Ahmadis and Pakistan
I tend to agree with Bashy Quraishy’s thoughts.
Despite such severe atrocities and death meted out to Pakistani Ahmadi Muslims, they still love their country, if they adopt a foreign land they still go back to visit their homeland and are exceptionally loyal to the nation which has literally disowned them.
I also know a very large majority of educated Pakistanis (based on my personal friendship here in the San Francisco Bay Area where I am well known as an Ahmadi – some even call me Qadiani) do not approve of Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law.
In addition, the Pakistani media, (Dawn and Tribune, TV channels) many reporters and news writers have come a long way in reporting a lot that is being done wrong in Pakistan against minorities whereas 10 or 20 years back they lacked the courage to write so openly.
The Human Rights advocates are being given a good coverage on some of the popular TV channels.
Ultimately, it is people who have the power to change government policies and laws such as the Blasphemy Law and Constitutional changes specific to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community that continue to exit from the dreadful days of Zia.
The power to change the mind set (from the worldly point of view) rests in the hands of news writers and anchor persons like Bashy Quraishy.
Trials and tribulations will be part of the life of Ahmadiyya Jamaat and any resolute changes in their favor will come from Allah Tabarak O Ta’ala in whom we repose our absolute trust.
Even those of us who are not born in Pakistan develop an affinity and a romancing affiliation with Pakistan due mainly for the fact that millions of our brothers and sisters far too dear than our blood brothers and sisters live there. Their homeland is our homeland because our seat of Khilafat is there.
It hurts us deeply when we hear, read and see how brutally and savagely some of Ahmadi Muslims are beaten to death by those who are said to be Pakistani Muslims while Pakistan government ignores the felonious crimes and over 90% Pakistanis remain mute. Immediate condemnation is rare. It comes only with the convenience of time when all is said and done and when the dead are buried the injured have returned home and recovered.
I went to Methodist School and learned Bible before I read a word of the Holy Quran and resented for not going to downtown Muslim School to learn Urdu and with it perhaps Islam that I held was religion of Pakistan. At Methodist I took Hindi and Hindu tails in the books left me with the impression India is a Hindu country in my elementary days. I had the bias towards Pakistan and longed to learn Urdu which I did in my teen when I joined the Ahmadi Jamaat in revolt against my family.
My fondness and affection for Pakistan skyrocketed as I got deeper and deeper into the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, its seat of Khilafat in Pakistan and all that we read and heard from the many Pakistani Ahmadi Muslim missionaries who served in Fiji. We looked to them and Pakistan as the model of Muslim country an image I never wanted to be tinted and smudged by any stretch of imagination.
But what Bhutto and later Zia did in the name of Pakistan and lovely religion of Islam left distaste in me.
I will not be lying if I say that all non-Pakistani Ahmadis have the same sentiments of love and respect for Pakistan despite the horror that our beloved brothers and sisters continue to face in their own homeland.
We seek refuge with Allah and beg for His Mercy and Love.
San Francisco Bay Area
(My grateful thanks are due to Editor in Chief of TMT, Dr. Zia Shah for approval to place this article in this forum.)