An act of bigotry

Published: July 12, 2012
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The demolition of six minarets by the police at an Ahmadi place of worship in Kharian says a lot about the continued official discrimination against the beleaguered community. PHOTO: AHMADI COMMUNITY PRESS OFFICE

The demolition of six minarets by the police at an Ahmadi place of worship in Kharian says a lot about the continued official discrimination against the beleaguered community. PHOTO: AHMADI COMMUNITY PRESS OFFICE

The demolition of six minarets by the police at an Ahmadi place of worship in Kharian says a lot about the continued official discrimination against the beleaguered community and our culpability in this discrimination. The spate of attacks on Ahmadi places of worship and the continuous assault on their property and business has made life intolerable for them. Meanwhile, every time we sign a form specifically singling out the Ahmadi community as not being Muslim, we are quietly adding to the many problems it faces in the country. It is our acquiescence to the treatment meted out to Ahmadis that allows injustice to continue and even intensify. Essentially, in Pakistan, Ahmadis have been declared an outlawed community, one that is not only undeserving of protection, but in whose case law-enforcement agencies do nothing if vigilantes target the community.

Since the government has shown absolutely no inclination to protect the Ahmadi community from trumped-up attacks, it will be up to those few human rights campaigners and others, who care about the plight of downtrodden communities, to chronicle and reveal the many cases of violence against them. In Kharian, the complaint was that the Ahmadi place of worship should not have minarets since that would make the place of worship resemble a mosque. In other cases, Ahmadis have been accused of blasphemy and other crimes when the real issue was perhaps a property dispute or a related matter. In such cases, the police nearly always end up taking the side of the aggressor.

As tempting as it may be to simply turn a blind eye to the treatment of Ahmadis because the community is small and not worth the bother, we should always keep in mind that it is exactly this intolerant and bigoted attitude that has made life impossible for other minority communities and sects. The Shia Hazara community is just one example of a group of people, who are being targeted in a similar manner. Soon, groups will be targeted not just on the basis of their ethnicity and beliefs but also because of their lifestyle. Not stopping this menace dead in its tracks now, only ensures that it mushrooms and takes over the entire country later.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • Munir Khan
    Jul 12, 2012 - 11:27PM

    Excellent Oped as ever.

    Express Tribune takes a principled stand, but is anyone in Punjab’s capital or Islamabad for that matter listening?

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  • Jat
    Jul 13, 2012 - 12:14AM

    Why bother with these Ahmadis ? After all they were at the forefront of Pakistan movement and financed MA Zinnah. They deserve what they are getting in their beloved Pakistan.

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  • Abdullah
    Jul 13, 2012 - 12:53AM

    It need Change in consititution along with change of mentalityRecommend

  • Jul 13, 2012 - 1:07AM

    “Since the government has shown absolutely no inclination to protect the Ahmadi community from trumped-up attacks, it will be up to those few human rights campaigners and others, who care about the plight of downtrodden communities, to chronicle and reveal the many cases of violence against them.”

    If the government will not act then citizens must prepare themselves to employ violence to defend the weak from the strong. And if that involves ignoring state institutions then let it be!

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  • R Ali
    Jul 13, 2012 - 1:17AM

    Demolishing minerats of mosque or any place of worship clearly shows these mulahs have not iota of knowledge of islamic teachings. also it reminds us who has done these kind of things in the early history of islam with who? these mulahs without doubt have smilarity with Abu jahal. and and qadiani group with true muslims . from these kind of treatment we are giving to qadianies my inner sense force me to think who is write and who is wrong. and today i can say qadianies are write. and we are wrong.

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  • Awans
    Jul 13, 2012 - 3:01AM

    @Solomon2: Lol this is Pakistan where If you dont belong from Majority then you are not considered human being. Do you know people distributed Sweets in Kharian after Demolishing these minarets and I am pretty sure they will distribute sweets again when people from Ahmedi sects will be killed there. Dont expect much from Savages. Also by the way Our Constitution permits violence against Ahmedis as Pakistani constitution states that in Islamic Republic no building can Imitate the Heavenly Buildings which are Proprietary of Only Muslims declared by Pakistani Government as Pure Muslims and liable to get Heaven in the hereafter.

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  • T Khan
    Jul 13, 2012 - 5:23AM

    @Solomon2:

    This is a major difference in the thinking of today’s Muslim world and an Ahmadi Muslim’s mind.
    We believe that the time of waging wars with sword is over. This is the age of war of the pen(the one thing Muslims are failing to understand). We, as Ahmadies, do not take the law in our hands or we could easily fight back when someone comes to demolish our masjid or scratch Kalima off its wall.
    This is the fight that has to be won by the mind. We all as a nation need to think proper… not fight harder.

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  • Polpot
    Jul 13, 2012 - 7:50AM

    Will the lawyers now shower the Police with rose petals?
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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  • razi
    Jul 13, 2012 - 11:03AM

    Sad day for Pakistan. Hazara shia’s being killed, dargah’s being blown up, now this. what is wahabism leading to. look what is happening in Timbuktu. even in Pakistan shrines of saints are being destroyed.

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  • T. A Ayaz
    Jul 13, 2012 - 11:20AM

    Ahmadiyyat preaching Islam to the corners of the earth, but what these people doing, their Islam starts with heating non-Muslims and ends with killing their own people.
    Is these teaching of our Holy Prophet SAWW or of yours, yes! these teachings are of ur bad mullahs, who think for only their benefit not for Islam.
    Islam Ahmadiyyat zindabad.

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  • Shahid Ashraf
    Jul 13, 2012 - 2:11PM

    Absolutely right! This should be stopped.

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  • sidjeen
    Jul 13, 2012 - 2:19PM

    the Ahmadi community have every right to not only observe but to propagate their beliefs and i strongly protest against these injustices done to them.

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  • Javed
    Jul 13, 2012 - 4:52PM

    I can’t understand what is all the fuss about. Whatever we are seeing is the norm in our bigoted country. Anything outside the norm is a news item rather than the norm. Had the people stopped the police from demolishing the minarats instead of distributing sweets……. yes that would have been a worthy news item.

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  • Shahid
    Jul 13, 2012 - 7:14PM

    @Javed:

    Everyone is selling one’s own ‘choo-run’. See and enjoy the comments of people from all kinds of sects and communities. Among the fanatics of Deobandis, Wahabis, Barelvis, Shias and Ahmadis, you may feel the passion of some NGOists who are looking for international grants to work for minorities. LOL.

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  • Jul 13, 2012 - 9:26PM

    A horrible thing has happened. Gross intolerance and negation of what the Quran says, ‘There should be no compulsion in religion.’ Those who destroyed the minarets of Ahmadia mosques committed an outrageous act against heir own faith because Islam does not countenance such treatment to people of other faiths. ..

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  • harkol
    Jul 14, 2012 - 12:06AM

    I thought that a person is a muslim if –

    He Believes that the Holy Quran is the literal word of God, revealed by Him.
    Believe that the Day of Judgment (the Day of Resurrection) is true and will come, as God promised in the Quran.
    Accept Islam as his or her religion.
    Not worship anything nor anyone except Allah. So, by saying “La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadur rasoolu Allah,”

    So, why Ahmadis are not muslims? Why Pakistan makes a law stating they aren’t muslims? From what I have read they conform to all the above conditions.

    And even if they weren’t muslims, why treat them in a bad manner? Can’t a man claim to follow a religion without really agreeing to everything a few mullas/emams say?

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  • Cynical
    Jul 14, 2012 - 1:14AM

    Excellent editorial, befitting ET’s usually high standard.

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  • Laiq
    Jul 14, 2012 - 8:30AM

    Very daring article from the Express Tribune, My hats off to such courage at this time of the age especially in Pakistan. Well Done

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  • Ahmad
    Jul 14, 2012 - 11:58AM

    @Jat:
    Are they not humans ?

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  • Jat
    Jul 14, 2012 - 2:12PM

    @Ahmad: All humans from any country, any religion are humans and have equal rights. I said it in a sarcastic way, may be that will give a jolt to these religious fanatics. Although I doubt it very much.

    Am sorry if I offended you in any way.

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  • a human
    Jul 15, 2012 - 12:39AM

    Says the Quaid:

    “We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim community, because even as regards Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, Sunnis and so on, and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnavas, Khatris, also Bengalis, Madrasis and so on, will vanish. You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed, that has nothing to do with the business of the state.”

    Nuff’ said.

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