Pakistan: Faith and persecution: The believers share my infidel air, it is only I who suffocate By Usman Ahmad:

I first wrote this piece in 2010 after the terror attacks on two Ahmadi masjids in Lahore. Today the words seem to read as true as they did in those fateful days, perhaps even more so. The murder of two Ahmadis in Nawabshah over the last fortnight have shown that there are many lessons still to be learnt. Alas, we seem no closer to heeding the lessons of the past. So this is meant as an expression of solidarity and love for the fallen. The article has been slightly amended from the original piece.

I too am an Ahmadi. I am the brother of Muhammad Akram and Maqsood Ahmad. I am an Ahmadi brought up in the west. I have faced many struggles reconciling the ambiguities that arise from being caught between two divergent cultures. Today, I reside in Pakistan. Here I struggle even to be a Muslim, for the laws and tenets of the land say that I ought to have no Islam at all. Hold my beliefs against me if you will, but do you seek to shed my all too human blood just because of the faith I hold and the convictions I stand by. And what of my siblings, my kith, my kin, my beloved mischievous children, does their existence offend you too? Because, of course, they too are Ahmadis. And we are brothers of Ghulam Qadir, Mian Laiq Ahmad, Munir Sheikh, Nasir Ahmad Chuadhry, Mirza Akram Baig, Abdul Wadood and all our martyrs. Has your thirst not been assuaged? None acknowledge my right of life, dignity and freedom of conscience. I am a memory easily erased. And this is because I too am an Ahmadi. I am according to some a Kafir, an infidel, a disbeliever who deserves to be put to death. But according to God I am a human being, one miniscule strand of his infinite creation. And of course, I too am an Ahmadi.  I stand on the fault lines of the war on terror, of the so -called clash of civilizations. My plight is the fault lines. Neither here nor there…….


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