Total Pageviews

Monday, July 2, 2012


On June 14th, 2011 the Indo-Asian News Service reported that Pakistani terrorists have issued a “Hit-List” of prominent businessmen who are Ahmadi Muslims, saying those who 'misguide' the Muslims would be punished with death.

For the past week, radical Muslims have been distributing pamphlets in the Punjab city of Faisalabad calling for “target killings” of prominent Ahmadis. The pamphlets state that the act of killing an Ahmadi made an individual a “holy warrior” and whoever became one “would also be blessed by the Holy Prophet [Muhammad] on the Day of Judgment.”

Translated from Urdu, one pamphlet in English reads in part:
“O Muslim brothers! There are some people among us who are misguiding us and their punishment is death.” Another pamphlet asked if there was anybody who had the courage to “teach the Ahmadis a lesson.”

A year ago last May 28th, several Pakistani Taliban armed with machine-guns, grenades and suicide vests attacked two Ahmadi Mosques in Lahore during Friday Prayers, killing 86 worshippers and wounding more than 100. One terrorist was captured by the Ahmadis themselves and turned over to the police, but authorities say they no longer have the suspect in custody and have no idea where he is now.

The ongoing tragedy of the persecution and murder of non-violent, peaceful Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan, Indonesia and elsewhere by Islamist fanatics is highlighted by the equally ongoing tragedy of indifference and even tacit support from mainstream Muslims across the globe. This is further exacerbated by the apathy and ignorance of Americans and other Westerners who may not consider it “their problem” but whose sons and daughters in the military are in harm’s way in Afghanistan and Iraq; it is they who will suffer the consequences of this “problem” along with thousands of innocent civilians.

Muslims who are familiar with the situation of Ahmadis may say it’s not right to attack and kill them, but in the same breath many of these same Muslims will declare that Ahmadis are non-Muslims or worse -- heretics deserving to be killed. And as history clearly shows, when any group is marginalized and denied their rights and protection under the law, there is a predictable escalation from intolerance to demonization, followed by vigilantism, mob violence and state-sanctioned persecution and murder. This is exactly what has happened in Pakistan since 1974 when Islamic clerics and their political minions demanded and were given a Constitutional Amendment declaring Ahmadis non-Muslims.

Anti-blasphemy laws promulgated under British rule in the 19th century (originally designed to prevent inter-religious hate-speech and violence) were re-codified in the mid-1980s to make the practice and propagation of Islam by Ahmadis a crime punishable by fines, imprisonment and even death. These revamped Blasphemy laws quickly became the means by which Ahmadis, specifically, along with Shias, Christians, Hindus and others were targeted for persecution and murder by mainstream Sunni Muslims.

It is this government-sanctioned lawlessness and acceptance of hatred, bigotry and intolerance against Ahmadi Muslims and other religious minorities in Pakistan that encourages Muslim extremists’ violent and deadly attacks. This state of fear and chaos affects all minorities in Pakistan, resulting in the deaths of scores every year.

These deaths usually go unpunished and are often lauded and celebrated by the mainstream society, as was the case when the Governor of the Punjab, Salman Taseer, was gunned down by his own bodyguard in January of 2011. His killer was showered with roses and cheered by massive crowds outside the courthouse where he was arraigned.

This is symptomatic of a deeply-rooted spiritual and moral cancer that is slowly but surely destroying Pakistan from the inside out. Where then in the hearts of these tens of millions of Pakistani Muslims are the basic human qualities of compassion, conscience, decency and justice?

The silence of the majority is easily explained: most mainstream Sunni Muslims are either sympathetic to the politics and methods of the Taliban and similar fanatics or they are understandably afraid of meeting the same fate at the hands of such terrorists as do the Ahmadis, Christians and other minorities. (Indonesia is fast becoming a second Pakistan in that regard for exactly the same reasons, as similar acts of murder and injustice are perpetrated almost daily by Islamist radicals against religious minorities in that country; Hindus, Christians and Ahmadi Muslims being the main victims.)

For all those people who don’t think it’s their problem to combat religious extremism in a land halfway around the world, even though its victims may be members of their own religion, I would ask them to step back in time 75 years to Germany in the mid-1930s and replace “Ahmadis” with “Jews,” “Sunnis” with “Christians” and “Taliban” with “Nazis.” Is your level of moral apathy and detachment still the same? One would hope not! A World War costing the lives of more than 60 million people reminds us of the tragic consequences of moral cowardice and judicial inaction.
[ Ghosted with Imam Shamshad A. Nasir – ran in Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and San Bernardino Sun June 22nd, 2011 and at ]

1 comment:

  1. plzzz visit and share jazakallah