Eid under the Shadow of Guns

This Wednesday when Sabir woke up he was in a sombre mood, It was day of Eid a Muslim holiday which marks the end of Ramadhan. Muslims start their day by attending the congregational Eid prayer service in the morning. But Sabir knew he wasn’t going to the Aqsa Mosque, where thousands had attended congregational Eid prayers each year for decades, where the sweet smell of perfume would make the cool morning air even fresher.

But No those days are long gone now, When Sabir along with other residents of the small town of Rabwah would to go to their mosques without the shadows of guns.

On this Eid Sabir made his way to the local mosque just a few yards away from his house, As much as he wanted to go to the Aqsa Mosque he couldn’t. Why? Because of his religion, Sabir belongs to the minority Ahmadiyya sect who have been declared non-Muslims in Pakistan by Law and face persecution at the hands of Islamic Organizations such as KhatmeNabuwat.

The Aqsa mosque has been under constant lockdown for a few years now due to the continuous terrorist threats but the recent attacks on the community’s Mosques in Lahore in which more than 80 people were killed has increased the risk of terror attacks in the predominantly Ahmadi town of Rabwah.

For Sabir congregational Eid prayers in Aqsa Mosque are a distant memory now. He still remembers the family run to the mosque and the parking rush.

The river of men, women and children would make its way to the Mosque. Seeing cheerful faces of children all excited to get back home to start collecting their Eidies. After Eid prayers the sea of people would get up and greet one another.He describes how there was no fear and no ill feelings.

Sabir says he just doesn’t understand the animosity and persecution faced by his community every day. Like many other Muslims he believes his religion has been hijacked by some who use the name of Islam but don’t represent Muslims and know nothing about Islam.

Sourced from: CybeGeek