Source: New Religion via Nasim Malik of Sweden.
Ummad Farooq speaks out against sectarian violence in Pakistan, weeks after his brother was murdered for being an Ahmadi
I’m sitting across the table from Ummad Farooq in a small Sunderland café as he eats a 30p sweet mince pie. There is not much to make him stand out from any other student. He wears jeans and a hooded top and occasionally asks permission to answer messages on his mobile. It’s difficult to imagine that a few weeks ago he was shot in the face, whilst on a visit to Pakistan, during a brutal attack in which his brother and uncle were killed.
Ummad has lived in Sunderland for just over a year and recently completed his MBA in finance at the University of Sunderland. In November, Ummad attended his graduation ceremony at the Stadium of Light.
“Before this I had only done an accountancy course, so this is the first graduation of my life and a life achievement,” says Ummad. “Of course there was sorrow, because we had planned for my father and uncle to come and see me and that wasn’t possible as my father is still ill. I missed my family but I am glad my friends came. Overall, I was extremely happy.”
“We have been receiving death threats for two years. I would be abused in the street. At school, some people wouldn’t talk to me. People put up posters across the road from our home abusing us.”
The Ahmadiyya Muslim sect Ummad belongs to have faced the constant threat of persecution since the Pakistani government declared them heretics in 1974. Until recently, his father was a leader at a mosque in Karachi, while Ummad’s elder brother, Saad, worked as the Student Secretary, helping young people gain an education. Their high profile positions made Ummad’s family targets for extremists.