Hindu boy converts to Islam on live television show in Pak
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A young Hindu boy converted to Islam on a live television show hosted by a controversial Pakistani anchor, triggering outrage among liberals and sparking concerns among minority communities.
The Hindu youth, who appeared to be a teenager and was identified only as Sunil, was converted by Maulana Mufti Muhammad Aqmal on a special live Ramzan show on ARY Digital channel that is hosted by Maya Khan.
During the show beamed on Tuesday, Sunil sat among a group of children and men and said he had decided to convert to Islam while working for the NGO headed by rights activist Ansar Burney.
"Two years ago, I observed the fast during Ramzan. There is no pressure on me to accept Islam, I want to accept Islam on my own will," he said in response to questions from Aqmal.
The cleric then asked Sunil to say he was "accepting Islam without any pressure and without being forced by anyone" and to recite the "Kalimah Tayyibah".
Following the conversion, Maya Khan announced that Sunil would be renamed Muhammad Abdullah.
Khan, who was sacked by Samaa TV channel earlier this year after she earned the ire of people across Pakistan when she accosted "immoral" couples dating in Karachi's parks, said she hoped Sunil "would become a good Muslim".
Hindu leaders expressed concern at the development, saying it could increase pressure on the minority community.
"This has caused sadness in our community as it does not set a good example. Such shows will increase pressure on our community," Amarnath Randhawa of the Lahore-based Hindu Sudhar Sabha said.
"Minority communities are already oppressed in Pakistan and the pressure is bound to increase on people when such things are played up in the media," Randhawa said.
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