A MAN has been brutally assaulted by a gang in Bradford after converting from Islam to Christianity. Father-of-six Nissar Hussain was left needing surgery after the group of assailants broke his kneecap and hand last Wednesday. Mr Hussain, 49, is recovering in hospital after the attacks, which follow a long line of incidents following his family’s conversion to Christianity more than a decade ago. Mr Hussain has said that he and his family were virtual prisoners in their home as a result. He told the Bradford Argus: “We are under the cosh and classed as blasphemers. The Muslim community are largely decent people but because of the taboo of converting to Christianity we are classed by them as scum and second-class citizens. “Most of the Muslim community here have turned a blind eye to what we are going through.” Mr Hussain told the Catholic Herald that despite his persecution he had received little help from police or churches. “There needs to be an awakening among churches,” he said. “We have found ourselves in no man’s land. There is a lack of cultural understanding about what it costs people such as ourselves. We are classed as apostates.” He said he had “three cars written off” and “regular drive-by bricks thrown through the window. Kids couldn’t play in the back garden for five years.” Mr Hussain, his wife Kubra and their six children converted to Anglicanism. Mr Hussain, who had to give up his job as a nurse because of the stress of the campaign, has said the family will have to move to a different area to escape the intimidation. Wilson Chowdhry, from the British Pakistani Christian Association, said that “apostasy crime” – committed against Muslims who convert to Christianity – needed to be more widely recognised in Britain. Det Insp Andy Howard, of Bradford District CID, said initial investigations suggested the incident was a targeted attack and it is being treated as a religious hate crime.
Pakistan changing for better, says brother of slain minister
DECADES of terrorist atrocities in Pakistan have finally awakened a desire for the country to move closer to embracing religious freedom, the brother of a murdered government minister has said at a meeting in London. Dr Paul Bhatti, whose brother Shahbaz was assassinated in 2011 after pressing for reform of the country’s blasphemy laws, said Pakistan was beginning to tire of religiously motivated violence that has cost an estimated 60,000 lives in 20 years. He told a meeting in Parliament that he believed his country was improving even though “we are still facing the cruel and harsh realities of violence against the weak and voiceless people of our community”. Dr Bhatti said the culmination of repeated atrocities “has left our entire nation shocked and discouraged, raising many questions” about whether Pakistan was going in the right direction and whether it was properly governed. He said the country had now reached the point where “we can gain inspiration and courage by looking to those who have gone before us who stood for peace, justice and unity at such great cost”.
FSSP welcomed to Warrington
MORE than 260 parishioners gathered at St Mary’s Church, Warrington on Saturday for the Mass of inauguration of the ministry of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP) in Liverpool archdiocese. Pictured are the Mayor of Warrington, Cllr Geoff Settle, and his wife, Mayoress Jean Settle, Archbishop Malcolm McMahon of Liverpool, shrine rector Fr Armand de Malleray and seminarian Marcus Williams.