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. Continue reading