Executive for American Islamic council urges Pakistan to repeal laws against Ahmadi Muslims

An Executive Director for America’s ‘leading Muslim advocacy group’ has called on Pakistan to abolish discriminatory laws against the Ahmadiyya Muslims.

In a rare show of intra-faith solidarity, Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director of the Chicago chapter of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), condemned the persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan and called on the State to repeal its laws against the sect.

Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director of CAIR Chicago

Ahmadis have long been persecuted across much of the ‘Muslim world’ at the hands of Sunni clergy due to their belief in an Islamic Messiah.

In 1974, Pakistan introduced a constitutional amendment which forcibly declared the Ahmadis a ‘non-Muslim’ minority, taking away their right to self-identify.

Then in 1984, General Zia ul Haq introduced laws that made it a criminal act for any Ahmadi to identify or ‘pose’ as a Muslim. Under these laws, thousands of Ahmadi Muslims have been rounded up from across the country and jailed for ‘crimes’ such as saying the Islamic greeting of ‘AssalamoAlikum’, reciting the Islamic call to prayer, reading the Quran and identifying as Muslim.

Responding to a question, Rehab said:

I condemn Pakistan’s anti-Ahmadi laws and call for their repeal. I stand against the persecution of Ahmadi Muslims wherever it occurs across the Muslim world. No one should be punished for their beliefs, no matter what they are.

Rehab also posted comments on facebook clarifying CAIR’s stance on Ahmadis and said:

“No one has right to call anyone Non-Muslims if they identify themselves as Muslim.

We are not in the business of validating or invalidating a client’s claim to faith, and that if a client self-identifies as “Muslim,” that is the only criteria, we do not second-guess them be they Sunni, Shia, Ahmadi, Nation or whatever.

If someone tells me they identify as a Muslim, I accept that. If they come to my CAIR office with a valid case, I sign them up like anyone else.”

Rehab’s statement comes at a time when there is continued pressure on groups like CAIR to confront intolerance within their own ranks. CAIR describes itself as a ‘leading advocacy group’ and claims to work for all American Muslims. However, many American Muslim Imams have faced criticism for not being inclusive of Islamic sects like the Ahmadiyya.

In the recent past, several American Sunni Muslim activists and leaders like Dean Obaeidallah, Professor Khaled Bedouin and Imam Abdullah Antepli have raised the issue of #AhmadiApartheid and condemned the treatment vetted out to Ahmadi Muslims in the Muslim world.

Prominent author and journalist Mehdi Hasan also tweeted in support of the statement made by CAIR executive:

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  1. Ahmed Rehab sahib words are excellent. Some statements are worthy of being written in Golden letters. He has described the religion (Islam) very well. There is no compulsion in the matters of faith (Laa Ikaraha Fee Al Deen.). Al Hamdu Lillah. If Muslims understood the real meanings of the Quranic words Momin, Muslim, Munafiq, Kafir, Murtadd, they will benefit much and nobody will call each other a Kafir. Kafir is one who is open enemy of Islam. He says Islam is a bad religion. Ahmadis never uttered such words so they cannot be Kafir.
    The problem is that the maulvis are leading the Muslim masses further away from Islam.
    I read Bashir Shah sahib comment. It was short comment. Bashir sahib needs to be a well informed person as he is a well educated person. The incident at Rabwah railway station in 1974 was a well planned act of Nishtar Medical college Multan students. If Ahmadi boys had patience and avoided (ignored) the foul language of the students, all would have been well. Mirza Nasir Ahmad sahib never said that Ahmadis should be declared non-Muslims.
    Bashir sahib needs to have the right knowledge. Wrong knowledge also leads a person to a bad place. As some one said, we all need to repent and Allah is forgiving, Merciful. The result of bad words and bad deeds comes back to a person, sooner or later, even in this world, which may be temporary suffering. But the result of the next life is long lasting. It is better to avoid suffering of our soul. When a person realizes all the bad things he has done, then there is no one to save him from the punishment of his own which comes from within the person. One last thing: It is the words of the Quran (Chapter 12), In urdu it will be translated as: “Maa yousi Kufr hay. Never despair from the Mercy of Allah. (Wassalam)

    1. Bashir Shah Sahib your lies, allegations and illiteracy is rife and baseless ever since the time of the Holy Prophet (saw) !!!
      Astaghfirullah !!!
      You do not fear Allah and continue to smear your filth and dirt on Ahmadyyat !!
      Ours is the ultimate victory Indeed !!!
      With and without you !!!
      Inshallah !!
      You are a fulfilment of the prophesy of our Holy Prophet (saw) !!
      Indeed !!
      Low of the lowest creatures under the skies today
      Astaghfirullah !!!
      Repent and accept the Promissed Messiah (as) !!
      You will be among the victorious !!
      Inshallah !!!
      Your cowardness, illiteracy, ignorance and arrogance will only lead you to the death and demise of in favour of the enemies of Islam indeed !!
      Like those of Abu Jahals, Namroods and the Pharoas,Bhutto and Zia ul Gaq !!
      Astaghfirullah !!!
      I warn you to anticipate repentance !!!
      Now !!
      O arrogant ones !!!!

  2. Really very encourging and very much appreciable statement from Rehab.
    It’s the only way, the muslims can progress. All muslims should support & follow Rehab.

  3. Good news from some one who knows it’s wrong and should be condem to declare any Muslim as non Muslim.pakistani government should change these laws against Ahmadi Muslim.

  4. May Allah grant them knowledge and create a Pakistan we want !!!
    Democratic, friendly and Mullah free !!!!
    Let’s pray for a peaceful, successful Pakistan !!
    Inshallah !!!

  5. Dear Rabab Thank you very much for standing for justice n truthfullness.indeed you are very couregious, may Allah give you strength n energi to face the reactions against your words.Amen