Raw Deal For Ahmadiyas
So the government is showing its true colours. It now sheds the pretences it once used to have to demonstrate where lies its sympathy and how it wants to advance the anti-Liberation and communal causes. The ban on all Ahmadyia publications in the country comes as a shock and dismay to people believing in mans human and religious rights and also in the spirit of secularism. So far a few religious fundamentalist groups aligned with the ruling coalition have been demanding that the Ahmadiya sect be declared non-Muslims. That the community was guilty of wrongly interpreting the holy Quran and Islam was hardly an issue.
All on a sudden the government takes the decision to impose a ban on all their publications, according to its own version, for maintaining peace in society. What a lame excuse! The government fears disturbance. Pray, from whom? Certainly not from the Ahmadiyas. They are not the aggressors, rather they need protection from the zealots who have attacked their mosques and property a number of times only recently. Accepted that they have no right to wrongly translate the holy Quran. Without going into the theological debate, we would like to point out that rendering translation in different languages at times misses the original meaning. It happens in case of literature, more so in poetry. And who does not know that the Quran is a superb form of poetry?
The fundamental issue here is if the Ahmadyias are misinterpreting the holy book deliberately and undermining it. Then there is no justification for banning all their publications. If they have a few differences with the majority Muslims on certain religious questions, it is none of their fault. It is because God has wanted them to be so. There are other sectarian divides among the Muslimsthe chief of them being the Shiite and Sunni. Should the two be at each others throat because they do not fully conform to each others beliefs? Is this not taking ones religious liberty and restricting the others too far? Why cannot leave the Ahmadiyas alone? If they have a belief that does not conform to the one the majority give credence to, this should not give one sleepless nights. The important thing is to perform religious rites and duties as perfectly as possible according to ones own knowledge and belief. There can be no question of imposition. Of course, there is room for persuasion, piety and helping one to get corrected.
The government has played in the hands of the fundamentalists who will now feel encouraged to drive the Ahamadiyas out of the country. A number of constitutional experts have raised their voice, terming the move a violation of the sects constitutional rights. If a religious community of a mere one lakh strength can be subjected to such religious persecution, the scenario is not hard to contemplate where the whole community will be made personae non grata. Then it is not hard to imagine what follows next. If one community is got rid of thus, what treatment can people of other beliefs can expect? Are they not infidels in the eyes of these agents of Islam? As a religion of peace Islam firmly favours the defence of other beliefs as well. The government is mixing religion with constitutional governancea thing it must not do. Its constitutional obligation must not be overtaken by religious consideration. If such concessions are allowed, it will see no end to demands posing a grave threat to the countrys basic character and even existence.