Zofeen Ebrahim at the Inter Press Service News Agency:
As millions around the world enter the third week of the Ramadan fast, the fraternity that typically unites Muslims during the holy month does not extend to Pakistan’s Ahmadi community, which is facing worse persecution than ever before.
What little space there might once have been for this religious minority – who believe that their founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, is the promised messiah and reformer whose advent was foretold by the Holy Prophet Muhammad – is quickly disappearing altogether.
“What space for Ahmadis are you talking about? They don’t have any,” Faisal Neqvi, a Lahore-based lawyer, told IPS.
Declared non-Muslims in 1974, the legal and social exclusion of Ahmadis was further enshrined in a 1984 law that prohibits them from proclaiming themselves Muslims or making pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia.