A special session held Saturday focused on countering ISIS with what participants said was the true message of Islam.
Hours before the discussions at the Baitul Hameed Mosque, gunmen in Pakistan murdered an Ahmadi Muslim days after a prominent Muslim leader said on a popular Pakistani television talk show that Ahmadis are “the enemy.”
“They are the ones blaspheming against the holy prophet,” Syed Arif Shah Owaisi said, according to this Reuters article. “All us Muslims should recognize that enemy.”
In 2008, the same TV show hosted scholars who called for the murder of Ahmadis. Within a day of that broadcast, two Ahmadis had been shot dead.
Some of those who attend Baitul Hameed fled their homelands to escape anti-Ahmadi persecution. I talked to several for a 2009 story I did about the mosque, including Dr. Gulzar Ahmad of Riverside, who told me how he left Pakistan with his family after a mob attacked his home in 1973.
Many Ahmadis in Pakistan have been killed and attacked, and their homes, mosques and businesses burnt down, according to Human Rights Watch. In 2010, 94 people died and more than 100 were injured in attacks on two Ahmadi mosques in Lahore. Often, the police either are complicit or stand by doing nothing as violence against Ahmadis is carried out. Ahmadis are banned from declaring their faith publicly in Pakistan, and every year, Ahmadis in Pakistan are arrested for blasphemy.
Ahmadis face persecution in other countries as well, including Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.
In Indonesia, 10 men and boys who beat three Ahmadis to death for their beliefs received sentences of only three to six months in jail, Amnesty International reports. The murders were part of an anti-Ahmadi rampage by 1,000 people. A policeman watched the murders of the three Ahmadis but did not intervene, Newsweek reported. The Ahmadi face official discrimination in Indonesia and are barred in parts of the country from publicly promoting their faith, Amnesty says… read more at pe.com