by Usman Ahmed
I have with me, at the time of writing, a number of bumper stickers, leaflets and pamphlets regarding Ahmadis (or Qadianis as they are more derogatively referred to). According to the material at my disposal Ahmadis are traitors, criminals and the very worst kind of heretics. One leaflet is telling me in the most hideously bold type that even if Ahmadis flee to the moon it is the obligation of all Muslims to hunt them down and make their life as miserable there as it has been made on earth. Of course, it fails to mention how this costly venture might be undertaken or tackle the logistical problem of how hundreds and thousands of zealous Muslims, pitchforks, dandas and other fiendish accoutrements in hand, might actually get there. But hey! Forget the feasibility issues, surely it is worth going all the way to the moon to…wait…to…well I don’t know what exactly but I am sure it will be fun once the party gets started– although I suppose not so much fun if you’re an Ahmadi. Continue reading
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.
Filed under Activism, Democracy, human rights, Identity, Islam, Islamism, Jinnah's Pakistan, minorities, Pak Tea House, Religion, Rights, Taliban, Terrorism, violence
Below, we are posting two relevant stories about the massacre at Ahmadi mosques in Lahore. This massacre will be a especially ugly chapter in the sordid history that Pakistan has created when it comes to its treatment and protection of minorities from the religious zealots that are found aplenty in the majority sect that inhabits Pakistan.
But more importantly, many Islamist guests on the PTH, as well as countless on outside media and blogs have conveniently accused RAW, MOSSAD, CIA (pick your favourite intelligence organization) behind the massacre.
Self delusion seems to run rampant in Pakistani right wing. They are most welcome to indulge in their mass manufacture of hidden hands and twisted conspiracy theories. As one of the Ahmadi leader recently pointed out while answering who may be responsible for the immense loss of life in Lahore: “When the state allies call for killing Ahmadis a required religious duty, when Khatam-e-Nabuwwat Conferences call for Ahmadis to die or leave Pakistan, and when TTP threatens the community consistently, then it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to realize that massacre on this magnitude was always on the cards”.
We have pointed out repeatedly that the biggest casualty of this self delusional behaviour is Pakistan itself. The enemy is our home-grown badly out of control Frankenstein, as well as the religious-nationalist mindset primarily responsible for its creation and nurture. A religious frenzied state policy that was meant to create proxy militias to fight both east and west, turned out to be one of the most idiotic policies ever implemented by any state in recent memory, with no regard to the flawed marriage of religion with state policies, as well as disastrous consequences that this marriage would entail. If these events are not a wakeup call, then I don’t know what would be. The religious genie unleashed by Pakistan cannot be contained if Pakistan is not honest with itself. Religion has no place in the affairs of the state. The religious bigotry against others is consuming Pakistan first and foremost.
We have posted Omar Ali`s previous post titled “The Dead Parrot” a few weeks back. Below we reproduce his comment on the Lahore massacre. Dr. Ali discusses compelling reasons why we are here and where we are heading towards from here. We did not get into this mess overnight and we will not get out of it soon enough. Too many innocent Pakistanis are losing their lives as Pakistan struggles to overcome its previous policy errors. PTH may not necessarily agree with all points raised in the following post (AZW)
Blowback In Lahore
By Omar Ali
Terrorists (Punjabi Taliban) simultaneously attacked two Ahmedi sect mosques in Lahore during Friday prayers and killed over 80 people. First thoughts on this evil attack: The choice of target is easy to understand. Ahmedis are a persecuted and vilified minority in Pakistan and “mainstream” news organizations feel no compunction about attacking them, so the ground is already prepared. e.g. GEO TV’s religion presenter (and phoney doctor) Amir Liaqat Hussain, a former minister, encouraged people to kill them if they “overstepped their bounds” and an Ahmedi doctor was promptly killed; there was some fuss in the liberal press but his programme aalim-Online is still on TV and writes a particularly vicious column in a major newspaper.
Filed under Al Qaeda, Army, FATA, History, Identity, India, Islam, Islamabad, Islamism, minorities, Pakistan, Religion, Rights, state, strategy, Taliban, USA, violence, war
By Yasser Latif Hamdani
The oddest point in Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s career as a politician and a statesman was when his National Assembly voted to constitutionally
ex-communicate the Ahmaddiya community from the circle of Islam. Odd because, barring Jinnah and some ethnic leaders from small sub-nationalities, Bhutto was till then the most secular politician in
Pakistan. His support base was mostly left and no where during the election campaign had the PPP given voice to the demand for Ahmadis to
be ex-communicated. There are many theories as to why Bhutto would do it, but an investigation into the history of Ahmadi conflict in Pakistan leads to some astonishing conclusions about the role of
Pakistan’s military and civil establishment and their blatant use of
religious clergy in creating the conditions which might have forced a
popular national politician like Bhutto to opt for such a drastic and
Pakistan was created as a result of the inability of the Congress
Party to recognize the legitimate secular concerns (such economic and
political safeguards) of the Muslim bourgeoisie represented by the
Muslim League. Instead of relying on secular and liberal Muslim
leaders like Jinnah, who had for much of his career been described as
the Ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity by the Hindu leadership, the
Congress co-opted the Muslim religious clergy to prove its secular
credentials. Soon the Congress found itself out of sync with the
mass of Muslims. Since Muslims themselves were fragmented into
several sects and schools of thought, Jinnah and the Muslim League
kept theological and purely religious issues out of the main political
discourse. This allowed Jinnah to bring Sunnis, Shias, Ismailis,
Khojas and Ahmadis on one table despite major doctrinal differences
between these groups. It was for this reason that after Pakistan was
created, Jinnah extended his policy of keeping religious doctrine out
to state governance. To drive the point home, he included in his
cabinet a Hindu (Jogindranath Mandal) as a law minister and an Ahmadi
Muslim (Ch. Zafrullah Khan) as his foreign minister.
After 1947, the religious clergy that had opposed Jinnah and the
creation of Pakistan found itself like a fish out of a pond. They
would have all but lost political significance had it not been for the
political weakness of the ruling Muslim League. By 1951 the Muslim
League was without both Jinnah and Liaqat Ali Khan, the two leaders
who had recognition and mass appeal. Khawaja Nazimuddin who took
over after Liaqat Ali Khan was known as a good honest man but was not
known as a decisive leader. That he was from East Pakistan was an
additional factor which made him undesirable for the West Pakistani
establishment. By January 1953, the religious parties including
Maulana Maududi’s Jamaat-e-Islami had formed the “Majlis-e-Amal” whose
demands were the removal of Ch. Zafrullah Khan as the foreign minister
and declaration of the Ahmadi community as “Non-muslim”. Khawaja
Nazimuddin refused to entertain this demand and when informed of the
chance of 100 000 crazed Mullahs marching onto the Prime Minister
House, merely ordered the doubling of his guard. Violence broke out
in Lahore and Karachi.
Iskandar Mirza, the then Secretary of Defense, took note and wrote to
the Prime Minister:
“The problems created by your personal enemies including Mullahs, if
not dealt with firmly, will destroy the administration of the country…
is religion to destroy the very foundation of the administration of
the premier Muslim state? In Cairo, Sir Zafrullah Khan is being
received with the utmost honour and respect… while in Karachi he is
being abused in public meetings and his photographs are being spat
upon… what then is the position of Pakistan today internationally… for
god’s sake become a courageous leader and take decisive action. Once
you do this, the whole country, with the exception of the rascals,
will really round you…” Continue reading