Political response to Ahmadi massacre in Pakistan - bigotry at its worst
The Islam that is my religion seeks to establish such a society where all citizens of the state enjoy equal rights and religion does not become the basis for any discrimination. Religious teachers who taught Islam to me in my childhood taught me that Islamic law holds both Muslims and non-Muslims equal and no superiority or privilege is given to the Muslims on any ground. That the Islamic state is responsible for the protection and security of minorities.
While I saw light at the end of the tunnel today when the leader of opposition in Pakistan Mian Nawaz Sharif mustered up courage and spoke out against the barbaric act of terrorism carried out against the Ahmadi minority in Lahore. I am disgusted at the outcry his statement has caused from the so called religious intelligentsia who are almost about to declare Mian Nawaz Sharif an infidel for calling the Ahmadi minority our "Brothers and Sisters".
Whatever their religious beliefs Ahmadis are Pakistani citizens. Though Pakistani constitution declares them non-Muslims and a religious minority, they as citizens have a right to security as any other Pakistani. Tolerating massacres of innocent civilians because the victims happened to have a different religious belief is abominable and un-Islamic.
The reprehensible incident of Lahore and the atrocious public and political response can only be attributed to Pakistani society's lack of knowledge of actual teachings of Islam. The vacuum of knowledge, unfortunately, is bridged by the semi-literate clergy and bigoted religious-political leadership with no exposure to the Islamic historical tradition, demands of contemporary age and challenges of future.
Apathy of civil society, media and political leadership to the increasing intolerance towards minorities is worst form of bigotry in practice by a state and its citizens.