70 worshipers were slaughtered today in Lahore, Pakistan, and the death toll is still growing. 1500 people had poured into their mosques this morning to pray and worship, and they were met with gunfire, grenades, and suicide bombers. Reports indicate that two militants detonated themselves during the assault. This coordinated attack, conducted at two separate sites, comes on Friday, the Muslim sabbath day.
The victims were Ahmadi Muslims, the sect of Islam in which I was born and raised. This minority Muslim sect is the target of relentless persecution. The Pakistani government itself has all but declared war on this minority, denying them any support and concocting laws to incarcerate and torture them. Persecution such as this is the very reason my entire family left Pakistan in the past few decades, although I have some distant relatives and a few close cousins who are there right now. As of yet, I have not heard if they are safe, and I'm anxiously awaiting news. This hits close to home for me, folks.
Allow me to give some brief background and commentary. Why are the Ahmadis so persecuted? Is it that they speak blasphemy against Allah? No, they worship Allah. Do they draw cartoons of Muhammad? No, they hold Muhammad in equally high reverence as other Muslims. Well, do they desecrate the Qur'an? No, they read it, recite it, and memorize it regularly with all the respect they can accord to it. In fact, when I was an Ahmadi, I was taught the Shahadah, all 6 Articles of Faith and all 5 Pillars of Islam exactly as all other Muslims have learned them.
So then why are the Ahmadis so persecuted? It has to do with their eschatological beliefs. Non-Ahmadi Muslims say Jesus is going to literally descend from heaven to initiate the end-times, whereas Ahmadis say Jesus was foretold to figuratively descend from heaven, and that his second coming has already happened in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. When Mirza Ghulam Ahmad came, he taught the most peaceful interpretation of Islam imaginable, and Ahmadi Muslims hold to this set of teachings.
Non-Ahmadi Muslims are often infuriated at Ahmadi teachings because of the doctrine of Khatam-an-Nabiyeen, i.e. that Muhammad was the last prophet. Ahmadis respond by saying Ahmad is not a new prophet after Muhammad, but the expected second coming of Jesus.
That's about it, ladies and gentlemen! That's enough to send Muslims into a murderous frenzy against Ahmadis. In fact, the sixth President of Pakistan Zia-ul-Haq was recorded as having said the following:
"Ahmadis are heretics and they offend me. I have a sacred duty to Allah to rid Pakistan of these impostors. I intend to drive them out... Ordinance XX may violate human rights but I don't care."
During his regime, "he and members of his administration made numerous public speeches urging Pakistanis to seek out, expose and even to kill Ahmadis." Source
So the Muslim people at large in Pakistan, as well as the government itself, are actively engaged in persecuting, incarcerating, and killing Ahmadis. Whole blogs and media outlets have been dedicated to this persecution.
So what does this have to do with us? Well, you already know what it has to do with me, what does it have to do with you? 3 things.
1 - Act on behalf of the persecuted around the world! It is sick that so many people around the world are dying for their beliefs. Pray for their deliverance from murderous ideologies and militants, regardless of their creed or national allegiance. Speak up, whenever you get the chance, to defend the rights of the oppressed.
2 - Understand that Islam is not homogeneous. There are Muslims of many different kinds, and the ones you encounter can vary widely in their beliefs and practices, even if they are observant and devout.
3 - Stop the spread of mainstream Islamic theology before we suffer the same fate! For the Ahmadis whom I love, they have an unfortunate truth to grapple with: mainstream Islam is not peaceful! Though Ahmadis may espouse peace, they are in the minority. Mainstream Islam will take over governments and impose vicious, violent laws (have you read the history of Pakistan? It was set up as a nation to be run for and by Muslims.)
If this is what the Muslims are doing with people who love the Qur'an and love Muhammad, what do you think they are going to do with people like us if they gain a foothold in the West? We need to act now. Stand up for your freedoms: freedom of religion, freedom of press, and freedom of expression.
The tide is coming, this is the time.
By the way, I just checked the death toll. It's rising.
*** UPDATE ***
I have heard word from my family; some of my distant relatives (whom I did not know) have been killed. The congregation at my parents' mosque is rife with mourning over the loss of loved ones.
This is the way Islam is, ladies and gentlemen. Make no mistake about it. From the very beginning, Muslims marched against Muslims and slaughtered each other. I'm not talking about power-mongers hundreds of years after Muhammad hijacking Islam for personal profit. I'm talking about Aisha, the wife of Muhammad, marching against Ali, Muhammad's closest cousin and one of the four rightly guided caliphs, just 24 years after Muhammad died. 50,000 Muslims met each other in battle that day, and 10,000 were slain. Muslims have been killing each other ever since.
Massacre, violence, and brutality from its very inception. This is the enemy we are fighting.