Minnesota Muslims speak out on martyrdom, murder of Dr. Mehdi Ali


Originally published in Twin Cities Daily Planet


On Monday, May 25, Ohio based cardiologist, Dr. Mehdi Ali was assassinated in Pakistan. According to a report in the New York Times:

“An American doctor volunteering at a hospital in eastern Pakistan was shot to death on Monday in front of his wife and 3-year-old son in the latest attack on a follower of the minority Ahmadi faith at a time of rising intolerance across the country. …

“Dr. Qamar had arrived in Pakistan two days earlier as a volunteer at a hospital in Rabwah that has been a target of an extremist hate campaign in recent months.”

Two Minnesota Muslims responded to this assassination with letters to the editor. Here are their letters:


Dear Editor,

Murder in the Name of God

An American on a charitable medical mission to Pakistan was targeted on the basis of faith – his ‘crime’ being a member of the minority Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. An Ohio based cardiologist, Dr. Mehdi Ali, was killed in front of his 2-year-old child and wife while visiting the graves of his deceased loved ones.

His noble mission ended with the loss of his life, a loss for all those who seek to serve humanity.

Being an American Ahmadi Muslim of Pakistani origin, I appreciate the ability to practice my faith with freedom and live according to the motto of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community- ‘Love for All, Hatred for None’.


Touba Khurshid


Dear Editor,

I always wonder how a country like Pakistan – which has so many resources and the potential to be a great country – isn’t flourishing. This question always seems to be answered whenever I watch the Pakistani news. Yesterday, a cardiologist from Columbus, Ohio was gunned down in Rabwah, Pakistan because he belonged to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – a sect deemed heretical by Pakistani law. Dr. Mehdi Ali, the cardiologist, went to Pakistan for a voluntary mission to provide free healthcare services to the underserved community in Pakistan. As a Muslim, he appreciated the Quranic verse, “Whoso gave life to a person, it shall be as if he gave life to all mankind” (5:33). However, Pakistani journalists and mullahs have yet to condemn this atrocity.

As a Pre-Med student from the same Muslim community as Dr. Mehdi, I am touched by Dr. Mehdi’s bravery and compassion to serve humanity – even in a highly volatile country of religious intolerance.


Adeel Ahmad

About the author

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Adeel Ahmad

Adeel Ahmad is in his final year studying microbiology at the University of Minnesota. Thereafter, he plans on pursuing his education and a career in medicine. Currently, he serves as co-secretary of the Muslim Writers Guild of America. He is also President of the Minnesota Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association.

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