Younus Shaikh

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Mohammed Younus Shaikh (Punjabi, , born 30 May 1952} is a Pakistani medical doctor, human rights activist and freethinker.

When he was a teacher at a medical college in Islamabad, Shaikh was an active member of the South Asia Peace Movement and of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU). He took part in the Pakistan-India Forum for Peace and Democracy, and was a member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. A free-thinker, he founded Enlightenment, an organization associated with the IHEU.

In October 2000, Pakistani authorities charged Shaikh with blasphemy. A judge ordered that he pay a fine of 100,000 rupees, and sentenced him to death by hanging. On 20 November 2003, a court acquitted Shaikh, who fled Pakistan for Europe soon thereafter.

Early life and education

Younus Shaikh was born, as one of a pair of twins, to a European mother and an Asian father and adopted by a family in Punjab, Pakistan. He was given a Muslim name and identity, and raised in a rather strict and repressive Islamic way by his Pakistani Islamic foster parents. (He did not know that they were his foster parents till the age of 35 years when he met his mirror-image, his twin and became conscious of the reality, however he maintained the sacredness of family relation with his parents, brothers and sisters as well as other relatives). He studied Koran in Islamic madrassas along with secular education in schools and college. At school he...
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