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The Construction of a Hindu Temple Stops After the Opposition of Islamic Groups: Religious Freedom at Stake

Photo Courtesy: Agenzia Fides

Islamabad: “It is a fundamental right of every Pakistani citizen to preach and profess his religion freely, as prescribed by the Constitution of Pakistan. It is legitimate that each community has its places of worship. We strongly condemn the movement of fundamentalist individuals and groups who opposed the construction of the Shri Krishna temple in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan”: this is what Christian activist for minority rights Sabir Michael says to Fides, after the works of construction of a Hindu temple stopped abruptly due to the opposition of some Islamic religious leaders and Islamic fundamentalist groups.

Michael notes: “Pakistan is among the signatory states of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Convention on Social, Civil and Political Rights, which guarantee equal rights for all citizens, including religious minorities. By not allowing religious minorities to freely profess their faith, not only are international human rights laws betrayed, but they also negatively affect the image of Pakistan”. The activist continues:

“We are not religious minorities captured after a war; we existed in Pakistan before the creation of the nation itself. We are citizens with the same rights and duties, and the government of Pakistan”.

The construction of the first Hindu temple in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, was temporarily stopped in recent days – on the orders of the Capital Development Authority, a civilian body – after some Islamic clerics and people with a fundamentalist religious approach protested and opposed the construction. Numerous Islamic clerics and Muslim political leaders protested publicly with mass media and social media campaigns.

The Islamic religious Ziauddin Manseharwi of the “Jamia Islamia Ashrafia” organization, an Islamic institute, in a message spread through social media, says: “It is not allowed to build a new temple for Hindus using government funds; building new places of worship for non-Muslims and restoring damaged temples is illegal and means cooperating in sin”.

Today civil society organizations complain of the violation of religious freedom, and denounce the increase in extremism, religious hatred and the deterioration of religious tolerance, hoping for the resumption of work.

The plan for the construction of the Hindu temple, in fact, had already been approved in 2017 by the government of Nawaz Sharif, of the Pakistani Muslim League (PML-N), previous to the executive in office today. A 0.5 acre plot of land was assigned to the Hindu community for the temple and a site for cremation. In mid-2020 current Prime Minister Imran Khan approved a public grant of 100 million rupees for the construction of what would be the first Hindu temple in the capital of Pakistan.

Lal Chand Malhi, a Hindu member of the National Assembly of the political party of Imran Khan, said: “This temple in Islamabad would have shown that Pakistan is a place that respects all religions and where coexistence is practiced. When the excavation began in June, the Prime Minister said he was happy that the temple would have given Pakistan a good image for the whole world”.

Pakistan’s Ulema Council (PUC), an Islamic body, expressed support for the construction of the temple in Islamabad and criticized opponents. Islamic leader Hafiz Mohammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, president of PUC, said: “We denounce the controversy over the construction of the temple by extremist clerics; PUC will convene meetings and also present its views to the Islamic Ideology Council (CII) in Pakistan. Ashrafi adds: “Having a place of worship and living a life according to one’s faith and tradition is a right given to all non-Muslims, according to the Constitution of Pakistan; those who oppose the constriction of the temple make an error of interpretation of the sharia, Islamic law”.

Meanwhile, after the temporary blocking of construction works, the High Court of Islamabad has not accepted the appeals filed to stop the construction of the Hindu temple and the matter has been referred to the Council of Islamic ideology (CII), an organism officially consulted by the government to review laws passed by Parliament and establish their compliance with Islam. The Council will offer indications to the executive on how to build the Hindu temple and whether public funds can be used to build it.

Agenzia Fides

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India News Brief

15 August 2020

COVID-19 Cases: 2,461,190 Death Toll: 48,040

COVID-19 At a Glance 

The new guidelines issued by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on 30 June: Schools, colleges, educational institutions, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places, and even metro services will continue to remain shut until further notice.

COVID-19: Highlights 

Religious Places Visit: No Touching of Deity, No no Sparkling of Holy Water No Prasada in Temples Wearing Mask Thermal Screening is a must 

Shopping Malls Visit: Elderly People With 65 Years of Age and Children Below 10 Years Are Advised to Stay at Home.

Restaurant and food courts in malls to operate at 50 per cent seating capacity with a mandatory distance of six feet between tables. No common prayer mats, physical offerings like prasad, or sprinkling of holy water, in places of worship. Age and health-based restrictions on stepping out of home. Masks to be mandatory, and the Aarogya Setu app 'recommended' for all.

Use of masks, thermal screening, social distancing and sanitisation, the guidelines  require people above 65 years of age, specially  people with comorbidities, pregnant woman, and children below the age of 10 years, to stay at home. Masks are mandatory at all times, including inside restaurants

Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Indian Health Ministry 

  • International air travel, Metro rail services not allowed 

Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places; and, social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions/ and other large congregations will not allowed..

According to MHA guidelines, in Phase II, schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc., will be opened after consultations with States and Union Territories.

There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission or approval or e-permit will be required for such movement

But  states have the freedom to decide on public movement.

How to identify Fake News or Messeges on Social Media 

Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media

Always follow websites or social media platforms of traditional media outlets whether newspapers, magazines,Television News Channels or Radio Stations and authentic online only media outlets.They still maintain journalism excellence and stress on reportorial talent.On the other hand, fake news websites run by people with non journalism background and promote their own ideology with fake news and disinformations and obviously conspiracy theories.

But unfortunately mainstream media also manipulates news to establish their story angle.There were various instances when News papers and TV Channels promoted fake news/conspiracy theories in the form of out of context or manipulated pictures/videos and distorted informations.

Always check the URL of any website.Some fake news websites look like the orginal and popular one the same layout,Logo but if you check the URL you may find extra words like if the orginal website's URL is www.xxx.com the duplicate one might be www.xxx.com.co or something like that so first check the URL for authentic informations.

Check whether photos are original or photoshopped.Check Google images for authenticity.You can find help from Google Reverse Images search.

Check the news sources from other websites whether they picked up the story or not.

Whether the website layout is little bit clumsy and obviously grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes and excessive use of Sex related and sensational and hate stories.Because sex and hate sells.

Follow official websites relating to COVID-19

WHO Clarifies the disinformation about the virus:
COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
Cold Weather and Snow can not kill the new coronavirus
Taking a Hot Bath Does Not Prevent COVID-19
COVID-19 Can not be transmitted through mosquito bites

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth)

According to World Health Organization (WHO): Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth . If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.

If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition

Follow WHO guidelines

www.who.int

When you follow COVID-19 related news and messages from social media then check and recheck it before consuming it.Follow journalism mantra: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Most of the messages or informations quote different organizations like WHO, UNICEF, UNDP,Cambridge University  or other well known institutes,organizations or individual to authenticate the messeges.Check official websites of these organizations  if stories are repeated there

Forwarding messages from unknown sources or little known sources, it would be better to ignore it.

Check whether any logo like UNICEF or WHO or other organizations used in the messages which look similar to original logo.

These type of messages are full of Grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes which are quite uncommon in original messages.

Don't rely on viral social media messages such as Coronavirus Infected Indian Currencies of Rs.500 and Rs.2,000 Notes Found, Muslim Man Spit in Food At Indian Restaurant.....Always Check Authentic Sources.

Some fake messages pretend to be real one like unofficial Twitter handle of international media organizations like BBC,CNN,Washinton Post, New York Times-check the official Twitter handles of media outlets.

You can identify fake messages if the message requests you to share it.

Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred

Always check the fact checking sites if you have some doubts about the authenticity of any information or picture.

www.boomlive.in

www.altnews.in

https://check4spam.com

https://smhoaxslayer.com

www.factchecker.in

www.allsides.com

www.factcheck.org

www.newsbusters.org

www.politifact.com

www.snopes.com

www.propublica.org

The Same Method Applies to You Tube Videos Check the Source the credibility of the Source.To Check Fake You Tube Videos Check and Recheck the sources. Does the person have the legal right to the video posted? Did that person capture the video? Whether it has been altered?

But due to advancement of technology we can not really wipe out fake news.According to experts advent of  Artificial Intelligence(AI) some companies small or big one developing  technologies that can  lay digitally created script to anybody's voice  even words,sentences never said by the person.Even they are developing a technology which can create fake video footage,images,audios like originals.So be cautious! Rumour-mongers are active everywhere whether in physical world or cyber world.

For any further information relating to fake news and how-to search authentic informations from the internet write to us info@crimeandmoreworld.com or Whats App:+919073399779

COVID-19 Related Conspiracy Theories:
https://fsi.stanford.edu/news/china-covid19

 

 

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