Minor(ity) Issues

This post is for those Pakistanis who squirm just a little bit when they sign that statement on their passport forms, for those who felt even mildly saddened on May 28, 2010, for those who know an Ahmadi and on that day had the minimum of decency to ask him/her if any of their family or friends were harmed, for those that on that day felt may be a tinge of guilt, for those who thought about, even for a fleeting moment, about whether and how  their own views may have something to do with the massacre, for those who could hold in tension, however briefly, their own complicity with that moment of empathy when they imagined how they would have felt if their loved ones would have been at that mosque, and for those who have experienced some sort of marginalization and on that day found some humanity to show solidarity with Ahmadis, and may be, just may be, were able to see a drop of blood on their hands.

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At the time the attack took place, we were in the middle of our prayers…Two armed men sadistically gunned down 93 people in our mosque. There were dead bodies everywhere. … It took us four days to bury our martyrs at Rabwa. We began at dawn after Fajr and continued till Maghrib.

“Seventeen-year old Waqar lost his father during the May 28th attacks. He now faces persecution on a regular basis at his college and from the general public for being an Ahmadi. The imam of the village has also declared him wajib-ul-qatl. “I was preparing for my intermediate examinations when this barbaric attack took place,” Waqar told us.” (“A Question of Faith: A Report on the Status of Religious Minorities in Pakistan”)

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The perpetrators removed and broke the tombstones of graves. They also told the caretakers that they were not supposed to write the Kalima or Bismillah on the tombstones because, “Ahmadis are infidels.”

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“Maulana [Fazlur Rehman] thought I would declare Ahmadis Muslims but Imran Khan is not a munafiq (hypocrite)”

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Have you noticed how Khan’s statement goes unnoticed and gets brushed aside by good people, even those who interact with Ahmadis like a decent human being ought to? The euphoria of elections and the romance of the Great Khan rumbles on. That’s how numerical minorities are made into political minorities as issues of horrific violence become ‘minority issues’ and thus minor issues. Their time will come, it is said. First, bigger issues, like corruption, need to be tackled. Until issues of majoritarian violence on minorities are actively and relentlessly pushed to the table of high politics from below, their time won’t come. The majority is vested in making sure that it does not.

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