Another Ex-Ahmadi has came out and gave her story to AK Shaikh on Zaitoon FM. Towards, the end of the podcast, the famous Ahmadi troll, Muhammad Yahya Khan came on and complained that Affaf was doing proper purdah and etc, so shameful. You can see additional interviews of Affaf Azhar here.
Summary of her comments in english
This is a good podcast if you want to hear that beginning at about the 13th minute mark.
Throughout she mentions that she does not agree ideologically/religiously with AK Shaikh. Also goes on to mention a couple of times that she came on this platform because she believes that audience of AK Shaikh needs to hear about human rights and humanity [alluding that she things religious, conservative crowd does not have any idea of human rights]. Some of the points I found interesting in her statements:
She says that the use of religion as an oppressive force and the culture around that in Rabwah is not very different from any other town or village of Pakistan [I am assuming that she is talking of areas of a comparable size and socioeconomic status]. The only difference for her is that Ahmadis are often silenced in the name of “Nizaam-e-Jamaat” when others are open to seek remedies like courts etcetera.
Her experience of seeing Mirza family girls treated in a special way at school… but that is more or less expected after so much that I have heard of already from trusted sources.
Men oogling schoolgirls in Rabwah with their hands moving between their legs. She goes on to say that this is prevalent in Pakistani society not just Rabwah.
Taboo around sex education and safety of minors from sexual assault.
Threats of divorce around not openly voicing or pursuing cases of sexual harassment or assault.
Nonseriousness and irresponsibility around women’s issues. She relates a story here about her own experience for which she claims the file would still be with Amoor-e-Ammah, Rabwah. After severe sexual harassment via phone and physical threats, she filed a letter to Amoor-e-Ammah. The chief visited their home and said that it is probably the girls of the house who have bad character. Affaf collected audio evidence after which Amoor-e-Ammah told them to stay silent. Another Ahmadi, Lateef Ghaznavi, lobbied with news outlets to release the news which got police involved and the harassment stopped, but the society at large looked and said about them weird. Amoor-e-Ammah even wrote a letter to her dad, who was outside of the country, that his daughters are of a bad character. When he called back, Lateef Ghaznavi clarified the situation to him. After this, her father asked them to be silent until he relocates them to Canada with him.
She mentions Jamaat politics being used to malign domestic issues. Rabwah people would use Jamaat as a reason or tool to conflate domestic issues with disobedience of Jamaat and such. She also relates this to Western countries where till some time ago Ahmadis were not allowed to go to courts for resolution of domestic issues. Probably alluding that both have the same thinking behind them.
She mentions that domestic abuse statistics are not released or discussed in Rabwah. She says she has some data on this.
She talked about abusers becoming high ranking/respected members of Jamaat.
Policing of beauty parlor services in Rabwah. She mentions a few cases where that is oppressive to differently abled women for example.
She concludes with saying of Socrates that “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think”. She insists that women rights are critical to the progress of every community and for all humanity. Goes on to say that the problems of Khalifa, Khatme-Nabuwwat are all secondary to human rights. That hatred is a bigger problem than theological debates. At this she quoted Rumi that “I saw many humans on whom there were no clothes, I saw many clothes in which there were no humans.”. AK Shaikh presented the message of Quran as message of humanity. Affaf insisted through Ibne-Khuldoon and Sheikh Saadi that religion must outgrow old traditions.
Final few words of Affaf at around 1:11:00 mark of the video are worthy of being translated as is: “When our knowledge, arguments and stories stand helplessly bowing in front of obedience and reverence then we need to understand that decisions about truth are not done by time but by future generations. Our standards of truth and veracity are also in the hands of future generations and we don’t see good signs for them.“
She closed her remarks with this poem of Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Summary of Question/Answer session:
First question was by u/BashirAhmadShah about Fauzia Faizi. Affaf said she doesn’t know about her. Second question from him was about the age difference between KM3 and his wife. Affaf said that it is a personal matter. At some length, however, she talks about how people won’t voice any concern about it due to their obedience and reverence.
A caller named Naveed asked about women are being motivated/socially coerced to donate their jewellery and what is the impact of that? Affaf said that she does not view Ahmadiyya as Jamaat or sect, but as business so this question becomes a nonquestion for her in this way.
Ahmadi pk asked if Affaf had proof and said that Quran says to never discuss something without proof. A moderator named Amir Haq told the reference for the ayat. Affaf said that her personal experience is 30 year old and that all the people involved are proof including her parents, her relatives and other residents of Rabwah. Further she insists that she has said the exact year of her case which should have a file in Amoor-e-Ammah still.
Dr. Muhammad Yahya called and commented about the program that it is not a religious program, his call was cut off for this. When his voice was resumed he started to talk about how Affaf is creating an atmosphere as if her experience was very bad. His call was again cut on this. Affaf said that she is used to such tactics and that she is not here to gain sympathy. She didn’t take sympathy back when she faced this, and she is fighting for the rights and voice of women.
Najma Yousaf called and congratulated Affaf on coming live, expressing herself and asked her to continue her efforts. Affaf said that she met Najma when her father was killed. Najma felt harassed in Rabwah and that is when Affaf and Najma met. Affaf didn’t go into the details of their coordination because she said that isn’t the purpose of the program.
Muhammad Ilyas called and commented about questions. Nothing about the topic as such.
Tahir Ahmed Dar called and called Dr Muhammad Yahya as Pansaar. This generated some discussion between AK Shaikh, Tahir and Amir. AK requested to call Yahya with respect and not make fun of him regardless. Eventually Tahir Ahmed Dar requested Dr Muhammad Yahya to appear on his program.
Caller named Engineer asked about which sect Affaf belonged to. Affaf said that, not just sect, the real religion is humanity. She concludes by saying that we live in a human society and humanity is critical to all our decisions.
Muhammad Akhtar congratulated Affaf on coming into the folds of Islam and pleaded AK Shaikh and participants into exposing “Qadiani”s as they don’t represent Islam. AK Shaikh said that the people who appear in the program are not necessarily a part of some sect. Affaf said that the problems she is discussing are a part of the entire society [of human beings/Pakistan], not just Ahmadiyyat. She further said that the problem she is here to highlight is that these problems are not acknowledged or discussed in Ahmadiyyat which is why she is here, otherwise the entire society is rife with these problems.
Mr. Saba called and asked why Affaf left Ahmadiyya and inquired if it was because Affaf did not want to do Niqaab/Purdah. Amir Haq went about discussing an event from Sirat-ul-Mahdi where the wife of Mirza Ghulam Ahmed did not want strict purdah for his wife. Affaf Azhar said that in the book “Orhni waliyon ke liye Phool” [Flowers for the draped women] Mirza Bashiruddin Ahmed sahab praised Western women a lot. Like he praised them for working very hard and fast, and a great thinker who worked for her society at large. She questioned if the Western women did all this under purdah restrictions. She ended by stating that Ahmadis don’t allow women to practice law and one of the excuses they give is that it involves interactions with criminals. She questions how women who can give birth to criminals cannot make criminals better humans. She states that Ahmadis don’t let women be women so in the end women have to choose either to be women or Ahmadi.
After this Affaf went off the call.
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