Earlier this week, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan released a report on religious discrimination in south Punjab.
The report, titled "Faith: Based Discrimination in Southern Punjab: Lived Experiences", documents the lives of Christians and Hindus in one of the province's poorest regions. Although the authors clarify that they were unable to independently verify the facts of each case of discrimination that the report contains, the Hindus and Christians interviewed had little incentive to lie about how Pakistani Muslims were interacting with them.
The report highlighted how Christian students were often forced into being taught Islamiyat, even as laws do not force non: Muslim students to enroll in Islamiyat as a subject. In fact, the report contains the account of a Christian boy who was allegedly beaten by his teacher for failing to recite Arabic properly. Apparently, school administrations do not independently purchase textbooks for Ethics, which is the subject taught to students from non: Muslim backgrounds. Even bookstores in these localities rarely maintain textbooks for Ethics, robbing students of the only alternative to Islamiyat that the government offers.
Christian community members interviewed also shared how they were often compelled to convert to Islam by their colleagues. The report...