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The War Within Islam (05 Mar 2012 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Do I have the Right to Remain Ahmadi?

By Faheem Younus

March 1, 2012

In 1966, nearly 180 million people in the US received Miranda rights – the right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination.

Half a century later, a religious community in Pakistan, another country of nearly 180 million people, is facing a rather caustic version of the Miranda rights. They don’t have the right, but a duty, to remain silent.

The religious group is the Ahmadiyya community.

Two recent events frame the issue aptly. First, on January 29, 2012, clerics organized an anti-Ahmadiyya rally in Rawalpindi, attended by 5,000 Madrasa students, chanting threatening anti-Ahmadiyya slogans and demanding to take over a 17-year-old Ahmadiyya ‘place of worship’. Then on February 11, 2012, approximately 100 lawyers, from the Lahore Bar Association, rallied to ban Shezan drinks on court premises.

So while the clerics have the right to incite violence against Ahmadis, by publicly calling them ‘worthy of death’ and Madrasa students have the right to wall chalk phrases like, ‘hang them all’, schools have the right to expel Ahmadi students and lawyers have the right to ban Shezan - Ahmadis, on the other hand, have the right to remain silent!

Is it not true that the right to remain silent assumes a right to free speech in the first place? Something the Ahmadis have been long deprived of?

Unlike the Miranda rights, this ‘right’ to silence is by definition, self-incriminating. Try to voice your opinion as an Ahmadi and you may land in jail under section 295-B/C of Pakistan’s penal code offers pending a three year imprisonment simply for exercising your right to free speech. Try voicing dissent, and you may end up in a graveyard. Even after death, the mullah menace has the right to white wash Quranic verses like ‘God is gracious, ever merciful’ from an Ahmadi’s tombstones.

Consequently, hundreds and thousands of Pakistani Ahmadis, including myself, have tearfully migrated to other countries, but not without sustaining one final jab; the passport application.  It requires 97% of Pakistan’s Muslim population to complete a declaration stating that not only do they consider all Ahmadis as ‘non-Muslims’ but they also declare the founder of Ahmadiyya Community to be an ‘impostor’. While I have never met a Pakistani Muslim who refused to sign this absurd declaration, Ahmadis do scratch it out. Their passports are thus stamped with the word ‘Ahmadi’ and the plight of their right to remain silent continues.

For decades, the Ahmadi perspective was systematically hushed under the pretense of ‘sensitivity’. But organizations like Amnesty International are now calling it, ‘a real test of the authorities’. And 0nline newspapers and opinion pieces by courageous Pakistanis have started challenging the suffocating status quo.

For the Pakistani government, there is a way to be good again. Rein in the mullah, stop defining who is and who is not Muslim, and subject the medieval anti-Ahmadiyya laws to a modern paper shredder. Give Ahmadis the right to free speech before offering them the right to remain silent.

Finally, the Ahmadiyya diaspora is choosing to expose this oppression by speaking up. The mullahs and their proxy politicians will have to deal with the bitter truth.

Maybe a glass of Shezan could have helped to sweeten the bitterness. But then I guess that’s just too Ahmadi.

Source: The Tribune Express, Lahore

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam-and-sectarianism/faheem-younus/do-i-have-the-right-to-remain-ahmadi?/d/6787


  • The caption, ‘The spiritual Genocide of a Godly people – the case of Ahmadis in Pakistan’ as I gave it a final look sounded too harsh but your article reassures me that it was most befitting. The following extracts from this article referenced below may give you a notional consolation that there are Sunnis who are most disturbed at the plight and persecution of Ahmadis in Pakistan:
    “Redefining a Qur’anic fundamental notion to expel a sect from the pale of Islam is playing God on earth – evil, abominable and satanic” …. “tantamount to a spiritual genocide that only people with a satanic soul and schizophrenic mind can commit against fellow believers.”
    The article concludes as follows: “..to enact a law that effectively condemns each and every Ahmadi as a non-Muslim because of theological, interpretational or doctrinal differences is no less than a grand mockery of constitutional process - a spiritual carnage that is ultra-vires of law. The author may only say, that were ‘Allama Iqbal to come alive today, he may readily recall this poetic imagery of his epic poem, ‘taswire dard’: ‘zamin kiya asmaan bhi teri kajbini pe rota hai - ghathab hai satre Qur’an ko chalipa kar diya too nein’ [What to speak of this world, even the heavens cry at the crookedness of your vision – It is a curse that you have distorted the lines of the Qur’an.]

    By muhammad yunus - 3/5/2012 8:56:55 PM

  • The author says, "For the Pakistani government, there is a way to be good again. Rein in the mullah, stop defining who is and who is not Muslim, and subject the medieval anti-Ahmadiyya laws to a modern paper shredder. Give Ahmadis the right to free speech before offering them the right to remain silent."

    I fully agree.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/5/2012 1:15:34 PM

  • as far as pakistan or any of the fundamental islamic country is concerned nobody other than sect can survive. Others can survive outside the country is current affairs.
    By satwa gunam - 3/5/2012 8:26:41 AM

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