Why are Ahmadis persecuted so ferociously in Pakistan? Because anyone who defends an apostate is themselves an apostate, writes Mohsin Hamid in an opinion piece at Dawn.com. Hamid, author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Moth Smoke: A Novel, grew up in Pakistan and lives in London. He explains:
This is what the persecution of Ahmadis achieves. It allows any Muslim to be declared an apostate. For the logic can be continued endlessly. When an Ahmadi man is wounded in an attack and goes to a hospital for treatment, if the doctor agrees to treat him, she is helping an apostate, and therefore she becomes an apostate and subject to threats. When a policeman is deputed to protect the doctor, since she is an apostate, the policeman is helping an apostate, so he too becomes an apostate. And on and on.
The collective result of this is to silence and impose fear not just on the few per cent of Pakistanis who are Ahmadis, or even on those who are Christians and Hindus, but on all of us. The message is clear. Speaking out against the problem means you are the problem, so you had better be quiet.