Barnabas Fund - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
Christian student denied extra marks awa...

Email:

Christian student denied extra marks awarded to Muslims in Pakistan

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Christian student denied extra marks awarded to Muslims in Pakistan

Country/Region: Pakistan, South and East Asia

A Christian student missed out on a place at state medical school under the discriminatory system in Pakistan that awards an extra 20 marks to Muslims who have memorised the Quran.

Ophthalmoscope_4X3.jpg
Haroon Arif’s hopes of training to become a doctor have been shattered
Connor Tarter / CC BY-SA 2.0

Haroon Arif, from Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab, got A grades in both his matriculation and intermediate exams but was just 0.0255% off the mark required in his final aggregate to attend a government-run medical university.

He argued that his knowledge of the Bible was equivalent to that of a Muslim who had memorised the Quran, and that he should therefore qualify for the extra 20 marks they receive; this would boost his final result by about two per cent.

Haroon said:

I deserved it and yet just because I am Christian, I have been put at a disadvantage.

I know of students who did not perform well in the test and had lower marks in their matriculation and intermediate exams, but they got in, just because of these twenty marks.

Haroon tried to show the university his three certificates in Bible education, but the authorities said they had no policy to accept them.

Mohammad Atif, head of public affairs at the University of Health Sciences, which conducts the medical tests, said:

We realise this is against human rights and have debated a lot on this policy, since minorities are being marginalised – but we follow government orders.

Haroon took the case to court with the help of a human rights organisation, arguing that his rights had been violated. He submitted two letters, one from the Church of Pakistan and the other from the Bishop of Islamabad, that stated that Haroon’s religious education was on a par with any Islamic education. But the court did not acknowledge that this was a human rights issue.

And it does not seem that the policy, which has been in place for over 20 years, is likely to change any time soon.

Punjab’s education minister Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman said:

We cannot change the system because of a nominal amount of people.

A state-run medical school, which charge only ten per cent of the cost of a private university education, was Haroon’s only hope of training to become a doctor. His parents are lowly paid health workers.

He said, “I have seen my parents in this profession but only as support staff. Is that all Christians are destined to do?

I am as much a Pakistani as any Muslim, we are all equal citizens and the government will realise this.

Pakistani Christians face widespread discrimination in public life, which means that most can get only menial and low-paid jobs, keeping them trapped in poverty.

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Christian student denied extra marks awarded to Muslims in Pakistan

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Other articles

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • Almighty God, we call to You for relief for Christians in the Gwoza area of Borno state in Northern Nigeria, as they face repeated violent attacks by Boko Haram militants. We pray for comfort for the relatives and friends of the hundreds who have been killed, and for the thousands who have been forced from their homes and seen them torched. We ask for Your special protection on Christians as they gather to worship You. We pray for the Nigerian authorities to re-establish control of the area, so that the displaced Christians may be safe from further attacks and free to rebuild their shattered communities. We pray too for their persecutors to come to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 20 hours ago

    • “This is a war against Christians and democracy and their constitution. Allah says we should finish them when we get them.” The leader of the Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram was speaking in a video that reasserted their agenda and addressed “the people of the world”, saying, “Either you are with us Mujahedeen or you are with the Christians.” The translation of the video was released as scores of people were killed in suicide bombings in May, including at least 118 in a double attack in Jos, Plateau state on 20 May. Pray that Boko Haram’s murderous campaign to establish an Islamic state in Northern Nigeria will not succeed. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Sep 2014 00:00

    • Pray for Bible school students in Vietnam who were subjected to a terrifying night-time raid by police and hired thugs. On 9 June, officers swooped from adjacent rooftops into the church compound that houses the school, while vehicle-loads of people were brought to the site to vandalise the building with bricks, stones and sticks. The students were beaten, punched and kicked before being taken away for interrogation; 20 were left in need of medical attention but were prevented from leaving to find it. Thugs continued to attack the compound over the next ten nights. Pray for the students as they recover from this brutal assault and that they will stand firm in their faith in the face of intimidation. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Aug 2014 00:00

    • In an earlier incident in Saisomboon village, three teenage Christian girls were disqualified from taking their final school examinations because of their faith. The village chief said that in following Christianity, Noi (15), Net (15) and Nut (14) had forfeited their right to education. Five families from the village have now converted to Christianity. A spokesman for Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom expressed the view that the authorities were trying to find every possible way “to stop the spread of Christian religious freedom in the area”. Pray that the girls will be allowed to complete their education and that opposition to the Christians in the village will cease. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Aug 2014 00:00

    • Five Christians have been charged with murder in Laos after a sick woman sought prayer at her local church, converted to Christianity and later died. Mrs Chan, from Saisomboon village in Savannakhet province, had been ill for two years when she approached the church. Her health improved for a short time, and she and her eight grown-up children came to faith in Christ. The sons and daughters wanted a Christian burial ceremony, but the authorities forbade this unless they renounced their faith, which they refused to do. When Christians in the area protested, five were arrested and subsequently charged with Mrs Chan’s murder. Pray that the God of justice will have compassion on His people (Isaiah 30:18) and ensure their acquittal from this false accusation. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Aug 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Fund 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Fund & Barnabas Aid are registered trade marks