Ahmadi Muslim artiste Maharshala wins Oscar 2019, here's what it means

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 25, 2019 14:01 hrs

[USA], Feb 25 (ANI): In 2017, Mahershala Ali became the first Muslim actor to fetch an Oscar. Today he bagged his second Oscar at the 91st Academy Awards for 'Green Book'

Soon after his win, The Times of Ahmad, which calls itself “the world's most updated independent source of public news relating to all things faith-Islam-Ahmadiyya,” put out a tweet, saying, "Ahmadi Muslim artist Maharshala wins Oscar 2019 for his Supporting Actor roll. This is his second recognition as an artist."

While he made no reference to his religion this year, least year Mahershala, a Christian by birth had spoken about his journey to Islam during his SAG award speech. The actor had said, "My mother is an ordained minister. I’m a Muslim... We love each other, the love has grown. And that stuff (different faiths) is minutia — it’s not that important.”

Marhershala walking away with a coveted trophy is significant as the 45-year-old American actor identifies himself as an Ahmadi, a sect that faces severe persecution at the hands of some Islamic supremacists, most notably in Pakistan.

General Zia-ul-Haq even introduced anti-Ahmadi laws (Ordinance XX) in 1984. Where one’s identity endangers their life, any achievement by an Ahmadi, anywhere in the world, is looked upto by members of the sect.

“Mahershala Ali Accepted His Oscar In A Jinnah Cap,” tweeted The Times of Ahmad, in an apparent ironical undertone on Mohammed Ali Jinnah- the founder of Pakistan.  

Mahershala Ali, in 'Green Book,' plays the role of Dr Don Shirley- a world-class African-American pianist on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South with Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen), an Italian-American as his chauffeur. Confronted with several challenges and racism, the mismatched pair sets aside differences on the journey of a lifetime.

Rabwah Times, which writes on “News, features and first-hand coverage on Minorities from Pakistan,” wrote “Ahmadiyya Muslim actor Mahershala Ali becomes first Muslim man to win multiple #Oscars”.

Ali, while receiving the award, spoke about his grandmother “who has been in my ear my entire life, telling me if I don’t at first succeed, try, try again … always pushing me to think positively. She has got me over the hump every step of the way.”

Though he dedicated the award to his grandmother, Ahmadiyyas rejoice and feel it’s an achievement for the entire community, showing what it means, as a dialogue in ‘Green Book’ goes.. “You never win with violence.” (ANI)