September 10, 2013

In Pakistan, most say Ahmadis are not Muslim

This past weekend marked the 39th anniversary of the passage of Pakistan’s second constitutional amendment, which defines the country’s Ahmadi community as non-Muslim. Ahmadis, a minority group who see themselves as an Islamic sect, revere their founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmed, as a kind of prophet – a controversial view because he came after Muhammad, whom Sunni Muslims consider the final prophet. Sunnis form the majority of Pakistan’s population, and in recent years, there have been numerous incidents of violence against the Ahmadi community in Pakistan. In 2011, Pakistan earned the highest possible score on Pew Research Center’s social hostilities involving religion index.

FT_13.09.10_Ahmadis_1[1]To mark the anniversary, several anti-Ahmadi organizations in Pakistan held conferences on Saturday night where speakers called for renewed efforts to isolate Ahmadis from public life, including banning them from working in government or military jobs. Ahmadi organizations such as Jamaat-i-Ahmadiyya advised their members to stay away from public places.

Two-in-three Pakistani Muslims say Ahmadis are not Muslims, according to a Pew Research poll conducted in November 2011. Just 7% accept Ahmadis as fellow Muslims, while 26% do not offer a response or say they don’t know.

The poll also found that a majority of Pakistani Muslims support the country’s blasphemy laws, which predate Pakistan’s independence in 1947 but have since been expanded. The laws, which carry a potential death sentence for insulting Islam, have been frequently invoked against Ahmadis and other religious minorities in Pakistan; although formal criminal prosecutions are rare, social discrimination and harassment of Ahmadis is widespread. Fully 75% of Pakistani Muslims say blasphemy laws are necessary to protect Islam in their country, while 6% say blasphemy laws unfairly target minority communities, and 19% express no opinion on the issue.

Topics: Asia and the Pacific, Muslims and Islam

  1. Photo of Neha Sahgal

    is a Senior Researcher at the Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project.

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27 Comments

  1. Dr. Amir Mahmood Kahloon2 months ago

    El Movimiento Ahmadía del Islam es una organización religiosa de ámbito internacional, establecida en 195 países de África, América del Norte y del Sur, Asia Australia y Europa. En la actualidad su número total de miembros Ahmadis supera las decenas de millones en todo el mundo, y estas cifras se incrementan diariamente. Es la agrupación musulmana más dinámica de la historia moderna. El Movimiento Ahmadía del Islam fue fundado en 1889 por Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) en una pequeña y remota aldea, Qadian, situada en el Punjab, (India). Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad afirmó ser el Reformador y Mesías esperado de los Últimos días, el Esperado por todas las comunidades religiosas del mundo (el Mahdi y el Mesías). El Movimiento que inició es un compendio del mensaje conciliador del Islam: paz, hermandad universal y sumisión a la Voluntad de Dios, en su pureza original. Hazrat Ahmad declaró que el Islam era la religión del hombre: “La religión de la gente del camino recto” (98:6)
    Con esta convicción, el Movimiento Ahmadía, fundado por el Mesías Prometido en un solo siglo, ha llegado a todos los rincones de la Tierra. Dondequiera que el Movimiento se establece, intenta ejercer una influencia islámica constructiva a través de proyectos sociales, instituciones educativas, servicios sanitarios, publicaciones islámicas y construcción de mezquitas; y ello a pesar de sufrir una dura persecución en diversos países. Los musulmanes áhmadis se han ganado la distinción de ser considerados una comunidad pacífica, respetuosa con la ley, perseverante y humanitaria.

    El Movimiento Ahmadía del Islam fue fundado por el Mesías Prometido bajo la guía divina con el objetivo de rejuvenecer los valores islámicos morales y espirituales. Favorece y estimula el dialogo interreligioso y se esfuerza en defender al Islam, corrigiendo los malentendidos existentes sobre esta religión en Occidente. Aboga por la paz, la tolerancia, el mutuo afecto y el entendimiento entre los seguidores de distintas religiones. Cree firmemente y actúa de acuerdo con la enseñanza coránica: “No ha de existir coacción en la religión” (2:257) y condena tajantemente la violencia y el terrorismo sea cual sea su forma u origen.

    El Movimiento ofrece una presentación clara de la sabiduría islámica, su filosofía, su moral y espiritualidad tal y como se desprende del Santo Corán y de la práctica (Sunnah) del Santo Profeta del Islam, Mohammad, (la paz y bendiciones de Dios sean con él). Algunos miembros áhmadis como el difunto Sir Muhammad Zafrullah Khan (primer ministro de Asuntos Exteriores del Pakistán, Presidente de la 17ª Asamblea General de la O.N.U.; Presidente y Juez del Tribunal de Justicia de la Haya) y el Dr. Abdus Salam (Premio Nobel de Física en 1979) también han sido reconocidos por la comunidad internacional por sus brillantes éxitos y servicios.

    Tras el fallecimiento de su fundador, el Movimiento Ahmadía ha sido liderado por sus sucesores elegidos (Jalifas). El líder actual del Movimiento, Hadhrat Mirza Masrur Ahmad, fue elegido en el año 2003. Su título oficial es el de Jalifatul Masih V.

    Reply
  2. KTShamim7 months ago

    Sad.

    Reply
  3. Sherry7 months ago

    Islamists quote his 22nd March speech while Secularists only restrict their arguments to his 11th August speech. I believe there is no need to revisit his speeches and lectures again and again, no matter what, a mullah will always try to prove Quaid to be an Islamist, and a liberal will always prove him to be a secular from his speeches, because like all politicians, his opinions varied from time to time. We should move ahead now without bothering what our forefathers wanted Pakistan to be because it’ll always put us in a state of confusion.

    In modern world, we can clearly see that no theocratic state is prospering, while all those states, which welcome pluralism and treat all the citizens equally, are progressing. We should, therefore, also adopt a similar method to run our state, but there is no need to go back and try to prove Quaid e Azam a secular. He was no saint and he could have erred as well. We should be doing what suits us well.

    Therefore, I personally believe there is no single version of Jinnah’s ideology on which we all Pakistanis can unite, so, lets try to move on and use common sense to have a proper system because Jinnah isn’t going to come back and his speeches are all what we have, they are not going to help us in anyway either because just like all politicians he said many different things.

    Yes, we all can put several arguments in the favor of our point of view, but, there is no point in indulging in this futile debate

    Reply
  4. Qudsia7 months ago

    This also brings to mind a prophecy of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) who said that a time would come when my people would divide into 73 sects and 72 together will be against one jamaat. That one jamaat would be the only one heaven bound. Anyway, the point is, this is not the time to take pride in being the majority. Ahmadis are quite happy being the ONE everyone has cast out.

    Reply
    1. 4pac7 months ago

      @ Qudsia

      You have presented this tradition waaaaaaat out of context. I am an ex-Ahmadi. They brainwashed me with the same rhetoric. Wake up and do some research.

      Reply
      1. Umar5 months ago

        You’re right, the full context supports her case even more.

        Reply
  5. Qudsia7 months ago

    The despicable state of affairs in Pakistan is a reflection of the spiritual standing of this very majority that considers a person declaring the shahadah (laa ilaaha illallah Muhammadur Rasoolullah) to be kaafir — something explicitly forbidden by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w). One has to be deaf, dumb and blind not to realize how fast this country is spiraling into a dark abyss, both spiritually and materially. If this Muslim majority of Pakistan has an ounce of shame left in them or any regard for Islam, they would at least remove the name “Islam” from the country’s name tag, just so the world does not equate this beautiful faith with the ugliness that brews here.

    I pray for Pakistan and wish it all the best, but I thank God that I live in America where at least on the domestic scale, more Islamic values are practiced than probably all of these so called Muslim countries combined.

    Reply
    1. 4pac7 months ago

      @ Qudsia

      Do you know that women in Ahmadiyya cannot even vote in general elections? They are stuck in their auxillory organization of Lajna and Nasirat. What about that type of discrimination? You seem quite when your own leaders act the same way.

      Pakistan is in a tight spot…Afghanistan has been occupied almost 20 out of the last 30 years…this occupation has had a terrible effect on Pakistan.

      Further, in Islamic country, Muslims pay Zakaat and non-Muslims pay Jizyah. Hence, its important to make a line of demarcation. And rememeber…in 1900, there was a census in British India, your Mirza sahib asked Ahmadis to signify something other than Muslim, which was Ahmadi. So…he started this seperation….and since the 1930′s, Muslims in India have asked for govt. officials to declare Ahmadis as not Muslims. Do the research work.

      Reply
      1. Waqas3 months ago

        4pac, I want to talk to you more about this issue. You’re an ex-ahmedi as you said, im a Sunni Alhamdulillah. Can I add you up on facebook or can you email me your contact? my email address is wacks84@hotmail.com.

        Reply
  6. Nasir Jadran7 months ago

    Pew Research has shown how Pakistanis are deviating from their own religious beliefs and /or are totally ignorant to the concept of the finality of the prophethood. It shows 66% of Pakistanis who are Sunnis (I guess Pew has asked them if they are Sunnis / Shias or other minority sect in Islam) believes that Ahmadis or Qadianis are non-Muslims on the basis that Ahmadis believe in another prophet who has come after Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) which according to Non-Ahmadis (All Sunnis and their sub-sects and All Shias and their subsects) is against the teachings of the Holy Quran and Islam.

    This shows that majority of Muslims in Pakistan and elsewhere really have no true / factual knowledge about Islam altogether and this is the major concern. Since, they do not know the proper teachings of the Holy Quran and Islam, which their forefathers from many centuries ago believed that there will be a prophet within Islam after Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) who will be from the Muslim Ummah (see hadith and documented writings of Islamic Scholars of earlier centuries at alislam.org or muslimsforpeace.org/holy-prophet…).

    This deviation from their original teachings have caused them to become fanatics, intolerant, and bigots and danger to Islam itself. I suggest Pew Research should hold a survey based as to how many Pakistani Muslims (bearing Ahmadi Muslims out) actually believe that their own early Islamic Scholars believed that there will be a non-law bearing Prophet among Muslims after the Holy Prophet of Islam, and they’ll get the results that 99% do not know or they don’t believe this.

    Reply
  7. nadeem ahmed7 months ago

    Real muslim belief is:

    Any person who recites kalima is a Muslim, no one has a right to judge another except Allah.

    Those who do, will face HIM after death.

    These people who say this is a muslim, this is not, are fools who have no knowledge of the Holy Quran.

    Reply
    1. 4pac7 months ago

      @ nadeem

      However, when some people are proven decievers…actions can be taken against them. In fact, Muhammad (saw) burned down a mosque on his way back from Tabuk because those people were fake Muslims.

      Reply
  8. Muslim7 months ago

    Yes all Muslims believe that Ahmadis are not Muslims.

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    1. Mansoor3 months ago

      Are u Muslim?

      Reply
  9. MA kalam7 months ago

    Not muslim.Their basic belief is contrary to Islam.

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    1. nadeem ahmed7 months ago

      are you Allah? if not, then its not your right to judge.

      Reply
      1. 4pac7 months ago

        @ Nadeem

        Ahmadis kick people out of their jamaat as well right??? When Muslims do the same thing…then yoiu object..however, when a Mirza does it…its OK. The irony…

        Reply
        1. malik2 months ago

          he is the the leader of jmat .hazrat Muahmad s.a also gave pnishment to shabah r.a. it was to show them right way or to seprt those who were not right

          Reply
    2. malik2 months ago

      when you dont know about ahmadies how can you say that

      Reply
  10. Pakistan Lover7 months ago

    Not only in Pakistan, Muslims all around the globe believe Qadianis (who call themselves Ahmadis) as Non-Muslims and outside the fold of Islam.

    Reply
  11. Shahnaz Latif Dallas7 months ago

    Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) is the last Law bearing prophet of God. Holy Quran is the last revealed book by God. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes that God sent Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, within the fold of Islam, to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and re-institute morality, justice and peace. Ahmad’s advent has brought about an unprecedented era of Islamic revival. Ahmad emphatically declared that the doctrine of violent jihad goes against the teachings of the Holy Quran and the practice of the Holy Prophet of Islam. Similarly, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the only Islamic organization to endorse a separation of mosque and state. .Please visit alislam.org to get the true teaching of Islam.

    Reply
    1. 4pac7 months ago

      1. Mirza sahib did not create Islamic revival…if he did, Muslims would be ruling the world.

      2. There is no such concept in the Quran or hadith about Law-bearing or non-Lawbearing prophets. Stop it. Every prophet was independent, Allah made them prophets. You people claim that Mirza sahib became a prophet through his devotion to Muhammad (saw), which is a Sufi concept that you people stole..

      3. There is no such thing as a violent Jihad. You people are agreeing that Muslims were violent. Further, in British India, even Batalvi (an enemy of MGAQ) condemned violenence in an attempt to please the British.

      4. Seperation of Mosque and state??? Then, whats the purpose of Islam???

      Reply
      1. AAhmed4 months ago

        1. Muslims arent supposed to be trying to conquer the world. Stop espousing extremist ideology and portraying it as Islam…

        2. Now your going to tell us what Allah swt has planned? You certainly are an extraordinary example of a momin if you can deduce what gods plan is. Stop trying to play god.
        Stole a Sufi concept? Can you steal the truth?

        3. No such thing as a violent Jihad? A Jihad that employs violence of one sort or the other is obviously a violent Jihad. A jihad that employs knowledge and reason to convince others is clearly non violent. That you cant understand the distinction is evident. If you people where able to understand such simple concepts, we wouldnt have crazed sunnis murdering innocent people around the world. Its no wonder you are all considered terrorists and extremists. And I dont consder terrorists Muslims. and clearly, people who murder others and persecute others in the name of Islam are violent… Its the very definition of the word !

        4. The purpose of Islam is to finction as a guide in one PERSONAL life. The fact that you dont understand why govt and mosque should be seperate makes it clear that you have a very weak understanding of Islam and that you are another follower, not a thinker. You should be the one doing the research and thinking. S

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  12. Nasser Javed7 months ago

    I am from Pakistan, and I am PERFECTLY fine with letting the Almighty proffer the final adjudications on devotion and spirituality. Let all be, please…

    Reply
  13. Naveed ul Islam8 months ago

    It is very interesting to see some factual data here. One conclusion that one can can draw from this is that the knowledge of Islam in the population of Pakistan has decreased a lot. Also, people are relying more on what mullah is telling them than on their own research. If ignorance continues to increase with this speed, Pakistanis won’t be able to resist extremism that is slowly taking over the country.

    For the benefit of the curious, Ahmadi Muslims love the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and have never shied away from giving their life for his honour. In fact, the reason we believe in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian as the Promised Messiah and Mehdi is because Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) himself have foretold about his advent.

    Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) cannot be the final prophet as all Muslims and Christians are waiting for a prophet to come after him. Ahmadi’s believe that Muhammad (s.a.w.) is the final “law-bearing” prophet and that is exactly according to the intent of Qur’an and Hadith.

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    1. 4pac7 months ago

      1. In Ahmadiyyat, people rely on what the Khalifa says…not research work.

      2. Ahmadis deny 75% of hadith about the Mahdi. Now what?

      3. In Islamic history, the great mujadids have explained that since Esa (as) was a prophet before Muhammad (saw), his return will not break the Khatamiyyat. However, a new prophet does break the seal. Do you understand that?

      Reply
      1. Moazzam Butt7 months ago

        please make me understand , how can a dead prophet come back, to do something, which he could not do in his entire life. wake up, no issa is coming. the promised Messiah has blessed this planet with his prescence. the illiterate Mullas of Pakistan has messed up this beautiful religion, and made it ugly.

        Reply