Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ahmadies under attack


The Ahmadis of Pakistan have been under attack for a very long time, though what happened to them and their places of worship on May 28 in Lahore is quite clearly one of their worst days ever. The second amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan in 1974 excluded Ahmadis from the religion followed by the majority of Pakistanis. The amendment made this exclusion legally in that the phrase “for the purposes of the constitution or law” was used when rendering them non-Muslims. Under law, anyone who is a minority is entitled to equal protection and has the right to due process, but as our history and in fact present show all too clearly, Ahmadis have not been given this entitlement.

Friday’s events are more or less an inevitable outcome of the intolerance and bigotry found in Pakistan today – we say ‘today’ because while it began many years ago and was facilitated actively by the state during General Zia’s days, it persists and has perhaps grown stronger than ever. Those who died – the number is at least 70 and could well rise – are going to soon be forgotten and added to the hundreds of minorities who have been killed over the years by extremists and militants. In fact, one cannot help but notice the tragic irony in all of this. Just a week ago, many Pakistanis were outraged – and rightly so – at an offensive page on a social networking website and complained that the west should show some sensitivity to their religious feelings. And what have we done to our own minorities?

We have, in our midst, a group of people so crazed and fanatical in their faith that they see it as an obligation to take up arms and attack a place of worship and kill those present simply because of their beliefs. We can only wonder how many among us will unequivocally speak up and condemn the actions of these militants and how many will label this (undoubtedly right) action as ‘anti-Islam’?

Published in the Express Tribune, May 29th, 2010.

1 comment:

  1. `Thank you for sharing your feelings Omar Bhai.

    ..But no, by thy Lord, they are not believres until they make thee judge in all that is in dispute between them and then find not in their hearts any demur concerning that which thou decidest and submit with full submission. Al-Nisa' Chapter 4 : Verse 66

    Do they then seek the judgment of the days of Ignorance? And who is better than Allah as a Judge for a people who have firm faith? Al-Ma'idah Chapter 5 : Verse 51

    There are numerous examples of when our beloved prophet mohammad pbuh, has declared that if one says he is moslim, this is his case towards God, it is not upon human beings to entitle them with any tag in any kind of way. They have no rights to tell us that we are non-moslims, because allah is the best Judge of them all.

    O ye who believe , be steadfast and strive to excel in steadfastness. (3:201)