Pakistani Nationalism and the State Marginalization of Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan

Publication Date: 
December 2007
Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism 7,3 (2007): 132-52.

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This paper examines the relationship between nationalism, state formation, and the marginalisation of national minorities through an historical focus on Pakistani state’s relationship with the Ahmadiyya community, a self-defined minority sect of Islam. In 1974, a constitutional amendment was enacted that effectively rendered the Ahmadiyya community a non-Muslim minority, in spite of claims by the community that it was Muslim and hence not a minority. This paper attempts to account for this anti-Ahmadiyya state legislation by arguing that the genealogy of the idea of a Pakistani state is key for understanding the politics of exclusion of the Ahmadiyya community from ‘Muslim citizenship’ - that is, who is and isn’t a Muslim.