The Perils of Being Ahmadi in Pakistan

9: The Perils of Being Ahmadi in Pakistan

Knox Thames

The Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan is innovative, entrepreneurial, and peaceful. So why are they marginalized, routinely exposed to violence and arrest, and cut out of Pakistani society? Drawing from his time in the Obama and Trump administration State Department, Knox Thames tries to outline the institutional and societal persecution of the Ahmadiyya community in this essay. Ahmadis view themselves as within Islam and proclaim their Muslim identity as a critical part of their faith. Ahmadis consider their founder as another prophet, but one that did not replace Prophet Muhammed but instead presented a fresh revelation from God. Islamic schools of thought, however, have generally viewed Ahmadi theology as outside of Islam. Pakistan has gone further, by trying to eradicate Ahmadism and Ahmadis from the state entirely. Reforms are the logical solution but Pakistan needs more than simple reforms to undo decades of discrimination, marginalization, and persecution.

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