Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Religious tolerance in Pakistan

Religious tolerance in Pakistan | Blog | DAWN.COM

Imagine first the bustling streets of Anarkali in Lahore or Qissa Khawani Bazaar in Peshawar. Now imagine a Hindu or a Jewish person praying on the roadside. If religious tolerance had prevailed in Pakistan, this would be a non-issue as people would simply walk by the praying person.

While I can only speculate how Pakistanis would behave around a non-Muslim praying along the street, I need not wonder how Americans would react to a Muslim praying along the street side.

Just outside the store window in uptown Manhattan (New York), I see a Muslim hawker performing his Afternoon (Asr) prayer on the street side at the intersection of 7th-avenue and West 35th street. He sells DVDs and children’s books in the heart of Manhattan. As he prays, women in shorts and men wearing T-shirts walk by his kiosk. No spectacle is created, or worse no insults or taunts are hurled.

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