Huff Post: Religious freedom (or the lack thereof) in Pakistan cannot be emphasized enough. Due to the preposterous demeanor of Pakistan’s self-righteous right-wing, many in the world today are aware of Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy problem. Much frustration has been expressed on liberal Pakistani blogs and through international media outlets — especially after the heartless murders of Governor Salmaan Taseer and Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti — on the abuse of these laws. Even though nothing is expected to change anytime soon, at least the first vital step toward that goal is being taken: raising awareness.
Unlike the general blasphemy laws, however, the specific anti-Ahmadi Muslim laws of Pakistan have not found even this much of luck. They have been conveniently forced out of the discussion and few are aware of the existence and continuous abuse of these draconian laws. The silence of the liberal Pakistani blogosphere and the international media in this regard is baffling.
So who are the Ahmadi Muslims and what are these laws?
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was founded in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908), who claimed to be the long-awaited messiah. Ahmad single-handedly waged a struggle to bring about a renaissance of Islam. He declared that in this age the doctrine of violent jihad was against the teachings of Islam, a declaration met with edicts of heresy. Ahmad urged Muslims to emulate Prophet Muhammad’s example. Accordingly, Ahmadi Muslims champion a complete separation of mosque and state, promote universal human rights and interfaith dialogue and practice nonviolence and non-retaliation amid brutal persecution in parts of the world. There are more than 600,000 Ahmadi Muslims living in Pakistan with tens of millions in 200 countries.