“Did this have to happen for you to speak for us”

 

By Mohammed Hanif
BBC News, Karachi

 

Rescuers remove a body from a mosque in Lahore, 28 May

More than 80 Ahmadis were killed last months in two atacks in Lahore

When a Pakistani Muslim applies for a passport or national ID card, they are asked to sign an oath that no Muslim anywhere in the world is asked to sign.

The oath goes like this: “I consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmad an impostor prophet. And also consider his followers, whether belonging to the Lahori or Qadiani group, to be non-Muslims.”

Like millions of other Pakistanis, I have signed this oath several times without giving much thought to exactly what Mr Ahmad stands for, or what the technical difference between Lahoris or Qadianis is. I want my passport, and if I have to sign up to a fatwa to get it, so be it.

But like millions of people from my generation I also remember that when I was growing up, the minority Ahmadi sect were considered just another Muslim sect.

Non-Muslims

Like scores of others I had friends who were Ahmadis. We played cricket together, and sometimes, when our parents ordered us off to the mosque, we even prayed side by side.

An injured man outside the Garhi Shahu mosque in Lahore, 28 May

Ahmadis are despised by many Pakistanis

Last month, when more than 90 Ahmadis were massacred in two mosques in Lahore, I remembered the precise moment in 1974 when it all began to change.

There were street protests by religious parties against Ahmadis demanding that they should be declared non-Muslims.

One day I saw some bearded activists standing outside a clothes merchant’s shop in our town, chanting anti-Ahmadi slogans and turning customers away, telling them that buying clothes from Ahmadis was haram – forbidden.

At the time I was learning to memorise the Koran from a very kind, mild-mannered teacher.

I asked him what exactly was wrong with the Ahmadis.

He explained to me that they didn’t believe that the Prophet Muhammad was the last and the final messenger.

I said OK, maybe that makes them kafirs, infidels, but who says that kafirs can’t sell cloth?

My teacher’s response was a full-handed slap, so sudden, so unexpected that it rang in my ears for days to come.

That same year Pakistan’s first elected parliament declared Ahmadis non-Muslims.

Then in 1984 Pakistan’s military dictator and self-appointed guardian of the faith General Zia-ul-Haq inserted that oath in the constitution that we are all required to sign.

Because of the new laws, Ahmadis have been sent to prison simply for using the Muslim greeting Assalamu alaikum, or putting a Koranic verse in a greeting card.

Heretic

Over the last three decades the hatred against Ahmadis has become so widespread that Pakistan is now embarrassed by the only Nobel laureate it has ever produced.

Pakistani media take cover outside a mosque in Lahore, 28 May

Attacks on Ahmadis are beconing increasingly commonplace

Dr Abdus Salam Khan won the Nobel Prize for physics and, as a proud Pakistani, accepted his award in national dress.

But he was an Ahmadi so there is no monument to celebrate him, no universities named after him.

The word “Muslim” on his gravestone has been erased. Even the town he is buried in has been renamed in an attempt to erase our collective memory.

This hatred was evident in the reactions to the massacre.

TV channels were more obsessed with making sure that in their broadcasts Ahmadi mosques were called “places of worship”.

When you refuse to call a place of worship by its proper name, you are implying that it’s not a mosque, it’s not a church, it’s not a synagogue, it’s a place where godless people do godless things.

And all the various Islamic political parties, whose leaders often refuse to pray together, are united on this.

When Pakistan’s main opposition leader Nawaz Sharif used the phrase “our brothers” for the murdered Ahmadis, leaders from 11 political parties came together to condemn him and threatened to issue a fatwa declaring him a heretic.

Over the last three decades the siege has been so palpable that those Ahmadis who couldn’t afford to emigrate have taken to hiding their identity.

If you want to destroy someone in public life it’s enough to drop a hint that they are Ahmadi.

In the 1980s, the former chief minister of Punjab and current federal minister didn’t attend his own mother’s funeral because there were rumours that she was an Ahmadi.

When the funerals of the massacred Ahmadis took place there were no officials, no politicians present.

Pakistan’s liberal bloggers and some English-language columnists did write along the lines that Ahmadi blood is on our hands.

Others were adamant that it was yet another Friday, yet another massacre by the Pakistani Taliban, and we should just fight this sort of terrorism and leave the sectarian debates alone.

Two incidents in the past week made me realise how pathological our response was. At a vigil to mark the massacre, where a handful of people had turned up, a passer-by asked me “Are you an Ahmadi?” My own loud and aggressive denial surprised me.

Then an Ahmadi friend whose father survived the Lahore massacre wrote to me saying: “You know we have been living like this for decades. [Did] something like this have to happen for you to speak up?”

57 Comments

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57 responses to ““Did this have to happen for you to speak for us”

  1. Alakshyendra

    {{Like millions of other Pakistanis, I have signed this oath several times without giving much thought to exactly what Mr Ahmad stands for, or what the technical difference between Lahoris or Qadianis is.}}

    Exactly the reason why Pakistan is in a mess today.

  2. Majumdar

    Alex,

    Are you Harishbhai from chowk?

    Regards

  3. Alakshyendra

    No Majumdar my given name is Alakshyendra..

  4. Junaid

    My teacher’s response was a full-handed slap, so sudden, so unexpected that it rang in my ears for days to come.

    hahahahaha.

    One of my friend once asked our Physics teacher a question which he could not answer. Instead of acknowledging that he could not answer, he shot back at my friend saying “Are you trying to judge my knowledge?”

  5. Jamal

    Point Blank: Ahmadis are heretics (worthy of killing), more Ahmadi deaths to follow

    What’s wrong with these anchors? In another country they would have been arrested by now for incitement to death but in Pakistan its supposed to be a good thing.

  6. Mohsin

    This is what people do when they cannot win by reasoning and facts they go violent. Bigots do not understand; in Quranic terms their heart, ears and eyes are sealed, and they don’t return ( to the fold of righteous).

  7. skyview

    to mohsin

    This 7th century supposedly-divine arabic book, which talks of (and angrily deplores the) sealing of hearts and minds is itself the cause of many an even-more-firmly sealed heart and mind.

  8. Syed

    @skyview
    No the Quran is not that book. In fact the sealed hearts and minds are that of the bigots which the Quran refers to.

    It is ok for these Muslims to do shirk -do sajda at Mazaars- but it is kufr to think that a Prophet can come within the fold if Islam.

  9. Tilsim

    @Skyview
    “This 7th century supposedly-divine arabic book, which talks of (and angrily deplores the) sealing of hearts and minds is itself the cause of many an even-more-firmly sealed heart and mind.”

    I don’t agree that the message is the cause. The issue is that Muslims have fallen into the trap of the same misinterpretation, orthodoxy, power seeking goals that followers of many other religions have. This sort of religion defeats the purpose of religion which is to balance the ego. There is no emphasis on humanity or spirituality any more; just literalism and zealotry. Islam’s attraction was that it advocated a personal connection with God, the highest standard of ethics and challenged the orthodoxy and harsh practices of other belief systems when it came in the 7th century but it’s followers have been turning it into something quite different. The message is being distorted by priests (which Islam was not supposed to have).

  10. An Ahmadi Muslim

    “Choose for others what you like for yourself, then you will become a (true) believer. Treat your neighbor in the best of manners then you will be worthy of being a Muslim. (Saying of the Holy Prophet(saw) from the Hadith of Ibn Maajah)”

    Are you worthy of being a Muslim?

  11. skyview

    Muslims can never admit that their book itself is the cause of many a seals on minds and thoughts. This inability of the muslims (to admit this bitter truth about their book) itself is a result of a seal on their minds and proves my statement once more.

    Islam allows a muslim the freedom only to glorify their book, never to take a critical honest look at it. The seal is thus fixed – denials will not change this.

    7th century is gone and has no good relevance to the 21st.

  12. An Ahmadi Muslim

    “A man once asked the Prophet what was the best thing in Islam, and the latter replied, “It is to feed the hungry, and to give the greeting of peace both to those one knows and to those one does not.” (Saying of the Holy Prophet (saw) from the Hadith of Bukhari)”

    By persecuting Ahmadi muslims on giving greeting of peace, the Pakistani muslim ummah have overruled the sunnah and hadith of the Khatam-un-Nabeyeen, Rahmat-ullil-Alameen Mohammad Mustafa SAW.

    Is this your love and respect for the ‘final’ prophet?

    Thanks, but no thanks. We have no desire to follow your vicious, virulent, hateful and angry way of life. We choose to follow Islam as taught to us by the Holy Prophet SAW through the Holy Qur’an and through his personification of the divine message of Qur’an. Insh’Allah.

  13. Tilsim

    @Skyview

    You have also sealed your mind. Quelle est la difference?

  14. m ali3

    @Syed:
    “It is ok for these Muslims to do shirk -do sajda at Mazaars- but it is kufr to think that a Prophet can come within the fold if Islam.”

    YES, you are right. Because having belief that prophet can come after Holy Prophet Muhammad SAWS shakes the basic and core fundamentals of Islam. But islam does NOT prohibit to start a NEW religion like Bahai faith, with a NEW prophet like Bahaullah!!! I think Qadianis should do the same. And save many lives and embarrasment for Pakistan!!!

  15. An Ahmadi Muslim

    My final comment on this post .. I invite you to read the Hadith quoted below and if you consider your self to be a muslim, please ponder on the message. Then decide whether or not the ‘muslim’ ummah should care for what is happening to the Ahmadi sect in particular and to all minorities in general.

    “Usamah ibn Zaid relates: The Holy Prophet (pbuh) sent us on a scouting expedition to Huraqah, a valley of Juhnah and we arrived at its springs in the morning. A man of the Ansar and I came upon one of their men and when we had covered him he called out: There is none worthy of worship save Allah. On this the Ansari held back, but I finished him off with my spear. When we returned to Medina, this incident came to the knowledge of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), he asked me: Usama, did you kill him after he had affirmed: There is none worthy of worship save Allah? I said: Messenger of Allah, he made the affirmation only to save himself. He said again: Did you kill him after he had affirmed: There is none worthy of worship save Allah? He went on repeating it till I wished I had not accepted Islam before that day.” Another version is “Holy Prophet said: Did he affirm: There is none worthy of worship save Allah; and yet you killed him? I said: Messenger of Allah, he said it out of fear of our arms. He said: Why did you not cleave his heart to discover whether he had said it from his heart or not? He kept repeating it till I wished I had accepted Islam only that day. (Riyadh as-Salihin, ch. 49 Hadith #396 on the authority of Bokhari and Muslim).

    The blood of the innocent people is on the hands of all the 72 sects that have united against the Ahmadi sect.

    Time to ponder, reflect, repent, and amek amends before it is too late.

    Peace!

  16. Kaalket

    As a kafiir who has visited Qadian many times in childhood , reading the Ahmadi arguments almost make me think they deserve it. Why insist upon being considred a Muslim when you can all move back to India and enjoy the freedom of having your own independent religion or become part of any Dharmic family branch to enjoy the divine bliss and get out of spiritual prison you have woven around yourself. This is 21st century of science, logic ,philosphy and human arts and not of Ghajwa, Jihad,Khum, Slavery, hoors etc of 6th century .

  17. Zeenath

    i read the first paragraph and was astounded by the oath all Pakistanis are said to have to take. i have had a passport for the last 30+ years and I have never seen or heard or taken such an oath!

  18. bciv

    @Zeenath

    1. do you mean a pakistani passport?

    2. do you declare yourself as a muslim on the application?

    3. does your passport’s religion column say muslim or islam?

    if your answer to all three questions is yes, and you still never noticed the passage as you signed it since the mid-80s, it is not all that surprising.

  19. m ali3

    @Kaalket:

    I tell you an interesting and true historical story.

    In 1914 there was split in Ahmadiyya Movement founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (MGAQ). The issue of split was ‘finality’ of prophethood. Those who held the belief that MGAQ was a prophet like prophet Muhammad pbuh and those before him stayed in Qadian. And those who held belief that MGAQ was just a REFORMER, like many in past and those who will come in future moved to Lahore.

    Remember: Qadian was place for birth of Ahmadiyya Movement. It was place from where all the work for propagation of Islam was started etc. Even grave of MGAQ was there etc. The Heavenly Graveyard (Bahisti-Muqbara) that MGAQ made and prayed that righteous people get buried in it. More over MGAQ had instructed NOT to abandon this town. He prophesized that town of Qadian will always have peace.

    Anyways, when one faction moved to Lahore i.e. Lahori-Ahmadiyya, the head of Qadiani-Ahmadiyya Mirza Mahmud Ahmad declared it a great victory and repeatedly made fun and insulting comments about Lahori-Ahmadiyya and their elders.

    In the ensuing years Mirza Mahmud Ahmad got a good control of the town and grip on his followers. He got well established in his position as Qadiani Khalifa 2.

    Then came 1944 when Mirza Mahmud Ahmad made claim of DIVINE APPOINTED BY ALLAH (mamur-min-Allah) and declared himself “Musleh-Mahud” (the promised guide). And then with in 3 years i.e. 1947 India won freedom and Pakistan was founded. Mirza Mahmud Ahmad had fear that the neighboring Sikh population will attack and ransack the town. So despite his repeated announcement of NEVER to leave the town he was the first to emigrate to Lahore, Pakistan and then his followers followed him. Although, he had intentions to move back to Qadian along with his followers, but that chance NEVER came. He even died in Pakistan and neither he or any of his family members including his mother, wives, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers and future Qadiani Khalifas 3,4 got chance to be buried in Bahisti-Muqbara in Qadian. Even Qadiani Khalifa 4 who had financial, political, and men power sources to be buried in Qadian did NOT get buried there, and is buried in London where he died.

    Two points:
    1-Mirza Mahmud Ahmad use to make fun of Lahori-Ahmadiyya, for leaving Qadian, had to leave Qadian with in 3 years of his claim of “Musleh Mahud”.
    2- Mirza Mahmud Ahmad neither himself nor other important members of his family got chance to be buried in Bahisti-Muqbara in Qadian.

    BTW: Sikhs NEVER attacked Qadian. As prophesized by MGAQ it remained as peaceful town.

    Won’t you agree: Lord works in mysterious ways!

  20. Kaalket

    Even now Qadianis are protected in India by kaffirs who follow spiritual growth principles which make man merge with Supreme and become one and same with no fear of imaginary hell and no lust for the fleshy pleasures of paradise. Who is better in practice , judge by your own intelligence and not by the some one else’s prejudice and 6th century norms. The idea is, India will forgive them and wont refuse asylem to Qadiani as long as they drop the Pakistaniat at Wagha and dont dare to pollute India with it. What is that Pakistan provide for them which make them stick around among majority hypocrites who cant relate to them on human basis and rejoice at their Qital. Welcome Qadianis , you have friends and protector in India where you can practice your belief system without fear of getting killed. No one will dare to make declaration of insult to your spiritual guide be signed as proof of being good Indian. We aint Pakistani but people secured in our identity of blood and soul and soil.

  21. two things i will comment on this issue i am ahmadi and i living abraod ok i read this article nice one but the issue is english media is very poor in pakistan mostly urdu shafat both yellow and lafa one i saw that point blank i think it lucman job to invite mirza ghulam ahmad again to answer the argument by these mullahs othar wise he is an asol thats all a person with no gutts or balls ..
    i am ahmadi by birth i faced problem when i was going college and university back pakistan and after that incident at lahore we all know who did that and how media is hostile to us people like alam on line and hamid mir even i read haroon rahid colum on jung he shocked me where he argued that we dont want to part of social fabric of pakistan what is socail fabric of pakistan by the way drugs ,guns ,declaring kafir ,suiside bombings what else u name evil thats part of pakistans social fabric if haroon raheed shahib want us to join party sorry sir we better as separate that also shows what is in heart of these people i got two kind of feelings one i stared hateing all the pakistanis even there alot of pakistani live in mytown but from that day i felt hate for them but then secod thought no these people r misguided by mullah and lack of education too so i prey to God give them hadayat but i will say all things will never be change and pakistan will remain in trouble i see no way out except put this mullah who is in range rover back to mosque where he belongs
    @M ali3 shahib u sound like lahori party for ur kind information where mirza mahood party today where ur party see and look then write i can reply u i will check ur comment the argument u said i can answer then but i will wait ur comment then reply its loan i will pay with interest trust meee buddy

  22. @m ali3 budd why molvi mohammad ali &company did bait for caliph 1 noorud in shahib budd answer little question we will begin from there second where is ur lahori party today budd and where mirza mahmoods standing around the globe budd and mohammad ali company garden town lahore budd but ur non muslim too budd in islamic republic of pakistan i am waiting budd let finger cross

  23. Bin Ismail

    @ imran tahir

    You’re placing the wrong question before m ali3. Ask him what led to the recent oil leakage off the American shores. He will enlighten you that it was Mirza Mahmud Ahmad and the Qadianis. Ask him what caused the ash cloud over northern Europe. He will further enlighten you that it was Mirza Mahmud Ahmad and the Qadianis.

    As you continue with your dialogue with this paragon of wisdom, you will continue to soar in the skies of enlightenment.

  24. Mansoor Khalid

    Honestly, I do not believe that we should sign an oath to get NIC. Anyone born on this soil should be able to apply for an NIC without signing an oath. We must understand that mentioning your religion on the NIC is a different thing and signing an oath is different. This inspires segregation in the long run.

  25. OMLK

    mali and imran tahir have a new way of arguing; questions and counter questions, but no answers.

  26. Zulfiqar Haider

    We are dead from inside, that’s why we don’t really care not only for the minorities, but for any suffering human being. The westerners that are called infidels by the militants are better than us, who are at least keeping the spirit of humanity alive in their hearts.

  27. Maryanne Khan

    Well said, Mr Hanif.

    The fact that intelligent thinkers like you have spoken out about this is tremendously important in this public forum.

    Prejudice is always the refuge of an insecure and irrational mind. Like the teacher who was stumped by your question and lashed out at you, it is very evident that when George Bush said, “If you are not with us, you’re against us,” he too revealed a sign of desperation, of bewilderment, that any should challenge his own concept of ‘righteousness.’

    In such an environment, as Gerald Manley Hopkins said, “Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold.”

  28. ali hamdani

    It is sad to see that so many years have passed and yet we have to except minorities. This blog post is alos disturbing. There must be tolerance and affection in the society for Pakistan to progress as a country.

  29. Kaalket

    Mr Haider,
    Thanks for pointing out the very fundamental problem, the basic shortcoming among islamist societies which impart humanity to us human beings, Hope other intelligent folks can imagine the mental, psychological suffocation. Hell is place where reason do not exist and diveristy dont flourish. Please do tell us the resons also that why does this disease of irrationality dominate the thought process of islamic people mainly and dont inflict much damage on kuffar.

  30. yasserlatifhamdani

    Sardar Khan you have to be a major chutiya to make that comment.

  31. Moosa

    The saddest thing for me about the Pakistani passport declaration is that it brings to my mind the famous hadith where Rasoolullah (saw) said that if one person calls a second person a kafir, and the second person is not a kafir, then the first person becomes a kafir for making this false accusation. Before this Pakistani regulation, it was possible for everybody to be accounted a believer and genuine differences in religious opinion could be forgiven and Allah (swt) would inform us on the day of judgement regarding our respective levels of imaan/belief. But now the Pakistani government itself has created a situation where either Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) and his followers are kafirs (nauzubillah), or else every Pakistani who signs that declaration is a kafir (nauzubillah) because he/she has made a false statement of kufr. For me, that’s a truly horrible and painful development. I can’t believe that Pakistanis have permitted the mullahs to take them into this situation where their own standing in the eyes of Allah (swt) is now at stake.😦

  32. OMLK

    The following part of the Muslim declaration that all Pakistani Muslims sign under oath is also worthy of analysis:

    “I do not recognize any person who claims to be prophet in any sense of the word or of any description whatsoever after Muhammad (pbuh) or recognize such a claimant as prophet or a religious reformer as a Muslim”.

    First notice the words “in any sense of the word” and “of any description whatsoever.” What this basically is saying that even if some is described or mentioned as being a prophet in the dictionary meaning of one who makes a prophecy, or some of other meanings in English language that are not exclusive parts of the definition of Islamic Prophetood (as one appointed by Allah as a Prophet), such as (from merriem-webtser online):

    2 : one gifted with more than ordinary spiritual and moral insight; especially : an inspired poet

    3 : one who foretells future events : PREDICTOR

    4 : an effective or leading spokesman for a cause, doctrine, or group

    then such a person is also condemned by all the Pakistani Muslims under oath if they want the state to recognize them as Muslims. This is rather stupid because using the term Prophet for any person in the dictionary sense as described above has nothing to do with the Islamic Prophethood bestowed upon chosen persons by God, and as such does not violate finality of the Prohethood of Muhammad (SAWS). Incidentally the declaration also declares all the great Sufis of Islam (many of whom are widely credited with the spread the faith in South Asia), who have by way of metaphor called themselves Prophets, as Kafirs! This is quite incredible as the same Muslim will go and pray fervently at the grave of a saint he/she has declared a non-Muslim under oath. This was no doubt done to ensure that the Lahori Ahmadis, who only consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmed to be a reformer, are also declared non-Muslims as they do accept metaphorical references to Mirza Sahib as a Prophet; much in the same way such references have previously been used for other Sufis. The fact that as result all the Pakistani Muslims now have to abuse under oath highly revered Islamic personalities is unfortunate indeed.

    Finally I find the phrase “or recognize such a claimant as prophet or a religious reformer as a Muslim” a bit confusing. Perhaps the legal minds on this forum can shed some light on the full implications of this phrase.

  33. @OMLK

    I agree, this is bizarre. If I say something like,”a prophet without honour in his own country”, you mean some bearded idiot will want to cut my head off and/or ban PTH? that’s the kind of sense the passport declaration form makes.

  34. Bin Ismail

    @ Vajra (June 19, 2010 at 3:14 pm)

    “…..a prophet without honour in his own country…..”

    “Woe unto My servants. Not a single prophet came unto them who they did not deride.” (Holy Quran 36:30)

  35. Bin Ismail

    @ OMLK (June 19, 2010 at 3:03 pm)

    Essentially, this is how the logic runs:

    #1. “Islam shall be the State Religion of Pakistan.”[Article#2, Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan]. Therefore, it logically follows that those citizens who are legally recognized as followers of the State Religion – obviously as defined by the state – shall be held by the state as first class citizens.

    #2. “Ahmadis are not Muslims for the purposes of Constitution and Law”[Amendment#2, Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan]. Therefore, it logically follows that Ahmadi citizens of Pakistan are condemned to be held by the state as second class citizens.

    #3. To ensure that Ahmadi citizens of Pakistan, do not by any chance gain access to the privileges meant for the first class citizens of Pakistan (the Government-certified Muslims), an oath has been devised. This oath has to be taken by anyone who seeks a National Identity Card and exist in this country as a first class citizen.

    #4. To further ensure that Ahmadi citizens of Pakistan do not, by any chance, gain access to the House of Allah, an additional oath has been devised for anyone who seeks a Passport. This oath runs as follows: “I consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmad an impostor prophet. And also consider his followers, whether belonging to the Lahori or Qadiani group, to be non-Muslims.” Therefore, it logically follows that if you wish to possess a passport, you are required not only to consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmad an imposter prophet, but also believe that all his followers are non-Muslims i.e. second class citizens.

    #5. The Second Amendment was adopted by our parliament in 1974, by applying the simple rule of “the majority is always right”. Few may have considered that all God-sent men and their followers have remained in numerical terms, minorities for long periods of time. All this while, the veracity of their claim was judged not by the vote of the majority, but by the correctness of their conduct.

  36. yasserlatifhamdani

    Bin ismail read my article in DT tomorrow.
    *** This Message Has Been Sent Using BlackBerry Internet Service from Mobilink ***

  37. Moosa

    @ OMLK

    When you say that the great Sufis of the past called themselves prophets “metaphorically”, please can you inform us what precisely do you mean by “metaphorically”?

    How can a person “metaphorically” be a prophet?

    What strikes me as bizarre is that many great saints of Islam have clearly claimed that they received revelations and true dreams and guidance from Allah (swt) and they took spiritual covenants from their followers, in the manner of the Jewish prophets of the past. Then why not call a spade “a spade”? Why call it a metaphorical spade?

  38. banjara286


    “Ahmadis are not Muslims for the purposes of Constitution and Law”[Amendment#2, Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan]. Therefore, it logically follows that Ahmadi citizens of Pakistan are condemned to be held by the state as second class citizens.

    no such conclusion automatically follows. please stop pulling wool over people’s eyes. there is no requirement in islam, or in any other form of belief system, to persecute and oppress minorities. there is an urgent need to eliminate such discriminationory practices.

    if by second class citizenship u mean being excluded from being the head of state, for instance, then such exclusions exist in many other nations, islamic or otherwise. pakistan is not unique in that.

    introducing unnecessary rhetoric into already difficult situation makes it even more difficult to find a resolution of problems through discussion.
    in no way does it help (except, maybe, u get to vent and that is all).

  39. yasserlatifhamdani

    Banjara,

    1. Ahmadis are not given rights given to Hindus, Sikhs and Christians.

    2. Pakistan is absolutely unique when it comes to republican form of government to have discrimination. Comparing the British monarch would be futile…because even in terms of premiership… Pakistan discriminates ..something no other country does.

  40. banjara286

    yasser,
    no doubt ahmadis in pakistan are persecuted on many counts, though i am not certain that the situation of other minorities that you mention is any better.

    my point is that persecution of any segment of the society is manifestly wrong, unislamic, and must be stopped. extremists who visit atrocities on peaceful and defenceless minority communities must be fought and eliminated. political leadership, media, and civil society should continue to highlight this issue until the state discharges its responsibility of protecting the lives and rights of all citizens.

    any nation, not just pakistan, can only succeed and prosper when all its minorities have a sense of justice and access to opportunities, thus having a real stake in the well being of the nation.

    while the situation of fairness and justice in pakistan leaves a lot to be desired, i disagree that it is unique among nations on this score. many are just as bad and some are even worse. we must learn to keep things in perspective.

    even among civilized countries, naturalized american citizens in also cannot aspire to the highest office. legal residents who are not citizens are not eligible for a lot of jobs in the public as well as the private sector. i am sure you are well aware of these facts.

  41. yasserlatifhamdani

    These are horrible excuses for not doing the right thing. This comparison b/w the issue of naturalization and born citizen v barring a person for his religious beliefs is ridiculous to say the least.

    Are you telling me that the position of a Pakistani citizen of Ahmadi beliefs should be the same as a non-naturalized resident instead of a citizen? I mean do you believe your own rhetoric on this?

    As for other minorities v. Ahmadis etc if one was honest one would admit that Ahmadis are not even treated as worth protecting in Pakistan let alone be treated equitably and justifiably.

    So long as people like you – the so called silent majority of moderates- keep make such nonsensical excuses for failings of this state of ours … Pakistan will remain in the crapper. Have the moral courage for god’s sake … to denounce what is wrong and keep your personal faith out of it. You are not god so don’t act like it.

    *** This Message Has Been Sent Using BlackBerry Internet Service from Mobilink ***

  42. yasserlatifhamdani

    And the conclusion automatically follows. The conclusion is this: those who continue to support the second amendment and its complications will be proven wrong and cursed by posterity. If the majority of Pakistan continues to do so… Pakistan will be proven wrong and cursed by posterity.

    Personally I am only batting for Jinnah now. That old man deserved better than the crooks who now hold this state of ours hostage.

  43. Bin Ismail

    @ banjara286 (June 20, 2010 at 10:31 pm)

    1. “…..please stop pulling wool over people’s eyes. there is no requirement in islam, or in any other form of belief system, to persecute and oppress minorities…..”

    May I regretfully state that it is you my friend, who are pulling wool over people’s eyes. I did not, nor could I possibly attribute the persecution of Ahmadis in Pakistan, to Islam. The second amendment reflects anything but Islam. The Quran states clearly, “There is no coercion in matters of religion” (Quran 2:256), while the second amendment has through legislative coercion pushed the Ahmadi citizens in Pakistan against the wall.

    2. “…..if by second class citizenship u mean being excluded from being the head of state…..”

    By second class citizen, I mean not being able to freely profess, practice and preach one’s religion.

    3. “…..introducing unnecessary rhetoric into already difficult situation makes it even more difficult to find a resolution of problems through discussion. in no way does it help (except, maybe, u get to vent and that is all)…..”

    If by “unnecessary rhetoric” you are referring to such facts as are likely to disrupt the slumber of the nation’s collective conscience, then I suppose you’re right in saying that this may indeed cause a bit of inconvenience.

  44. Moosa

    WHERE IS THE JUSTICE?

    “Last month, when more than 90 Ahmadis were massacred in two mosques in Lahore, I remembered the precise moment in 1974 when it all began to change.”

    I have a question to ask.

    Ahmadis caught one of the terrorists and handed him over to the Pakistani police to face due process of law.

    Does anybody know where the terrorist is?

    Does anybody know about any legal proceedings against the terrorist?

    Are the mullahs clamouring for Islamic law to be applied and for the criminal/terrorist to be executed for murder?

    There are many journalists on this blog. Are any of you pursuing justice in this regard?

  45. banjara286

    yasser,
    i am not comparing ahmadis to naturalized americans or anyone else. i am simply making the point that exclusions exist in many societies on various pretext, e.g. even freedom of expression.
    the ridiculous consclusion that ia mdoing comparison, once again, yours.

    and, btw, i never said i am g-d. you are.

  46. banjara286

    bin ismail,
    if the second amendment is the issue then battle it in the parliament and get a constitution change to abolish it. isn’t that the normal procedure?

    my conscience is just fine, thank you very much. you wouldn’t have to answer for any way so why bring it into the equation?

    what people like you are trying to do is to goad people into supporting your personal agenda. it is a well known tactic; and that is exactly what i mean by trying to pull wool over people’s eyes.

  47. @yasserlatifhamdani [June 20, 2010 at 5:36 pm]

    Bin ismail read my article in DT tomorrow.

    Very good point made. Nobody will take it up, but if they did….

  48. yasserlatifhamdani

    Now it is my “personal” agenda. Wah. Pakistan is at stake asshole not YLH’s personal agenda.

  49. banjara286

    abuse is the last resort of cowards and idiots. that people with your character and intellect would pass for opinion makers in pakistan may already be the bottom of the depth it can sink to.

    i have no further wish to talk to vulgar midgets like yourself.

  50. yasserlatifhamdani

    Ha ha. If I were an opinion maker… Pakistan would not be in the pits.

  51. Ammar

    It is our cowardliness which has lead to such extremist tendencies in society; we choose to remain silent for we thought that our views of dissent will not be appreciated by the society. The religion got entangled with politics and we choose to remain silent and step by step the militants have gained so much strength that now they control and rule the airways. We need to come clear and firm that we oppose Taliban, we oppose oppression of minorities we oppose secretion divides!

  52. OMLK

    @Moosa

    This could be a long discusssion. In short, by “metaphorical” prophet it is meant some one with the spiritual qualities similar to a prophet, in other works some one who is “like” a prophet, but not actually a prophet. A crude example would calling a human a “tiger” for his fighting qualites.

    So the saints who exhibited certain spiritual exellences, the word prophet is applied in a “metaphorical” sense. Some saints like Hazrat Mansoor referred to them selves as metaphorical God. This is based on the Quran, Hadith and writings of HMGA. For a full discussion and the theological LAM position on the matter, may I direct you to the book “Prohethood in Islam,” by Maulana Muhamamd Ali.

    Intrestingly some common phrases in South Asia metaphorically refer to humans as God. Example “Zill-e-Ilahi” or “Shadow of God” for Kings and “Mujazi Khuda” or “metaphorical Gods” for husbands (suddenly my need for using a pseudonym has become urgent in case my wife is reading this!)

  53. Bin Ismail

    @banjara286 (June 21, 2010 at 5:18 am)

    1. “…..if the second amendment is the issue then battle it in the parliament and get a constitution change to abolish it. isn’t that the normal procedure?…..”

    The parliament is not the right body to judge the state of belief or disbelief of any community. Just as it would be outside the jurisdiction of the parliament to decide whether Abu Bakr was the rightful successor of the Holy Prophet, or Ali, it would similarly be outside the jurisdiction of the parliament to decide who is a Muslim and who is not.

    2. “…..my conscience is just fine, thank you very much. you wouldn’t have to answer for any way so why bring it into the equation?…..”

    You’re welcome, but my comment was not with reference to your personal conscience. It was about the “collective national conscience”.

    3. “…..what people like you are trying to do is to goad people into supporting your personal agenda. it is a well known tactic; and that is exactly what i mean by trying to pull wool over people’s eyes…..”

    It is not public approval or support that Ahmadis seek. Human approval and earthly support is quite irrelevant in matters of faith. Ahmadis only seek to express what they deem the truth, before an audience gracious enough to listen. There are no tactics involved.

  54. banjara286


    It is not public approval or support that Ahmadis seek. Human approval and earthly support is quite irrelevant in matters of faith. Ahmadis only seek to express what they deem the truth, before an audience gracious enough to listen. There are no tactics involved.

    … and you expect to beat the audience into being gracious by abusing them and calling them vulgar names?

    if it weren’t for my conscience i wouldn’t raise my voice for the rights of minorities. it is no thanks to the behavior of ahmadi posters in the cyberspace.

  55. OMLK

    unfortunately there are still some poeple who are like ostriches with their heads in the sand. There is no doubt, that the religio-political nexus that thrives on fermenting hate to push its own agendas and in come cases to even justify their very existence, have targeted Ahamdis and have basically relegated then to 2nd class citizens in a country they fought for and have rendered great services for over the years (from the science labs to the battle fields). Actually it just occurred to me that what the JI sponsored “jihadis” have not been able to do in decades, what one Ahmadi Gentleman almost did in 1965 (with the exception of coursethat the Ahmadi gentleman did it officially under a state declared war following certain norms and procedures).

  56. OMLK

    correction:

    “what one Ahmadi Gentleman” = “one Ahmadi Gentleman”

  57. Bin Ismail

    @ banjara286 (June 22, 2010 at 3:01 am)

    “..… and you expect to beat the audience into being gracious by abusing them and calling them vulgar names?…if it weren’t for my conscience i wouldn’t raise my voice for the rights of minorities. it is no thanks to the behavior of ahmadi posters in the cyberspace…..”

    Ahmadis are highly appreciative of grace, wherever it has been shown. Thank you for your kindness too. However, Ahmadis do not ask for grace from anybody but their Creator.

    You have a conscience. Good for you.