Have Religious Parties Gone Too Far?

I cannot tell you how angry this makes me. A group of religious parties including Jamaat-i-Islami, Jamiat-i-ulema-i-Islam Fazlur Rahman group, Jamaatud Dawa and Markazi Jamaat-i-Ahl-i-Sunnat have had the audacity to hold a gathering that blames the Ahmadis for their own suffering!

The meeting came up with the most horrid decision one could imagine:

“The parties concluded that a conspiracy was in place to debate the laws against Ahmedis, the report said.”

How could these people be so wicked that they could blame a victim for an attack? It is the height of cruelty.

The extremism at this gathering of religious parties went further than just blaming the victims for their own suffering, though, when they began calling on mainstream politicians to stop sympathizing with the victims.

During the meeting, Maulana Ilyas Chinioti, a member of the PML-N and the Punjab provincial assembly, condemned Nawaz Sharif’s statement in which he had sympathised with the Ahmedis and called them his brothers.

This type of hatred has no place in our country. These people call themselves religious, but they are so far from the teachings of Islam that they are unrecognizable. It also raises the question of whether the religious parties have gone too far.

Earlier this year, Bangladesh moved to ban religious parties. This has been proposed before for Pakistan also, but has not received much attention. Perhaps it is time to consider the question again.

Pakistan may be an Islamic country, but Pakistani does not mean Sunni, Shia, Sufi, Ahmadi, Christian, Hindu or any other religion or sect only. If religious parties are not open to representing all Pakistanis, perhaps they should not be allowed. At the very least, Nawaz Sharif should absolutely not take back his statement in sympathy with the Ahmadis. Actually, the mainstream parties that can actually win elections and actually represent the people should issue a condemntation of this Hate Jirga.

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