What does calling another Muslim a non-Muslim make you? – by Zeeba Hashmi

One word that comes to your mind with intrigue. Qadiyani, doesn’t come easy for its existential uncertainty in Pakistan. Yet, despite what the constitution says about them in derogatory terms, they are determined to stay in this country that has dogmatic laws made to appease the Saudi-funded and military promoted religious might.

Irrespective of the fact that despite having the demeaning laws, the final determinism of persecution is based on mob vigilantism that makes the work of law enforcing authorities quite ineffectual, hence leaving our minorities completely vulnerable.

But there’s nothing like sheer determinism of survival in Pakistan, a country which is literally succumbing to the heralding dogs in green turbans and long beards or the chatterbox Aalim scholars who come on TV in their best designer Kurtas to publically denounce others as Wajib ul Qatl for following their beliefs. Even more shameful is it that citizenss of Pakistan can’t have their ID Cards unless the sign the statement calling Ahmedis as non-Muslims.

Imagine the social humiliation a Qadiyani actually goes through every time he/she sees everyone signing the piece of paper condemning them in order to be a citizen of Pakistan? As if our righteous Muslims did not scream “discimination” whenever they were to que up for special registration at American Airports.

While the mind remains boggled with religious onslaught and the vigilante mob tyranny, it gets even harder to understand what drove our society to ex-communication of an entire segment, calling them kaafirs and relegating them with status of a minority.

“We don’t like to be called a minority” Says Tabinda*, a defiant young Ahmedi woman and a scholar with whom I made my initial contact for my research on minorities. “the state has endorsed us with this title, and as a protest, we refrain from voting in general elections”

Imagine that: an entire segment is not casting their votes and still no one feels bothered by their dismay with the government that calls itself “democratic”? The roots of evil lie in the 1973 constitution by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto which officially called them Non-Muslims.

Zia ul Haq then came with his double fanged poison, passing an ordinance in 1984 that actually persecuted them for praying in public along with other “muslims”, were forbidden to give azaans, and were even forbidden to build “minarets” (pillars) of the mosque. Stating that any act of Islam practiced by them is “Un-Islamic”, hence Islam is forbidden for them .

Confusion doesn’t even end there with the ridiculous laws that have been over-enthusiastically presented and passed by the president, it keeps on living and thriving without expiry or introspection as it thrashes to indirectly exterminate a 0.25 percent of the population. Pressured by the Tehreek e Khatm e Naubuwat movement that started with their calls to denounce Ahmediyya on a social level, eventually boasted about the Government bowing down before their demands. Their mission worked in socially outcasting them. Often times have I heard about people using Dettol and chemical cleansers everytime they learned that an Ahmediyya person has paid homage them a homage by accident or by fate.

Where is this hatred really stemming from? So much so that an important international Pakistani physicist, the Nobel Winner Dr. Abdus Sallam has been deprived of national recognition and pride because of his Ahmedia connection? They did not even spare the respect of his gravestone.

Instead, the schools in Punjab mainly mount portraits Dr. Abdul Qadir Khan, the known plagiarist and a convicted thief who’s being presented as a role model.

To understand the degree of hatred here is not surprising for anyone trying to understand bigotry, but once one finally comes to know the basis of this hate is most shocking. The Ahmediyas are not technically Kaafirs.

They believe in the finality of the Prophet Muhammed. They take Ghulam Ahmed Mirza as a reverened reformer, just like mainstream Muslims here have faith in our Sufi Saints. They don’t even have a seperate Kalima, I witnessed that at a Friday sermon I attended at their “Ibadat Gah” which I would like to call a Masjid that it rightly deserves.

The only technical difference they have with other major sects of Muslims is over the Resurrection of Christ. So where are they really committing the “Shirk” as propagandized by the Khatm e Nabuwat proponents? And declaring anyone who believes in Allah and his Last Prophet, to be a Kafir is a form of Shirk itself.

This makes an entire Government of Pakistan living in an act of sin, something that needs to be challenged at the court and in the parliament, only if there are any conscientious takers.



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