Monday, February 27, 2017

Pakistan diplomat deletes tweet on Ahmadi Muslim Mahershala Ali’s Oscar win


Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s envoy to the United Nations, deleted a tweet on Monday that noted Ali was the first Muslim actor to win an Academy Award. The tweet, however, was spotted by eagle eyed Twitter users who saved screen grabs.

Screen grab (left) of the tweet on Mahershala Ali that Maleeha Lodi,
Pakistan’s envoy to the UN, deleted. (Twitter)
Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: Hindustan Times
By Rezaul H Laskar | February 27, 2017

There are several Muslim-majority countries where Mahershala Ali’s Oscar win for his role in Moonlight won’t be celebrated. That’s because he belongs to the minority Ahmadi sect.

In countries such as Malaysia and Pakistan, Ahmadis are reviled by hardline Sunni Muslim groups as heretics, apostates and even infidels.

So much so that Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s envoy to the United Nations, deleted a tweet on Monday that noted Ali was the first Muslim actor to win an Academy Award. The tweet, however, was spotted by eagle eyed Twitter users who saved screen grabs.

Ali, who was born a Christian, converted to Islam in his final year at graduate school after the woman who would become his wife, Amatus Karim, invited him to an Ahmadi mosque.

In Pakistan, the government of then Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was pressured by religious hardliners to amend the Constitution in 1974 to declare members of the Ahmadiyya sect “non-Muslims”.

Another constitutional amendment by military ruler Zia-ul-Haq in 1984 further restricted religious freedoms of Ahmadis, who were barred from referring to themselves as Muslims and from calling their places of worship mosques. Anyone doing so could be sent to prison for three years.

Even now, every Pakistani applying for a passport has to sign a declaration that states Prophet Mohammed was the final prophet and that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiyya sect, an “imposter nabi” (false prophet) and his followers “non-Muslims”.




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