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Home Critical Analysis/Archives Enforced Apostasy: …
Enforced Apostasy: Zaheeruddin v. State and the Official Persecution of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan


… The Pakistan Court quoted the following passages from Reynolds v. United States to support its contention that a legislature may curtail certain religious behavior: “Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order,” and “laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices.” … The provision requiring the license fee was upheld because of the requirement's nondiscriminatory and neutral nature; all book agents, regardless of religious belief, were required to obtain a license to sell books. … [United States Supreme Court] decisions have held consistently that the right of free exercise [of religious belief] does not relieve an individual of the obligation to comply with a “valid and neutral law of general applicability on the ground that the law proscribes (or prescribes) conduct that his religion prescribes (or proscribes).” … Whereas 2 organizations in the United States, the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights and the Human Rights Advocates, have determined that Ahmadis are being subjected to systematic and extensive discrimination on the basis of religious belief; and…

Nothing is more certain than the fact that the restriction of the right of freedom of expression to those holding certain beliefs, and its denial to those holding other beliefs, would sooner or later destroy the right for those holding any belief. The very essence of the right is that it should be effective against majorities and that it should protect the most unpopular opinions. *1

Archibald MacLeish, Freedom To End Freedom, in A Time to Speak, 131, 136 (1940).
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