In 1974, the Pakistani government initiated what has gone down in the books of history as one of the most oppressive and unjust acts targeted towards a specific minority. They introduced the second amendment in the Pakistani Constitution and declared Ahmadis as non-Muslims, denying them their basic and fundamental rights as human beings. In 1984, the President of Pakistan, Zia-ul-Haq added Ordinance XX to the Constitution, making it a crime for Ahmadis to profess their faith. Since then, Ahmadis have been subject to state-sponsored hate, violence and gruesome persecution. The persecution of Ahmadis continues to worsen despite growing international human rights movements that have come up over the past few years. Just this week, there was a Pakistani mob attack led by right-wing Muslim clerics, who tore down and attacked the 100-year old Sialkot Mosque, a mosque enriched with deep historical significance for Ahmadis. The local government, despite having full knowledge of this outrageous and heinous act of terror, stood alongside the mob and permitted them to continue their oppression. This grave violation of human rights has tarnished the families of hundreds of Ahmadis in Sialkot and continues to be a cause of great sorrow. As a Pakistani-Ahmadi, it shakes me to the core when such attacks take place. These attacks are against the fundamental roots of human rights, freedom of conscience, and freedom of religion. State-sanctioned persecution in the 21st century against a minority group, causing displacement and loss of family, wealth, and lives, should by no means be permissible in any country. This is a categorical and unacceptable violation of human rights and must be condemned in the strongest of terms. The fact that ordinary citizens are empowered by government officials to persecute minorities in the 21st century is an appalling impeachment of human rights. And every time we hear about these sad injustices, there’s only so much we can do. We pray for the peace and security of our Ahmadi families, call back home to see if everyone is okay, and are glued to our screens to get updates via social media to see if this time the government will finally do anything about it. And time and time again, we’re disappointed, and the persecution continues. Amidst all the persecution, we’d like to make one message should be loud and clear: No matter what you do to our mosques, our wealth, or our lives, there’s nothing you can do to stop us in spreading the message of peace, love, and harmony. It’s like the Streisand effect – a simple phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information, has the consequence of publicising itself even more. Whereas in this case, you destroy one place of worship, we’ll build ten more. You take one life, dozens more will join us to spread the message of peace and plurality. In May, extremist Sunni clerics gravely desecrated the Sialkot place of worship. But also, in this very month of May, “Baitul Mahdi” was opened as a place of worship in Canada.In this very month of May, the Ahmadiyya Muslim community inaugurated a place of worship in Walsall, United Kingdom and another in Bangoyah, Africa. And the list goes on. The Ahmadiyya Muslim community is now spread in over 200 nations across the world, with over 16,000 places of worship across the globe, and tens of millions of members, all spreading the message of peace day-in, day-out. So back to that Mexican proverb, to all those that persecute us, remember: “They tried to bury us, but didn’t know we were seeds.” And to further build on this, the promised Messiah and founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community profoundly states, “Just as manure causes growth for crops, wicked opposition works like fertiliser for the growth of divine communities.” The writer is a freelance journalist who sits on the executive committee of Muslim Writers of Canada and can be reached on Twitter @JariQudrat Published in Daily Times, June 2nd 2018.