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On May 24, 2018 a violent mob of over 500 hate-filled extremists attacked and demolished a Mosque in the City of Sialkot in Pakistan. The Mosque belonged to the minority Ahmadi community.
Ahmadis make a tiny minority of the Muslim-majority Pakistan and are often targeted by Sunni militants who consider them heretics.
Pakistan declared Ahmadis non-Muslims in 1974, and since then, the hate by the religious extremists has only grown with time. Former president General Zia-ul-Haq had made it a punishable offence for Ahmadis to call themselves Muslims or to refer to their faith as Islam.
The community is also banned from preaching as well as from travelling to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage. They are also not allowed to publish any material propagating their faith.
This violent act of destruction took place in the month of Ramadan in which fighting and violence are forbidden. Yet the hate-filled Sunni extremists who perpetrated this horrendous act disregarded an important tenet of their own faith. Reports say that local police and Municipal authorities were present at this attack but did not take any action against the violent mob.
The attackers argued that the Ahmadis cannot have a minaret on their Mosques which is why they destroyed it. Ironically these Muslim extremists do not know their own history. A minaret is not an essential part of a Mosque and was only added to the structure by the Omayyad’s.
The founder of Pakistan Mohammad Jinnah had declared at the inception of the country, that minorities would have full rights. Today we see that minorities are at risk of their lives.
I hope that all Pakistanis will come out on the streets and strongly condemn this appalling act of hate and violence in the name of the faith they profess to follow.