A month ago, a violent mob attacked an Ahmadi-owned factory in Jhelum, burning it – and the adjacent employee quarters – down to the ground. Not enough to satiate their hate, the extremist mob attacked an Ahmadiyya Mosque and Ahmadi houses in the vicinity the following day. There could have been much bloodshed, but luckily, all Ahmadi Muslims had managed to flee the area the night prior.
Hundreds of them have since been living with friends and relatives in other parts of Pakistan, most finding support with fellow Ahmadi Muslims in the city of Rabwah.
Missing her home, one Ahmadi Muslim lady, Humda, decided to return to see what was left of her house in Jhelum. She shared the heart-wrenching pictures on Twitter.
Everything – books, toys, clothing, utensils, and furniture – had been burnt down. The house had been completely destroyed. Self-proclaimed custodians of faith who sought to cleanse the area of ‘blasphemers’ essentially left her homeless.
Put yourselves in her shoes for a minute. What would you feel at such a time? Unbearable Rage? Desire for revenge? These feelings would have been completely human given the circumstance.
For is this not what you feel when you see a Palestinian home destroyed on TV? Is this not what you feel when you see, on occasion, a Muslim Mosque attacked in the West? Is this not how you feel when you see Burmese Muslims mistreated and hurt in Burma?
But Humda is no ordinary human. Her response was superhuman. Instead of cursing the country that failed to protect her, she left a Pakistani flag over the charred floors of her house and wrote: “This is a picture of my home in Jhelum. Even despite everything, my heart still belongs to Pakistan.”
Would you have blamed Humda for hating a country that failed to protect her? A country that has laws in place that punish her for professing her faith? A country that has snatched away her right to self-identity and jails her for identifying at will? A country that could not stop bloodthirsty Mullahs from burning down her whole house?
Yet, by her actions, Humda redefined patriotism. Instead of rage and revenge, Humda exuberated hope and optimism. Despite losing her home to extremists who would want her out of Pakistan, Humda did not stop loving her country.
And here is what we must all learn from her. This one patriotic lady’s actions and feelings are not just an anomaly, but are representative of the general feeling of five million Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan. Despite bitter persecution by the State and Mullahs, and despite severe marginalization by the society at large, Pakistani Ahmadi Muslims continue to love their country. They never protest or rally against the State. They continue to pray for Pakistan, and work for its betterment.
Call them crazy, but that’s what their extent of love for the country is – crazy. Is there a better example of devotion to country in this age?
So fellow Pakistanis, the next time someone hates on an Ahmadi and questions their loyalty, stand up for them. Speak for your fellow patriotic citizens, and protect them from the extremists who continue to be a blot on our flag, our morality, and our international reputation.
Humda’s enemies would not have hesitated to take her life. But Humda has already shown us the color of her blood – green! And while her attackers thought they left her homeless, Humda’s home is Pakistan!