Yesterday marked the 85th Birthday of Dr.Abdus Salam, theoretical physicist and the only Pakistani Nobel Laureate. He is not our national hero, his name is rarely ever mentioned, in his life the only befitting ‘honour’ we could provide him was a life in self exile, in his death however we went a step ahead by blanking out the term ‘Muslim’ from his epitaph. A member of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, a member of the Scientific Commission of Pakistan and the Chief Scientific Adviser to the President, Salam was one of the most prolific researchers in theoretical elementary particle physics. No minister or high government official attended his funeral.

He was an Ahmadi.

Happy Birthday Salam Sahab, we have failed you.

Over 5,000 gathered in Rawalpindi yesterday, blaring witness to the systematic hate, prejudice that has been curtailed by a whole series of ordinances, acts and constitutional amendments against the Ahmadiyya community, that had been the cause of Salaam’s self exile four decades ago. Nothing has changed since, for the Ahmadis it has only gotten worse.

The rally called out by traders’ associations was attended by activists of Jamaatud Dawa, Jamaat-i-Islami, Sipah Sahaba (banned organisation) and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat in Rawalpindi,  claimed that a ‘worship place’ belonging to the Ahmadiya community was built without permission, The irony of protest on land encroachments by parties who themselves have been involved in extortion and land encroachments is immeasurable. But it was not long until the real incentive became clear.  A few weeks ago anti-Ahmadi banners had appeared in the same area, threatening the residents to leave, claiming their existence was unconstitutional and any restraint from them could lead to ‘repercussions’.

Terrified, no one spoke.

If you are Pakistani passport holder chances are you have signed a declaration claiming Qadianis as non-Muslims, this means that you declare them prohibited from calling themselves ‘Muslim’, to call their ‘places of worship’ mosques, to pray in ‘Muslim mosques’ or ‘public prayer areas’, to give azaan, to greet others with salaam, to publicly quote from the Quran – these amongst others could get one up to three years in prison.

Now they want to take away their right to worship. Through intimidation and hate mongering, speakers at the conference yesterday blatantly announced that there will be a 100,000 Qadri’s raging against the Ahmadis, issuing an ultimatum to the Ahmadiyya community to stop praying.

If they do and if the authorities fail to take action against the open call for aggression and violence, you and I will be responsible for authorising prejudice, for remaining silent in the face of aggression, for letting the hatred breed within our society, for not standing up for one of our own and for allowing men driven by their convoluted faith kill in the name of God.

If being party to vigilantism burdens your conscience, voice your concern, stand up and be counted.

Our state reminds me of Faiz’s words that he had scribbled in Dr. Abdus Salam’s diary when they met at an airport.

‘Nisar mein teri galiyon kay aye watan kay jahan
Chali hai rasm kay koi na sar utha kay chaley’
(My salutations to thy sacred streets, O beloved nation!
Where a tradition has been invented- that none shall walk with his head held high)

jo koii chaahanewaalaa tawaaf ko nikale 
nazar churaa ke chale, jism-o-jaan bachaa ke chale
(If at all one takes a walk, a pilgrimage
One must walk, eyes lowered, the body crouched in fear)


5 thoughts on “Abdus Salam Sahab, we have failed you

  1. What did he do for Pakistan? Where did he live and for whom he worked? A staunch opponent of Pakistani Nuclear research and a hindrance maker as he was. A person who preferred to sell his conscious, soul and ability to Americans like the so many other Pakistani economists, Doctors and scientists. He was another El-Baradei of Pakistan. Sahibzada Yaqoub ali Khan former foreign minister of Pakistan can throw lots of light on his character as when they were fighting these case of Pakistani nuclear capability, on what sides of the table and behind what curtains this Dr. abdul salam used to sit. Before praising his “holy” figure please do put some light on his life history, credentials and great deeds he offered for Pakistan. And if you are ashamed to call yourself Pakistani on this count, you must be ashamed of..indeed. you deserve it. You please count is services rendered to Pakistan, not to Pakistan but to humanity and we will ignore his religious affiliation and will make him a hero. now come forward.
    So far as religious issues of Ahmadis are concerned, Thats a totally religious and legal issue. Whenever you try to breach,distort and defame a religion in disguise ( posing yourself to be a member and doing otherwise), you get the consequences. Quarnic orders are very clear on the issue. If you don’t believe in Quranic oreders, then your own claim is lost.
    The land encroachment is yet another issue. Can’t it be solved by just showing your property rights and authority vestng in your name? And if two encroachers are fighting over land and both have exploited their religious issues to grab it, whose case you are pleading sweetheart?
    isn’t the mixing all these 3 issues and getting the results of your choice a mass distraction?

  2. Qadiani or Ahmadi are a different religion which yes has it’s roots in Islam, but it’s belief system is very different from Islam. It’s like Bhai religion which sprang out of Iran, but is very different from Islam. Yes, persecution in the name of religion is wrong, no two opinion about that, however, it’s high time Ahamdis/Qadianis steer a clear way and stop calling their religion Islam or themselves Muslims. They need to appreciate the clear and distinct differences between Muslims and who they are. Yes, by calling themselves Muslims, they hurt the feelings of Muslims and try to portray an Islam which is not really Islam but their Qadianism. It’s as simple as that!!

  3. I am ashamed to call myself Pakistani. The man who spend his life to education and won noble prize, we didn’t ever mentioned him in our physics text books because he was Ahmadi.

  4. Hi, I firstly knew about the condition of Ahmadiyyas when I heard the aaloo-anday song and then researched about the topic. I had also written a blog post about it (you’ve linked it above in rated posts “Of eggs, potatoes…” Thanks)!

    It’s really sad to know that Islam, the religion that professes universal brotherhood, acts such to their own brothers. I know it is not the Islam, but the people are defaming their own religion and also committing a crime against humanity. Dignity and freedom of all human beings must be upheld by everyone, for everyone.

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