By Shahina Bashir
Just five days after a Pakistani televangelist, Aamir Liaquat Hussein hosted his “Subah Pakistan” program on GEO TV, a 27 year old man, Luqman Ahad Shehzad, belonging to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was shot dead in Gujranwala, Pakistan on December 27. On his show, which was broadcast on December 22, 2014, his guest, a supposed religious scholar, boldly asserted that the“Ahmadi Muslims and Jews are the enemies of Pakistan” [and] “the culprits behind the Peshawar Attack.” This demonstrably false language promotes national and international anti-Ahmadi hatred and anti-Semitism. The program additionally alleged that Ahmadi Muslims are the “common enemy of all sects of Islam” and are “enemies of Pakistan responsible for various terrorism plots against Pakistanis.” The cleric went on to accuse the Ahmadi Muslims of blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be on him).
The most recent killing of the young Ahmadi Muslim man is not the first time that a murder took place as a result of incitement of hate publicly endorsed on a television network. In 2008, the same hate preacher, Hussein, allowed a guest (a cleric) on his show, to openly claim that the Ahmadi Muslims are “Wajibul Qatl”, that is, “it is obligatory to kill [Ahmadis]”. Soon after the program was broadcast, extremists in Pakistan confessed to murdering two prominent Ahmadi Muslim leaders in response to the demand made on Hussein’s talk show.