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By Special to the National Post June 1, 2010 — 7:08 am
By Ali Zafar
It began with an early morning phone call from Dubai on Friday. I was still in bed. My sister had called informing my dad that enraged Islamic terrorists had broken into two Ahmadiyya Muslim mosques in Lahore, Pakistan, during prayers. I thought I was dreaming. A few moments later, I could hear my dad sobbing, something he rarely does.
I knew then it wasn’t a dream.
It turned out that over 90 Ahmadis were either bombed to death or shot in a rain of bullets during Friday prayers in the Dar-ul-Zakir and Bait-ul-Noor mosques — the same mosques I visited in 2007 while writing a story on the persecution of Ahmadis. Except that now the mosque floors were stained with the blood of prayer-goers, the walls riddled with bullets shot by men who felt they were doing God’s work.
The past couple of days, my parents have been frantically calling family in Lahore — each time receiving news that a friend or family member who we thought was alive is dead.
All of this because Ahmadis believe Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who founded the movement in 1889, was the messiah foretold by Muhammad, the prophet of Islam — a belief that has made Ahmadis non-Muslims under the laws of Pakistan and infidels in the eyes of many Muslims.
But with a motto that reads, “Love for all, hatred for none,” you won’t find anyone from the sect retaliating, raising AK-47s in armed jihad, as the case was with the Sunni attackers.
There is one thing I’m waiting for, and that is to hear any Muslim sheik or imam in North America or the larger Muslim world openly condemn these attacks and denounce the “heretic” status of Ahmadis.
I doubt I’ll hear much.
Through the spread of hateful sermonizing — some of which I’ve heard myself in Pakistani, Saudi and, yes, even Canadian mosques — many self-professed leaders of Islam ask the faithful to rid the world of kafirs or non-believers.
It’s these Sunni sheikhs and Wahhabi scholars — with their blinkered, intolerant view of who is and who is not a Muslim — who have made the lives of Ahmadis (and other minority sects) a living hell not only in Pakistan, but across the entire Muslim world. And it’s a sentiment that receives indirect doctrinal support from Muslim organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Islamic Circle of North America.
After all, these organizations continue to hold the view that Ahmadis are non-Muslims, the same belief held by the Pakistani Taliban who murdered my friends and family members. If that’s not enough, so-called moderate Islamic organizations continue to sympathize with extremist Islamic political parties such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-e-Islami.
So far, such groups have remained mute on the Ahmadiyya mosque attacks — a lull that reeks of hypocrisy as these same organizations scream Islamophobia louder than banshees over the treatment of imprisoned Islamic terrorists or the banning of the face veil.