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Home Media Reports 2010 Editorial
News on Sunday, Pakistan
June 06, 2010

The contrary view has been heard so loud and clear, perhaps, for the first time in the last three decades. It took about 100 odd brutal killings of Ahmadis in Lahore that allowed this to happen. But will it change things? Perhaps, when the contrary view becomes louder still.

It is ironic how we in the media who kept silent each time the Ahmadis were persecuted and discriminated against – which they are on a regular basis – have finally found the courage to acknowledge the persecution and the discrimination. And that’s not where the irony ends. It started when within the first hour, the breaking news about the attack on Ahmadi ‘mosques’ changed to their “places of worship”. It continued when the law enforcers saw the hands of RAW in the attack which could not have been conducted by a Muslim. Nor was the irony lost when the attack was seen as a way to sabotage the country’s right to celebrate its nuclear status on the Yaum-e-Takbeer or how there were no spontaneous crowds against the Lahore attacks the way there were on Facebook issue and the Israeli attack on the aid carrying ship.

Were people scared to come out and speak up? Alongside the reaction and the outcry on the media came whispers about whether it was right to say funeral prayers for the non-Muslim Ahmadis. Once again people affirmed their faith by finding fault with others.

The two reactions set the ball rolling. It has indeed been a history of prejudice but how and why did we come to this point. What were the political compulsions that changed the secular moorings of the state to religious ones? Why did we find it so easy to sign this declaration every time we filled out a form to register for an identity card or a passport that we are not ahmadis? Why couldn’t we have stood up and protested? Why did we allow the state to exercise the right to declare a group of people non-Muslims? Is that why the state still finds itself unable to protect them?

It is ironic how the brutal killing of a hundred citizens of this country has forced us to ask these questions now. It is ironic why we did not raise them in the last thirty six years.

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