The horrific recent bombings at a church in Peshawar, Pakistan, killing more than 80 innocent worshipers have painfully reminded me of the events of May 28, 2010. On that day, more than 80 worshipers were martyred at two mosques of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Lahore, Pakistan. Among those killed was also a Columbia resident and the father of a close friend. The pain that our community endured that day and in the months to come, and the misery my friend is still going through, has made this event an unforgettable nightmare for me. The happenings of that day haunt many of our members to this day. The mere thought that all constituents and well-wishers of the Catholic Church will have to go through the same pain as we did is extremely heartbreaking and soul-trembling. At the same time, it is very troubling that the government of Pakistan has not made any progress in these three years to safeguard the rights of its minorities and secure their places of worship. As I sympathize with the Christian community, I would urge the West to help create policies in Pakistan that will protect its Muslim and non-Muslim minorities.

Hiba Malik

Columbia