SILVER SPRING, Md., May 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Government of Pakistan has targeted and banned the website of America's largest men's Muslim youth organization, escalating its decades-long persecution of members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community who believe that His Holiness Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was the long-awaited messiah who came to revive Islam's true teachings.
On March 30, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) received notice from Pakistan's "Web Analysis Division" stating that AMYA's website violated Pakistani law. This ban took effect on April 9, after which mkausa.org was blocked from access in Pakistan. Late last year, Pakistan also threatened criminal enforcement against the operators of the official website of AMYA's affiliate, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, and has since banned Ahmadi websites in the U.K., Canada and Australia.
"Unfortunately, Pakistan continues to persecute a community who are the antithesis of extremism," said Madeel Abdullah, President of AMYA USA. "For decades, our Muslim youth have upheld Prophet Muhammad's honor through logging hundreds of thousands of hours organizing blood drives, volunteering in disaster relief efforts, cleaning roads, and feeding the needy - images and videos which are on our website. It is heartbreaking that Pakistani youth can no longer look at our examples in America and use them to better their own communities."
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a dynamic, reformist and fast-growing international movement within Islam. Founded in 1889, the Community spans 213 countries with tens of millions of members. Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, established in 1920, is the oldest American-Muslim organization.
Since the 1970s, the Pakistani government has created laws to ban Ahmadi Muslims from practicing their faith. These unjust laws continue to embolden extremists in Pakistan to persecute Ahmadi Muslims and other religious minorities such that the US State Department has labeled Pakistan as "a safe haven for certain regionally focused terrorist groups."
This systemic persecution of Ahmadi Muslims has led to mass murder, grave desecration, expulsion of school children for their faith, and a complete lockdown of all religious practice. Pakistan has faced repeated condemnation from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) stating, "Religious freedom conditions across Pakistan continue to trend negatively."
While Pakistan may block our website, AMYA will continue moving forward to uphold Islam's honor. AMYA intends to challenge this order and will exercise all available legal options through its U.S. counsel.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) is a nationwide youth group that works with young Muslim men and boys around the country. AMYA serves as the young men and boys auxiliary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Officially established in the United States in 1939, AMYA is one of the earliest Muslim Youth organizations in the United States.
AMYA is a dynamic and vibrant association serving not only the needs of its members but of its local communities and nation. The association is comprised of more than 5,000 men and boys aged 7 to 40, spread across 70 local chapters. Previous members of AMYA include Grammy Award winning artists and Pulitzer Prize winning journalists. AMYA is headquartered in Silver Spring, MD.
SOURCE Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association USA