I came across an article on the net about people in Pakistan and their attitude towards Christians. 

We all know that the minority are targeted on a daily basis in Pakistan and more often than not, are not given justice when it so requires. In a country where Muslims themselves are persecuted, this should not come as a big surprise.

We always tend to refer to these bigots and people who hold so much hate in their hearts as illiterate and ‘jaahil.’ Many times, that is the case. 

However, when it comes to the actual educated, liberal, so called enlightened folks, things are not too different.

I remember meeting a lady once.  She was much older than I was; she was warm, friendly and quite helpful. I went out with her for a meal and coffee a few times and each time, I enjoyed her company. Then one day, she informed me that her maid’s mother had fallen sick and had to rush back to Pakistan.  However luckily, she had found a quick replacement.  With a sigh, she added that the substitute was a Christian. 

I momentarily blocked ‘Christian’ and mistakenly thought the sigh was because she would have to ‘train’, so to speak, someone new all over again. 

But, no. 

She added right after, “We are managing but it’s not easy doing all the dishes myself.” Confused, I asked her why she doesn’t get a dishwasher, or better yet ask her new help to do them. 

“I can’t ask her to wash the plates. We eat in those plates.” she replied. “She is a Christian. She just comes to do the cleaning of the toilets, sweeping and mopping. She does not touch our plates or our food.”

The worst part was that she said it such a matter-of-fact manner, she did not even realize what she was saying was actually so wrong. This thought to her, an educated liberal minded woman living as an expat outside of Pakistan, was nothing out of the norm.

Confusion was what hit her face as if I had asked about Stephen Hawking’s work on Black Hole Thermodynamics, when I asked her how would she feel if a Christian treated a Muslim this way? The idea that anyone else could also think a Muslim impure was clearly lost in her mind.

This was not the first time or the last that I met such people who thought this way.

I grew up listening to people (educated) referring to Christians as “Karanti.” I thought it was just a name given to a group of Christians, much like Memon, Chinioti, Bohri, etc.  Not once did it cross my mind that it actually meant something else.

Karanti is a derogatory, insulting term for Christians which means “black skinned.” For the slightly less racially inclined, I’ll use “dark skinned” instead. 

In Pakistan, if you are dark, especially if you are a female, it automatically translates into you being ugly and not marriageable material.  With numerous whitening creams, soaps, and bleach products in the market being endorsed by even supposedly sensible people like Zubeda Apa,  is it any wonder, that this is used as an insult to degrade people?

Plates and derogatory terms is not where it ends sadly. Even kids are not spared.

In many schools, Muslim children are routinely brainwashed by their parents to not share their food (again with the food) with the Christians (non-Muslims) and not to sit with them.  That it would be haram and God himself would punish them for this.

Again, this is all in the daily life of the educated. 

A Christian friend of mine who lives in Lahore, on the flip side has maid who is a Muslim. According to her, no matter what the maid does or says, she is too scared to say anything to her, because she might go and place a fake blasphemy case on her. 

How does one escape this? A life where each day you are reminded how much less of a human you are as compared to others. How your value as a person, your worth is not even enough to sit and have a meal with. Is it no wonder that anyone who can and has the means to, is leaving this country to live in another where they can be themselves?

Confucius said, and in my opinion this should be practiced everywhere, “Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.” 

Maybe if everyone believed this, there would be more equality amongst everyone.