It is a shame that a massacre of Ahmadi community by religious fanatics has brought to fore their plight in Pakistan. We firmly believe that any one’s religion is his or her own private matter and the state of Pakistan is absolutely wrong in branding its citizens as Muslims or non Muslims. Based on conversations with many of my Ahmadi friends inside and outside of Pakistan, it seems almost inconceivable that the state and the society can so heartlessly discriminate against a minority sect. Below we are reproducing a touching blog post by Wajahat S. Khan titled “Why waste your time with me; I am an Ahmadi”. For all of our valued readers, we want to make it clear that we are not a theological debating forum. We are about complete seperation of the state and the mosque. This post is absolutely not about the theological merits or demerits, but rather about the wrongs committed by Pakistani society in its religious zeal and fervour. (AZW)
Why waste your time with me, after all I am an Ahmadi
By Wajahat S. Khan
I am an Ahmadi. There are four million of me in Pakistan. This Islamic Republic is the only state in the world which has officially declared me to to be a non-Muslim. Why? It’s simple. I am an Ahmadi.
Ordinances have been passed against me. Acts and Constitutional Amendments have been drafted around me. Shortly after the heart and soul of our nation was ripped into two, a country reeling to define and defend its own identity unleashed itself upon me. In 1974, a parliament I had voted for adopted a law that outlawed me.
The rest of you were given a different story. Unlike you, I was not a “a person who believes in the finality of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH”. But nobody really asked me what I believed in. Why? Because I am different. Because I don’t matter. Because I am an Ahmadi.
A powerful man who killed another powerful man in the name of the law did worse to me. In 1984, the General of an Army I pay for, support and serve with passed another law: now I could not call myself a Muslim at all, or even “pose as Muslim”.
You might have noted the affects of that today. As my attackers unleashed their wrath, television networks I watch and love got the location of the bloodshed all wrong. What I call a mosque, they called a “place of worship”. That’s alright though. It’s not their fault. I’m used to the special treatment. After all, I am an Ahmadi.
But I wish things were different. I wish I was like you. I wish I was a Sunni, a Shia, a Punjabi, a Pakhtoon, a Baloch, a Sindhi, a Memon, a Gujrati, a Siraiki, a Makrani. If I was any of those, or even anyone else, I would have been called a martyr or “shaheed” in the papers today. My family would have liked that. They would have even engraved it on my grave, like you do for your loved ones. But that doesn’t matter though. It’s what comes after the grave that really matters. And in my case, I’ve been reassured by you that not much good awaits me there.
But you can’t blame me for wishing. I wish I could give you a hug this Eid. I wish I could say “asalamalaikum” and “eid mubarak” to you as well. I wish I could read to you the history of my people and even have you sample my food. But I can’t. That could cost me three years of prison time.
Finally, I also wish my attackers had chosen another date. For you, today was a day to remember. After all, it was twelve years ago that you unleashed your might upon the world by reducing a mountain to ashes. You had invented the weapon to counter all weapons. You detractors were scared and your enemies terrified. For causing yesterday’s incident to dampen your re-living that moment of pride, I apologize. Please accept my condolences.
But you don’t have to. You’ve got other things to do. Why waste your time with me? After all, I am an Ahmadi.
(Disclaimer: Khan is not an Ahmadi, rather a Pakistani)