Minority and the mob

Pakistan’s deathwish hatred is the Ahmadi community.

Written by Khaled Ahmed | Published:June 7, 2014 12:31 am
Nations trapped in the cycle of fate can’t resist a recurrent deathwish even when they know it is a deathwish. (Source: Reuters) Nations trapped in the cycle of fate can’t resist a recurrent deathwish even when they know it is a deathwish. (Source: Reuters)

On May 27, this appeared on the front page of the Pakistani daily, Dawn: “Gunmen shot dead a doctor from the minority Ahmadi community in Chenab Nagar town in Punjab. Mehdi Ali, a 50-year-old heart surgeon from the United States, was attacked as he visited a cemetery in the town of Chenab Nagar.” The name of the town was changed from Rabwah to Chenab Nagar under the law of disabilities imposed on the Ahmadi community.

Nations trapped in the cycle of fate can’t resist a recurrent deathwish even when they know it is a deathwish. Turks can’t live down their primal hatred of Armenians, and become Turks only when they collectively hate them. Iranians have the same kind of emotion about the Bahai. Once Germans hated Jews and killed a lot of them to post their “greatness” to the world. Pakistan’s deathwish hatred is against the Ahmadi community. It lives as a nation only if it kills Ahmadis and ceases to be a nation if it stops killing them.

Pakistan’s “greatness” as a nation was asserted soon after it had its first real constitution, in 1973. The second amendment inserted into it — to remove the “flaw” of the original text — apostatised the Ahmadi community, a sect which controversially thought its founder a “prophet without a book”. Muslims hold that after Prophet Mohammed, no further prophethood was allowed. Once lapsed from Islam, the Ahmadis became non-Muslims, but that was not enough to assuage the identity-forming passion of the nation: the constitution anomalously still protected them and gave them equal status as citizens of Pakistan.

There are only two to five million Ahmadis in Pakistan. Special killing organisations often claim to have converted thousands of “Qadianis” — an insulting alternative name given to Ahmadis — every year. It is possible that Ahmadis hide their real identity to avoid being killed by vigilante mobs. In the fascist lexicon, a nation cannot become great unless it smears its face with blood. It was necessary to impose further disabilities on the community, making it possible for the administration to harass them. The penal code article 298-B stands as the singular achievement of a nation on its path to “greatness”.

The law says: any Ahmadis calling himself “Muslim” and calling his place of worship a “mosque” will be arrested and put on trial. Any reference to “kalimas (pronouncements of the Muslim faith)” or the Quran, Prophet Mohammed, his companions and the “azan (call to prayer)” would attract a prison sentence going up to three years. The level of piety among Muslims is so high that an Ahmadi serving a sentence may be killed by Muslim convicts of the prison.

The apostatisation of the Ahmadi sect has caused social upheaval. Common graveyards across the country were forcibly “segregated”, which meant digging up Ahmadi corpses and throwing them out of the cemetery amid police-aided violence. The “true” Muslims have attacked the Ahmadis’ places of worship, occupied them or simply locked them up. Wherever the condemned individuals live, their houses are marked and attacked by pious people looking to earn paradise by dispatching a few. Islamic organisations, also known as non-state actors doing jihad as a lucrative occupation, periodically go for the big kill by blowing up Ahmadis as they say their prayers.
One incident is specially quoted by the infidel liberals during discussions. An Ahmadi rented a house which had a kalima written on the front. An officer from the local police station came, registered a case against the tenant and took him in. When a brother of the tenant was erasing the kalima from the front wall the next day, the same police officer came and arrested him for desecration of the holy writ.

Every year, Ahmadis issue a report cataloguing “acts of piety” targeting their community. The report on the year 2013 makes sad reading. The province of Punjab was top of the list as Ahmadi-baiter; Sindh was a close second. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan fared best as they had kicked out their Ahmadis and were focusing on Shias, the next immolated minority that will make Pakistan a great nation.

According to a report put out by an Ahmadi organisation, Karachi led in the number of Ahmadis killed and attacked, like last year, and target-killing by unknown gunmen was the new trend. In Punjab, the universally execrated infidel-liberal caretaker chief minister, Najam Sethi, tried to intervene in the case of Ahmadi-baiting in Kasur, just outside Lahore, but backed off when he realised what he was up against.

He realised that “the police remained at the beck and call of religious bigots and moved fast to register criminal cases against Ahmadis on religious grounds”. After that, if the local magistrate did not deny bail, the Ahmadi was hounded by “shrieking mullahs and their undisciplined attorneys”. In one case, a high court judge accepted an Ahmadi accused’s plea for bail, but then yielded to the threats and shouts of the protesters in the courtroom and reversed his verdict “within two minutes”.

The irony is Ahmadis can appeal only to secularists who, by and large, don’t believe in religion. The sect is orthodox and deeply religious as all persecuted sects tend to be. The English language press has some empathy with their plight but Urdu bristles with rage against them. You can see headlines like the following in the poisoned “mother tongue” of the nation: “Qadianis are traitors to Islam and the country”, “More than 1,000 Qadianis are enlisted in the Israeli army”, “Qadiani conspiracies get under way: the youth to remain prepared to wipe them out”.

The law entrapping Ahmadis is quite comprehensive but there are still holes to be filled by the clerics baying for Ahmadi blood to help Pakistan retain its pristine identity as an Islamic state. Last year, in many locations in Lahore, Ahmadis were not allowed to say their Eid prayers and, led by pious clerics, prevented from sacrificing animals, something the law did not specifically list.

Pakistan’s greatest ruler, General Zia-ul Haq, had imposed separate electorates on Pakistan, that is, non-Muslims could not vote together with Muslims. It was a ghettoisation of democracy that lasted for over a decade before another general, Pervez Musharraf, put an end to it. But even he couldn’t help excluding Ahmadis from the joint electorates allowing Muslims and non-Muslims to vote together. Ahmadis are supposed to be non-Muslims under law, but if they can’t vote together with non-Muslims then what are they?

Muslim states cleanse their bowels periodically and expel waste. Pakistan does that too. It has expelled Ahmadis as excrement. But Christians, and many others, are fast attaining the identity of smelly waste. For them, Pakistan has a brand-new catchall law called the blasphemy law, where even an innuendo of insult to the Prophet will attract the sentence of death. Magistrates are known to faint with fright when Christian women and children are dragged before them on charges of insult. As mobs outside shriek vengeance, the judge collapses and awards death.

The writer is a consulting editor with ‘Newsweek Pakistan’


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  1. I
    Jun 7, 2014 at 4:27 am
    When you hate someone you are destined to hate your own people and eventually yourself. We have to remember people are always people.
    1. K
      Jun 7, 2014 at 8:29 pm
      Martin Niemöller ..... Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.
      1. A
        Jun 7, 2014 at 3:59 am
        Hmm it seems Hindus are not cuted in stan. Wonder why minorities in India are far better off than stan.
        1. V
          Jun 7, 2014 at 10:18 am
          Good that Muslims have their own homeland to practise their deep-seated faith. The real question is how long stan will last given the internal fractures.
          1. S
            Jun 7, 2014 at 11:11 am
            Why the UN is doing nothing. Pressure pak or put sanctions. Ban the isi and army and all the money they have outside stan in deep freeze.so that the elected representives will be bold enough to take action against these horrible rules and acts.
            1. E
              Ejaaz Elahai
              Jun 7, 2014 at 5:34 am
              Khaled Sahib, A conscience is not a healthy weakness for a journalist in stan. Sir, please be safe. The painful scream is obvious but as the Kitab says the hearts have been sealed, our eyes and ears covered.
              1. G
                Jun 7, 2014 at 7:19 am
                a nation born of hatred perpetuates hatred, for hatred is the only emotion, only language it will ever know.
                1. G
                  Ghulam Muhammed
                  Jun 7, 2014 at 1:37 pm
                  stani writers are funny people. Till yesterday they said, stanis hold India to be their enemny number ONE. Now Khalid Ahmed says, stan will not be stan, unless they kill Ahmedi. Ahmedis are stan's number ONE enemy. Khalid is very economic with truth about the origin of the Ahmedis. It was the British, with their divideand rule policy that virtually sponsored Mirza Ghulam Ahmed to claim prophethood so that he can order Muslims to accept British their masters and saviors. Mirza held absolute loyalty to British and worked against the freedom of Indian subcontinent. Khalid had no need to go to that length to explain why stanis hate Ahmedis. The British patriotism of Ahmedis is still the backbone of this fake religion and they are spreading around the world in the name of ISLAM. The one thing that distinguished Ahmedi's so-called Islam with the mainstream Islam, is its complete loyalty to West. They are hijacking ISLAM and using all its idenies to spread to the world an religion, which will be subservient to the West. There are many ways to fight ISLAM. British chose to sabotage it from within its rank. Progressives conveneintly side with any movement that is against ISLAM as a religion.
                  1. S
                    Jun 7, 2014 at 2:53 am
                    very interesting khalid ahmed do not talk about Hindus 1947 2nd largest Hindu nation in the world with 22% today 1.7% where was the cry then? Many Ahmedia's and Shia's provide cover to extremist Wahhabi's during cleansing process now Karma is coming back which is brutal and unforgiving.Regardless no community should go through such acts.
                    1. K
                      Jun 7, 2014 at 4:20 pm
                      I think that stan's death wish hatred is India and Hindus. Now that they have become more powerful and prosperous, stan's self destructive energies are directed towards its own feeble minoritiies
                      1. K
                        Jun 7, 2014 at 5:41 am
                        what else to say than deterioration of humanity....I feel sad for that country...They produce some of the best musicians and some of the best fast bowlers and squash players...What is it for religion...Why should we allow religion to dominate ourselves...Truth seeking is everybody's personal business..Let each one in the world find his own way..whats the matter..No way is better than the other..As long as it reaches the goal every way is fine....Humanity should digest this ...It is high time...Else we as a generation didn't grow up..
                        1. C
                          Chilly Chillies
                          Jun 7, 2014 at 5:55 pm
                          Sad to hear. I don't know what is the use of religion/God, if one cannot respect the fellow humanbeings.
                          1. V
                            Jun 7, 2014 at 5:48 am
                            I thank Mr. Ahmed for giving such enlightenment towards the gruesome culture going on in stan. The situation indeed is very gloomy. However the big question is "how to stop this?" We know this can't be achieved overnight and we are going to witness such atrocities in future, but there needs to be strong will of the government to stop this. I am actually quite surprised by the fact that Mr. Ahmed didn't mention the government even once in the article. (except the ruler of stan and pervez musharraf) This shows that there is no will shown by the government to address this issue. I understand that there is a gamut of serious issues for stan government itself, but such internal strife is unwanted and there needs to be a solution for this by reaching out directly to the ahmedis. I think even they want to get out of this strife and live peacefully. I think by dialogues and discussions, both parties can arrive at common grounds, if at all the government has the will to do even that much!
                            1. S
                              Sachin Jagade
                              Jun 7, 2014 at 12:55 pm
                              The jihadi failed state of stan has wiped out its already miniscule Hindu minority. And these butchers and Jihadi fanatics have the courage to challenge India only because of the weak kneed policies of the UPA and past Congress governments. Hats off to tiny yet powerful Israel for taking its battle against jihadi terror to the enemy camp. As for stan, having wiped out Hindus, and now planning wiping out the Ahmedia community.....The jihadis are already attacking Shias. stan in a few years time will be a rabid sunni jihadi state and among the front line failed states exporting jihadi terror. India must plan for a strong offensive and defensive doctrine in its anti terror fight.
                              1. S
                                Shahnaz Latif
                                Jun 7, 2014 at 4:52 pm
                                Thank you for writing this article. Islam places great stress on freedom of conscience, including the freedom to choose one’s religion, as one of the fundamental rights of all human beings. Qur'an clearly states, “There should be no compulsion in religion” (2:257) Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) is the last Law bearing prophet of God. Holy Qur'an is the last revealed book by God. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes that God sent Ahmad within the fold of Islam, to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and re insute morality, justice and peace. Ahmad’s advent has brought about an unprecedented era of Islamic revival. He divested Muslims of fanatical beliefs and practices by vigorously championing Islam’s true and essential teachings. Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the leading Islamic organization to categorically reject terrorism in any form.Ahmadiyya Muslim Community continues to spread Islam’s true teachings of moderation and restraint with compion, patience and prayers, in the face of bitter opposition from the Muslim world. Please visit www.alislam or watch MTA.TV to get the true teaching of Islam.
                                1. T
                                  Jun 7, 2014 at 7:09 am
                                  Personaly my family has been victim since 1974. We have been loited, boycoted and 4 of my close relatives martyred.
                                  1. T
                                    Thomas George
                                    Jun 7, 2014 at 11:21 am
                                    Fantastic country to live in
                                    1. V
                                      Jun 7, 2014 at 5:39 pm
                                      As per author "stan’s deathwish hatred is against the Ahmadi community.". Was To eliminate HINDUs the life line of STAN? Why elimination of HINDUs is not mentioned?
                                      1. Z
                                        Zaki Ghulam
                                        Jun 7, 2014 at 6:05 am
                                        stani Mullas are an embarment for the fair name of Islam everywhere: intolerance, obscurantism, fanaticism and killings, all in the name of a peaceful way of life!The tragedy of the Ahmadis in stan is all the more ironical: their leadership, including the distinguished Sir Zafrullah Khan gave seminal contribution to the very founding of the State.It is also an irony that unlike the stani Ahmadis, those Ahmadis in India have full religious freedom in 'secular' India. The intolerant brigade among the Mullahs, howesoever they may wish to cute Ahmadis in India, cannot get legal and political patronage in India, primarily because it is a sea of Hindus!!
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