Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cruel fate of Ahmadis in Pakistan

Outlook India, June 14, 2010
Mourning after Grief-stricken Ahmadis
pakistan: the ahmadis
Wretched Of The Land
The attack on their mosques exposes the raw wound that is Ahmadi existence here

Ahmadis In Pakistan
Ahmadis In India

Population: 4 million
Population: Estimated to be from 60,000 to 1 million
Headquarters: Rabwah town, Punjab
Headquarters: Qadian in Gurdaspur district, Punjab, where the sect was established. The 2001 census counted roughly 20,000 Ahmadis in Qadian.
Status: Since 1974, declared non-Muslim
Why low numbers: Partition saw the bulk of Ahmadis becoming citizens of Pakistan
What they can’t do: Call themselves Muslim, offer prayers in mosques, quote Quranic verses in their newspaper, propagate their religion
Status: Several high court verdicts say they must be treated as Muslim
Threats from fundamentalists: They say it is ‘permissible to kill’ them. Some 2,000 died in riots in 1953, suffered untold misery in 1974. The attacks on them claimed nearly 100 lives.
What they can’t do: They don’t sit on the Muslim Personal Law Board, but are governed by Muslims

As the international media frenetically reported the simultaneous terror attacks on the two mosques of the Ahmadi community in Lahore, Pakistani journalists countenanced an arrantly absurd situation—they were required to eschew the M-word under law. In their dispatches, as poignant as any, the two Ahmadi mosques became mere “places of worship”. Between the two nomenclatures—mosque and place of worship—lies the gulf separating Muslims from non-Muslims in Pakistan. The wishes of Ahmadis do not matter, their own definition of themselves as Muslim counts for nothing. The Constitution of Pakistan declares them as non-Muslim and proscribes the use of the word mosque to describe their places of worship. The defiant can flout the law at their own peril.

Tags: , , , , ,

Post a Comment