Ahmadis Arrested in Pakistan for Celebrating Eid al-Adha—Inside Their Homes

Ahmadis Arrested in Pakistan for Celebrating Eid al-Adha—Inside Their Homes

Eid al-Adha is an important Islamic feast commemorating Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son following a command from God. As all readers of the Bible know, God was just testing the faith of Abraham, and in the end stopped him from sacrificing his son. He sacrificed a lamb or goat instead and, in commemoration of the event, Muslims ritually slaughter the same animals every year, eating the meat and giving a part of it to the poor.

In Pakistan, Eid-al-Adha was celebrated in 2022 on July 9 and 10. Bitter Winter readers are familiar with the persecution of Pakistani Ahmadis. Their movement was founded within Islam by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908). Conservative Muslims accuse Ahmad of having considered himself a “prophet,” whereas Islam teaches that there can be no prophet after Muhammad. The Ahmadi formula for Ahmad, “at the same time a prophet and a follower of the Holy Prophet [ Muhammad],” is not enough to establish their orthodoxy in the eyes of Muslim clerics.

In Pakistan, laws prevent the Ahmadis from calling themselves “Muslims.” Earlier this month, the Ministry of Religious Affairs sent an opinion to the Ministry of Interior clarifying that if Ahmadis “perform Islamic practices” they are implicitly claiming they are Muslims and thus commit a crime.

Mindful of the possible implications, they often perform their religious practices inside their private homes. But this is not good enough for Muslim radicals and the Pakistani police. In Faisalabad, Punjab, rumors spread that Ahmadis were sacrificing goats in their homes, thus celebrating Eid-al-Adha. The Ahmadis’ homes were closed to visitors, but some radical Muslims climbed to nearby roofs and claimed to have seen from them that goats were being slaughtered, an “Islamic practice.” They rushed to the police, which promptly raided the private homes and arrested three local Ahmadis.

That to be offended in their religious feelings the radicals had to climb roofs is somewhat paradoxical, but everything goes in Pakistan when it comes to persecute the Ahmadis.

Just before Eid, two different graveyards in Talwandi Khajurwali, Gujranwala District, Punjab, were raided by the police accompanied by local ultra-fundamentalist Islamic activists. 53 Ahmadi graves were desecrated.

This is also a continuing phenomenon, as the police claims that by maintaining graves decorated with Islamic symbols the Ahmadis are “performing Islamic practices” too. (bitterwinter.org/)

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