Muhammad Jibran Nasir needs no introduction. He is a lawyer and a prominent human rights activist. This year he is contesting the upcoming elections as an independent candidate from NA-247 and PS-111 constituencies of Karachi. He earlier contested from the same constituencies in general election 2013 but was unable to win a seat. This time he is hopeful that he will get an entry into the parliament.
These days, Jibran Nasir is holding corner meetings in his constituencies to interact directly with the voters but things are not that simple. The night before yesterday, he was verbally attacked and physically threatened by a mob who forced him to declare Ahmadis as non-Muslims.
According to the details, He was addressing to a group of people in his constituencies, the situation took the wrong turn after a group of religious extremists forced him to call the Ahmadiyya community kaafir [non-Muslim]. Though he made it clear that he doesn’t want to do politics on religious grounds because he does not consider himself eligible to comment on the religious belief of a group.
The people were in no mood to listen to whatever he was saying. All they wanted was the word ‘kaafir’ for the Ahmadiyya community from him which he bluntly refused to utter. A man, quite visible in the video, could be seen saying that they would not vote for a person who doesn’t respect Prophet Muhammad SAW. All they want from the politicians is the respect of Prophet Muhammad SAW. Jibran Nasir replied that if they don’t want to vote him they are free to do that but he would not do politics on religion.
A member of his media team called the police which reached on the spot within minutes. The activist called off the meeting and left. It was a big news but no media house reported the event and we all know why.
Who Are Ahmadiyya?
Ahmadiyya community is considered a religious minority in Pakistan. According to an amendment in the constitution on Pakistan, Ahmadiyya community is considered non-Muslims for their religious belief. It is a common perception about the minority group that they don’t believe the holy prophet Muhammad SAW the final prophet of Allah.
Hatred Against Ahmadiyya
The people belonging to the Ahmadiyya belief are hated equally across the country. Many shops in the provincial capital of Punjab, Lahore have a poster pasted on their outer wall which restricts Ahmadiyya community from entering the shop. Though the shopkeeper cant differentiates between an Ahmadiyya, Sunni, shiyaa or Christian they still have pasted that notice outside their shop. It appears that they have posted that poster to just give an impression to their fellow community members that they are sensitive for the religion and a true Muslim.
In the start of January 2018, the nation mourned the brutal murder of seven years old girl Zainab who was raped before the murder. The girl went missing on the 4th of January at the time when her parents were in Saudia for Umrah. He relatives searched for her before filing a missing report at the local police station. Five days later her dead body was found on a trash pile. The medical report confirmed sexual assault. That incident sparked a countrywide campaign.
The government formed a Joint investigation team to probe the matter. As soon as the father of the girl reached back Pakistan, all keynote politicians and leaders of religious parties went to meet him. Under influence of some, he requested the government to remove the head of JIT because he was Ahmadi. That sparked another controversy. Ahmadiyya activists took to Twitter to record their protest. One of the activists tweeted that Dear Zainab, Your father hate me for my faith but I still demand justice for you. Later, the father of deceased took a U-turn and said the head had a not so impressive record of performance which is why he demanded him to be replaced.
Politics On Ahmadiyya And The Blasphemy Law
The politicians in Pakistan had been doing politics on the religious grounds for a long time. Their only motive is to get more and more support which will eventually make a positive effect on their vote bank. What they forget is its impact. According to an estimate, over 69 persons have been killed over alleged blasphemy since 1990.
Soon after the assassination of former governor Punjab late Salman Taseer, we saw an uprise in religious intolerance across the country. His assassinator Mumtaz Qadri was made a hero and many renowned politicians and personalities appreciated him for his love for the Prophet Muhammad. The chief justice of Islamabad high court Shaukat Aziz was one of them.
We have also seen captain Safdar, son in law of Nawaz Sharif, bluntly supporting the controversial blasphemy law of Pakistan.
Some politicians are still using religion in their election campaign to get empathy of their supporters.
In April, a university student, Mashal Khan, was killed and two others wounded during a violent mob attack after being accused of committing blasphemy in the Mardan.
The Different Jibran
The human rights activist Jibran Nasir is different in all these politicians. His ideology is based on the equal rights of all communities and he is very clear about it. He is courageous enough to stand and speak what is right. It is very easy for him to get into this dirty politics and do the same things our so-called leaders had been doing for years but he chose to stand differently for which the liberals and seculars support him.
After that attack, he wrote a powerful post on the Facebook which i am reproducing below.
“Our loud and clear answer to those who are threatening us. We will not back down. We are not scared of Fatwas. We are not scared of mobs. Our only asset is our principles and we would not compromise on it.
We didn’t back down and we won’t back down. We take pride that the extremist considers us their ideological opposition and are scared of us.”
Go on Jibran Nasir. We are with you. We hope you get into the lawmaking process and make laws which could protect rights of all Pakistanis irrespective of their faith and belief. With this, we also pray for your safety. It took us ages to get a man like you and we don’t want to lose you. Pakistan needs you the most this time. Stay safe.