Lahore: April 18, 2014. (PCP) Haroon, alias Sunny, aged 22, was murdered by a Muslim colleague who shot him dead on April 16, 2014. He had recently started work at an Islamic in Lahore as a sweeper, where he worked alongside Muslim security guard Umer Farooq.
Farooq mocked Haroon’s Christian faith on a daily basis and forced him to embrace Islam. He started showing dreams to Haroon and told him that he was good looking and should embrace Islam. He also promised to him a life of luxury and marriage to a rich Muslim woman, but Haroon did not care about these things and refused to embrace Islam.
When Haroon told his father what was going on, he was advised to ignore Farooq. On April 16, 2014 Haroon went to work and Farooq again started a conversation about religion and began pressurizing him to embrace Islam. Haroon asked Farooq politely why he was so adamant for him to embrace Islam as he was not ready from his heart. He again clearly refused to convert, stating that he was a true follower of Jesus Christ. Farooq then became aggressive and opened fire on Haroon, with a bullet hitting him the head, killing him on the spot. He later started shouting that Haroon had attempted suicide.
The police took the security guard into custody immediately, but did not register an FIR because they wanted to convert the murder case into suicide. When the local Christians heard about the murder they came out of their houses and staged a protest in front of the police station – it was only then that they lodged an FIR.
Umer Farooq is currently in custody and his case is under investigation.
Nasir Saeed, Director CLAAS-UK, has condemned the killing.
He said that recently we have seen a report published by the MSP stating that 1000 Christian and Hindu girls are being forcibly converted to Islam, while there are also incidents where young boys and some men are also forced to convert to Islam, and if they refused they are killed and implicated in false cases.
Mr Saeed added: “The situation endures because of the government inactions. If people involved in such crimes are brought to justice, then it can act as a deterrent, but instead they are being encouraged by local religious leaders, Imams and Madrasahs.”
He said that the main reason for such crimes is growing religious intolerance and hate against minorities.
“The government must ban religious discussion and forcing non-Muslims to convert to Islam must be considered a crime, otherwise minorities have no future in Pakistan. It is equally dangerous for the government as with the growing violation of human rights, Pakistan could be deprived of the benefits it is receiving from the international community, including GSP plus status.”
As has been the case in numerous other incidents, the police again dragged their heels in registering the case and only did so because Christians in the locality raised their voices in solidarity with Haroon.
Justice must be seen to be done and Farooq must be charged with murder, and punished for killing Haroon just because he refused to forsake his faith and bow to the pressure being placed on him.
"Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" By Nazir S Bhatti