discrimination and intolerance, Pakistani Christians have been marginalized to the country’s poorest and most vulnerable sections of society. Many Christians depend upon the daily labor jobs which have been curtailed by the lockdown.
In addition to these challenges, reports of Christians being denied desperately needed food aid have come to light. Since the lockdown started, International Christian Concern (ICC) has documented at least four incidents in which Christians were denied food aid because of their religious identity.
While Pakistani Muslims are attempting to get Christians and Hindus converted in exchange for coronavirus aid, the international media is maintaining silence on this matter, most definitely because the voice of these media outlets is purchased by the Muslim nations. According to news reports, Muslim nations spend hundreds of millions of dollars of zakat (Islamic charity) money towards buying of media.