Discrimination Against Ahmadi Muslims on Instagram

Discrimination Against Ahmadi Muslims on Instagram

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Social media has changed the way we live. The influence that social media has for good and bad is insurmountable. Social media is used to save lives and just as much put lives in danger.

There are two examples close to my heart regarding how media and social media have been used for good and unfortunately for bad.

To start with bad, I'll talk about Pakistani media. Throughout this year because of some media coverage and social media rallies, mob violence and targeted killings were incited against my beloved Community, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at. Rallies, mosque attacks, violence against innocent bistanders, and overall infringement on basic rights.

Therefore, while social media and media provides an indispensable flow of information and is a powerful communicative force, the limitations must be appreciated as well, particularly and evidently when they may incite violence or harm to others.

The next example demonstrates what social media and media should be used for, but the outcome is a little unfair.

Tying to my first example, Ahmadi Muslims are heavily persecuted in Pakistan. Unfortunately now this persecution has left Pakistan and entered western countries as well. The Pakistani clerics are now also trying to silence the only voice of reason left in Islam - Ahmadiyyat.

My family fled from Pakistan so that we can feely practice our faith. We continued to peacefully spread the message of Islam in Canada with great acceptance. Until recently.

Just last week my instagram account @AhmadiAnswers was restricted by Pakistan authorities and sadly I am unable to login, even from Canada.

Why should the Pakistani government have any authority of those who are Canadian citizens living peacefully in Canada?!

I have found out that my account is not alone, and other accounts of Ahmadi Muslims have also been restricted and they are also unable to login. This is extent unfair, unjust, and unreasonable.

Instagram allowing such restrictions from a government full of hate is really shocking. A government that prohibits freedom of thought and worship should have absolutely no jurisdiction over innocent people protecting their faith. It is a direct violation of our basic freedoms.

The persecution of Ahmadi Muslims has been condemned by many countries including the USA, Canada, Europe, and essentially all countries that respect our basic freedom of religion. It really bothers me that despite our community being one which practices love for all, and hatred for none, Instagram decides to support the authorities who believe all Ahmadi Muslims should be killed (for absolutely no reason).

This is barbaric in nature and needs to be rectified immediately. I'm still of the opinion that this is an innocent mistake by global Instagram authorities and will be looked into immediately.

I have trust in the judgement of the Instagram team to fix this issue immediately and more closely monitor the decisions made by the clerics in Pakistan that are influencing even their social media policies.