Letter of the Day: A comparison of two tragedies

Letter to the editor from Hammad Sharif

Recently, I read the story about how one Saskatonian just missed being a possible victim of the Christchurch incident due to running late for prayers. It refreshed bitter memories of May 28, 2010 when 94 innocent Ahmadis gathered for prayers were martyred by militants. I was in Pakistan and also missed the prayer due to traffic congestion.

I can see many similarities between both events as they were against a minority. But the fundamental difference between both events that I have noticed is the state and citizens’ response which distinguish the Christchurch NZ from the Lahore PK tragedy. After the Christchurch tragedy, Muslims in New Zealand were overwhelmed by the heart-touching response both by government officials and the majority population of the country.

But the situation for Ahmadi Muslims after May 28 was quite opposite to what Muslims of New Zealand experienced after March 15. For many Ahmadis in Pakistan, instead of feeling safe and protected by the state and majority population, life was full of fear and vulnerability.

Out of the fear of anti-Ahmadi groups, state and civil society clearly showed their ignorance and visible reluctance to condemn the incident vocally because, according to the state supported extremists, Ahmadi Muslims are “liable to be killed.”

I am very pleased to say that the prime minister of New Zealand and her team have done an amazing job to bring the nation together after March 15; I am also hoping that things will take a positive turn in Pakistan too and persecution of minorities will come to an end.

Hammad Sharif



Letter of the Day: A comparison of two tragedies

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