We have a problem, rather, a preoccupation with power. It is human nature to want and crave it, but the ways we get it and keep it are usually inhumane. The simplest, most base feeling of power is that of physical might. The ability to defeat one's foes in combat.
Imagine being persecuted by law for practicing your faith in schools, offices and public spaces. My former student told me that his office colleagues had stopped having lunch with him when they found out about his Ahmadi beliefs. Such social ostracism only throws a minority community into the closet.
This persecution has personally affected me and continues to cause me great pain, grief and sorrow. I'd like to fall in love with Pakistan again, but something holds me back. It seems to be fear of continuing to lose those that I love most. And so, I have to ask, O Pakistan, when will you stop?
Quebec blogger: "They were not in a mosque!"
Micro-aggression against Ahmadis persists across Muslim communities in the West. This includes opposition to Ahmadis in interfaith gatherings as Muslims, sidelining them during Islam Awareness Weeks on campuses and telling colleagues in interfaith circles that, "Ahmadis are not Muslims."
Recently, a top cleric in Saudi Arabia branded Iranians as non-Muslims, referring to them as "sons of the Magi." Such takfir
If our social media profiles can tint in support of Paris, Belgium, and Orlando, then why not change for Turkey, Bangladesh, and Iraq? Innocent lives taken in Turkey airport, and no vigils, or landmarks, but when an attack of similar degree took place in Brussels we did all of the above. I'm often asked why Muslims don't speak out enough, but perhaps this is something we all need to work on.
Blaming Islam for terrorism is silly as the texts are silent and it is Muslims who speak. This however still does not absolve Muslims of responsibility for internal change to stop those on the cusp of joining terrorists. This means challenging popular speakers who support medieval sharia laws, Caliphates and draconian punishments under Islamic law.
Is it too much to ask in the 21st century to self-identify based on the beliefs you hold so dearly? After all, who has the right to tell me who I am and who I'm not? Apparently the Pakistani government does, who have declared the Ahmadiyya community "infidel" and non-Muslim since the infamous ruling in 1974.
Many Pakistani Muslims are taught that Ahmadis are kafirs (disbelievers) for they do not believe in the finality of Prophethood. Ahmadis argue that their promised Messiah and Reformer confirmed the seal of Muhammad (upon whom be peace). It is this doctrinal difference that has stoked immense persecution of the Ahmadis of Pakistan.