The Height of Religious Intolerance – Is Suffering A Certainty for Religious Minorities in Pakistan?

Over the course of the last decade, religious intolerance has only increased in the country, and any progress toward prosperity between people of different religions has begun to seem like a distant, dream. Noting the response to the different religious minorities in the country, one could call such notions of brotherhood, and if not brotherhood, tolerance, a far-off fantasy. While Hindus and Christians have faced discrimination in the country, it is the Ahmaddiya community that has encountered the worst desecration in the history of Pakistan.

The Muslims in Pakistan are divided into several sects, but by far the most hated one remains the Ahmadi Muslim sect. The abuse goes so deep, that people refuse to acknowledge the Ahmaddiya community as part of the Islamic society, and proceed to call them “kafir,” a term that translates to the infidel, or non-Muslim. However, unlike the other non-Muslim communities in Pakistan, the Ahmaddiya community is labeled as “Wajib ul Qatal” by the majority of Muslims, which means, worthy of death. By calling them so, people have justified the wrongful killing of the Ahmadi Muslims because of the difference in beliefs, which most people are not very well aware of, due to even debating about the Ahmadi Muslim being a taboo, in a normal household.

General Elections – An Ahmadi’s Perspective

Hate against the Ahmaddiya community is not an uncommon occurrence even on the media, especially when the most prominent of figures have declared the anti-Ahamdi laws to be fair, despite them going against basic human rights.

The draconian law does not allow Ahmadi Muslims to vote, to be a part of the constitution, to recite the Quran, to call their place of worship a mosque, and to say Salam, the usual Muslim greeting upon meeting each other.

The new Prime Minister, Mr. Imran Khan has expressed his disdain for the community. According to Ehsan Raza, the editor of the Rabwa Times,

“Most of the recent anti-Ahmadi bigotry has come mainly from one source and that is the PTI. His speeches are reminiscent of Bhutto and Zia, who constitutionally barred us from the electorate. PTI workers have physically attacked Ahmadi Mosques. Khan even withdrew a job offer to an economist after finding out he was Ahmadi.”

Another prominent media figure, anchorperson, and actor, Hamza Ali Abbasi has not hidden his distaste for the Ahmadi Community.

It was only yesterday, that an extremist Pakistani mob attacked an Ahmaddiya mosque in Faisalabad, over a dispute between Sunni Muslims and Ahmadi Muslims. About six Ahmadi Muslims were wounded, and the police are reported to have done nothing at all in defense of the Ahmadi Muslims. The mosque was set on fire, and the mob headed towards the houses of the Ahmadi Muslims.

This was how the Ahmadi Muslims celebrated their Eid. To no one’s surprise, the Pakistani media preferred barging into people’s homes to see what new recipes they were coming up with, rather than reporting the incident. People were too busy flooding hospital emergency rooms after stuffing themselves up to their throats, whereas the Ahmadi community was mourning the violation of their religious space, which seemed an enormous offense, since they were not allowed to participate in any religious activities pertaining to Eid – ul – Adha. After this new series of violent protests against the Ahmadi community, it is safe to say that perhaps, there is no hope for a peaceful Pakistan.

After all, how can on expect a county to be peaceful when its citizens are being hunted down by the public, and cannot exercise their basic human rights? Are we to witness another holocaust?

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