Source/Credit: The Hill’s Congress Blog
By Katrina Lantos Swett
On June 27, along with members of Congress and other guests, I heard a message of peace and freedom from the Ahmadiyya world leader, His Holiness Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, at a Capitol Hill reception co-sponsored by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), of which I am chair, and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.
Founded in India in 1889, the Ahmadiyya is a peaceful, reformist movement claiming tens of millions of adherents worldwide. While its members oppose violence and support freedom for others, they often face severe violence and other violations of their own freedom.
In Pakistan, the constitution labels them “non-Muslims.” For more than a quarter century, Pakistan’s government has barred the community from calling its own worship centers “mosques,” publicly uttering the traditional Islamic greeting or quoting from the Qur’an, and displaying Islam’s basic affirmation.