By Jeremy Reynalds, Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service (firstname.lastname@example.org)
BADFORD, ENGLAND (ANS-NOV 14, 2016) British news cameras caught the end result of a reported eight year old campaign of religious hatred against a Christian convert and his family, Nissar Hussain.
According to ITV, that campaign has included Hussain being beaten up in an attack outside his Bradford home which left him with two broken bones.
Viewers saw with multiple car loads of armed police escorting him and his family to pack up the last belongings from their home and leave Bradford for good. This as a result of the hatred and credible death threats against the Hussain family.
According to a news release from the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), the case has raised serious concerns about the level of hatred against converts from Islam in England.
The Hussain family have been put through immense trauma due to what BPCA called “the effects of the ongoing campaign of murderous hatred against them.”
Until quite recently, the family also faced an uphill struggle in convincing people in authority just how bad their situation was.
The entire Hussain family have been moved to a safe house, provided by the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) in partnership with other charities.
Wilson Chowdhry, BPCA chairman, said in the news release, “When I helped set up the BPCA, the focus was on the situation of Christians in Pakistan, and those who had to flee as refugees to other countries. I don’t think I ever imagined that I would be doing what we are now, dealing with Christians effectively made internal refugees here in the UK.”
The BPCA safe house program is in addition to at least one other already existing UK program for Muslims fleeing forced marriages and for converts from Islam.
Chowdhry added, “We have seen some estimates that about a third of all so called ‘honor killings’ in this country involve those deemed to be apostates – those who have abandoned Islam, most often for the Christian faith, and also fairly often for atheism or secular humanism.”
One of the reasons Hussain has faced such hostility, BPCA said, is he spoke out.
However, the BPCA news release said, among some Christian circles, it has been well known for a long time that many other converts live in hiding. They fear for their lives, cut off from old family and friends, some even moving every few months to try and avoid being tracked down.
Chowdhry said in the news release that with assistance from other charities and groups, BPCA is
setting up “rescue snatch squads” for people facing religious hatred because of their conversion from Islam to another faith.
“Particularly for our Christian brothers and sisters, as we anticipate things getting worse, not better, in the near to medium future. ‘
He added, “In large part, we are in this situation because of a refusal by significant segments of society, media and authorities to take this phenomena seriously, due to political correctness and fear.”
Chowdhry said that in a police meeting meant for mediation between Hussain and local Muslims, a Bradford councilor referred to an incident in which he accused Hussain of verbally abusing a local Muslim man’s mother. He said that such a crime would result in most Pakistanis undertaking an “honor killing.”
BPCA said the councilor refused to provide what he said was available video evidence.
Hussain said in the BPCA release the allegation is false, and simply meant to circumvent justice.
Chowdhry said that when he explained as a Christian such an incident would not result ineven the thought of murder, the local councilor seemed surprised.
He added, “Sadly, extremist ideology is rife amongst large swathes of British Muslims, even those in positions of authority. (“It’s) a fact that will create further polarization if left unchecked. The hardline stance taken … at the meeting meant that little was achieved from any of the negotiations.”
Hussain said in the release that he hopes area law enforcement continue to investigate the violence and abuse his family suffered, and that one day the perpetrators are brought to justice.
He added, “Nothing the police have said or done in our situation has given my family and I any confidence that they understand the true predicament faced by converts from Islam. This lack of understanding will continue to scar … families until acceptance of the pariah status for converts from Islam is recognized by statutory authorities.”
The Islamic Hadith calls for the killing of apostates. “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.”
Hussain said, “This statement by Muhammed means converts like myself are the targets of violence by Muslims across the globe. I hope this message gets across to authorities in the UK.”
BPCA said the last eight years have been “torturous” for Hussain.
He said, “But despite the pain, my family and I have remained close and have never deterred from our desire for justice. I thank God that He has given us the fortitude to retain our sanity despite the odds being stacked against us.”
For more information visit www.britishpakistanichristians.org
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About the writer: Jeremy Reynalds, who was born in Bournemouth, UK, is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, a freelance writer and also the founder and CEO of Joy Junction, New Mexico’s largest emergency homeless shelter, www.joyjunction.org. He has a master’s degree in communication from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola University in Los Angeles. One of his more recent books is “From Destitute to Ph.D.” Additional details on the book are available at www.myhomelessjourney.com. His latest book is “Two Hearts One Vision.” It is available at www.twoheartsonevisionthebook.com. Reynalds lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife, Elma. For more information, please contact Jeremy Reynalds at email@example.com .
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