Although the Ahmadi community is one of the most persecuted minorities in Pakistan, they enjoy religious freedom and full rights in the United States.
Qasim Rashid, a human rights attorney and author, took to Facebook to highlight this point by posting a video of himself giving the call to prayer at the White House. He and others from the community had been invited on Thursday to the White House reception to celebrate Eidul Fitr.
“Today I had the privilege of calling the Adhaan, ie The Islamic call to prayer, at the White House,” Rashid said in a Facebook post.
The author of The Wrong Kind of Muslim points out that since he belonged to the Ahmadi community, he would not be allowed to do the same in Pakistan. “Well, because I am an Ahmadi Muslim, this ‘rebellious’ act would have gotten me arrested and imprisoned in Pakistan with up to the death penalty as punishment.”
He went on to say, “But in my adopted nation of America, I am a full citizen with full rights and full religious freedom. So much so that I can proclaim the Islamic call to prayer from the White House itself, and do so without fear. Instead, a special prayer room was provided for me to pray as I wish. I considered it a distinct honour and privilege that I could fully practice my faith as a Muslim in the very center of our nation’s Capitol.”
“Moreover, this serves as another proud reminder that Islam does not hate America nor does America hate Islam. Hatred has no place here,” he added.
He dedicated this to all the Ahmadis in Pakistan as well as other Muslim countries where they are forbidden to call for prayers. “This is for all my Ahmadi Muslim brothers and sisters in Pakistan and in dozens of Muslim majority nations where they are forbidden from calling the Adhaan.”
“Know that your voice was heard today in the White House. Know that prayers were made for you that one day you are blessed with the same freedoms your Ahmadi Muslim brother has in America. Know that you are loved, remembered, and prayed for. Know that deliverance is coming,” he added.