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Signature campaign and public performance against violence in the name of religion

May 21, 2012

A CFD volunteer engages in discussion with a member of the public.

Dear friends and supporters, it’s not that Citizens for Democracy (CFD) has been completely inactive, but we haven’t managed to update our blog for some weeks. This is an update about an activity last month in Karachi, in response to the call of Karachi’s citizens regarding ongoing target killings and other violence in the name of religion.

On April 14, 2012 CFD organized a signature campaign using the text we had used earlier, as well a public theatre performance against the killings and other violence in the name of religion.

The Karachi public gave CFD a very encouraging response as always

By coming out and openly participating in this activity the citizens of Karachi once again proved that there’s no place for religious intolerance in our society and that people from all religions respect each others’ sentiments and beliefs.

The signature campaign and the performance were organized in front of Jehangir Kothari Parade and Bagh Ibn-e-Qasim, opposite Park Towers. The signature camp was set up from 12:30pm to 7:00pm.

Live music in public received an appreciative response

Volunteers and supporters talked to the public that comes to this area from around the city, inviting and convincing their fellow citizens to join in and endorse the letter. We went into buses and parks, and talked to families, picnickers, passers-by, people driving by in cars, taxis and auto-rickshaws.

Passers-by appreciated the opportunity to raise their voice against violence in name of religion.

We received an encouragingly supportive response, as people appreciated this activity that provided an opportunity to come together and speak out against the killings and violence in the name of religion. Many individuals expressed their concerns over how people are identified and killed, and their anguish at how criminals are attacking churches, temples and imambargahs in the name of religion, and kidnapping and forcibly converting young girls.

The day-long activity included the signature campaign and a performance by the feminist activist group Tehrik-e-Niswan.

Tehrik-e-Niswan’s public performance

The public performance consisted of a street theatre and a flash mob that many members of the public joined in. Make sure you click here to see a video of the flash mob on facebook. the enthusiasm of the public was very encouraging.

Getting signatures inside a bus

Here is the link to a media report about the event that notes: “While religious leaders, the self-styled guardians of public morality, and self-seeking politicians may not spare even the least of opportunity to exploit religion, it has been clear that the supposedly uninitiated man on the street is just not in favour of religious bigotry and that he is very magnanimous towards and receptive to other religions.”

Photos by: Sunny Gill and Farhat Rabia


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