Despite the muted response in the mainstream media, there has been a lot of buzz in the Pakistani blogosphere after the Ahmadiyya religious community was attacked in Lahore around a week ago in which around 93 innocent lives were lost. Pakistani bloggers, netizens and activists have rejected the attacks in strong words.
Sana Saleem, on her blog Mystified Justice, expresses her grievance as follows:
I remain enraged that most of us refuse to recognise the attacks as a human rights issue, and, most importantly, as a violation of minority rights. And by ‘most of us,’ I am referring to those of us who are neither politicians, scholars, clerics, or media personnel. I have lived in Pakistan long enough not to expect the authorities to be sensitive towards the real issues of the people. But the public framing of Friday’s attacks is about the underlying hate, discrimination, and religious bigotry that has been suffocating us for years. This is about those of us who choose to use religion to justify inhumanity despite the gory images showing attacks on innocent civilians.
Journalist blogger Naveen Naqvi, writes on her personal blog that the response of the activist community is a ray of hope amidst the apathy that many have shown to the Ahmadi killings. She says:
One thinks there is hope yet. There is the activist community. A few members of Karachi’s civil society collected at the Press Club to agitate against the assault on the Ahmadis. They could only assemble for half an hour, and had to cut their protest short. Why? Because, reminiscent of a “Monty Python” skit, next in line was the anti-Israel protest. Of course, this was the real crowd-puller. They easily managed to nudge and jostle their way in. ‘Well, it’s our turn now, innit?’ The liberals, having been threatened by a bunch of murderous thugs just a week before over the Facebook fiasco, complied and withdrew.
Adil Najam and Owais Mughal at the Pakistaniat blog express their outrage in the following words:
There can be nothing but rage and loathing for those who kill for the pleasure of killing. Who kill for the purpose of spreading terror and mayhem. Who kill to hide their own inadequacies of faith. Who breed in the fires of hate and kill as an expression of hate.
The Ahmadiyya religious community is facing challenges of existence around the world and especially in Pakistan after they were declared a non-Muslim minority by the elected Parliament of Pakistan back in 1974. Though many people believe that the State does not have authority to interfere in the religious affairs of the citizens, the religious clerics breathed a sigh of relief after this constitutional declaration of terming the Ahmadi sect as a non-Muslim minority. You can read more about the general attitude towards the Ahmadiyya faith on my blog Guppu.com, where I wrote:
Most will tell you how blasphemous this community is! They would even tell you the things that you might have never heard. And when you ask their source of information, they will tell you that they heard this from some so called “Aashiq-e-Rasool” maulana saab. I’d like to quote here my encounter with a bully kind of guy who started shouting that Ahmadies are worse then Hindus and they deserve to be persecuted.
(However) I believe killing someone on religious grounds is NOT justified in any case! And if you believe you are the accurate and true Muslims and Ahmadies are not, then instead of killing them, why don't we invite them to what we call the true Islam? What are we afraid of?