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(RNS) — More than 125 members of the minority Ahmadi Muslim sect spent Monday (April 1) on Capitol Hill advocating for international religious freedom causes — particularly lending their voices on behalf of beleaguered Uighur Muslims.
As part of its ninth annual Day on the Hill project, Ahmadi delegates from around the country met with more than 200 members of Congress or their staffers in Washington to encourage support for the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019.
Islam - Teaches - Justice - Rights - Amjad
“Islam teaches absolute justice and human rights for all,” said Amjad Mahmood Khan, national director of public affairs for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA. “Our faith asks of us not to rest until the international community protects the rights of all people of faith, including the Uighur community, who have endured unspeakable cruelties.”
Delegates also brought attention to the rights of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims and Middle Eastern Christians, whose persecution has been the focus of Hill visits in previous years.
Community - Ourselves - Parts - Muslim - World
“As a community that is persecuted ourselves in some parts of the Muslim world, we are obligated to stand up for our brothers and sisters in faith who are suffering,” said Khan.
Ahmadi Muslims, who belong to a sect that began in South Asia in the late 1800s, are subject to severe state-sanctioned persecution.
Pakistan - Constitution - Forbids - Muslim - Code
In Pakistan, the constitution forbids Ahmadis from calling themselves Muslim and the penal code imposes the death penalty for Ahmadis who practice their faith freely. Just last month, after years of advocacy from human rights advocates and U.S. political leaders, Pakistan released an 83-year-old Ahmadi bookseller partway through his eight-year prison sentence for propagating his faith.
“What we want for ourselves, we also want for everybody to have that,” explained Mansura Minhas, an Ahmadi woman from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who visited four congressional offices during her visit. “Hearing these personal accounts of Uighurs was simply...
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