Recently, there is a report of one Mr Rana Tanveer, a Pakistani journalist, who has been receiving death threats from extremists in Pakistan for writing about Ahmadi events. Rana Tanveer is a journalist who understands his social responsibility to the society and the need to report newsworthy events to keep the society abreast of happenings and events. But the anti-Ahmadi stance in the country is creating difficult hurdles he needs to cross, thereby putting him in an unwarranted danger.
Being law-abiding citizens, Ahmadi Muslims are a group of reformative Muslims who accept Ghulam Ahmad (as) as the expectant Promised Messiah and the Mahdi of all religions. Since 1974, they had been subjected to series of attacks in the hands of the people of Pakistan ranging from lynching, indiscriminate killing and destruction of property, among others. An instance of the attacks was the dual attack on 27th May, 2010 where over three scores and ten Ahmadis were killed. Till recent, hundreds of Ahmadis have been killed and numerous have been made homeless. Ahmadis have also been attacked and persecuted for professing their faith – that Allah is one, Muhammad is His true messenger and that Ghulam Ahmad is an ardent devotee of Prophet Muhammad – in countries like Indonesia and Algeria.
In the face of these persecutions and attacks, Ahmadis have remained calm and devotedly follow the instruction of their Khulafahs at different times. Meanwhile, instead of taking arms to defend their faith, Ahmadis have always resorted to prayers and stretched out hands of love and tolerance to people who persecute them; and in accordance with the teaching of Seal of all Prophets, they return evil deeds with good.
However, the recent case of Mr Rana Tanveer is a strong indication that the anti-Ahmadi bigots are going haywire day-by-day, extending their hatred to innocent people. The Pakistani society should learn to respect people irrespective of their colour, caste and position and desist from attacking them in the process of carrying out their duties. This is also a strong signal that there should be legal protection for media professionals to carry out their duties with fear or intimidation.
It is time the people of Pakistan and other places, where people are persecuted because of their faith, understood that we are, firstly, human beings created by the same One Creator in unique ways before considering the religion who practices or social status we belong; secondly, we are the same in the presence of Almighty Allah.
Written by Adeitan Mustapha