In-depth: How Pakistanis celebrated destruction of an Ahmadi worship place

In-depth: How Pakistanis celebrated destruction of an Ahmadi worship place
Aftermath of every anti-Ahmadi incident no one talks about. From abuses towards Ahmadis to death threats, everything flies on Internet.

A mob led by right-wing Muslim clerics tore down the dome and minarets of a 100-year old Pakistani worship place belonging to the marginalized Ahmadi community in Sialkot.

In a video after incident, PTI (mainstream political party led by Imran khan) leader Hamid Raza expressed his gratitude to the local Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA), DPO Sialkot and the Deputy Commissioner for supporting the mob’s violent activity. Moreover, he threatened in the video to reduce the city to ‘ashes’ if anyone lodges a First Information Report (FIR) against any member of the mob.

Internet media covered the incident and as the ‘Ahmadi’ word started to pop up on social media trends, many came to the defense of culprits. With commendable comments for the wrongdoers, abuses for the victims, more prejudices against Ahmadis to further death threats —everything was on the board.

Starting from Dr Muhammad Ashraf Asif (Leader of Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah), a political party registered in election commission of Pakistan to take part in the upcoming elections of Pakistan in 2018, applauded and approved the destruction of the worship place by his likeminded followers.

Even being outside from Pakistan couldn’t hold him back from supporting the rogue elements.

A user who cites himself as a ‘defender of Pakistan’ informed people who were raising their concerns about the particular incident that

“According to the Law of Pakistan Ahmadis aren’t Muslims and are prohibited to refer their worship place as a Mosque, call to prayer, preach religious ideas”

Unfortunately, this is true. Pakistani Ahmadis could actually face jail time on referring to themselves as Muslims, or performing Islamic rituals etc. This was pinned into Law over four decades ago.

Many Ahmadis were jailed and prosecuted by the state of Pakistan and some were even sentenced to death only because of their religious adherence.

Another twitter user asked “What’s the fuss here”? She mentioned the infamous second amendment to the constitution of Pakistan in which Ahmadis were officially declared ‘infidels’ by the state, proving that Anti-Ahmadi Laws in Pakistan aid this kind of behavior. She justified ransacking of the worship place after a local court ordered to demolish it.

As many were justifying the razing of an Ahmadi worship place, this user named himself in his tweet and took an oath that;

“No one is worthy of worship but Allah, and Muhammad (sa) is his Last messenger. I fully respect other religions however, I do consider Qadianis [pejorative term for ahmadis] as worthy of death.” (Hashtag: curse on Qadianis)

Every Anti-Ahmadi incident provides these people a valid reason to curse and threaten an already marginalized and persecuted community. What’s clear to them is there will be no consequences at all.

“The museum (referring to the worship place) of ‘Qadiani Blasphemers’ near to Allama iqbal house is being destroyed. Long live the crown of Last prophetood” This user said.

ProbablyAllama iqbal is the only philosopher every common Pakistani knows. He was well ahead in his Anti-Ahmadi rhetoric. Almost every right wing clergyman quotes his poetry defending their vile views.

Another user named ‘Long live ISI’ abused the founder of Ahmadiyya movement and hailed the incident. Remember, these are the same people who defend killings of other people who blaspheme against noble personalities of their religion.

Mr Hamza payed his tribute to the people of Sialkot on demolishing the worship place.

*The word he has used for the worship place can’t be even translated because of its nasty meaning.*

Another user with the name of Ahmad (one of the name of Prophet Muhammad) congratulating his fellow Pakistanis. Openly and proudly expressing that Ahmadis “don’t have any rights to live in Pakistan”

Moving on to Facebook – a more common social media platform in Pakistan — things are as much nauseating as on twitter. People collecting tons of likes on commenting prejudices, abuses and death threats to Ahmadis is a standard followed by many. Both platforms are working as a killing machine for minorities in Pakistan.

A Facebook user Abdul Manan vows to play football with the heads of Qadianis [Ahmadis] under a post. He threatened Ahmadis to move out from Pakistan otherwise they will face severe consequences, resulting in their death.

How are these people any different from terrorists? Filled with hatred and rage up to their mouths, they have every potential of harming their fellow citizens.

BBC Urdu reported the incident on its facebook page. Many were outraged — not on the fact that a worship place had been destroyed by some fanatics, but on why BBC reported it.

After all, as it was shared, Pakistanis who are drunk in Anti-Ahmadi Hatred had to respond to it. Here’s how they responded:

“I’m proud on those who have made this mosque to pieces” Mubashir Ali said. Hundreds poured Likes and Love reactions on his comment.

Another Facebook user Khan reminds of Pakistan’s 295-C penal code which can cause Ahmadis to face death penalty. Dozens reacted with admiration on his comment.

Bol Platoon, a Pakistani secular Facebook page, posted commentary on the incident. Again, Pakistanis came for the rescue of perpetrators and justified apartheid of the Ahmadis.

In the comment section, according to this gentleman, Ahmadis claiming their worship place as a ‘mosque’ is reason enough to demolish it.

And here it’s quite obvious that Pakistanis hate Ahmadis irrespective of gender.

“Ahmadis aren’t a minority. They are traitors of religion. They must be treated this way” Hira added.

What’s noteworthy here is that she had a pic of Jerusalem mosque on her profile. Far away, she’s concerned about Palestinian plight (rightly so) but she’s supporting an apartheid in her own country. Irony!

Another Pakistani internet media agency ‘The Centrum Media’ reported the incident on its Facebook page. And Pakistanis were having none of this.

Ahmad prayed for the “destruction” of Ahmadis and the criminals were hailed again by their fellow citizens.

If you are wondering when is it okay to kill Ahmadis, Hannan explained when it is.

“As long as they [Ahmadis] refers themselves as Muslims this should carry on ….As long as they [Ahmadis] are damaging the name of Islam, the order is to kill them”

And of course, yet again, likes and reactions dropped on his comment by dozens.

Mr Afridi took things to a whole new level. He simply put an end to the ‘mosque or not a mosque' debate and called for “no place of worship for Ahmadis in Pakistan”

Everything you have just witnessed is just a tip of an iceberg. With only few hours of scrolling I’ve been able to spot hundreds of Anti-Ahmadi remarks. And keep in mind, all of this is only linked to the latest incident. What are the security agencies of Pakistan doing? If a common person like me can find these vile and distressing ideas, why can’t they? Are they even serious to protect Pakistani Ahmadis? God knows.

And if still that ‘these people don’t represent whole nation’ bugs your mind, let me remind you that Pakistan’s apartheid-like oppression of Ahmadis is not the work of ‘a small group of fanatics’.

Anti-Ahmadi hatred has strong roots in Pakistan’s Government departments, Judiciary, Military and much more. It is enshrined in Pakistan’s constitution, enacted through punitive laws, pandered to by most political parties and enforced by state functionaries & Islamists with popular social sanction.

And lastly, you must be skeptical about how Ahmadis have reacted after the incident? Of course they have — in the most graceful way possible. They prayed at the same place that was destroyed in the morning.

The author is a student, reader, learner and an occasional writer.