Religious Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
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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


Ahmadis are individuals who have distinctive religious beliefs, as do other communities in Islam. Ahmadis face arrest and imprisonment because of their religious beliefs and peaceful practices in a country they love and helped create. The Pakistan Court unjustly held constitutional the continued repression and discrimination against Ahmadis. This article is an appeal to the Pakistan Supreme Court to shed its historical timidity and instead make decisions according to principles of justice. It is also a plea to the rest of the world to actively condemn the tyranny occurring in Pakistan.

The reasoning that the Pakistan Supreme Court used in Zaheeruddin to justify the constitutionality of Ordinance XX is absurd and dishonest. Ordinance XX is facially repugnant and a violation of freedom of religion and conscience. *243 Criminalizing the expression of religious views is contrary to the Constitutions of Pakistan and the United States, as well as international and Islamic law. The Pakistan Court deemed the laws against Ahmadis necessary to preserve public order, yet these laws serve to promote and incite violence against Ahmadis, thereby encouraging public disorder. The Court's creation of a trademark or copyright on religious terminology and practice is misplaced and violates freedom of expression and religion. No rational court would use company and trademark law to justify the exclusivity of religious epithets. Furthermore, Ordinance XX is worded vaguely and broadly making every facet of an Ahmadi's life potentially criminal. The Pakistan Court justified the repression of Ahmadis through flawed and disingenuous reasoning. The decision in Zaheeruddin legitimizes and perpetuates the dangers to life and property that Ahmadis experience daily in Pakistan. The Pakistan Court wrongly declared Ordinance XX of 1984 constitutional.

The Blasphemy Law of 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code also violates freedom of conscience and belief.
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