Source: Huffington Post
I took this picture last month in Lahore, Pakistan. I knew of this place, I knew what happened there on May 28, 2010. But actually standing before it and seeing the undeniable reality of it sucked the life out of me for a few seconds. This is a place of worship; five times a day people come here to perform Salaat- the Muslim prayer- behind an Imam. Just like any mosque in Pakistan. But this place is not called a mosque. It goes by the name of “Darul Zikr” which means “The abode of the remembrance of God”.
Bear with me, I will return to Darul Zikr.
Pakistan, 1953: Ahmadis are a salient facet of Pakistani society. They have the highest literacy rate of any community, are prominent in the civil service and excel as teachers, scientists and Military Officers. The Foreign Minister of Pakistan is Sir Zafarullah Khan, an Ahmadi who drafted the Pakistan resolution-the famous 1940 declaration by the All India Muslim League calling for the creation of a Muslim State.
Not all, however, are pleased with the accomplishments of the Ahmadiyya.
Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum.
The Mullah strokes his beard thoughtfully.
The rise of the educated Ahmadis who profess a pluralistic, peaceful version of Islam is problematic. The power of the Mullah rests on getting people riled up, ready to give their lives for their faith. A version of faith adapted to require Mullahs as sentinels of the “correct” form of Islam is preferable. For then, when people are ready to die for Islam, they are ready to die for the Mullah.
The Mullah writes a book, sort of a Pakistani “Mein Kampf”. The Ahmadis are a problem; they are perverting the faith and are more loyal to the British than to non-Ahmadi Muslims. They consider all non-Ahmadi Muslims heretics. They have social and political ambitions that will do no less than destroy the practice of true Islam in Pakistan. The only solution to all this is excommunicating them from Islam.
The Mullah gathers a cabal of demagogues who demand the Government declare Ahmadis non-Muslims and remove all Ahmadis including Sir Zafarullah Khan from important government posts. The Government refuses and the Mullah tells his followers to take to the streets. Hundreds of Ahmadis are killed and shops, houses and places of worship burnt to the ground. The Mullah is arrested and sentenced to death. Two months later this is changed to a life-sentence. Two years later the Mullah is pardoned-despite his never requesting a pardon or accepting any wrongdoing. His adoring followers see this is a vindication and his popularity grows like never before.
The Mullah bides his time.
Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum.
Pakistan, 1974: On the pretext of an attack on members of the Mullah’s political party in Rabwah (the headquarters of the Ahmadis) the Mullah launches street protests again. The demand remains the same-declare Ahmadis non-Muslims. The Government offers little resistance and the houses of Parliament pass the bill that makes the Second Amendment part of the constitution of Pakistan. The Mullah has triumphed, Ahmadis have been declared non-Muslims.
Categories: Ahmadis And Pakistan