IPS: No ‘forced conversion’ in Pakistan


Staff Reporter

A baseline study (http://www.ips.org.pk/forced-conversions-or-faith-conversions-rhetoric-and-reality/) conducted at Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) analyzing a number of reports by various civil society organizations alleging forced conversion of minorities in Pakistan terms them baseless, lacking empirical evidence.
Conducted by Ghulam Hussain, a PhD scholar in anthropology at Quaid-i-Azam University and a research fellow at IPS, the report titled “Faith Conversions or Forced Conversions: Reality and Rhetoric” digs into the popular narrative that suggests that the members of minority communities, particularly women and girls, are forcibly converted to Islam in Pakistan – an allegation that has resonated on various forums including the Indian Parliament and USCIRF reports. Some of these reports claim that as many as 1000 Hindu and Christian girls are kidnapped, forcibly converted and married of annually in Pakistan.
Through content analysis of some three dozen reports of various human rights organizations, this baseline study suggests that the reports that are often presented as evidence for alleging that there is an organized and systematic effort of forcibly converting non-Muslims to Islam, lack any primary or empirical data. Such reports, the study claims, rely on clichés cited from another report that too is prepared without an evidence. At most, some of these reports base themselves on anecdotal evidence taken from newspaper reports and political statements and none of these reports verifies the allegations of forced conversions from ‘the supposed victims and so-called perpetrators’.

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