Pak Christian girl launches her ‘banned’ book in the Netherlands

By H.M Azeem

Lahore, Dec 17 (Pak Destiny) A Pakistani girl, Iqra Nadeem who was forced to seek asylum in Germany after threats to her life from extremists, launched her ‘controversial’ book – Christian Muslim Dialogue and Pakistan’s Blasphemy law – in the Netherlands last week.

This book launch was held in Hague organised by the Interculturele Progressieve Stichting (IPS), the Living Stone Urdu Church, Rotterdam and United Religions Initiative (URI),Nederland.

Bart Ten Broek of URI and Anne Verzijl welcomed the participants of the discussion. Speaking on the occasion, Iqra Nadeem said Christian Muslim dialogue was very necessary today. “We need to find a platform where we can discuss such issues so that the Christian facing problems in Pakistan can get resolved.”

Eidert Mulder said in Europe Muslims have freedom to build mosques but why Muslim countries especially Saudi Arabia does not allow Christians to build churches there?”

People from different schools of thought attended the event including Ari van Buren, Watson Gill of human rights wing The Living Stone Urdu Church Rotterdam. Ari Van Burel presented an award to Anne Verzijl, a human rights activist.

A couple of clerics had issued edict (Fatwa) several months ago on 21-year-old Iqra for writing “Christian Muslim Dialogue and Pakistan Blasphemy Law”, terming that it contains blasphemy material.

Earlier a cleric had issued a similar Fatwa against Pakistan’s Punjab province Governor Salmaan Taseer who was later shot dead by his police guard Mumtaz Qadri in 2011.

Iqra is a writer, director and actress. She used to write stage dramas and performed many times on stage mostly with a central theme of human rights. Being a liberal and courageous student of Lahore back in 2008, she would take upminorities’ issues. Her play “Dia Jalta Hai“( The Hope Lives On) was nominated as the play focusing on human rights and was awarded the first prize by the Ministry of Human Rights Pakistan in 2009. In the same year she won the best actress award in the drama competition.

Her book – Christian Muslim Dialogue and Pakistan Blasphemy Law – was published in 2012. Soon after its publication the clerics demanded immediate ban and confiscation of the copies from the Pakistani market. Subsequently, the Pakistani government had banned it after a series of protests by the clerics. -Pak Destiny

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