Yet another man has lost his life in the Land of the Pure because of his faith. Yet another family has been forced to go through the trauma no family deserves to experience. This man’s crime was that he was an Ahmadi.

We conveniently blame General Zia for bringing in religious extremism in our country. And while that is something he really is to be held accountable for, given his significant contributions to the blasphemy law, he cannot be entirely blamed for our treatment of religious minorities in present day. Bhutto, the champion of liberal values is also the man behind the conditions of the Ahmaddiya community at present for it was during his time that this community, which was already being persecuted at the time, was excommunicated from Islam according to the Constitution of Pakistan.

Pakistan is the only country that has declared Ahmadis as non-Muslims – something that was done in a very over-nightly manner. Members of the Ahmaddiya community were legally required to stop ‘behaving’ as Muslims. Their places of worship could no longer be called mosques. Acts such as reading the Quran became punishable offences for Ahmadis. Within no time, an entire community was shunned. These people became strangers in their own homeland, a minority where they were once part of the majority. It is ironic that Pakistan, having been created to protect a religious minority, became hell for another religious minority.

As if the excommunication wasn’t enough, the Ahmaddiya community has continued to be persecuted at every point in time. Their people have been killed, their places of worship destroyed. Sad as it is, members of this community aren’t even safe in death for their graves get desecrated.

We have labelled them as non-Muslims, our passports require us to declare that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was an impostor and his followers are non-Muslims. What more do we want? Haven’t we won? Why this continued bloodshed? Why this lack of empathy?

We are brutal, intolerant people who can raise our voices against things happening thousands of miles away in the West, but we dare not raise a voice about things happening at home. We will go to great lengths to criticize Islamophobia in the West but will never address our own treatment of religious minorities. No cleric will raise his voice against the killing of human beings. Wasn’t Islam the religion of peace? Where is the peace?

The truth is, in order to emphasize on the superiority of our beliefs over everyone else’s, we have become a nation of monsters who will go to any length to prove ourselves superior. We, as a nation, do not understand that God does not require all this killing and dying in its name. In the name of God, we simply continue fueling our egos by feeding them the blood of innocent people.