all most of our reader submissions, but the other day we received one that sounded pretty surprising. It comes from Hasan Hakeem, a member of the Ahmadiyya Community and the Chaplain of the Kenosha County Jail in Kenosha, Wisconsin. I’ll go head and just quote it:
This week after spending almost 7 months at a refugee prison in central Bangkok, 96 Ahmadiyya refugees from Pakistan were released by Thai authorities, a landmark development in a country that does not formally recognize refugees despite the fact that it is currently coming to the end of its tenure as president of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The released Ahmadiyya are members of a minority Muslim group that is oppressed in Pakistan, where they are not recognized as Muslims and are often victims of sectarian violence. US Media completely ignored the story despite the fact that members of the American Ahmadiyya Community has actively fought for and provided resources for the release of the detainees.
I certainly hadn’t heard word one about this story. Had you? I did a quick Google search and not only do I not see any American media coverage of the time spent in detainment, the U.S. media isn’t even covering the release.
If we can’t be bothered to cover stories such as this, which tell us not only about a dire religious situation but a political one as well, this is a problem.
Precisely the only story I found in the U.S. media came from MSNBC.com. A photo blog posting included several pictures of detainees being released, followed by this blurb:
Ninety-six people, most of whom were arrested in December, will be released from a Bangkok detention centre on Monday, an immigration officer said.
The detained group are from Pakistan’s Ahmadi Muslim community, who suffer violence and persecution in their home country, according to the Thai Committee for Refugees, which helped organise the release.
I’m glad that MSNBC.com covered the release, but wow do we need much more information. We’ve seen other stories on the Ahmadiyya, but a dramatic incident such as this needs context and analysis and much more insight and background.
Just from the reader submission alone, we see several angles that could be pursued.