Shrill Religious Cult Digs a Deeper Political Hole
Once again with the July 2018 election of Imran Khan, the official spokesperson of the Ahmadiyya goes all out to provoke the incoming government,
The leadership of the Ahmadiyya (Qadiani group) has a penchant for exaggeration and shrillness when it comes to their country of origin – Pakistan. To replenish the dwindling stock of tithe-payers in Western currencies, the family (Mirza) leadership of the cult resorts to controversy that can underline a claim of persecution and thus move poor Pakistani Qadianis to the West, where many educated ones will eventually leave the outlandish teachings of the cult. And so the refugee-provocation cycle continues and ends up in riches for the Mirza family that has run this religious outfit for more than a century.
Meanwhile, poor Ahmadis remains marginalized in Pakistani society and much can be done by a sincere Qadiani leadership to help any incoming Pakistani government to relieve any discrimination that the group believes that it faces. Instead, the Qadiani leadership welcomes every government with verbal jabs and slaps based on half-truths. This only makes the life of the common Ahmadi in Pakistan harder and only serves to increase the wealth of the Mirza family.
Once again with the July 2018 election of Imran Khan, the official spokesperson of the Ahmadiyya goes all out to provoke the incoming government, and it falls on us to dismantle the fallacies one by one and to convince the new government that the frantic tone should not be taken seriously and the followers of the cult be protected from the political miscalculations of their leadership.
Here is the opinion piece by the official spokesperson: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/07/29/imran-khan-must-help-end-the-persecution-of-pakistans-ahmadi-muslims/
- 'athlete-turned-politician Imran Khan' – not the most accurate way to describe the former cricket captain of Pakistan who retired from sports 26 years ago and has been a philanthropist and politician for longer than he ever was a sportsman.
- 'the Khan regime foreshadows immense hardship and violence for Pakistan’s religious minorities' – the words 'regime', 'immense' and 'violence' should be used for India, where the partner of the ruling government has vowed to 'eradicate Islam and Christianity from India by 2021.'
Stroke of a Pen?
a feat literally a pen stroke away . . . . Thus, Khan can prove his commitment to justice by demanding a repeal of Pakistan’s second [constitutional] amendment . . . , the 1984 anti-Ahmadi ordinance mandating fines and arrest for Ahmadis identifying as Muslim, and the 1986 blasphemy law . . . .
Perhaps conditioned within a totalitarian cult, the author does not recognize the complexity and political will required to amend the Constitution (repeal means a new Act and a new constitutional amendment) or the frameworks built upon the Constitution. These measures are neither popular nor required so the political will does not exit. For purposes of the Constitution of Pakistan, Ahmadis of both Qadiani and Lahori groups are non-Muslim. They can label themselves whatever they want within their private communications, but cannot self-advertise as Muslims in a Muslim-majority country and any laws based on the Constitution will not recognize them as Muslims – and that is how it is in many other Muslim countries in the world. How naive to think that a stroke of the pen can change that!
The status of Ahmadis in many Muslim countries is similar to the differing status of Mormons and Scientologists in various Western jurisdictions.
History of Qadiani Political Misadventures
Pakistan witnessed an unprecedented monolithic political manipulation in the 1971 elections by the Ahmadi leadership, engineered by their future leader, Mirza Tahir Ahmad. The group voted en bloc for the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and later became embittered with the party when it won and would not accede to their unreasonable demands.
A misguided show of strength by the cult, that turned violent at a train station, resulted in the judicial finding that the Qadiani leadership ran a 'state-within-a-state'. After Parliamentary hearings where the Qadiani Ahmadi leader presented for days, the constitutional amendment that declared them non-Muslim was passed – a direct result of the political misadventures of the Mirza family.
Separate Voter List on Challenge
The Ahmadis are respectable first-class Pakistani citizens, but it appear from the hasty executive order of 2002 that the electoral stipulation for a separate list is to prevent future political shenanigans by the Qadiani leadership. Thus, it empowers an Ahmadi Pakistani citizen to vote with their conscience and not by the whim and whip of their leader. The separate list is not mandatory and does not bar an Ahmadi from voting for any candidate or party. However, it can be useful to detect manipulation of the vote of an Ahmadi citizen by a religious cult leader as has happened in the past.
The current electoral rules regarding Ahmadi voters (not candidates) are not perfect and can be improved upon. Any constructive ideas are welcome and we will advocate them if they address the concerns of the majority as well as the minority. For starters, the Qadiani leadership can make a genuine commitment to allowing their followers freedom of conscience when it comes to elections. Asking for a 'stroke of the pen' is too naive a request for the author and again reeks of political provocation.
Peculiar or a 'Cult Miracle'?
Peculiar but significant is that every Pakistani prime minister or president, from Benazir Bhutto to Nawaz Sharif, persecuted Ahmadi Muslims — and each ultimately succumbed to the extremism or corruption they enabled.
This statement gives a glimpse into the oft-spoken but never-written cult belief that every ruler of Pakistan will meet with ignominy until the legal status of the Ahmadis in Pakistan is reversed. The author could not put it cogently so he lumped prime ministers and presidents together – whose respective powers have changed considerably – and Bhutto and Sharif were both prime ministers.
Extremism and corruption are steadily on the decline in Pakistan according to accepted international benchmarks. This statement is nothing but political provocation that does not help the cause of the common Ahmadi in Pakistan.
On the other hand, accountability for the offshore companies and money laundering enabled by the Mirza family is nowhere to be seen, and the Qadiani leadership has been very silent about it.
The proverbial charity, especially for a religious organization, should begin at home.