Source: The Nation
Sitara was a special kid from the start. Questioning everything around her, she was a difficult student to be satisfied. At the young age of 9, she passed her O Levels exams to become the youngest child in the world to achieve the feat.
In an ideal world, she would have been praised and supported by the government of Pakistan and civil society alike. But Sitara Brooj Akbar belongs to the Ahmadiyya community. She wouldn’t go out of her house unless surrounded by two armed guards.
She had to leave Pakistan due to the continuous threat to her life for being an Ahmadi. Hence, a brilliant student and a great human being was chased out of the country.
Sitara is not the only child, and her family is not the only one that had to leave the country. There are thousands of such families belonging to the Ahmadiyya sect who were either chased out or voluntarily chose to settle abroad due to depleting tolerance and growing hatred towards the community.
The contempt and loathing for Ahmadis in modern day Pakistan dates back to ’53 when violent protests erupted in Lahore against them. Led by famous religious scholars of that time, rioters demanded removal of Sir Zafarullah Khan – an Ahmadi foreign minister and a close associate of Jinnah – and the removal of Ahmadis from all top government posts, along with the formal excommunication of the community.
Their demands were finally met in 1974 when all religious parties combined and passed the 2nd amendment through National Assembly unanimously – declaring Ahmadis non-Muslims.
There was no stopping these parties after that. Zia added the misery of Ahmadis by promulgating Ordinance XX – under which Ahmadis were barred from using Islamic terms and titles, using Islamic texts for prayers, calling their worship place ‘Masjid’ or even greeting others in the Islamic way. Ahmadis today are the most persecuted religious minority of Pakistan.
Categories: Ahmadis And Pakistan