Four American Christians All Praise for Pakistani Muslims

Four American Christians who visited Pakistan last year and spent time in different parts of the country have nothing but praise for the Pakistani Muslims. During their stay they visited universities, colleges and other institutions.
Dr. William Jackson who is involved in humanitarian work in 17 different countries visited Pakistan during the worst earthquake in its history. He visited not only Bala Koat but several of the remote villages. Here you will find quotes from his speech of January 29th at the “World Interfaith Humanitarian Cooperation” event.
“Some people talk of what they can do — some people just do it. Some people are in humanitarian business — some are in the business of doing humanitarian activities.


(L to R): Sheila and Tom Thorkelson, Dr. William Jackson and wife, and a view of the 2nd Interfaith Peace Conference in Pakistan

“I had the first hand, eye witness opportunity to see the Saba Trust springing into action, doing creative things, within a few days of the Pakistan earthquake. They weren’t interested in press release…or TV interviews…or being where the TV cameras were…or photo ops. Among others activities, they visited the areas where no one else was going.
“Deseret has committed to partnering with Saba to provide eye care (cataract removal) for the people of Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan. The eye supplies for 1000 surgeries (and 20,000 new school books for all ages) are on the way to Pakistan to accomplish this mission — and — if all goes well — this is just the first installment. Deseret thinks it has the right partner. We invite all of you to be part of this ongoing program which will change lives for a lifetime.”
Tom Thorkelson and Sheila O’Leary-Thorkelson were speakers at the Saba Trust World Interfaith Peace Conference held in Islamabad in 2005. They have traveled extensively and here are some of the quotes from the “World Interfaith Humanitarian Cooperation” that was held here at the Embassy Suites in Anaheim.
“It was a rich opportunity last April to be invited to speak at an Interfaith Peace Conference in Islamabad. We were surprised, however, as we traveled the country to be met by significant crowds at universities and hospitals expecting us to address them. During our two weeks in Pakistan, we were able to observe the activities and humanitarian services of the Saba Trust under the guidance of Saghir Aslam. They were immediately impressive, and profoundly touching.
“In our scripture we are told: ‘…I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and ministering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally.’ This is just what Saba Trust and Saghir Aslam are doing.
“In April when we visited Pakistan, we participated and witnessed the care and involvement of Saba Trust….The clothing given to those in need, the fresh water tap made available outside his house to reduce the drinking impurities….In Islamabad, we met a Christian pastor, in need. Through many subsequent emails and introductions, Saba Trust was able to supply this Christian shepherd with a computer, food and clothing for his flock.
“I was honored to meet and talk with several Pakistani women during our visit, sister to sister we spoke of cultural, family and professional issues. Each time I parted from the group, I felt a kindred spirit around us. And, so did they. For that wonderful moment we bonded.
“When a family member, brother, mother, cousin or grandparent is in need, as a family member we rush to help. To assist that member, get them back on their feet. We do not stop to calculate the cost to our self, but roll up our sleeves and pitch in. when they are cold, we shelter them, when they are hungry we feed them. We think very little of helping them—after all that is what family does—we LOVE one another. And this is what Saba Trust is doing.
“As a woman, a wife, a mother and a sister, I view the world with female measurements. I would clothe, feed, educate and love all that I meet. And for those that I cannot touch, I ask others like you for assistance. This is what Saghir Aslam and Saba Trust does.
“John Jones who was also a speaker at the “World Interfaith Peace Conference” held in 2005. Here are some of his quotes at the “World Interfaith Humanitarian Cooperation.”
“This past April I was privilege to travel with my family to Pakistan. A journey that opened my mind and helped shape my understanding of the people of Pakistan and the activities of Saba Trust. I was extremely impressed, Saghir Aslam and Saba Trust a doing a fantastic job in remote villages.
“In our journey we visited mosques, schools and institutions of higher learning. I met people with proud history and culture. The Pakistanis were always quick to extend hands in the most sincere friendship. And in this visit we had the opportunity to share of our religion when asked, as well as engage in political conversations. In those discussions I found some of the most tolerant and understanding people as I a foreigner would talk about issues that were of a high degree of sensitivity to them.
“In many of those conversations I was able to talk with my peers and found their desires to be similar to mine. The desire to raise their family in the faith they espouse, to have respectable jobs and opportunities to provide for their families. But often as we traveled through Pakistan many of the people desired to speak of religion knowing we are Christians. And this turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my journey. The education I received on Islam has opened my eyes to a religion that is somewhat of a mystery to me and many other Westerners. In my discussions I found Islam to be religion rich in the tapestries of virtue and morality. And I have come to understand from the examples of those whom we stayed with and interacted with, there is an unquenchable devotion to the seeking to truth and righteousness. From what I have read, the Qur’an teaches tolerance and compassion through love and understanding. Virtues like obedience to parents, avoidance of adultery, cheating and lying, giving to those less fortunate, prayer and fasting.
“And while those principles and virtues are similar to most major religions we found them to be in everyday practice by the people in Pakistan. This was never more evident than in our visit to the Saba Trust. A program that has been solely devised for the betterment of the poor and to help the needy. Saghir Aslam the founder of the Saba Trust is playing an important part in the lives of these people. The time is soon arriving when those in my generation will need to continue the message that he and his peers have established. The message is not just one to each his own, its dedication towards humanity. A commitment to make this ever shrinking world better than he found it. Saghir and those like him are doing this everyday through acts of kindness and love.”

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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