Saturday, May 19, 2018

UK: Petition set up calling for President of Oxford University Pakistan Society to resign


Following these talks, the event’s organisers have set up a petition, on change.org, calling for the resignation of Haroon Zaman, as President of OUPakSoc.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: OxStu (Excerpts)
By Adithi Shenava | May 18, 2018

Oxford University Pakistan Society (PakSoc) has been criticised for allegedly refusing to screen a documentary on Dr Abdus Salam, a renowned scientist who became the first Pakistani to win a Nobel Prize in 1979. This has now led to a petition being set up calling for the President of PakSoc, Haroon Zaman, to resign.

On May 12th, the film was screened with the help of Oxford University’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Students Association. Malala Yousafzai, who is the spokesperson for PakSoc, attended the screening.

Noman Chaudhry, one of the organisers of the screening, and President of Oxford University’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Students Association, claimed that:
“I contacted Pakistani Society two months ago about the screening. I had numerous chats with the committee members including the President at various events. I was told that they were still discussing the matter and that they had other events to focus on, and that there were reservations within the society.”
“The OUPAKSOC President told me the committee was divided and he did not want the Pakistani society’s logo anywhere near the event poster.”
Salam belonged to the branch of Islam, known as the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. Ahmadi Muslims have faced persistent discrimination in Pakistan, as they are considered by some to be heretics and were declared as ‘non-Muslim’ under Pakistani law. Ahamdis living in Britain have also voiced their concern about potential discrimination growing against their community. These concerns follow the murder of an Ahmadi shopkeeper, Asad Shah, in Glasgow in 2016, as well as the BBC reporting that leaflets were found in a mosque in South London urging Muslims to ‘Kill Ahmadis’ in the same year.

Given Salam’s Ahmadi heritage, PakSoc’s decision to not screen this documentary has led to growing criticism.
...
Speaking to the Oxford Student, Chaudhry, one of the organisers, has said: “ We have had a series of talks with the committee in order to seek an honest public apology for the utter disregard shown, and in order to ensure that the committee held no religious prejudice and hate for the Ahmadi Muslims, secure a public commitment to holding an educational event on the persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan.

“It is now over 24 hours later and they have failed to produce a signed statement by the President of OUPakSoc. We are concerned that this is because the statement contains references to the Committee acknowledging equal rights for Pakistan’s Ahmadi Muslims. We are deeply concerned that this religious prejudice might be the underlying reason the President has failed to sign the joint statement.”

Following these talks, the event’s organisers have set up a petition, on change.org, calling for the resignation of Haroon Zaman, as President of OUPakSoc.

Chaudhry has claimed that Zaman “has failed to take our concerns (and concerns of numerous civil rights and human rights activists as well as other student bodies) seriously and has adopted a stubborn posture in the face of genuine criticism. We are concerned about the impact his leadership will have on instances of discrimination towards Pakistani Ahmadi Muslim students at Oxford in the future. His apathy and disregard for the cause of equal rights, diversity and pluralism is disturbing at the very least.”



Read original complete post here: UK: Petition set up calling for President of Oxford University Pakistan Society to resign


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1 comment:

  1. If you still dont have a reality check that this is United Kingdom and free world where even you also enjoy freedom, but you still decided to Ban the screening instead collaborating to show Pakistan's pride then yes Pakistan and it's new Gen needs to learn a lot how not to be hypocrite.

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