Letter to a real martyr: #Justice4Mehdi


Originally published in Fox News

Dear Mehdi,

Greetings of peace!

You’ve been all over the place: CNNNew York TimesWall Street Journal,Washington PostReuters… Up until a week ago, most Americans didn’t know you. But now, for millions, you are a celebrity.

Because the media is telling your story…

How you hail from this tiny hamlet called Rabwah, out in the boondocks of Pakistan, and excelled to become a top-notch interventional cardiologist at the Fairfield Medical Center, Lancaster, Ohio.

Your killers are morally dead. But you are so alive.

How you are passionate about giving back, even to a country that treated you as a pariah. How for the “crime” of being an Ahmadi Muslim, Pakistan’s government usurped your basic human rights.

How in Pakistan, you can’t call yourself a Muslim; can’t vote on the joint electorate; can’t call your place of worship a mosque; can’t even offer “Assalam-o-Alaikum,” the basic Muslim greeting of peace.

As a U.S. citizen, when you traveled back to provide free medical care to the destitute in Pakistan, you were loaded with medical supplies and a mission to save lives. Loaded with hatred however were the Pakistani mullahs who had a mission to end yours.

In a sad world, where just too many terrorists are busy seeking fake martyrdom via suicide belts, real martyrdom sought you via a stethoscope.

Around 5 am on May 26, when you were going to a cemetery to pay respects to your elders, two gunmen attacked you. They asked your wife and 3-year-old-son to step aside. Then they transformed you into a martyr with 11 bullets.

Some say they killed you; they hurt your cause; they won.

But CNN’s Wolf Blitzer said it right: “…He leaves Ohio, he is a cardiologist, he wants to help the Pakistanis, he goes there, he volunteers his free time and he’s gunned down in front of his wife and a 3-year-old little boy, for no reason at all; no reason that any of us here in the West can understand.”

Americans can’t understand the lopsided realities of Pakistan where a killer is hailed a hero, and a healer is killed as a villain.

Forget about Americans. The story of your martyrdom is so real, yet so bizarre, that almost everyone, it seems, got it wrong.

The gunmen got it wrong when they believed you were an infidel (or a traitor).

I wish the gunmen — if they were literate — had bothered to ask you about your love for the Creator and His creation. And when did traitors start spending their vacations to open the coronaries of those hell bent on sending them to heaven?

Loved ones also got it wrong — despite the pictures, which were tweeted within minutes of the shooting — when they believed your blood soaked body was lying in the sun.

Frazzled, they couldn’t appreciate the wings of the angels. I am referring to the Islamic tradition that angels shade the body of a martyr with their wings.

Friends and family got it wrong when they went to your beautiful house in Ohio, looking for you. Why didn’t tell them you were moving to a much bigger house in a much prestigious location?

Prophet Muhammad talks about it when he said, “Last night, two angels came to me in a dream and made me ascend a tree and then admitted me into a nice and excellent house, the like of which I have never seen before. One of them said: ‘This house is the house of martyrs.’”

Some bigots got it wrong too when they posted hateful anti-Ahmadiyya propaganda on the bathroom walls of social media, assuming immunity. Instead, many Pakistanis retaliated by promoting #Justice4Mehdi on Twitter.

Mullahs got it wrong  — big time — when they surmised that these bullets would silence the peaceful message of Ahmadi Muslims. Instead, according to my analysis of media coverage, at least 200 million people worldwide must have heard about this renaissance of Islam that we call the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, through your valor.

Bravo my friend. You have become a spiritual celebrity. In a world littered with suicide bombers and extremist thugs, sullying the name of Islam and the title of a martyr, you are the real martyr.

But here is my biggest problem. They have declared you dead. And even some Muslims have fallen for the hoax. When I remind them of “And say not of those who are killed in the cause of Allah that they are dead; nay, they are living; only you perceive not. Koran 2:155” they think I don’t really mean it.

Are they crazy? Why would I write a letter to a dead man?

Your killers are morally dead. But you are so alive.

Do stay in touch.


About the author

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Faheem Younus

A doctor, a writer, a professor, a student, a family man, a humanitarian – enjoys figuring out the challenges of Muslim American life. Learn more about him at www.Muslimerican.com

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