Despite Persecution, Ahmadi Muslims Engage in Prayer

Pakistan’s Religious Intolerance and Blasphemy Laws Fuel Violence

You may not know, but fumes of hatred suffocated an eight-month-old infant not so many days ago. A mob in Pakistan set aflame several homes of members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The mob killed a woman and her two young granddaughters. Firemen came, but the mob stopped them from extinguishing the flames. Police officers came, but law enforcement officers just watched the flames rage. There isn’t much law to be enforced for law enforcement officers. After all, Pakistan has made it a crime to be a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. But you probably didn’t know about this attack, since Pakistani media gave little attention to this incident.

Osaama Saifi

In Pakistan, the real crime is being an Ahmadi. In 1974, the second amendment to Pakistan’s Constitution declared Ahmadi Muslims as Kafirs (“disbelievers”). In 1984, Ordinance XX made the act of being an Ahmadi Muslim a crime. An Ahmadi Muslim who does anything that resembles Muslim behavior (i.e. saying Salaam to another, calling your house of worship a mosque, propagation, etc.) can be put in prison for three years.

This law has created absurd consequences. Just this past December, a 72-year-old British Ahmadi physician was imprisoned when he was secretly videotaped helping a patient read the Qur’an while in Pakistan. These blasphemy laws have blinded Pakistan to such an extent that the country fails to appreciate its own scholars. The first foreign minister of Pakistan, Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, who was also president of the International Court of Justice, was an Ahmadi Muslim.

The first Pakistani Nobel laureate, Dr. Abdus Salaam, was an Ahmadi Muslim. Rather than dedicate a physics department in his honor, a local magistrate ordered Abdus Salaam’s tombstone to be desecrated. Abdus Salaam’s epitaph read “First Muslim Nobel Laureate” and the judge ordered “Muslim” to be scraped off the grave. Even the dead cannot escape Pakistan’s blasphemous jurisdiction.

The number of Ahmadi Muslim tombstones are rapidly increasing in Pakistan. Ahmadi Muslim murders in Pakistan has been increasing steadily each year. The mob violence against Ahmadis isn’t a new occurrence. On May 28, 2010, more than 90 Ahmadis were murdered and 108 were injured when assailants concurrently attacked two Ahmadi mosques. Even then, police just stood and watched. Two assailants were captured, but they have yet to be prosecuted.

One would assume that after so much persecution, Ahmadis would react violently to the mob violence. His Holiness, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the worldwide spiritual head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and considered to be the Khalifa of Islam, instead urged for more prayers. His Holiness stated:

Let it be clear that we Ahmadi Muslims will never undertake any worldly protest and nor will we ever take to the streets. Our response to all of the sustained persecution that we face is, and will always remain, to bow down before Allah the Almighty and to seek His Help and Mercy.

Despite the brutality Ahmadi Muslims have faced, there is no reported incident of Ahmadi Muslims ever retaliating with violence. Rather, His Holiness,Mirza Masroor Ahmad urges Ahmadi Muslims to engage in more prayers, and to embody the slogan of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community: “Love For All, Hatred For None.” The mob’s combustion is fueled from Pakistan’s inferno. But we firmly adhere to the belief that prayers will douse these flames.

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