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Rabwah: home and ghetto

The lack of political say in local matters has also impacted on the territorial rights of Ahmadis. Rabwah is home to some 70,000 Ahmadis who constitute about 95% of the population living there, but the Ahmadis have virtually no administrative control over the town. Ahmadis are not permitted to buy land to extend the territory covered by Rabwah (Tanveer 2016), and even the name of the town was changed in 1999 when, without the consent of the Ahmadis:

the Punjab Provincial Assembly, with the backing of the Federal Shariat Court, unilaterally decided to change the name of the Ahmadi-founded and ninety-eight percent Ahmadi-populated village of Rabwah (an Arabic word meaning ‘higher ground’ used reverentially in the Qur’an) to Chenab Nagar (an Urdu phrase used pejoratively in Pakistan meaning ‘Chenab river village’) and infiltrated its housing projects with non-Ahmadi settlements in an effort to transform permanently the composition of the village itself.

(Khan 2003:229)45

This enforced name change was, in effect, a symbolic erasure of the Ahmadi community, which was denied the right to name its town as it would choose to.

Delimiting the relation of the Ahmadis to the land, to the earth of the nation, as a way of, in effect, erasing them has also manifested itself in a different but no less profound way through the curtailment of Ahmadi burial practices. In Pakistan, prior to the declaration of Ahmadis as non-Muslims in 1974, there were cemeteries where both Ahmadis and other Muslims were buried together. Such shared graveyards are no longer possible in Pakistan. Yet even in colonial India, the Ahmadis sometimes had conflicts with the Ahrar centred on burials of the dead, as when attempts were made by Alrrar workers, in 1934 at Amritsar, to prevent the burial of Ahmadis in Muslim cemeteries. A month earlier, Ahmadis had beaten a person over a dispute in the Muslim graveyard at Qadian itself during the burial of Ahmadi children. As a consequence of this and following police intervention to end the violence, some 11 Ahmadis were later prosecuted and fined. And in 1937 in Gurdaspur district, the police had to intervene to maintain peace when an Ahmadi was buried in a Muslim cemetery. In this case the local Ahrar leader instructed workers to put up signs at the graveyards forbidding the burial of Ahmadis (Awan 2010:fn 94). These acts by the Ahrar followed resolutions in their meetings at which it was decided to forbid the burial of Ahmadis in Muslim cemeteries (Awan 2010:85). In colonial India, therefore, the Alrrar had already targeted Ahmadi burials and made this one focus for their anti-Ahmadi campaigns. The authorities at this time, however, appear to have sought primarily to maintain the peace rather than adjudicate on the rights of individuals to be buried where they and their families chose.

Post 1974 in Pakistan, the situation changed and cemeteries were divided with sections for Muslims and sections for Ahmadis. In addition, in Pakistan headstones commemorating the Ahmadi dead are now at risk of vandalism, in some cases by the police themselves who erase the kalima (declaration of faith) from the graves, claiming that they are doing this in the interests of preserving the peace (Hamdani 2012; Islam 2012; Dawn 2014). The reason given to justify such acts is that the Ahmadis, by ‘posing’ as Muslims, offend and insult real Muslims. In one case in 2012:

An application was moved to the area police of Uncha Mangat claiming Kas-soki villagers’ demands of the removal of Quranic verses and religious text from Ahmadi graves in the graveyard on Hafizabad-Sheikhupura Road.

The applicants threatened of (sic) religious clashes and bloodshed if this was not done.

The DPO [District Police Officer] Hafizabad asked the police station in charge to take appropriate steps for averting any untoward incident or clash on religious basis.

The local SHO [Station House Officer] summoned elders and notables of the Ahmadi community of the village who met him under the supervision of Nasir Javaid, acting Ameer Jamaat Ahmadiyya, Hafizabad.

The SHO, according to Nasir Javaid, asked them to remove religious inscriptions, adding that if they did not do so themselves, the police would take measures for removing them in order to maintain peace and tranquillity in the area.

When they disagreed, says Nasir, the police went on with the operation anyway and forcefully entered the graveyard and whitewashed all religious text from the graves late Friday.

(Islam 2012)

Other reported incidents of the desecration of graveyards include that of an organized team of 12 to 15 men who in 2012 tied up a graveyard caretaker and in just 30 minutes dug up and smashed more than a 100 tombstones because they objected to the Islamic inscriptions on them (AHRC and IHRC 2015:76). And more recently in 2014, as reported in the Dawn newspaper, not only were the inscriptions on headstones erased but the gravestones themselves were also removed. The Dawn report states that this happened because ‘a man submitted an application to the police for removal of the gravestones, claiming that the words written on these were hurting his religious feelings'. When the Ahmadis refused to remove the gravestones, ‘the policemen themselves removed the gravestones of seven graves on March 9’ (Dawn 2014). Perhaps even more distressing in some respects is the current practice of the Ahmadis themselves, who paint over the words Sunni Muslims consider offensive on Ahmadi tombstones in order to prevent their desecration by non-Ahmadis. This, I was told, happens in the main Rabwah cemetery where, for example, the word ‘Muslim’ has been painted over-on the grave of Abdus Salam.46 This is done in order to keep the police and others out of the cemetery but results in a situation in which the Ahmadis themselves carry out the work of their oppressors, thus making them complicit in their own persecution.

By these means, the self-identification of Ahmadis as Muslim is challenged not only in life but also in death. And in the process, their right to be buried as they wish to be in the state where they are citizens is brought into question. The ways in which Ahmadis belong and their claims to belonging which are made in the burial of their dead are challenged by those who find the existence of Ahmadis unacceptable. This constitutes a form of erasure which is made in other forms too, as in the refusal to allow Ahmadis to call their places of worship mosques and the official removal of the name they chose for their town just post-partition. Yet once again, while such practices, facilitated and encouraged by the state, may have targeted the Ahmadis first, they have not been confined to them. Christian cemeteries have also been vandalized in Pakistan, and in these instances it cannot be because the use of the kalima by those deemed to be non-Muslim is considered offensive (Craig 2015). Rather, the attack on burial sites for Ahmadis and Christians may be viewed as an attack on the rights of members of these communities to belong and to make this manifestly the case by becoming, quite literally, part of the land of Pakistan.47

The association of both Ahmadis and Christians as the unwanted in Pakistan is one that is made explicit in a quote from a ‘prominent activist of the Khatme-Nabuwwat Lawyers Forum' who stated: ‘By the grace of God, Mirzais had been reduced to the level of chooras (Christian sweepers) and soon they will be cleaned up altogether’ (Hamdani 2012). Ahmadis are thus targeted not simply because they are Ahmadis but because, like Christians, they are a non-Sunni Muslim minority. The connection made in the quote about sweepers, Christians, and Ahmadis in a South Asian context also recalls a history of untouchability in the subcontinent, a human form of what Douglas (1984) refers to as ‘dirt’ or ‘matter out of place’. Many low-caste South Asian Hindus converted from Hinduism to Christianity in the hope of escaping the demeaning caste position they had as achut, literally meaning ‘untouchable’,48 because of the work they did with polluted materials, including the refuse and remains of others, human and animal (Michael 2010). In India in the 1930s, the Ahrar had feared that the minority position of the Muslims would result in them living as a ‘scheduled caste’, and led to accusations that the Congress Hindus practiced chootchaat (untouchability) against Muslims (Kam-ran 2013:470). Such concerns, linked to notions of purity and pollution demarcated some groups as rightfully belonging as full members of the society while others are permanently excluded.

A 2007 UK report of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group (PHRG), which looked into the claim that Rabwah was a safe haven for Ahmadis in Pakistan, informs us that Rabwah itself, which covers some 1,043 acres:

is not a commercial/industrial centre and has no manufacturing, distribution or sendee industries.... The only jobs are low skilled work such as farming and trades. However the number of jobs in these sectors are limited by the size of the town... there are no Ahmadis in public office in Rabwah. The post office, telephone office, railway station, police force and magistrates office have no Ahmadi employees.

(PHRG 2007:24)

It is elsewhere reported that ‘most of the town’s infrastructure is maintained on contributions made by the community, including ... a community organized garbage clean-up' (Sayeed 2017). The Human Rights Commission for Pakistan (HRCP) concluded that an Ahmadi fleeing to Rabwah would find it hard to secure any employment in the town itself and also outside the town, as a Rabwah address marks a person as Ahmadi and so employers would hesitate to employ such an individual.

[T]he HRCP summarised the situation by describing Rabwah as a place for ‘hardcore Ahmadis who want to be martyred': there is a mullah there who abuses Ahmadis ‘all day long'. Those Ahmadis who live in Rabwah are ‘very brave’. There are families where the men live in Rabwah and the women do not. Ultimately, it is a question of how much abuse - and occasional violence - an individual can stand. ‘Rabwah is a place for martyrs, cut off from their roots’, the mission was told.

(PHRG 2007:25)

The situation had certainly not improved by the time of the 2010 PHRG report:

It was clear that whilst in the very short term there may be some shelter in the safety of numbers the ever present threat for Ahmadis manifests itself with greater force in Rabwah. This is because opponents of the community are fully aware that there is a concentration of Ahmadis in Rabwah and seek to focus their attention upon this city.

Thus, we were informed, every year thousands of Khatme Nabuwat supporters from across the country converge on this beleaguered city and boisterous demonstrations which intimidate the local population take place three or four times in the year. Each year at least three rambunctious anti Ahmadi conferences are held in Rabwah with ‘opponents of the community’ bussed in from elsewhere in Pakistan. The October conferences are attended by up to 9,000 to 10,000 vociferous individuals who shout anti Ahmadi slogans via loud speakers whilst the community barricades itself in. By contrast the Ahmadi community is forbidden from holding any gatherings whatsoever, including sport tournaments and are banned from using any public address systems whatsoever. Thus ‘refugees' who seek sanctuary within Rabwah hoping for safety in numbers feel no safer there than elsewhere in Pakistan.

(PHRG 2010:74)49

It will be clear from these quotations that, despite the aims of these reports to produce objective records of the situation for Ahmadis in Pakistan, and while some of the language of ‘martyrs’ and ‘hard core' Ahmadis is directly quoted from interviews incorporated into the reports, the report writers perhaps inevitably find themselves drawn towards charged and dramatic descriptions: a ‘beleaguered city’, an ‘intimidated’ population and ‘vociferous’, ‘rambunctious’ and ‘hate-filled’ opponents. The reports also draw parallels with historical conditions that paved the way for acts of genocide in Europe during the twentieth century. The visual images in the reports include barbed wire, men restrained by manacles, and photographs of desecrated cemeteries and heavily guarded or alternatively vandalized mosques and burnt out homes and businesses. Such language and visual images provide a counter point to the series of factually recounted legal provisions discriminating against the Ahmadis and of the bald enumeration of acts, including murders, committed against individuals reproduced in tables and charts in the reports.

Here it is not the content of the reports, which make for relentlessly grim reading, so much as some of the terms which seem to be increasingly used to describe the plight of Ahmadis in Pakistan which I focus on. Lord Avebury, in his preface to the 2007 PHRG report Rabwah: A Place for Martyrs? described Rabwah as follows:

This place is not a safe haven for Ahmadis fleeing persecution elsewhere in Pakistan; it is a ghetto, at the mercy of hostile sectarian forces whipped up by hate-filled mullahs and most of the Urdu media. The authors of this report expose the reality of a dead-end, to which even more victims should not be exiled.

(PHRG 2007:iv)

And ‘ghetto’ is a term which, to a man of Lord Avebury’s generation, would inevitably recall the historical segregation of Jewish communities in European cities, and above all the plight of Jews during the Second World War. The term in this context cannot but lead to a consideration of what happened to many of the European Jews, who were made to live in ghettos and forcibly removed from them as the genocide proceeded during the course of the war.50 And indeed, as recently as 24 May 2018, in a debate on the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the House of Commons, the Liberal Democrat MP Edward Davey, talking the day after an attack on an Ahmadi mosque in Sialkot,51 stated:

Given the murders, the assaults and, as we saw last night, the attacks on mosques, there is a concern that this is becoming endemic and deep-rooted, particularly due to the textbooks that children are reading. I do not want to go too far along this road, but what is happening to the Ahmadi Muslims will ring awful bells for those of us who have had the privilege to visit Auschwitz with the Holocaust Educational Trust to learn about the eight steps to genocide. Although we should not throw the word ‘genocide’ around too freely, the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect needs to do a study. This may not be something that comes and goes; it might be something that has potentially disastrous outcomes.52

The analogy with a ghetto is not entirely unreasonable. The 2015 AHRC and IHRC report notes that Rabwah itself is surrounded on all sides, and that the Ahmadi population of the town live in:

an enclave where each entrance to the town is controlled by guards who vigilantly enquire into the business of all entrants to the town. Notably we learned that 100% of the local police force and local councillors are non Ahmadi and that the city is hemmed in by the Muslim Colony where madrassas have sprouted and that neighbouring Chiniot is reportedly a hotbed of anti Ahmadi activity. The mission was informed that Mullah Ilyas Chinioti who is a known anti Ahmadi activist is based here and is thus only 8 km away from Rabwah.

(AHRC and IHRC 2015:74)

Unlike the ghettos of European cities, however, which were created by the authorities specifically to confine, dispossess and degrade their minority inhabitants through overpopulation and lack of amenities, Rabwah was chosen, bought and developed by the Ahmadis themselves as a place of refuge and hope for their community. This place of refuge has not been realized, and after reading a draft of this section of the chapter, an Ahmadi interlocutor who lives in Rabwah simply commented, ’perhaps Rabwah could be described as a self-created or self-realised ghetto’.

If Rabwah is now besieged and a place to which Ahmadis are confined, territorially segregated within an ’architecture of surveillance’ (Cole 2003:7), this is a consequence of a spatial politics resulting from the acts of hostile groups and laws which have sought to make the home town of the Ahmadis what geographer W.A. Jackson calls a ‘pariah landscape’, a place where the ‘unacceptable, the rejected, are society’s pariahs, and their spatial separation from society may take the form of banishment to a colony, a camp, an institution, a ghetto or a reservation. These latter entities may be designated pariah landscapes’ (Cole 2003:21). Drawing on Doreen Massey’s insights on relational space, power, and inequality, space here becomes an active element in the segregation and exclusion of the Ahmadis from the wider social order (Massey 2005). In this respect, the containment of the Ahmadis in Rabwah, surveilled at every entrance and exit from the town, is the spatial equivalent of the constitutional and legislative changes enacted in the 1970s and 1980s in Pakistan to curtail the expression of Ahmadi faith, and to restrict the professional ambitions of Ahmadis considered by their detractors to be, as indeed were the Jews in mid-twentieth-century Europe, over-represented in positions of power (Cole 2003:79).53 And as now happens evety year at the annual anti-Ahmadi conference held at Rabwah, somewhat bizarrely, those organizing the conference appear to be so concerned with the possibility that Ahmadis might be in positions of power that they adopt a resolution stating that ‘Qadi-anis should be removed from all key positions in the government departments across Pakistan’, thus repeating demands that have been made since the 1950s (Ahmad, T. 2017). As with the legislation excluding the Ahmadis from the fold of Islam, an act of religious ‘purification’ for those who pursued this end, the confining of Ahmadis to Rabwah is, from the perspective of those who wish to rid the country of Ahmadis, a purificatory act, an act of spatial exclusion through the exercise of domination and control made possible by creating and policing a boundary around the town (Cole 2003:21-22).

In a perverse respect, the demands in the early 1950s to take Rabwah away from the Ahmadis and to redistribute the land and homes to the refugees from India54 in order to eliminate the Ahmadi connection to the land of Pakistan has been achieved by other means. It did not happen by taking the land from the Ahmadis to give to non Ahmadis but rather by isolating the Ahmadis on land which is thus rendered distinct and separate, symbolically cut off from the rest of Pakistan. Rabwah is a space which is guarded and under constant observation, marched through by Khatm-e-Nabuwat cadres on a regular basis to demonstrate their control over the space and their ability to enter and terrorize at will (Report of the Court of Inquiry’ 1954:110, 114, 137;Ahmad 2017). The goal for those who wish to eliminate the Ahmadis is, by creating a landscape of exclusion which is also a space of domination, to terrorize Ahmadis in a manner that becomes routinized so as to force ‘people to live in a chronic state of fear with a façade of normalcy, while that terror, at the same time, permeates and shreds the social fabric’ (Green in Lewin 2002:17).

Nor can the Ahmadis extend their town by buying new land to accommodate increasing numbers and so lessen overcrowding, or to provide a buffer zone between themselves and others. This is because another now routinized form of violence against the inhabitants of Rabwah is enacted through a raft of bureaucratic and legal measures which makes it impossible for Ahmadis to buy properties in the vicinity of Rabwah. In 2016, the Punjab Housing and Town Planning Agency (PHTPA) auctioned lots in Chiniot, the district in which Rabwah is located. The auction was advertised in a local Urdu language newspaper and explicitly excluded Ahmadis from the proceedings. As reported in the Express Tribune in March of 2016, the advertisement announcing the auction read:

“anyone related to the Qadiani/Ahmadi/Lahori/Mirzai sects cannot participate in the Area Development Scheme Muslim Colony, Chenab Nagar. Every aspirant has to file a duly certified affidavit stating that he/she has no relation to Qadianis/Ahmadis/Lahoris.” It requires the participants to submit an undertaking that they will not sell the property or transfer its ownership to anyone belonging to the JA [Jama ‘at Ahmadiyya]. . . . The advertisement also stipulated that anyone interested in participating in the auction had to file another affidavit certifying their unqualified belief in the finality of prophethood. It referred to a directive issued by the Department of Housing, Urban Development and Public Health Engineering Department (dated July 7, 1976) to justify the prohibition on members of the Ahmadiyya community.55

In this instance, an urban development office, drawing on a directive relating to a plot of land taken by the government from the Ahmadis in the 1970s, an action which the Ahmadis have been contesting through the courts, denied Ahmadis the right to participate in the auction of land which the Ahmadis claim is theirs to begin with.56 The deputy director of the Punjab Housing and Town Planning Agency was able to distance himself for responsibility for this decision by stating that ‘he was bound to prohibit the community from the auction under the 1976 directive. . . . [as] the government’s policy was to not let Ahmadis participate in auction of plots in localities where land was owned by non-Ahmadis'.57 The bureaucratic manoeuvre of a claim to be just following the rales, or what Hannah

Arendt (1967) described as the ‘rule by nobody’ is, just as much as the rowdy marches through Rabwah or the attacks on property and persons, an act of violence. It may not be ‘the kind of occasional, spectacular acts of violence that we tend to think of first when the word is invoked, but..the boring, humdrum, yet omnipresent forms of structural violence that define the very conditions of our existence’ (Graeber 2012:105). Structural violence, a term Johann Galtung first used to argue that peace is more than simply the absence of physical violence, is any form of unevenly distributed resource, and perhaps more importantly unevenly distributed power to decide over the allocation of resources, that result in harm, physical or psychological, to sections of the population, or which limit their freedoms and thus also harm by this means (Galtung 1969; Graeber 2012:112).

This eveiyday, routine bureaucratic violence is a form of structural violence which, unlike overt physical acts of violence, seeps into the person, changes behaviours and becomes normalized without, for all that, ceasing to be violent. This was brought home to me when I heard a young Ahmadi man who now lives in Rabwah but who grew up in the UK speak about his life in Pakistan. At the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) inquiry into the denial of freedom of religion and human rights violations of Ahmadi Muslims and other religious communities in Pakistan, held at Portcullis House in London on 23 April 2018, he talked of the constraints placed on the lives of the Ahmadis in Rabwah, including the hostile activities of organizations such as Khatm-e-Nabuwat. He also described the enclosed and cautious life many of the young lead, most of whom socialize only with other Ahmadis to avoid harassment and discrimination. The effect, he made clear, was that the impact of segregating the Ahmadis and compelling them to remain in Rabwah had resulted in a generation whose ‘ambitions have been hampered’, whose lives are ‘on hold’ and who wish only to leave the country that affords them no future. But perhaps most notably, the young in Rabwah, because of their isolation, have become what he described as ‘enablers of their own persecution’. This was, for me, a chilling statement and one that was reinforced when I met with this articulate Ahmadi representative a few days later to discuss the plight of Ahmadis in Rabwah.

During our meeting and in subsequent email exchanges, he gave examples of situations that reveal both how the wider Sunni Muslim population now views the Ahmadis, and also how Ahmadis have been made complicit in the discrimination against them through the mundane and unavoidable bureaucratic systems in place in the twenty-first century. One example of just how the anti-Ahmadi discrimination in Pakistan has resulted in self-censorship and the internalization of hostile anti-Ahmadi attitudes was recounted to me as follows:

On my last visit to England I was speaking with a life devotee there who I knew in Rabwah. He was posted to England several years ago. He told me that he used to refer to the names of our mosques in the UK with the word ‘bait’ instead of ‘masjid’ (in Pakistan Ahmadis are forbidden from using the word masjid). So instead of saying ‘Masjid Fazl’ (the Fazl Mosque) he would say Baitul Fazl. Anyway he told me that he used the term Baitul Fazl in front of our Khalifa and the Khalifa corrected him by saying ‘you aren’t in Pakistan anymore there is no reason why you shouldn’t use the word masjid here’. I found the incident incredibly illustrative of how deeply oppressors are able to penetrate the minds of those they oppress and force them to see themselves through the tyrannical eyes of their master. The way I see it another overlooked aspect of Ahmadi persecution is how they have been prevented from establishing agency in the world around them.

A final example of the forms structural violence can take concerns everyday life and the administrative forms we are now all used to completing as a matter of routine in our increasingly bureaucratized lives. When Rabwah’s name was changed to Chenab Nagar against the wishes of the majority inhabitants of the town, there was a determination by the population not to use the new name and in this way to resist the erasure of a name which held meaning and significance for the Ahmadis. Two decades after the name change, the reality is that using Chenab Nagar on official forms has become unavoidable. When an application for a driving licence has to be completed, Chenab Nagar is the only officially recognized place name for an inhabitant of Rabwah. When children are registered for school, Chenab Nagar is the only officially recognized address for a child living in Rabwah. And so on. By this apparently neutral and agentless means, the necessary routine of bureaucratic form-filling without which modern life becomes simply impossible, Ahmadis have been compelled to become complicit in the erasure of the name of their town and hence the erasure of an important aspect of their identity as Ahmadis.58 Similarly, the online register for schools in Punjab makes it compulsory for the applicant to disclose her or his religion: Muslim or non-Muslim. The process directly targets Ahmadis because they consider themselves to be Muslim but risk penal sanction if they declare this to be so. In other words, Ahmadis must either deny their faith or to break the law but without a declaration a child cannot register for school (Islam 2011; HRC 2015:1 ).59

Ahmadis have, in a matter of decades, gone from being considered as a Muslim sect to a non-Muslim group, and from a group which had influence at the very centre of the state in the years leading up to partition and in Pakistan in the years following independence, with statesmen such as Zaffrulla Khan, to a non-Muslim minority whose name has been removed from their town and who are unable to bury their dead so that they rest in peace. This change did not just happen but was produced by concerted and repeated effort to make of the Ahmadis the internal enemy of Sunni Islam in Pakistan. This marks a dramatic change from the 1940s when Cantwell Smith was able to write:

There is nothing in the Qadiyan Ahmadlya that is not in orthodox Islam, except: its novelty, and the consequent enthusiasm; its authoritarianism, with a khalffah who can relieve his followers of the moral responsibility of deciding even modern questions; and finally, and most important, its cohesion - the fellowship and solidarity of a small and active community.

(Cantwell Smith 1943:326)

And perhaps this evaluation of the Ahmadis as offering little new to Islam other than its newness and the cohesion of its members, provides a clue as to why the Ahmadis were focused on and have continued to be the target of relentless Sunni opprobrium in Pakistan. They are certainly not the only group to be targeted in this way but they were the first to be dealt with so systematically and perhaps served as the model to follow for those who seek to eliminate all other minorities from Pakistan.

Yet the scrutiny of insiders with the aim of delimiting and then eliminating internal minorities, and particularly those who may be able to pass as members of the majority and so call into question who really belongs and upset the certainties of a supposed fixed and immutable majority identity, does not result in a steady state of public violence against such minorities. Rather, there are peaks and troughs in levels of violence which are themselves linked to events outside the state itself and which the state is not able fully to control. In Pakistan there have been moments of particular violence against Ahmadis which have followed major and deeply traumatic events. The violence in the early 1950s against the Ahmadis came at a time following partition when the immediate violence the refugees from India had experienced had, for many, begun to be dealt with in practical terms but not yet in emotional ones. This was at a time when the shape of the future state and its constitution was in debate and loyalty to the state was something that had to be declared and made public, especially for those, like the Ahrar, who had earlier opposed the formation of Pakistan. Turning the focus onto a small internal minority, who counted among their number some high profile and very visible public figures, was all the more tempting as it was possible to rouse the masses against them by appealing to some of the latter's deeply held religious beliefs. Later, the 1974 declaration of Ahmadis as non-Muslim followed in the aftermath of the 1971 war between East and West Pakistan when loyalty to the state was again an issue. This war, which had started between members of the same nation, ended up by dividing them into two states and called into question just how committed to Pakistan the East Pakistanis had been. But the citizens of the former East Pakistan were no longer part of the state and so any remaining insecurities and anxieties were more easily directed onto an internal minority who could come to stand for the enemy within, and against whom loyal Pakistanis could unite. To this situation can also be added the increasing influence of religious groups, particularly, in Pakistan, of the Jama‘at-i-Islami, that, in the wake of the 1973 Mus-lim/Arab-Israeli War, by drawing on external as well as internal political events, were able to capitalize on the 1974 Ahmadi riots to achieve their aim of having the Ahmadis declared non-Muslim (Belokrenitsky and Moskalenko 2013:242). And during the early 1970s, the Prime Minister Zulfiqar ‘Ali Bhutto himself turned towards the Middle East and in particular to Saudi Arabia for economic resources to finance a military buildup. The price for this was increased Saudi soft power materialized in the form of new mosques and madrassas across Pakistan which further undermined Sufi groups and worked against minorities such as the Shi'a and Ahmadis (Weinbaum and Kliurram 2014:21-218; Jalal60 2014:201ff). In the 1980s, increasing levels of sectarian violence, partly as a consequence of the turmoil in neighbouring Afghanistan, again turned the spotlight on internal minorities, the Ahmadis among them but now increasingly also on the minority Shi‘a Muslims and other non-Muslim faith groups in the country.

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