Originally published in Cincinnati Enquirer
Persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan is just as severe as it has always been. A sect of Islam that played an essential part in the founding of Pakistan is now being bitterly persecuted by extremists and the government is implicit in the persecution. In the last 4 years, 137 Ahmadis have been killed at the hands of persecutors who are backed by anti-blasphemy laws and a penal code that forbids Ahmadis from calling themselves Muslims.
Dr. Mehdi Ali, a cardiologist from Columbus, OH, went to Pakistan a few days ago to serve voluntarily at the Tahir Heart Institute. Shortly after paying his respects at an Ahmadi graveyard, he was gunned down in front of his wife and toddler by two unknown assailants for his faith. He leaves behind his 17, 5, and 2-year-old sons. Personally knowing him and his family, it pains me to say that he now joins this list of 137.
Awareness must be raised about the persecution and religious intolerance present in Pakistan and pressure must be put on the Pakistani government to repeal the blasphemy laws that open the door to such vigilante “justice.”