Time: Like hundreds of other Ahmadi Muslims, Dr. Mehdi Ali Qamar was murdered only for his faith. Combined, education and compassion can conquer such extremism.
Dr. Mehdi Ali Qamar was the type of friend every American would proudly brag about. He was a loyal U.S. citizen. He was only 50, a loving husband and father of three. He dedicated his life to medicine and to finding ways to stop the suffering of others. He was only on day two of a three-week humanitarian mission to Pakistan to provide free healthcare to the needy when he was fatally shot a dozen times in the early morning of May 26, in front of his wife and two-year-old son—who watched in horror.
Like hundreds of other Ahmadi Muslims, Qamar was murdered only for his faith. He was murdered because he was an Ahmadi Muslim—a Muslim who believes in the Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian. It is for this belief alone that Ahmadi Muslims face intense persecution in nations like Pakistan.
And while some critics are quick to point to such murders as examples of alleged “Islamic” terrorism, few have the education or compassion to see the peaceful and patient response as examples of Islamic teaching. While such religious violence leads to both loss of life and additional fear of Muslims and Islam, ironically, therein lies the key to counter such loss and fear.
For Ahmadi Muslims, these death threats, and the days of most intense pain after a loved one is murdered, are the opportunity to reassert a campaign for humanity based on education and compassion. The extremists sending Ahmadi Muslims death threats are the same extremists killing Christians, spewing anti-Semitism and demanding theocratic rule. They are the ones promoting death for blasphemy laws, opposing female equity and equality and demanding suffocating restrictions on individual expression and thought. These are the ones hell-bent on a barbaric violent Jihad of the sword—a concept alien to Islam and human decency.