Everyone has the capacity to transcend bigotry, hate

You may cherish their strongly held beliefs without compromising on their friendships!

By Junaid Bin Jahangir, Edmonton Journal

The Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported a recent hate campaign in the city of Rawalpindi. More than 5,000 people gathered to protest the construction of a mosque built by the Ahmadiyyah Muslim community, a sect persecuted for its beliefs.

My thoughts raced back to the May 2010 attacks on an Ahmadi mosque in the city of Lahore, where some 86 worshippers were killed during Friday prayers. This attack hit home as I had visited this mosque in 2009. I also thought of a student I taught from September 2008 to June 2009 during my stay in Lahore.

I still recall this well-built young man breaking down in tears in my office. He confided in me the horrific situation his family experienced when the factory where his father worked had been targeted by rocket launchers. I simply had to extend his assignment deadline. He went through doubt and questions in the half-hour he stayed in my office.

What rule had he or his family bro-ken? Was he, as a citizen of Pakistan, guaranteed protection, let alone fair rights? Should he leave the country? It was clear to me that despite being a law-abiding citizen, he was not completely safe in his own country for the sole reason that he is an Ahmadi Muslim. Read more

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