A month ago, an 81-year-old Muslim bookseller in New York was caught with a copy of the Holy Quran. The FBI arrested him promptly, and just two days back, an anti-terrorism court in Washington DC sentenced him to eight years in prison with a hefty fine.
Christian leaders across the US are congratulating the government for protecting the soul of Christianity by punishing the Muslim blasphemer, and are urging the State to do more to restrict the Muslims.
Cursing the rise of Donald Trump?
Well, this didn’t actually happen in America. Instead, it happened at home in Pakistan, and the target was not a Muslim (the majority), but a member of the Ahmadi community.
My friend’s aged grandfather, Mr. Abdul Shakoor, was arrested in Rabwah– along with his assistant – for selling Ahmadiyya literature to fellow Ahmadis.
Mr. Shakoor, affectionately known as Shakoor Bhai, is 81 years of age. I have met him numerous times and remember him as a very humble and affectionate man. His eight year sentence is an agonising thought.
Under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, Ahmadis can be imprisoned for a myriad of reasons, from identifying a worship place as a mosque, identifying as Muslim, or distributing Ahmadiyya books, even if this means selling it to another fellow Ahmadi.