By Tahir Khan in The Express Tribune, November 29th, 2016.
ISLAMABAD: Chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-S) Maulana Samiul Haq on Monday called for the dismissal of the Sindh Assembly over the passage of a bill against forced conversions. Last week, the Sindh Assembly adopted the Sindh Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities) Bill, 2015 that recommends a five-year prison term for perpetrators, whereas facilitators of forced religious conversions will be handed a three-year sentence.
“The Sindh government is converting the province into ‘Kafiristan’ with such un-Islamic decisions,” Sami, who is head of Madrassa Haqqani, said in a statement, and demanded imposition of governor’s rule in Sindh.
“Since the assembly has collectively banned religious conversion, it has committed treason with the Quran and Sunnah, and the Constitution. There is no justification for the assembly to stay,” the JUI-S leader said.
It is regrettable that minorities in Pakistan have the “right to preach their religion, but a sick secular mentality are interfering” in an Islamic country, the statement added.
He said Islam does not allow forced conversion. “It is the responsibility of the Islamic state to work for the promotion of Islamic injunctions.”
He said an ‘un-Islamic bill’ was earlier introduced in the Punjab Assembly in the name of women’s rights and established tradition.
“Now the Sindh government is trying to convert Sindh into Kafiristan through un-Islamic measures.”
The JUI-S leader urged religious, political parties and the social media to raise voice against the ‘un-Islamic’ law. He said the decision to fix an age limit for conversion to Islam is based on ignorance.
According to the bill, no person shall be deemed to have changed their religion until they attain the age of maturity, which is 18 years. Similarly, the decision of a minor to convert to another religion will not be recognized until they reach the age of maturity.