Last week, a banned militant organization publically declared that they do not acknowledge the authority of the current government as a leadership system. This week, in a direct violation of the Constitution of Pakistan, Jamaat Udawa has established “Darul Qaza Sharia,” a provincial sharia court to dispense “Islamic justice” among the people.
This parallel court set up is extremely dangerous, signaling a further twisting of what was originally designed as a secular judicial system into a religious one. The lack of a purely secular judicial system was initially evident in the over sensitivity of Pakistan’s laws relating to religious life which created a bias against minorities. This institutionalized Islamization is already acceptable across the board as Pakistan is an Islamic country. This most recent development is a more overt departure, involving the outright undermining of the so-called secular judicial system through the creation of parallel courts that are by nature an attack on the current judiciary and the constitution of a country that has so far resisted becoming a Sharia state. These unconstitutional courts are handing down judgments and determining punishment under the guise of “arbitration.” They function under the umbrella of a banned Islamic extremist organization through which they legitimize their authority and existence. The creation of these courts is the result of the belief that, although the government’s Islamic court system in Pakistan does not contravene Sharia Law or the Koran, the current judiciary does not go far enough to enforce Islamic Sharia.
This latest development amid recent spikes in extremist attacks in Pakistan raises serious concerns about the growing boldness and strength of terror organizations within the beleaguered nation, as well as the possible ramifications for Pakistan’s vulnerable Christian minority.
Father God, we think today of the recent attacks in Pakistan and the plight of Asia Bibi who remains on death row, as well as the many other Christians in the nation of Pakistan where persecution is so severe. We pray against this new development in the push to establish Sharia law and the potential of increased persecution for Pakistani Christians and other minorities. We cry out to You to thwart these efforts. Come to the aid of church leaders; equip them to shepherd their people with great wisdom and discernment. Strengthen Your people to stand strong in their faith and be a clear presence with them as they seek to walk this difficult path with Spirit-filled boldness and prudence. In the name of Jesus who “works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.” Amen.