Pakistani actor Hamza Ali Abbasi, who has not shied away from discussing controversial issues on social media, has this time spoken out in favor of religious freedom and criticized the country’s growing intolerance towards Ahmadiyya and Shia Muslims.
In a post on Facebook this weekend, Mr Abbasi said,
If you think Ahmedis and Shias are non Muslim, then let ALLAH (SWT) decide their fate on the day of Judgement. Will you dare to punish, hurt or kill a human being for his faith and challenge ALLAH (SWT) on a matter that is only his domain? Judgement and punishment on matters of FAITH is only the domain of Allah (SWT).
According to a recent PEW survey, 66% of Pakistanis said they consider Ahmadis to be non-Muslim and 37% considered Shias outside the fold of Islam.
Ahmadiyya were declared non-Muslims through a constitutional amendment in 1974 by then Pakistani President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. A decade later, they were barred from proselytising or identifying themselves as Muslims by military dictator Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. Since then followers of Ahmadiyya Islam have been subject to severe persecution in Pakistan.