Ahmadi man gives call to prayer at White House

Published: July 22, 2016
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Imam Azhar Haneef leading Asr prayer in the China Room of the White House PHOTO: QASIM RASHID

Imam Azhar Haneef leading Asr prayer in the China Room of the White House PHOTO: QASIM RASHID

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.

In a first: Anti-Ahmadiyya advert in mainstream media

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.

Significant increase in hate propaganda against Ahmadiyya community, says report

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.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • Haji Atiya
    Jul 22, 2016 - 4:22PM

    Just out of curiosity, are Ahmadis permitted by the Saudi authorities to perform Hajj ?Recommend

  • saqib
    Jul 22, 2016 - 5:44PM

    @Haji Atiya:
    Yes. Ahmadies who don’t hold Pakistani passport have no restriction to perform Hajj or Umra. Recommend

  • ak
    Jul 22, 2016 - 8:22PM

    Wondering if white house would provide the same oppertunity to Muslims. Apparently they did this just to to bring bad name for Pakistan and not just to show off america provides full freedom to everyone. Recommend

  • MA
    Jul 22, 2016 - 9:34PM

    @ak Your voice of ignorance is the fault that is dividing your county. If only you would think with your own intelligent brain, rather than what the Mullahs have fed you all your years of adulthood.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jul 22, 2016 - 9:44PM

    @ak:
    “..bad name for Pakistan..” ? Just follow the news and you should be able to see that there is whole industry out there of Pakistanis bringing dishonor and notoriety to their country on almost a daily basis.Recommend

  • SS
    Jul 23, 2016 - 12:55AM

    Get a life. Recommend

  • Cheeko Beeko
    Jul 23, 2016 - 1:49AM

    Why did the man wearing red tie who called for Adhaan did not wear the cap on his head? Neither the man in red tie had enough long beard to call for Adhaan? Nor the man in red tie who called for Adhaan lead the prayers, but instead, he is sitting behind another prayer leader who is sitting in the black tie.

    The entire act shows The Wrong Kind Of MuslimRecommend

  • cheebz
    Jul 23, 2016 - 3:50AM

    Sounds like Pakistani bashing article rather than his “achievement”… Ironic that on one side states wants to ban muslims n other side they invite a certain group who claim to be muslims to their white house… Sounds like British back in the 1800sRecommend

  • Muhammad Altar
    Jul 23, 2016 - 7:52AM

    Exact word is Qadianis and they are non Muslims. USA and west supports such groups for their ulterior motives and to conspire against Muslima Ummah. For your information Saudi Arabia does not allow these Qadianis for Hajj if found then they are immediately thrown out.Recommend

  • Isn't it too rich of Pakistan?? Australia
    Jul 23, 2016 - 8:46AM

    And Nawaz Sharif and Pakistanis do NOT see the plight of Ahmadis in their home mirror and have audacity to think and talk about Kashmir issue which in itself has been created and fomented by Pakistan since 1947 for political gains using religious hatred as a veiled means.
    Moral compass of Pakistanis stopped working decades back…Unfortunately no one there even recognises this being a serious constitutional lacuna. Recommend

  • Muslim
    Jul 23, 2016 - 10:26AM

    There is no such community what you call “Ahmadi”. This is Qadiani community. Recommend

  • M.M.
    Jul 23, 2016 - 10:53AM

    @cheebz:
    Who told you America is banning Muslims to enter America ? It’s only presumptive Presidential candidate Trump who is making that suggestion and is very unlikely to fail. British are not back. your ignorance is back.Recommend

  • spark
    Jul 23, 2016 - 11:30AM

    @Altar, unde what authority u can call someone muslim or non-muslim?Recommend

  • Hasan
    Jul 23, 2016 - 11:56AM

    White House can invite anyone for their local or global ulterior motives.Recommend

  • Ahsan
    Jul 23, 2016 - 12:43PM

    How many of us are aware that the first martial law in Pakistan was not imposed in 1958 throughout Pakistan but it was in 1954 in Lahore to curb the riots irrupting from the very same topic?
    The issue remained volatile for almost 20 years but was kept under the lid because of dictatorial rule in the country. This very topic and parliamentary decision is by all means part of that unanimous constitution as it was the second amendment that was also passed unanimously just like the constitution itself.

    It is also worth remembering that, this decision was not taken in some Madressah but in the Parliament of the country where the religious clergy was not in majority but minority and it was not-so-religiously-fanatic majority in the house that endorsed it to pass it unanimously. It was also not a case of passing a judgment without letting someone plead his case. The leader of the community was invited to the parliament and he was allowed to do so as long he does that. The whole parliament heard him out and it is not the Parliament that declared him non-Muslim first but it was that leader who first declared that whoever does not agree to him is a non-Muslim and Murtad. He declared that and the majority overruled it – an outcome of simple democratic practices NOT really of a conservative and ignorant mindset as it is being presented now. They did get a chance to plead their case and they failed in convincing the majority. There is no point demonising the majority now after messing up your due opportunity. Anyone who thinks that it was a wrong outcome, must first blame that leader of the faction who did not only accept the jurisdiction of the Parliament in this case by appearing in front of it to plead his case but also acted as the advocate and lost the case due to this audacity. If the parliament is to be cursed for that decision then that man should be the first one from where the cursing should start.

    Simple fact is that they are non muslims, and considered so across the muslim world. And they believe the same for muslims , they also consider muslims as murtad who dont believe in Mirza Ghulam. Which is understandable as theiri is a FUNDEMENTAL difference in beliefs. So Either WE can be muslims or those people. BOTH cant be right as there is the fundamental difference. And as far as i know, Mirza ghulam claims are false and fundamentally flawed that make him n his followers non muslims . End of. But i do respect their right to life and will stand up for them if they are persecuted. That does not mean one has to accept any argument from them. And ahmedis should get over it and move on.Recommend

  • A h
    Jul 23, 2016 - 11:43PM

    Just see where is the leader of that parliament. Where is the family of that leader. Where is next hero general zia who was the creator of that ordinance Recommend

  • Tak
    Jul 24, 2016 - 9:26AM

    Hope we grow as a nation. Giving respect to reach religion. We are no one to judge rather our acts should be such that ppl should respect and move towards our religion rather opposite. See where we are today in respect to US. Recommend

  • Arif
    Jul 24, 2016 - 10:01AM

    Can someone explain the difference between mainstream Muslims and Ahmadis? Adhaan was exactly the same as how Sunni Perform Adnan. Why Ahmadis and Qadyanis need a separate identity? Recommend

  • Zubair Khan
    Jul 24, 2016 - 1:15PM

    @Ahsan:
    Very simple litmus test.
    1. Ask authorities to public the proceedings of National Assembly and some popular media organ be permitted to print it in toto.
    2. This group never calls any one non Muslim or Murtad. Allegation has to be substantiated.
    3. Quote any country where parliament ever decided the religion of any body. Its matter between Creator and Creation.Recommend

  • kilo
    Jul 24, 2016 - 3:56PM

    Ahmadis are non-muslim only in the Islamic republic of Pakistan every where else they are considered and treated as muslimsRecommend

  • rich
    Jul 24, 2016 - 5:14PM

    ahamadias are the most peaceful muslim, like bhorisRecommend

  • Ayesha
    Jul 24, 2016 - 9:34PM

    There you are Curious George! The man in the yellow hat has been worried sick looking for you. @CheekoBeeko: Recommend

  • Iqbal
    Jul 25, 2016 - 2:42AM

    @ak:
    Just in case you did not know, in USA and Europe, Muslims are the most hated people on this earth. In Pakistan Ahmadiya may be persecuted but in USA and Europe they are not. There is a saying “what goes around comes around”. That is the reason why you are seeing all this mess among the Muslims.Recommend

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