Students Advocating Brotherhood With Ahmadiyyas Should Go To India: Pakistan Cleric

The Ahmadiyya “Muslim” community of Pakistan are again under attack by radical clerics. Controversial Pakistani cleric Khadim Rizvi lashed out at the students of prestigious Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) for meeting the members of the Ahmadiyya sect in Labwah and stated that those who yearn to express solidarity should leave Pakistan and head towards India or Israel.

There are around five million Ahmadis in Pakistan and religious persecution is quite severe and systematic. Pakistani laws prohibit the Ahmadis from identifying themselves as Muslims, and their freedom of religion has been curtailed by a series of ordinances, Acts and constitutional amendments. When applying for a Pakistani passport, Pakistanis are required to declare that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was an impostor prophet and his followers are non-Muslims.

Earlier in October, the students of LUMS met the Ahmadis community members as part of an initiative to promote peace, compassion and recognition of the persecuted minorities in Pakistan.

Khadim Rizvi stated, “Principal of LUMS took students to the centre for ‘Qadiyanis’, saying they want to promote brotherhood with the minorities. The government is not taking cognisance of this. I don’t understand which direction they want to take Pakistan to. You are taking students to those people who are blasphemous to our revered Prophet”.

Rizvi went to add “You better understand what your situation will be. Behave like humans! We have told you several times that Kafirs (Non-Believers) gets to a non-believer, a Jew to Jews and Christians gravitate towards Christians. Those who feel for these people can head towards India or Israel”.

Rabwah has the highest concentration of Ahmadis in Pakistan. The Ahmadiyya community was an Islamic religious movement founded in then British India, near the end of the 19th century. However, Pakistan’s Constitution has declared Ahmadis as “non-Muslims.”

The Ahmadiyya in Pakistan is severely persecuted. In Pakistan, it is almost illegal to be an Ahmadi making it a criminal offence for the people of the community to call themselves Muslims, preach, propagate or promote their faith, or refer to their houses of worship as mosques.

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