Among the minorities of Pakistan, one is the Ahmadiyya movement, an offshoot of the Shia muslims, that has be founded in 1889 by a mystic from western India, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in reaction to the Arya Samaj, an hindu revivalist movement, and christian missionaries. Considered by his followers as a prophet, he made a number of claims, including being the Promised Messiah, the Mahdi (the Savior whom muslims are waiting for before the end of the world) and an avatar of the hindu god Krishna. Seen as the One who came to re-adapt the teachings of the Koran to the modern muslims, he also taught that Jesus escaped from death on the cross and went to Srinagar ( India) where he died and was buried. In 1914, some years after the death of the founder, Ahmadiyya split into two groups, the “Qadiyani” who hold that Ghulam Ahmad was a prophet, and the “Lahori” who believe that he was merely a “renewer”. Their headquarter is in Pakistan, at Rabwah.
Because Mirza Ghulam Ahmad presented himself as a prophet, orthodox muslims consider Ahmadiyya as heretics, as betrayers of Islam. Indeed, Ahmadiyya reject the literal interpretation of the Koran. They think Islam, as well as any religion, has to be reformed, revived through divine intervention. Because Man ( and muslims too) has fallen prey to materialism, Allah has appointed an ordinary man, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, to make muslims return to His way, to start the revival of Islam. Something untenable for most muslims. In 1953 and 1974, anti-Ahmadiyya riots occured in West Punjab ( one of the 4 provinces in Pakistan), ostensibly on religious grounds, but also because of the great economic and military prominence achieved by the more educated Ahmadiyya. In 1984, they have been declared non-muslims by the general Zia who was at this time ruler of the country. Since then, they have been persecuted, facing legal discriminations ( they can’t vote) and frequent acts of violence in Pakistan. Actually, there are 10 millions Ahmadiyya living in more than 190 countries ( they represent 0,12 % of the pakistani population). Their motto is “Love for all, hatred for nobody”. Their message is about building a modern and progressive Islam, raising the moral standard, being ready to sacrifice with the goal to renew Islam.