Pakistan’s Tragic Irony: Bigotry Against Ahmadis In Full Swing On Manto’s Birthday
A fresh wave of hate speech against the Ahmadi minority community is underway on Pakistan’s social media following the controversy about their inclusion in the National Commission for Minorities. It all started when a report suggested that the idea to give the Ahmadis representation in the Commission was floated during a meeting of the federal cabinet. But the news was subsequently denied by Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri who said that anyone who sympathises with the Ahmadis cannot be loyal to Pakistan and Islam. The government’s denial came after criticism and hatred campaign inciting violence against Ahmadis from the religious right on mainstream and social media platforms.
On Pakistan Twitter, several hateful hashtags against the community are being used. On Monday, two of the top trends on Twitter were spewing venom against Ahmadis. What is ironic is that this campaign was being run in full swing on the birth anniversary of Saadat Hasan Manto. #Manto was trending alongside the hateful trends against the Ahmadi community.
It is on days like these that we realise that all the great literature in the world might be unable to defeat religious fanaticism. Manto, one of the most prolific writers of Urdu literature wrote about injustice and faith-based hatred and opposed extremism that fanatics from every religion engage in. If Manto were alive today, he would have certainly written about the hateful rhetoric that is peddled by our religious and political leaders against Ahmadis.
— Sanjukta Paul (@sanjuktaslays) May 11, 2020
Posted by Orientistan on instagram May 11, 2020 ( Birth anniversary of Saadat Hassan Manto ) pic.twitter.com/2rCBnUH8hD
— Najfee Hyder (@Najfeehyder) May 11, 2020
If Manto was alive in a time like this, he might be writing for the rights of the minority community, as he raised his voice for every misrepresented part of the society.
I’m not an Ahmadi, but I see you.
I’m not an Ahmadi, but I hear you.
I’m not an Ahmadi, but I see the injustice & abuse that you face daily.
I’m not an Ahmadi, but I see you fear for your lives.
I’m not an Ahmadi, but I will stand against your persecution
*humanity above all
— Sabeen Ahmad (@Sabeenahmad1) May 11, 2020