Thank you, Hamza Ali Abbasi, for supporting my right to be Ahmadi Pakistani actor, Hamza Ali Abbasi, is always in the headlines for one reason or another. Recently, I wrote an article criticising his comments that apparently belittled Pakistan’s minorities. However, this time I am writing to congratulate him on supporting Pakistan’s minority Muslim communities – or at least those that self-identify as such.

In a post on Facebook this weekend, Mr Abbasi said,

He later replaced Shias with “any other group” when he came under fire for lumping them with the Ahmadis. His core message remained the same though.

Mr Abbasi stated that judging someone’s faith – whether they were Muslim or not, and how ‘true’ of a Muslim they were – was a prerogative of God alone. Human beings must not judge others, or at least not punish and hurt others based on their own judgment.

This is a very simple concept. But in Pakistan, where narrow-minded intolerant religious scholars still yield control of religion, it is taboo to state such simple things. Where, instead of God, ‘wrong numbers’ have hijacked His role and become judge and jury in matters of faith.

And common Pakistanis have fed on this intolerance for far too long. According to a recent PEW survey, for instance, 66% of Pakistanis said they consider Ahmadis to be non-Muslim and 37% considered Shias outside the fold of Islam. Most Pakistanis I meet, including most of my fellow doctor colleagues from medical school, justify and defend the anti-Ahmadi laws.

It is this right-wing majority of Pakistan that Mr Abbasi was trying to educate. If they really do believe Ahmadis or another Muslim community were non-Muslim, they must leave the matter to God, who would decide between men on the Day of Judgment. They did not have to resort to legislation and punishments.

No one has the right to hurt anyone or take away their rights based on differences of faith. Everyone must be treated equally as citizens of the State.


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