The Pontificate - Contribute to help UCA News
The Pontificate - Contribute to help UCA News
UCA News


Pakistan Islamist group wins praise for Covid-19 initiative

Jamaat-e-Islami's charitable arm sets a good example by sanitizing minority houses of worship and distributing rations

UCA News reporter, Karachi

UCA News reporter, Karachi

Updated: April 01, 2020 05:22 AM GMT
Featured Authors - Columnists | Make a Contribution
Featured Authors - Columnists | Make a Contribution
Pakistan Islamist group wins praise for Covid-19 initiative

Workers from the Al-Khidmat Foundation, the charitable arm of Jamaat-e-Islami, spray the interior of a Karachi church with disinfectant as a precaution against the coronavirus. (Photo: Jamaat-e-Islami media)

Share this article :
Pakistan’s largest politico-religious group, Jamaat-e-Islami, known for its hardline views, has drawn praise after its workers were pictured sanitizing the worship places of minorities.

Workers of Al-Khidmat Foundation, the charitable arm of the group, visited Christian churches, Hindu temples and Sikh gurdwaras in various cities of Pakistan and sprayed them with chemical disinfectants.

The group also distributed rations among poor families belonging to minority communities.

The move came after leader Siraj ul Haq issued a video message directing his party’s volunteers and youth activists to look after minorities, transgender persons and sweepers badly affected by the ongoing lockdown.

“The transgenders are already faced with isolation. Sweepers are the most neglected section of our society and non-Muslim minorities, whom I consider as equal citizens of Pakistan, are in a difficult situation. Our volunteers should look after them,” Haq said.

“I salute my volunteers who carried out disinfectant spraying in a church in Karachi. The whole nation is suffering from the coronavirus and it is important to serve humanity indiscriminately.” 

His gesture was applauded by minority leaders, rights campaigners and transgender activists.

Father Anthony Ibrass, parish priest of St. Thomas Parish in Malir, Karachi, said the world is going through a pandemic.

“Jamaat-e-Islami is taking the lead by setting a good example with its gesture of care and love for each other. They didn’t consider the boundaries of religion or of anything but are serving humanity. We hope this will carry on in years to come,” he said.

Bindiya Rana, a transgender activist and founder of the Gender Interactive Alliance, commended the group for its positive message amid the pandemic. “Such an initiative from the head of a major religious party will help change mindsets and clear up misconceptions about our community,” Rana said.

Kapil Dev, a Hindu human rights activist, also appreciated the Islamist party’s actions. “Huge respect for Al-Khidmat for doing disinfectant spray in a mandir [Hindu temple] and a church. Lead by example of peaceful coexistence, interfaith harmony and pluralism,” Dev said.

Ravi Dass Vaghela, another Hindu rights activist, noted that this example sends out a very positive message. “The Hindu community really appreciates this gesture and believes in unity at this hour of crisis and suffering,” he said.

The number of people infected by the coronavirus in Pakistan as of April 1 had risen to 1,938 with 26 deaths. 

Support UCA News...

UCA News provides a unique service, bringing you the voices of emerging churches and helping you see efforts made to evangelize and bring relief to people in all manner of need.

UCA News has more than 40 full time and part time reporters, editors and administrators bringing you this service from across 23 countries in south, southeast and east Asia. You, too, can be part of their efforts by contributing even a small amount to keep UCA News available to the world.
Click here to consider the options available to you.

Your contribution to UCA News will immensely help us continue to grow a strong media community by harnessing information technology to inform, engage, inspire and influence the Catholics of Asia and the world.

As a gesture of our gratitude to your commitment to UCA News, we are pleased to gift you a free PDF Book/e-Book titled Mission in Asia when you make a contribution.

UCA News Donate
UCA Newsletter
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution