When Mahershala Ali won the Oscar in the 'Best Actor in a Supporting Role' category on Monday, he created a history of sorts. Ali became the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar.
This was a particularly notable achievement in 2017, when America has put in place restrictions on individuals from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the country.
But, it appears that Ali's Oscar win for his role in Moonlight won't be celebrated in many Muslim-majority countries.
On Monday, soon after the announcement, Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi congratulated Ali in a tweet. However, she was forced to delete the tweet after being reportedly criticised for it.
This was her tweet:
Lodhi's tweet apparently breached the official line, because a number of countries including Malaysia and Pakistan don't consider the sect that Ali belongs to, as Muslim. The Constitution of Pakistan has decreed that the Ahmadi sect and Ahmadiyyas are "non-Muslims".
Lodhi's office at the United Nations did not respond to requests for comment, when Washington Post got in touch with them.
Under an amendment made in Pakistani law in 1984, Ahmadi Muslims cannot call themselves Muslims or refer to their places of worship as mosques.
Ali converted to Islam in 1999 when his future wife, Amatus Karim, invited him to an Ahmadi mosque.
However, because Ahmadis are followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who lived in the late-19th century British India and claimed that he was the foretold Mahdi or Messiah, many Muslims do not consider this sect to be a part of the Islamic community.
In the last couple of years, hundreds of Ahmadis have been killed in targeted attacks in Pakistan, reports the Washington Post.
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