Friday, May 6, 2016

Vocational Institute for Christian community under threat in the Capital

When others bring a post submission to this blog I like to investigate the assertions made therein. In this particular submission from Shamim Mahmood I had a difficult search to verify the news Shamim has submitted. Since I have complete trust in Shamim’s journalistic endeavors based on verifiable past submissions, I have no qualms of its veracity. My difficulty could be simply the wrong search questions or the only sources are in Urdu or Pashtun of which neither do I speak.

So I feel the need to digress a bit. Shamim Mahmood usually signs his submissions as “Shamim Masih”. As a confused Westerner I asked Shamim to clear this up for me. And he did so. But I deleted the email response before I had the forethought to write it down. Thus I Googled the name “Masih”. Here are a few quotes from that search on the name “Masih”:

Arabic name meaning "Christian". a common surname among Christians in Pakistan. (From Behind the Name: Surname MASIH)

Many Christians in South Asia use the name “Masih,” which means “Messiah” in Arabic. “Bibi” is an Urdu term meaning “Miss.” (From CNS article, “Death Sentence in Pakistan Spotlights Blasphemy Laws As U.N. Votes on ‘Defamation’”)

This is an Arabic name only used by Christians, from the Arabic Abd 'servant', al- 'of', and Masih 'messiah/Christ', meaning "servant of the Messiah", corresponding to the Greek given name Christodoulos. It was borne by a ninth-century martyr who was executed for reverting to Christianity after having converted to Islam. It is fairly common among Christian Arabs to this day. (From Behind the Name: Given Name ABDALMASSIH)

Masih, meaning “messiah”, is a very common name among Pakistan’s Christians (From Religious Freedom Coalition: Christians Face Increasing Persecution In Pakistan – An Alleged Ally Of The U.S.)

Shamim’s submission pertains to the attempts by Christian ministries and charities to create the environment by which the oppressed Pakistani Christians can learn vocational and technical trades to better the lot living in Islamic Pakistan. I use the word “attempt” because the Taliban have used all means of Islamic terrorism to thwart Pakistani Christians from bettering themselves.

The best way to SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan is via Western Union sending money with this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Shamim’s email is, Include Shamim’s phone - +92-300-642-4560

JRH 5/6/16
[If you designate my paypal donation for Shamim up to $25, I will send it to Shamim via Western Union]
Vocational Institute for Christian community under threat in the Capital

By Shamim Mahmood [aka Masih]
Sent: 5/1/2016 4:35 AM

ISLAMABAD: A Vocational Institute for the Christian community is under threat right under the nose of Interior Ministry in the Capital. According to the details poverty alleviation through a skill program was developed by “Pakistan Development Foundation” (PDF) and launched in 2007 with the self-generated funds in the Federal Capital. Students were registered and trained there and it had become popular in the community. Nadeem Gill, Executive Director (PDF) said that it was running smoothly but some people Umar Afridi, Zabita Khan & Javed Payra from the Khaber Pakhton Khawa (KPK) joined us for the community service. But they had bad intentions which later was revealed. Sadly, one of them from the Christian community either was deceived or by his own will turned against us. Subsequently this group threatened us and captured the institution in 2009. Mr. Gill told that he has no choice but turn to the courts. After the years’ struggle in litigation; PDF won the case and had taken charge of the institution in 2015, he added.

Basharat Khokher, coordinator at All Church Council, Islamabad said that PDF purchased 12 Kenals [also kanal] of land and its twelfth portion was developed for the skill training center. We had threats from Taliban split organizations and later they came in through different ways. But we have struggled hard and our fellow Muslim brother Saqib Ali and others helped us a lot in acquiring the land from the Taliban group. Finally, we were able to release the institution from the said group. Saqib Ali shared his experience and said that we have been living with the Christian community for years and we have developed good relations and in a favor to create better interaction/harmony. Though we still have threats from the Taliban group but we believe that victory is ours. Ms. Samina, the instructor at PDF was happy and said it is the grace of God that PDF won the case and now we can register new girls for the training. Skill Enhancement and Educational Program (SEEP) is our new program and very soon we will launch it, she added.

In the recent years, attacks on worship places and religious minorities have increased though Pakistan Islamic persecution of Christians may not be on the level of ISIS; nonetheless it is still quite horrific. The long sufferings in the country have worsened by a sense of deprivation among the locals, and an inclusive political system is unable to achieve sustainable peace and stability.

[The best way to SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan is via Western Union sending money with this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Shamim’s email is, Include Shamim’s phone - +92-300-642-4560]

Be Blessed,

Shamim Mahmood (aka Masih)
Journalist Blogger and Human Rights Activist
Edited by John R. Houk
Text enclosed by brackets is by the Editor. All links by the Editor.

© Shamim Mahmood

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