The Second Amendment

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

Published in Daily Times, May 31 2010

The Second Amendment laid the foundations of intolerance and religious tyranny in Pakistan, which has manifested itself in other ways. Since then our state has been in a downward spiral

The violence against the Ahmediyya community underscores the bigotry that has become the hallmark of our beloved homeland. A community — already sacrificed at the altar of political expediency — has now been made to pay the ultimate price.

Amongst the dead, which included retired army officers and other contributors to Pakistani society, was reportedly the youngest brother of Chaudhry Zafarullah Khan. For those who are unaware of who Chaudhry Zafarullah was, he was the author of the Lahore Resolution, Pakistan’s first foreign minister and Pakistan’s advocate before the Boundary Commission. In other words, this community has paid for such crimes as their valiant contribution to the Pakistan Movement, their significant role in the development of Pakistan and the fact that Pakistan’s only Nobel Prize was bagged by them. Yet what happened on Friday was waiting to happen, given the neglect and at times outright bigotry that our governments, both federal and provincial, have been guilty of on this count starting with the PPP government in 1974.

Things were not always like this. It bears remembering that in 1944 when a group of Muslim divines approached Jinnah to persuade him unsuccessfully to turn all Ahmedis out of the Muslim League, Jinnah was resolute against such bigotry. He responded to them by saying, “Who am I to declare non-Muslim a person who calls himself a Muslim?” It was for this reason that many religious parties and even self-styled freedom fighters like Mirza Ali Khan (Faqir of Ipi) denounced the Muslim League as a “bastion of Qadiyanism”. Yet such was the force of character of our founding father that he not only stood against such bigotry but without any fear appointed the leading Ahmedi Muslim at the time to shoulder the most important responsibility for the Muslims of South Asia, i.e. of arguing Pakistan’s case before the Boundary Commission. So long as the Quaid’s colleagues were at the helm, there was some semblance of common sense that prevailed on this issue. When in 1953, the Majlis-e-Ahrar and the Jamaat-e-Islami, both groups that had opposed the creation of Pakistan, started a mass agitation movement to have Ahmedis like Chaudhry Zafarullah turned out from the government and excommunicated from Islam, Khawaja Nazimuddin, himself a devout Muslim, refused to bow under their pressure. His government fell a few weeks later and the establishment stepped in to sweep up the mullahs with extreme prejudice.

In 1974, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was determined to hang on to power by hook or by crook. Though not a bigot himself, Bhutto was ill-advised by his law minister Abdul Hafeez Pirzada. As a result, the PPP stabbed in the back the one community that had helped them in winning the 1970 elections, by putting a question to parliament that it had no authority to determine. As a result Bhutto managed to hang on to power for another three years. The usurper who replaced Bhutto, General Ziaul Haq, took bigotry against the Ahmedis to another level altogether with his unconstitutional and inhumane Ordinance XX of 1984 specifically targeting this community. His bigotry was upheld by our independent judiciary in Zaheeruddin v The State, where the dispensers of justice compared Islamic symbols with Coca Cola’s intellectual property in an argument that defies all legal sense and logic to justify the ban on the Ahmedis from using any Islamic symbols — symbols that are central to their faith.

Martin Lau, a leading legal scholar of religious freedom in common law jurisdictions, has argued in his paper on Zaheeruddin v The State that Pakistan has abolished religious freedom for Pakistanis, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, through this judicial precedent. My own view is that the very idea of Pakistan as a bastion against the tyranny of the majority was killed the day our parliament decided to take it upon itself to excommunicate a sect from Islam. The Second Amendment laid the foundations of intolerance and religious tyranny in Pakistan, which has manifested itself in other ways. Since then our state has been in a downward spiral. The Gojra incident, violence against Shias, and now the massacre of the Ahmedis is only symptomatic of the real sickness that emerges from the 1974 Amendment. Pakistan shall continue to be on the wrong side of history as long as the Second Amendment remains in the constitution of this republic.

The time has come for the PPP government to undo this great injustice done to not just a minority sect but to Pakistan itself. All roots of Pakistan’s current existential crisis with Islam emerge from that one foul act that was brought about on the ill-advice of Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, who is now challenging parliament’s sovereignty, the same sovereignty he had argued 36 years ago as being absolute. It is now up to the PPP to make a clear choice. Will it continue to defend a dubious legacy or will it come out decisively against religious bigotry?

History beckons President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani to clear the name of Pakistan’s largest political party by undoing what it did in 1974. In this they must be supported unwaveringly by the MQM and the ANP — for they claim to be the guardians of secular liberal politics. The Sharif brothers must also atone for their sins — of having spoken from both sides of their mouths — by supporting this move. Even the religious parties, the Jamaat-e-Islami foremost amongst them, must state unwaveringly that while they may not consider the Ahmedis Muslims, they are willing to leave this final judgement to God.

If they manage to undo this grievous injustice and act of inhumanity, the ladies and gentlemen in our parliament will secure for themselves a permanent place in Pakistan’s history as the visionaries who restored Jinnah’s Pakistan, which is to be built on the ideals of justice, fair play, impartiality and complete equality for all citizens of Pakistan.

http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20105\31\story_31-5-2010_pg3_5

65 Comments

Filed under Activism, Democracy, human rights, Identity, Islam, Islamism, Jinnah's Pakistan, minorities, Pak Tea House, Religion, Rights, Taliban, Terrorism, violence

65 responses to “The Second Amendment

  1. Dear Yaseer
    Thanks for sharing this timely article.As our dear friend Lakho Sahib is campaigning for abolishing State Religion from our the Constitution of Republic of Pakistan.
    http://saynotothestatereligion.blogspot.com/

    Lets us work for a secular Muslim (not Islamic) republic like Turkey.

  2. Amaar

    Good article.

    Though unlikely, our TV anchors should be made to express these facts before their audience.

    As for our religious parties, Islam is their ‘intellectual property’ or ‘patent right’. They can invent whatever they feel like…

  3. While we are on the topic, I thought I would put up a link to a detailed report about the “disturbances” of 1953. It seems that the Pakistani government actually cared a bit about protecting minorities back then.

    http://www.thepersecution.org/archive/munir/index.html

  4. Khullat

    Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the founder of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat writes [this is in Persian]:

    “…..baad az khuda ba ishq-e Muhammad mukhammaram
    gar kufr een bawad bakhuda sakht kaafiram…..”

    Translation: “…..Next to the love of God, it is the love of Muhammad that inebriates me. If this is kufr, then by God I am a firm kaafir…..”

    :

  5. a muslim

    @Khullat:
    Unfortunately, the beliefs and attitude of Qadianis towards Muslims have tarred image of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadiani in the hearts and minds of Muslims.

    Qadiani Khalifa 2 Mirza Mahmud Ahmad has done EXACTLY THE SAME to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, what Paul did to Isa (Jesus) AS.

  6. a muslim

    @YLH:
    “Martin Lau, a leading legal scholar of religious freedom in common law jurisdictions, has argued in his paper on Zaheeruddin v The State that Pakistan has abolished religious freedom for Pakistanis, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, through this judicial precedent.”

    The paper by Martin Lau can be read
    http://www.soas.ac.uk/cimel/materials/yearbook/intro/

  7. Khullat

    @ a muslim

    Live with your fantasies. We’ll live with our realities. Have a nice stay in Fantasyland.

  8. a muslim

    @Khullat:
    You are able to write because you live in safety and comfort of country outside Pakistan. You were not in Lahore Mosques at time of attack neither you were the one who answered door bell and got stabbed to death like the one in Narowal.

  9. karun1

    @YLH.

    timely article. yes this is what is needed. I hope PPP and Sharifs listen to ur wake up call.

  10. @YLH
    good article, though the foul play and ambiguities around were started soon after the partition, when Jinnah’s speech of 11th august was attempted to stop from going to the press….
    2nd amendment was the climax point to this situation. Bhutto did it for his flaws of personality deeming to be accepted by the conservative populace of the urbanized class.
    Constitutionally these wrongs should be undone,
    But is it have some impact on the the current state of happenings around?
    as there the Shias are targeted more frequently and more brutally at almost all the capital cities of Pakistan.
    PPP Govt. has the ability to challenge the non state actors and institutions like JI, Mullahs and Madressahs It seems an impossible as reader have noticed that PPP secretary information Fauzia Wahab at a TV Show comments about Koran constitution and Caliph Omer was condemned, threatened and forced to apologize publically but still her life is endangered, Last day she visited a madressah located here at SITE Karachi, and said some complementary words about it, in the hope to get clean chit from these mullahs,..
    Though these mullahs are unable or unwilling to check the rogue elements inside and have no control over them. Its a precedence of the their might.
    If we expect them to take such steps, so again am using the persian verse..
    Ein Khayal Ast, Mahal Ast Junoon…
    Yaar…its ok if they are unable to restore their status, but what prevent them from just offering security and right of equal citizenship.

  11. And as for as the other parties as PML-N, ANP and MQM are concerned, a very little hope is there too…
    U can see the statement issued by the PML-n leadership about the Lahore tragedy and the state of denial regarding presence of Taliban in Punjab and befriending the extremists and banned outfits working with the changed names but same flag, leadership and even the slogans…is there any sensible voice except Ayaz Amir there?
    ANP is unable to take the burden of hilltask publically as they are confined to the Pashtun voters, who are radicalized and can easily be diverted by the
    MMA(JUI, JI).
    MQM apart from all the claims of liberal and secular credentials cant support the Govt, as if U have remembered when at an interview Altaf sb wished to allocate a place for worship places of all the religions and included the Ahmedis mosque, he was widely condemned and forced to clearify himself by calling a meeting of the ulemas and got a clean chit…
    Hope still persists, only time can say..

  12. YLH

    We must come together in a broadbased fashion against this violence against a hapless minority community.

    Kashifiat,

    “Answer is here”

    It would be an answer if any of it made any sense.

    By the way I visited “Millat Facebook”… looks like you invented it especially “to connect with 1.57 million Muslims and sweet people from other religions” and “respect others’ believes” (instead of beliefs) …

    Ironically you don’t respect the beliefs of anyone other than that laanti Maududi.

  13. YLH

    Ali…

    I may be a follower of Quaid-e-Azam… but I have lost all hope in Pakistan personally.

  14. Majumdar

    Why are the minority sects being targeted- X-tians, Ahmedis, Shias now forming a united social and political front?

    Regards

  15. Sher Zaman

    If Quaid said so then who are we or the parliamentarians to decide about a person being Muslim or Non-Muslim. The present government must try to undo the injustice happened to this community almost three decades ago; this step if taken will certainly make the present government a part of history.

  16. Majumdar

    Sher bhai,

    The present government must try to undo the injustice happened to this community almost three decades ago; this step if taken will certainly make the present government a part of history.

    Maybe that is the problem. Any govt which tries to redress this injustice may end up becoming a part of history.

    Regards

  17. YLH has choosen an important topic. Before we move forward to discuss this “timely” article in detail, it is important for us, the readers of this blog, to be enlightened by Raza Rumi about what does the “tolerance” means, the word which is used by the writer who has made record of using abusive language on this cyber world.

  18. Khullat

    @ a muslim (June 3, 2010 at 7:17 am)

    “…..Qadiani Khalifa 2 Mirza Mahmud Ahmad has done EXACTLY THE SAME to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, what Paul did to Isa (Jesus) AS…..”

    Your comprehension of History and your ability to draw parallels where there are tangents, is phenomenally unique. On the intellectual plane, you have done to yourself, what the suicide bomber did to himself.

  19. Why the hell someone who himself is not familiar with the word “tolerance” is asking the others about it…
    If matters are left in the hand of the culprits of Al Badr O al Shams, Does not seem a hopeful picture…

  20. Its the same level of paradox, when at one’s own country, do not tolerate any descenting view but the same hypocrites want to entertain all the individual liberties in the name of individual choices…
    Just go and ask all the blogs, sites, magazines, newspapers, U will not see difference of opinion just “jazakallah bro”,
    as it is said
    “mann tura haji begoyam, tu mera haji bigo”

  21. @Aliarqam
    I haven’t asked you to explain. Let Raza Rumi come and enlighten us

  22. Natasha

    SomeONE missing in the article!

  23. emrun

    More than a dream. Undoing the 2nd Amendment is not likely to happen this way. Pakistan’s situation is irreversible.

  24. Israr

    @kashifiat
    You should not have given that link.
    I thought u were a reasonale person.😦

  25. Amaar

    @a muslim

    Fact 1: The blood of those Ahmadis who believe in khalifat in their jamaat was shed on May 28.

    Fact 2: No Ahmadi (Qadiyani) considers Sunnis or Shias to be Non-Muslim either despite strong disagreements.

  26. Pingback: Society Media in Pakistan; Occupied by bigot Liberals « Talkhaba

  27. Bin Ismail

    @ Sardar Khan (June 3, 2010 at 11:00 pm)

    Salat is not a social activity. It’s a spiritual exercise. Would it make any sense, any sense whatsoever, in praying behind someone who considers you an infidel?

  28. kashifiat

    Usage of Bad language is USP of YLH.
    Nothing new !!!

  29. YLH

    I must thank followers of Maudoodi for reproducing my comments on their websites…

    Since you don’t understand the English language very well… let me address you in Urdu..

    Kashif mian, talkhaba aur deegar in khayalat kay mutahamil laanti hazraat!

    Ziyada say ziyada tum kiya kar lo gay? Qatl kar do gay mujhe? Kardo! Goli maar do gay? Mardo!
    Mein qurban haq, such aur Quaid-e-Azam Mahomed Ali Jinnah kay Pakistan pur!

    yeh Jaan aani jaani hai…. magar jo aag meine lagaa dee …. tum naa bhujaa payo gay. Tum sub jal kar sar kar sisak sisak kar jiyo gay.

    Jinnah’s Pakistan Zindabad.

    Down with Fitna-e-Maududiat

  30. a muslim

    @Khullat:

    After Jesus AS, Paul raised his status from a prophet to “God”.

    After MGAQ, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad raised his status from reformer to a “prophet”.

  31. @YLH
    Wah ki Zuban Paae Hai. Jahab Tak Aag ka taaluq hai tu woh tu logon ki Zuban Dakh kar andaza hogata hai keh kon kis aag mein Jal Raha Hai. In Short this world has become a hell for YLH…..No need to send you to the permanent hell right now my dear.

  32. Bin Ismail

    @a muslim (June 4, 2010 at 10:04 am)

    “…..After Jesus AS, Paul raised his status from a prophet to “God”. After MGAQ, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad raised his status from reformer to a “prophet”…..”

    An interesting blend of truth and false. Interesting but least surprising, because this is a feature persistently manifest in all your comments.

    The first sentence from this quotable quote of yours is correct. The second one is incorrect. It was the Holy Prophet who established this status of the Promised Messiah, not Mirza Mahmud Ahmad. You can hold the opinion that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is not that Promised Messiah, who was prophesied by the Holy Prophet, if you choose. But whoever is or will be the Promised Messiah, will have to be a Subordinate Prophet, subservient to the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet has termed the Promised Messiah as “nabiyyullah” [Ref: Sahih Muslim, Kitabul Fitan]. You may reject the claim of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, but you are bound by the words of the Holy Prophet to accept the Second Manifestation of Esa (Jesus) as a prophet subservient to Muhammad the Messenger of God.
    This status of the Foretold Messiah has been defined by Allah, not Mirza Mahmud Ahmad.

  33. Sher Zaman

    @ Majumdar: well let’s hope whatever happens? Happens for good, this is injustice and it should be redressed.
    Regards

  34. Bciv

    @bin ismail

    ” you are bound by the words of the Holy Prophet “

    i only have an academic interest in this, but to believe that something is actually the prophet’s words is not the same as being able to claim whether something is said within the quran or not.

  35. yasserlatifhamdani

    Talkhaba…

    Baray bol na bol bachay. Khuda ki laathi be-awaz hoti hai.

    We shall leave to that God who is what and who is in hell and who is not.

  36. Bin Ismail

    @ a muslim

    The fervour with which you are posting comments, in an attempt to obfuscate the issue of Ahmadis not praying behind non-Ahmadis, compels me to submit a few words.

    1. Ahmadis hold the belief that essentially anyone who calls himself a Muslim, is a Muslim. Yes, there are certain features that further authenticate such a claim. Thus if someone proclaims that Allah alone is worthy of being worshiped and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, this proclamation authenticates his claim of being Muslim.

    During the first census of Madina, the Prophet was asked about whom to be included and whom not to in the list of Muslim residents of Madina. The Holy Prophet replied, “Just write down for me the names of all those who call themselves Muslim”. On another occasion, he defined the term Muslim as follows: “He who offers Salaat (prayer) the way we do, accepts our Qibla as his and partakes of animals sacrificed by us is indeed a Muslim, guaranteed as a Muslim by Allah and His Messenger”. Interestingly, this hadees appears in Bukhari and Muslim both.

    2. Prior to the Saudi control over the management of Masjid al Haraam, for centuries Muslims prayed exclusively behind the Imam of their own respective school, and even during Hajj. Acknowledging a fellow-Muslim as Muslim is one thing and following someone in a spiritual exercise is quite another. A spiritual exercise is spiritual in its nature and would thus demand a deeper spiritual conformity between the Imam and the Muqtadi. You can be the best and most loyal of friends on the social plane, but worship is a spiritual activity, during which the worshipper would be expected to follow his personal spiritual convictions.

  37. Bin Ismail

    @ Bciv (June 4, 2010 at 3:42 pm)

    Very true. The Quran is the revealed Word of God. Ahmadis are of the opinion that if a certain hadees manifestly contravenes the Quran, then it could obviously not have been a saying of the Prophet. On the other hand if there is a hadees that enjoys support from the Quran, it should be accepted without hesitation. The hadees I’ve quoted is lent support by several verses of the Quran.

  38. bciv

    @bin ismail

    thanks.

    the word “authenticate(s)” that you used in your earlier mail had me somewhat baffled. so what is a less than ‘authentic muslim’? i thought what is not authentic is not what it claims to be. that is dangerous talk, isn’t it?

    “Ahmadis are of the opinion..”

    surely, you don’t mean ahmedis are the only ones amongst all muslims who happen to be of that particular opinion?🙂

    “…, it should be accepted without hesitation”

    (lastly,) i see you didn’t say ‘must be accepted’. “hesitation” is a relative term in this context. as a student of history, i don’t see why a false claim about something being an utterance from the prophet is somehow authenticated just because it happens to be ‘supported’ by the quran. also, short of the quran directly quoting and reporting the prophet’s words, any ‘support’ would be subject to interpretation of both the claimed hadith and the relevant part of the quran.

    btw, i’ve no opinion on the particular content of the hadith. my interest is academic only, like i said earlier; to see where objectivity gives way to and meets – as it were (on) the boundary – honestly and openly conceded (blind/simple) faith.

  39. kashifiat

    // yeh Jaan aani jaani hai….// bhen chodon\\…. magar jo aag meine lagaa dee …. tum naa bhujaa payo gay//

    Shaitan is saying same thing in same language

    Raza Rumi! AWZ ! Now you will start to say : YLH is frustrated, emotional, sentimental

    But, he is mental & need psychological treatment

  40. D_a_n

    Abay Kashif…

    Yeh tujh jaise mailee sath ko baat samajh Mahon aaey gee Kay Takfeer say barre koi galee nahin…

  41. Tilsim

    “btw, i’ve no opinion on the particular content of the hadith. my interest is academic only, like i said earlier; to see where objectivity gives way to and meets – as it were (on) the boundary – honestly and openly conceded (blind/simple) faith.”

    Brilliant. This is the crux of the matter. Ultimately religion is all about faith, but if we are quoting texts and establishing doctrine, which authority are we referring to Quran or Hadith or both? How much weight do we put on each? What is the context, what is the ethical framework, what are our present circumstances and what is our interpretation? And do we accept that different Muslims may end up at different places along this journey and at different periods of history?

    The Wahabis (and their ever increasing followers in Pakistan) will not accept this construct given their focus on literalism and limiting the understanding of Islam to the understanding of early Muslims.

  42. Bin Ismail

    @bciv (June 4, 2010 at 6:08 pm)

    1. “…..“authenticate(s)” that you used in your earlier mail had me somewhat baffled. so what is a less than ‘authentic muslim’? i thought what is not authentic is not what it claims to be…..”

    In the first instance, I used “further authenticate” which was meant to suggest enhancing an existing state of authenticity. I suppose the word “further” should also have preceded the second instance of applying the word “authenticate”. However, since I was speaking in the momentum of the previous sentence, I believe I may have taken it for granted. What I meant was that if a person says he is Muslim, he should be taken for his word, but if he goes a step further to proclaim “laa ilaaha illallahu Muhammadur rasoolullah” – not to say that he is obliged to – but if he does, his claim of being a Muslim should be recognized as even more authentic. Anyway, thank you for pointing out.

    2. “…..surely, you don’t mean ahmedis are the only ones amongst all muslims who happen to be of that particular opinion…..”

    I’m sure most Muslims hold this view. In any case Ahmadis do not claim monopoly over their views.

    3. “…..i see you didn’t say ‘must be accepted’…..”

    Yes, and precisely for the reason you have suggested. According to Ahmadis, the Quran rules over the Hadith and the Hadith serves the Quran. As far as multiplicity of interpretation is concerned, that as a possibility applies even to the Quran. That is why God has declared that “There is no compulsion in matters of religion” (Quran 2:256). That is also why an environment conducive to free and open religious dialogue is imperative. Going back to Hadith, there is a well-known hadith that “ikhtilaafu ummati rahmatun” meaning ‘the difference of opinion within my ummah would be a blessing’. What we see around us is anything but a blessing. Why? Because the superior rule of “no compulsion” was not upheld.

  43. Amaar

    @a muslim

    1. The Ahmadi belief in khilafat is based on Sura-i-Noor in Quran where it states that those who are true believers will have a leadership chosen by God. So ‘belief’ in Khilafat is an offshoot of the belief in Quran as Ahmadis understand.

    2. Whether you agree with this assertion or not has nothing to do with the tragedy on May 28.

    3. Mullahs condemn Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad for calling himself a prophet. If this claim was the fault of his son Mirza Mahmood Ahmad (Khalifa II) why did the Mullah not go solely after the son?

  44. Bin Ismail

    @ Amaar (June 5, 2010 at 8:46 am)

    “….. Mullahs condemn Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad for calling himself a prophet. If this claim was the fault of his son Mirza Mahmood Ahmad (Khalifa II) why did the Mullah not go solely after the son?…..”

    What I find most intriguing in this entire debate is the fact that in a number of very authentic hadiths, we see that Rasoolullah has very clearly designated the Promised Messiah a prophet. Four times in a row, the Holy Prophet speaks of the Promised Messiah as a “nabiyyullah” [Sahih Muslim]. One is free to contend that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian is not that very Promised Messiah whose advent was foretold by the Holy Prophet. One can also adhere to the opinion that the Promised Messiah would literally be the the same Jesus of Nazareth who lived 2 millenniums ago. But whoever the Promised Messiah may be, his status has been determined by no one other than Muhammad the Messenger of Allah.

    A subordinate prophet appearing after Khaatam-un Nabiyyeen, solely to revive the religion of Khaatam-un Nabiyyeen, and in precise fulfillment of a grand prophecy proclaimed by Khaatam-un Nabiyyeen, cannot rationally be held contradictory to the station of Khaatam-un Nabiyyeen.

  45. Ahmed Khan

    The only way for the survival of Pakistan is the adoption of spirit of M.A.Jinnah’s address on August 11, 1947. We have suffered a lot in all fields of life due to incorporation of Objective Resolution in our constitution because it reflects the partisan face of Pakistan instead of Jinnah’s face. It is the responsibility of the PPP government to make Pakistan secular, wise and prosperous.

  46. To: Mr. Reza Rumi
    Pak Tea House
    rezarumi@gmail.com

    From: Mr. Kemo Sonko
    (Banjul, The Gambia)
    kemosonko@ymail.com

    Dear Reza Rumi, I am a Gambian Ahmadi. We, in this part of the world, follow with keen interest, developments in Pakistan because Pakistan happens to be the home-country of our Khalifa as well as a very large number of Ahmadis. I, inadvertently happened to discover your site “Pak Tea House” and this discovery gave me reason to believe that all is not lost in your country. The recent massacre of Ahmadis in their mosques in Lahore, on Friday May 28, 2010 has left Ahmadis the world over in a state of grief and shock. I am submitting a post titled “To the people of Pakistan” and would be honoured and grateful if it could be displayed on Pak Tea House. The post is as follows:
    —————————————————————————————————————————————-

    TO THE PEOPLE OF PAKISTAN:

    Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu. My name is Kemo Sonko. I am a citizen of the Republic of The Gambia. By the grace of Allah, I am a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat of The Gambia. The Gambia is a country located on the western coast of West Africa. My country gets its name from a river called The Gambia, a river that flows through the length of the country.

    We, in this part of the world, follow with keen interest, developments in Pakistan because Pakistan happens to be the home-country of our beloved Khalifa as well as a very large number of fellow-Ahmadis. I, inadvertantly happened to discover your site “Pak Tea House”. While on one hand, I was gratified to note that your country is not exactly devoid of decent ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant impression I got from reading the comments on the relevant blogs, I could also not help noticing that some commentators appeared quite empty of even elementary courtesy, not to mention information. The warmth and sympathy shown by some towards the Ahmadis in Pakistan, only invokes sincere prayers in our hearts. I would like to share with you the fact that as our innocent brothers lay bleeding to shahadat in the two Ahmadiyya Muslim Mosques, the hearts of tens of thousands of Ahmadis here too, in The Gambia, bled along with them.

    Pakistan, not the state but the nation, needs to at least pause for a moment to examine what Ahmadiyya is all about. Ignorance may not always prove to be bliss. Please be gracious enough to bear with me briefly.

    Ahmadi Muslims believe that there is none worthy of worship beside Allah. We believe that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and possesses all the attributes ascribed to him by the Quran. We believe in all the Angels of Allah, all the Books of Allah, all the messengers of Allah and in the Hereafter. Our Kalima is Laa ilaaha illallahu Muhammadur Rasoolullah. We pray 5 times a day as prescribed in the Quran and according to the Sunnah. Most Ahmadis regularly offer Tahajjud as well. We fast during the month of Ramadan. We pay Zakat. We perform Hajj. Of course our fellow Ahmadis in Pakistan have been forcibly barred from Hajj, but we do not lament over that for the first person to be barred from Hajj was none other than Muhammad Khaatamul Anbiya. In short, our religion is Islam.

    Now where do we differ? Muhammad Rasoolullah, the holy founder of Islam, had prophesied that in the latter days, when the Muslim Ummah would have hit the abyss, which it clearly has, Allah would appoint a reformer to revive Islam. Evidently this revival was meant to be a spiritual not a political one. The Prophet named this promised reformer the Messiah and the Mahdi. Now there can only be 2 situations – either this prophecy stands fulfilled or has yet to be fulfilled. We Ahmadi Muslims believe that this prophecy has attained fulfillment in the holy person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835 – 1908). It is a known fact that prophecies are not always fulfilled in the way we expect them to. The Jews were expecting the Messiah to be a worldly king, a description that Jesus did not match. No wonder they crucified him. Ahmadis believe that Jesus was put on the cross, but did not die on the cross, nor was he bodily lifted to the heavens and therefore shall not return physically. His foretold return, in our opinion, was a metaphorical one, to be fulfilled by the appearance of a Reformer who would in spirit resemble Jesus. The same individual, not a separate one, according to our understanding, was destined to be the Mahdi, meaning the Guided One, once again in fulfillment of the words of Rasoolullah. The issue of his being or not being a prophet, also needs to be understood in the right perspective. We Ahmadis believe that since the Holy Prophet had clearly foretold that the Promised Messiah would be a prophet, therefore to suggest that he would not, would actually amount to falsifying the Prophet’s words. All Sunnis and Shias believe that when Jesus makes his second advent, he would still be a prophet, only that he would be subordinate to Muhammad. Thus all Muslims, as a matter of doctrine, believe that a subordinate prophet is destined to visit this world, after the Holy Prophet. Ahmadis believe that this prophecy has been fulfilled in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Muhammad Rasoolullah remains to be forever, the last Law-bearing prophet. Ahmadis believe that all prophets were sent by Allah, including Krishna, Buddha and Zoroaster. Our understanding of Jihad is that primarily it is a struggle against one’s own ego. To conclude, our religion is Islam.

    I offer these brief explanations, not with the mindset of an apologist, but in the spirit of elucidating a message, grossly misunderstood by most Pakistanis. I speak to a people, not so inclined to lend an ear to their Ahmadi Muslim compatriots.

    I would like to point out that sometimes the nation pays the price for mistakes made by their rulers. The laws that were framed to victimize Ahmadis in your country, were made by your rulers and law-makers. If your rulers and law-makers are today oblivious of the wrongs they have committed, at least you, the people, should do your utmost to reverse them. Please do not join them in their atrocities or you may have to join them in their fate as well.

    Wassalam
    Mr. Kemo Sonko
    (Banjul, The Gambia)
    kemosonko@ymail.com

  47. Bin Ismail

    Dear Mr. Kemo Sonko, Banjul, The Gambia,

    Thank you for your post. God bless you.

  48. Nusrat Pasha

    Dear Kemo Sonko,

    Thank you for your post.

  49. Khullat

    @Kemo Sonko

    God bless you for those words.

  50. Bin Ismail

    @ Kemo Sonko (June 7, 2010 at 5:46 pm)

    “…..I would like to point out that sometimes the nation pays the price for mistakes made by their rulers…..”

    Very true. Pakistan has already paid a very dear price for the mistakes of its rulers – and continues to pay. Only a reversal of these grave mistakes will undo the curse on us.

  51. amaar

    @Kemo Sonko

    Moving words. May our people heed them.

  52. Ali

    @Mr. Kemo Sonko: I felt so good to read the comments of our African brother Mr. Kemo Sonko from Gambia. It was a very lucid and correct description of the Ahmadiyya doctrines. I want to add only a few comments to the last paragraph of his sublime article. It is true that the Amendment no. 2 to the Constriction of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973 was enacted by a so-called democratic government of Mr. Z A Bhutto in September 1974 but only with a sheer political objective in his mind. The disturbances were closely engineered by the Government to attain this end. I was then a student at the university and had only recently converted to Ahmadiyya-Islam. For me all this was extremely unexpected and strange looking things were happening. Houses, shops and businesses of Ahmadis were burned to ashes right in the very supervision of the Police force everywhere, in the Punjab particularly. The whole game was taken to a certain visible end. To cash upon the anti- Ahmadiyya emotion of the public incensed by the paid mullahs throughout the country. The 2nd amendment was thus passed in Sept 1974.
    In 1987, at the death of Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan (father of Khan Abdul Wali Khan, a famous nationalist leader of the Pakhtoons in North West Frontier Province (now Khyber Pukhtoon Khwah), I went along with some friends to Wali Bagh Charsadda to offer my condolence to Khan Abdul Wali Khan. He was very kind to sit with us and talked in detail about the Ahmadiyya and the 1974 sessions of the National Assembly. He said he was then Leader of the Opposition in the same house. Among the many questions, I asked him one, “What in your opinion was the reason that Z A Bhutto was so keen to go against the Ahmadis and seek their disenfranchisement through the constitution and to appease the mullahs?” With my very limited information of the political background of the 70s, I was rather surprised at his reply. He said, Z A Bhutto was scared of the Ahmadis. He believed if these people could make me sit upon the throne, well they can de-throne me as well”. (These were his words. He said in Urdu, “agar ye log muje takht par bitha sakte hen to muje takht se utar be sakte hen”). And with all that drama played by shedding the blood of Ahmadis, loot and arson; finally the Ahmadis were disenfranchised through a constitutional amendment, just thrown into the side line…to make them ineffective politically. They were declared “NOT MUSLIMS FOR THE PURPOSES OF LAW AND CONSTITUTION” He thought Ahmadis is a very organized Jamaat and they can play great political roles. Thus he thought he gained everything he wanted, by throwing Ahmadis beyond the pale of Islam, using the National Assembly as a sand bag, and pleasing the insane mullahs. In fact a National Assembly is never a place for settling such questions, e.g. who is a Muslim and who is not a Muslim!! An assembly of public representatives is elected to spend the public revenue in the interest of the people to safeguard their interests and to promote their welfare. A National Assembly would be the last place to debate theological and eschatological issues how can worthy members of the parliment step out of their shoes to decide and choose a religion for me as true, other than their own???
    Destiny had something different in store for Mr. Z A Bhutto. It was the same mullahs who connived with the military, raised an agitation in the name of Islam once again, over throwing Z A Bhutto and finally executed him through another such sham judicial procedure (as he had played in the National Assembly…tit for tat.) and was lead to the Gallows…1979. The Executor of Mr. Z A Bhutto, was even keener than Bhutto in the case of anti-Ahmadiyya issue. He brought even more trials and tribulations for the Jamaat. By practically enacting penal laws in the light of 2nd Constitutional Amendment and taking it to the logical end, by issuing Ordinance XX of 26th April 1984. Divine destiny was even harsher upon him. Gen Zia ul Haque was blown into shreds in the air and even his pieces were burned completely in to ashes, (leaving only his metallic dentures to be recognized).
    The story of this fateful 2nd Amendment is not yet over! How destiny compels!! Each and EVERY PAKISTAN CITIZEN who ever has to apply for a Passport or an Identity Card or any government document, he has to sign and fix his signature to attest that “I believe Mirza Ghulam Ahmad an impostor Nabi” etc. etc.
    What a compelling destiny! Each and every Pakistani Citizen has to clearly decide and place himself which side of THE LINE HE STANDS!!

  53. I thank you all for sharing your thoughts with me on my post. Your comments indicate that many ordinary Pakistanis are decent and will like to see a better Pakistan for all. However, reading the history of Ahmadiyyat in Pakistan and three heads of governments who stood against it, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, Z. A. Bhutto of Pakistan and General Ziaul Haq of Pakistan, one is left in no doubt that the Hand of the Almighty God is at work. King Faisal laid the foundation of preventing Ahmadi Muslims from performing Hajj in 1974. He was shot to death in 1975 by his own nephew, himself a staunch anti-Ahmadi Wahhabi. Z. A. Bhutto led a constitutional move against the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in 1974 and had them constitutionally declared as a non-Muslim minority in Pakistan. Bhutto was overthown in 1977 by his favourite and hand-picked general, in a coup, and later hanged in 1979. The executioner of Bhutto – General Zia – was a sworn enemy of Ahmadis. In 1984, Zia issued an ordinance whereby Ahmadis were legally barred from professing Islam as their religion. In 1988, General Ziaul Haq was killed in an air crash. The lives of all these three, Faisal, Bhutto and Zia were terminated in unnatural circumstances, and Ahmadis had absolutely nothing to do with their deaths. I realize that most people would like to offer any explanation but the Hand of Allah. But the more one studies these three cases, the more one sees the Hand of Allah.

    Wassalam
    Kemo Sonko
    (Banjul, The Gambia)
    kemosonko@ymail.com

  54. Ali

    @Kemo Sonko: Jazakallah for your lucid way of presenting your case.

  55. Nusrat Pasha

    Incidentally, there are two “2s” in the Constitution of Pakistan that have emerged as two glaring manifestations of disservice to the image of Pakistan and indeed to Pakistan itself:

    1. Article # 2 of the Constituion.
    2. Amendment # 2 of the Constitution.

    Article#2 states that “Islam shall be the State Religion”. Amendment#2 states that “Ahmadis are not Muslims for the purposes of constitution and law”.

    Article#2 tilts the balance of justice in favour of the already privileged and secure majority, rendering them the “more equal” ones.

    Amendment#2 has set an unfortunate precedent for oppressive legislation by a democratically elected Parliament.

    To reverse this disservice, would in the truest sense, a service to Pakistan.

  56. Nusrat Pasha

    My apologies for typographical errors:

    1: 1. Article # 2 of the Constitu[t]ion.

    2: To reverse this disservice, would in the truest sense,[be] a service to Pakistan.

  57. Bin Ismail

    @skyview (June 13, 2010 at 4:55 pm)

    “…..God had better learn…..”

    …and I suppose you intend to do the teaching?

  58. Bin Ismail

    @ Nusrat Pasha (June 13, 2010 at 3:57 pm)

    “…..Incidentally, there are two “2s” in the Constitution of Pakistan that have emerged as two glaring manifestations of disservice to the image of Pakistan and indeed to Pakistan itself: (1)Article#2 of the Constitution. (2)Amendment#2 of the Constitution…..”

    These two “2s” of the Constitution of Pakistan, also blatantly contravene the basic principles laid down by the founder of this Nation.

    1. Quaide Azam said: “….Religion should not be allowed to come into Politics….”.[Address to the Central Legislative Assembly, 7 February 1935]. By virtue of Article#2, we have literally dragged religion into politics.

    2. Quaide Azam said: “.….Religion is merely a matter between Man and God…..” [Address to the Central Legislative Assembly, 7 February 1935]. By virtue of Article#2, we have turned religion into a matter between State and Citizen.

    3. Quaide Azam said: “.….no distinction between one community and another…..” [Address to the Central Legislative Assembly, 7 February 1935]. By virtue of Article#2, we have drawn a constitutional line of distinction between Muslim citizens and non-Muslim citizens of Pakistan.

    4. Quaide Azam said: “…..no discrimination between one caste or creed and another…..” [Presidential Address to the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, 11 August 1947]. By virtue of Amendment#2, we have openly discriminated against the Ahmadiyya community.

    5. Quaide Azam said: “…..we are all citizens and Equal citizens of One State…..” [Presidential Address to the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, 11 August 1947]. By virtue of Article#2, we have constitutionally declared the citizens of Pakistan unequal on the basis of religion.

    6. Quaide Azam said: “…..In any case Pakistan is NOT going to be a theocratic State – to be ruled by priests with a divine mission…..” [February 1948]. By virtue of Article#2 we have paved the path for allowing Pakistan to turn into a theocratic state, and by virtue of Amendment#2, we have virtually set a precedent for accommodating the will of the priesthood in the process of legislation.

  59. Khullat

    @ Bin Ismail

    Very well said indeed. God save Pakistan.

  60. sta

    It’s interesting to note that the second amendment says: ” A person who does not believe in the absolute and unqualified finality of The Prophethood of MUHAMMAD (Peace be upon him), the last of the Prophets or claims to be a Prophet, in any sense of the word or of any description whatsoever, after MUHAMMAD (Peace be upon him), or recognizes such a claimant as a Prophet or religious reformer, is not a Muslim for the purposes of the Constitution or law.”

    Since almost all Muslims are waiting for Jesus (as) to return will the ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’ declare him and his followers non-Muslim?

  61. Bin Ismail

    @ sta

    Absolutely. If the Esa/Jesus who Muslims are waiting for, by any chance, happens to land in Pakistan, the “Second Amendment” of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan will be waiting for him with an axe in its hands. The “Second Amendment” will hold him as “not Muslim for the purposes of constitution and law”. If he makes any effort to preach on Pakistani soil, his activities would be judged as illegal. He will have to renounce his God-given title of “prophet” because the “Second Amendment” to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan does not permit the possibility of a prophet treading this earth, chronologically after the Holy Prophet.

    He was condemned to die on the cross when he made his first appearance, in Jerusalem, two thousand years ago. If his second advent takes place in Pakistan, he may find the “Second Amendment” even more ruthless than the Jews of Jerusalem.

  62. bciv

    apparently, those mullahs who believe in this second coming believe that it would be in the form of a prophet who would also be a temporal ruler. so he would be able to treat law as his handmaiden just as the mullahs think they or ‘a democratic majority’ can. there would be no issues. all a future dictator needs to do is claim to be the mahdi rather than bothering with ridiculously rigged ‘referendums’.

  63. Nusrat Pasha

    Thirteen and a half centuries ago, the Assembly of Yazeed declared Imam Hussain a non-Muslim, by a unanimous vote. Thirty six years ago another Assembly declared the Ahmadis non-Muslims, again by a unanimous vote.

    “Wo tum ko Hussain banaatay hain aur aap Yazeedi bantay hain
    Yeh kya hee sasta sauda hai dushman ko teer chalaanay do”