Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born on the 12 of Rabi ul Awal. The Prophet is known for being Rahmat ul il Alamin, but it’s heart breaking to see majority of Muslims understand him to be Rahmat ul il Muslimeen.
On Monday, over a 1,000 ‘true’ Muslims, ‘celebrating 12 Rabi ul Awwal’, attacked an Ahmadiya place of worship in Chakwal with sticks and stones. Some even fired bullets resulting in injuring a couple of people and the death of at least one person.
According to the extremist group, the place of worship was a mosque which was taken over by Ahmadis in 1868, and they demanded it to be returned to them. If it was not given back to them, they said, they would take action themselves.
This is the usual tactic of harassing this minority community, who had lodged a complaint with the police about the threat they were receiving. But like all previous occasions, this threat was ignored by the law enforcement agencies.
The police was called in, but failed to tackle the issue which resulted in the Army being called. On social media the Punjab Government tweeted that they are looking into this issue; but is this not something that they often say after attacks – especially in the case of Ahmadis.
This country takes one step forward and then ten steps backwards. About a week ago PM Nawaz Sharif had ordered to rename the National Center of Physics at the Quaid e Azam University as Dr Abdus Salam Centre for Physics. The reaction which we all got to witness was as if the PM had stepped on every Anti-Ahmadi bigot’s tail. Not only was Ansar Abbasi whining, but the Council of Islamic Ideology could not stop themselves from having their say too. On the same day, Counter Terrorism Department had raided the International Headquarters of Ahmadis at Rabwah and arrested people for publishing literature.
While addressing the International Seerat Conference on 12 Rabi ul Awal, the PM asked religious scholars to help in eliminating extremism. The question here arises is whether this is possible with all the religious divisions we have in Pakistan. Does he not know what we get to hear in Muharam against Shias, on Christmas against Christians, on Diwali against Hindus? And as far as the Ahmadis are concerned, we know how the mainstream religious scholars preach hate against every religion or sect apart from their own. Let’s not forget those who have a soft corner for Taliban and ISIS. So who exactly is the PM asking for help?
Throughout Eid Milad-un-Nabi I came across various opinions about how not to celebrate – no cake cutting, no milads, etc. But hardly anyone condemned the attack on Ahmadis. Why?
When Charlie Hebdo made caricatures of the Holy Prophet, everyone was offended. When Babari mosque was demolished in India, Muslims reacted spitefully. When Terry Jones had planned to burn the Quran, Muslims were hurt. But does anyone realize how others feel when Muslims damage place of worship of other religions?
Why are we selective in condemning events? Why is our belief sacred but others are treated as if they are children of a lesser God? If God was biased he would not be giving food to non-Muslims. Every person irrespective of his belief is provided with food. Same is in the case with prayers. Then who are we to belittle others?
Our Prophet (PBUH) is known for his love and compassion towards everyone, irrespective of what the other person said or believed. Then who are we to take things in our hands in his name?
We have become intolerant as a nation. Those who do not follow the mainstream of thought are pushed into a corner. As a whole our society is slowly suffocating everyone. No one is allowed to express his feelings and thoughts. Everyone fears for their life now.
An Ahmadi acquaintance said, “Then people question us why we leave Pakistan.” I know a number of people who are living abroad only for the reason that their lives were under threat.
How would you feel if you had to leave your house like this? Why are we making people’s lives miserable in Pakistan? Those who go abroad on their own choice get homesick after few months, but just imagine if you could not return to your country, because your life was under threat?
NAP was made to end terrorism and extremism but it has failed terribly. Pakistan has been burning in this fire of hate for ages now.
It’s time the state, and we as a nation, realize that every person living in Pakistan should have a right to practice their own religion and the state should have nothing to do with it. It's time mistakes of the past were rectified and people allowed to live peacefully otherwise whatever is left of Pakistan would fade away too.