NOTE : Militants who attacked Ahmadi worship places in Lahore, killing 80 people, belonged to the Pakistani Taliban and were trained in a lawless border region where the US wants Islamabad to mount an army operation, police said Saturday.
ISLAMABAD : Friday’s terror attacks targeting two mosques run by the minority Ahmadiyya community show that Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s Pakistan has become an intolerant nation where religious and sectarian minorities live in fear, remain vulnerable, and are provided no protection by the state.
This mindset is not limited to the Taliban, who kill in the name of religion. There is no shortage in Pakistan of sectarian and militant outfits that feel justified in murdering Ahmadiyyas, Shias, Christians and Hindus — or anyone who doesn’t share their views.
Most of these Sunni Deobandi organisations have their genesis in the Zia-ul-Haq era, a dark chapter in the country’s history which is responsible for rending our social fabric and fanning the flames of intolerance.
The Ahmadiyyas are a Muslim sect which was founded in Qadian, Punjab, in the 19th century. Its founder was Mirza Ghirlam Ahmad, a Muslim, who claimed prophetic status as the Mahdi or Messiah, in succession to Krishna, Jesus Christ, and Mohammed.
The Ahmadiyyas accept four of the five basic principles of Islam: prayer five times a day, the Ramadan fast, the pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj) and alms-giving.
They do not accept the fifth principle, of jihad or holy war against non-believers.
Many Muslims regard the Ahmadiyyas as heretics. Today, Ahmadiyyas are all over the world.
Anti-Ahmadiyya sentiment in Pakistan had first erupted prominently in riots in Lahore and other cities in 1953.