El musulmán que intenta convencer a los obispos de Pakistán para que promuevan la beatificación de un niño cristiano

«Iqbal Masih no fue solo un luchador por la libertad. Fue un mártir». Esto es lo que Ehsan Ullah Khan está empeñado en lograr que la Iglesia católica reconozca. En recuerdo de este niño católico asesinado en 1995 se conmemora cada 16 de abril el Día Internacional contra la Esclavitud Infantil.

Ehsan Ullah Khan no era consciente hasta qué punto cambiaría su vida cuando liberó en Lahore a un muchacho católico de 9 años, que desde los 4 trabajaba como esclavo en un taller de alfombras. El niño, para el que llegaría a convertirse en un padre, desarrolló pronto unas dotes oratorias extraordinarias y se convirtió en un símbolo de la lucha contra la esclavitud, que en Pakistán afecta en gran medida a cristianos, buena parte de ellos procedentes de las castas más bajas o de las áreas tribales que abrazaron el cristianismo durante el dominio británico.

Periodista de profesión, Ehsan Ullah Khan calcula haber liberado a «puede que un millón de cristianos», la mayoría iletrados, muchos siquiera sin bautizar, privados de todo derecho mientras no salden unas deudas diseñadas de tal modo que van aumentando con los intereses y nunca van a poder pagar. Gracias a estos cristianos, Ullah Khan, un ferviente musulmán, descubrió la Biblia, en particular el libro del Éxodo y la historia de Moisés, donde encontró inspiración para su lucha contra los trabajos forzados. Pero también se convirtió en un incómodo testigo de una realidad que, hasta que él inició su actividad pública, en 1967, la sociedad paquistaní prefería no conocer.

Tras el asesinato de Iqbal Masih en 1995, a los 12 años, al hostigamiento del gobierno contra su mentor, se unió el de grupos extremistas, que no toleraron la imagen de Ehsan besando el cuerpo sin vida del niño. Desde entonces, vive exiliado en Suecia, y su Frente de Liberación del Trabajo Forzado pasó a incluir la palabra Global, ampliando su área de actuación a otras zonas conflictivas, como Bangladés o China.

Estos días visita varias ciudades España para, de la mano de Encuentro y Solidaridad, denunciar la explotación laboral en la industria textil. La gira incluyó una charla el 24 de mayo en el Salón de Actos de Alfa y Omega. También un encuentro con el obispo de Vitoria, Juan Carlos Elizalde, responsable en la Conferencia Episcopal de Infancia y Juventud en Riesgo.

Conferencia de que Ehsan Ullah Khan el 24 de mayo en el Salón de Actos de Alfa y Omega

Activista contra la explotación en la industria textil

En su conferencia Ullah Khan denunció por ejemplo que, de cada 14 dólares que cuesta una camiseta en Canadá, el trabajador en Bangladés obtiene solo 12 céntimos. Y mostró fotografías de tiendas de Barcelona que venden a unos 110 euros pantalones vaqueros artificialmente envejecidos con técnicas –aseguró– que destrozan las manos de muchos niños, que trabajan sin ninguna protección.

Ninguna multinacional del textil se libra de sus dardos, entre ellas varias conocidas marcas españolas, como Zara, Mango o El Corte Inglés. Además de denunciar prácticas que vulneran los derechos humanos, el fundador del Frente de Liberación apela a la conciencia del consumidor, pidiéndole en primer lugar que se informe de la procedencia de la ropa («hoy existe abundante información; el desconocimiento ya no es una excusa», dice) y también un comportamiento más sobrio, puesto que el motor de esta explotación es el consumismo desenfrenado. «El 65 % de las prendas producidas cada año van año a la basura, pese a que el 48 % serían perfectamente utilizables», lo cual no solo genera «un gran impacto ecológico», sino que es el motor de «una industria que explota a las personas para conseguir precios cada vez más baratos», advierte.

«Mi hijo llevaba la cruz de Jesús»

Iqbal Masih sigue siendo un símbolo en esa lucha. El 16 de abril, día de su asesinato, se conmemora como el Día Internacional contra la Esclavitud Infantil.

Con Iqbal Masih, poco antes del asesinato del niño

Sin embargo, Ehsan Ullah Khan cada vez tiene más claro que la fe fue un importante motor en la acción del niño. «Mi hijo estaba llevando la cruz de Jesús», dijo la madre de Iqbal tras su muerte. Y esta frase, a la que en un principio no prestó excesiva atención, volvió con fuerza a su mente, especialmente después de que, en julio de 2017, el Papa reconociera una nueva forma de martirio por amor a los demás.

De ello ha hablado ya con varios obispos, y en las próximas semanas –adelanta– tiene prevista alguna «reunión importante», si bien hasta ahora reconoce ha encontrado más eco fuera que dentro de Pakistán, donde el asesinato de niños cristianos está a la orden del día.

«Iqbal Masih no fue solo un luchador por la libertad. Fue un mártir», insiste él. Eso implica que para la beatificación no es necesario el reconocimiento de un milagro atribuido a su intercesión. «Pero si quieren uno –añade–, ¿no lo es que se conmemore a nivel mundial cada 16 de abril la muerte de Iqbal Masih, un pobre chico católico de Pakistán?».
http://www.alfayomega.es/153262/el-musulman-que-intenta-convencer-a-los-obispos-de-pakistan-para-que-promuevan-la-beatificacion-de-un-nino-cristiano

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