Four million people are discriminated against in a land of 180 million. The Second Amendment of the constitution is devoted to enshrining the legal basis to do so. The second; a religious ruling as constitutional law. It reads:
1- Short title and commencement.
(1) This Act may be called the CONSTITUTION (SECOND AMENDMENT) ACT, 1974
(2) It shall come into force at once.
2- Amendment of Article 106 of the Constitution.
In the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, hereinafter referred to as the Constitution in Article 106, in clause (3) after the words “communities” the words and brackets “and persons of Quadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves ‘Ahmadis’)” shall be inserted.
3- Amendment of Article 260 of the Constitution.
In the Constitution, in Article 260, after clause (2) the following new clause shall be added, namely–
(3) A person who does not believe in the absolute and unqualified finality of The Prophethood of MUHAMMAD (Peace be upon him), the last of the Prophets or claims to be a Prophet, in any sense of the word or of any description whatsoever, after MUHAMMAD (Peace be upon him), or recognizes such a claimant as a Prophet or religious reformer, is not a Muslim for the purposes of the Constitution or law.”
The consequence of this is the state has a religious test if you want to vote or have a passport:
Ahmadi Muslims are forced to make a decision if they choose to vote—either register as a non-Mus- lim or sign a document declaring the founder of their community, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, to be an apostate and a liar.161 In other words, members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community must either denounce their faith, denounce their Community’s Founder, or be forbidden from voting. The July-December 2010 UN International Religious Freedom Report on Pakistan explains:
“The government [of Pakistan] designated religious affili- ation on passports and requested religious information in national identity card applications. A citizen must have a national identity card to vote. Those wishing to be listed as Muslims must swear their belief that the Prophet Muhammad is the final prophet and denounce the Ahmadiyya movement’s founder [Mirza Ghulam Ahmad] as a false prophet and his followers as non-Mus- lims, a provision designed to discriminate against Ahmadis. As a result Ahmadis continued to boycott elections.” [Source]
The form you have to fill in for a passport:
The hypocrisy the Pakistan Government forces on its citzens, when it is a universal human right to choose your religion or none. That it is no business of government telling it’s citizens what to believe. That it is risible to demand public statements of faith. That it is an abomination to deny what is a citizen’s by birth alone. Not by bits of paper issued by theocratic bureaucrats.
For forty years Pakistan has played the charade of a modern nation state when it cannot even get this fundamental thing right. Far longer some may argue. So long, some friends are leaving you. While others I know lament the failure of their state, and the lie they must give to have the rights that are theirs by birth alone.
The reason I write this post is this Facebook post calling attention to this:
The Ahmadi rise up, not with protests or placards. Rather, they try to do so by their deeds. Whilst raising consciousness by articles, social media and books – the political process is staked against them as a means. They are four million in a land of 180 million that goes along with the discrimination the constitution allows in an Islamic country.
Imran Khan will not take up their cause. As he stated:
“PTI totally subscribes to the article in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on the Ahmadis. It is not part of the PTI agenda to seek amendment of the said article in the Constitution.”
There is no mass protest on the streets of Pakistan. There may never be. Even the Muslim Council of Britain cannot bring itself to condemn the sectarianism against them. The world has to give voice, it must tip it’s denouncement in the scales of justice.
The Ahmadi are denied access to shops, to vote, to travel. They are murdered in the light of day, and their murderers at liberty to sleep at night while their loved ones mourn crying out for justice beyond the new break of day. Many have claimed less of a reason for Londoner’s to take up arms with ISIS.
The Ahmadi instead take up alms. The sorrow continues, yet as more learn of the injustice inflicted based on religious fatwa, the fractured state that is Pakistan might be understood.
You may yet join the chorus demanding change. Nothing less than solidarity with the Ahmadi can be expected of the secular community, let alone humanity.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog