Miscellaneous reports (2015)

Miscellaneous, brief reports and reports from smaller towns

2015

Uprooted after a threat in Lahore

Model Colony, Walton Road; September 28, 2015: The family of deceased Mr. Zahid Mahmood Qureshi has lived here since long. He died two years ago leaving behind his wife, three daughters and a son named Tahir Mahmood aged 20. Someone dropped a letter in their house, conveying: “We belong to a Jamaat and are on a mission to eliminate Qadianis. We are aware of all members of your family. If you want your son to live then arrange a sum of one million rupees. We will let you know the mode of delivery and the place.”

Mr. Mahmood went to the police station to lodge an FIR. They did not register an FIR but wrote down an initial report in the daily ledger, and promised cooperation. Later someone called Mr. Mahmood again on October 1, 2015 and asked if the money had been arranged. Mr. Mahmood replied in the negative.

For fear of attack Mr. Mahmood and his family had to flee from their house and sought refuge at a far-off location.

 Other disturbing reports from Lahore

Guldasht Town; December 19, 2014: The brother of Mr. Iftikhar Ahmad, an Ahmadi, was leaving his house when he saw a copy of the Holy Quran and some religious papers in the outer fence of his house. He looked around carefully, picked up the religious material and went inside the house. Fortunately, there was no follow-up by any outsider.

In the past in similar attempts, Ahmadis had to face malicious accusations.

Gulshan Park; January 18, 2015: The house of Mr. Arshad Ali Dogar, an Ahmadi, is located in front of the Ahmadiyya mosque here. On 18 January 2015, two unidentified men came there on a motorbike at about 3:15 a.m. They fired 4-5 gunshots at Mr. Dogar’s gate and moved ahead. On the way they fired some gunshots in the air. Then one of them walked back and again fired 4-5 shots at the gate. They departed but came back half an hour later to check the street. The police were informed but they arrived very late and collected the shells from the location.

The policemen asked Mr. Dogar to come to the police station to file a report. He, however, opted to exercise discretion.

Guldasht Town; January 11, 2015: A retired Superintendent of Police, Zubair Sara held a religious get-together (Milad) at his house. Opponents of the Ahmadiyya community used loudspeaker at the occasion and bad-mouthed the community. They propagated hate and violence against the community and told the participants to pull Ahmadis out of their homes and kill them.

Johar Town; December 18, 2014:     Mr. Umair Riaz went to see a business acquaintance who offered him juice to drink. The juice was mixed with some sort of chloroform. Umair immediately became unconscious, and the villain helped by two men drove him to an unknown location. There, they prepared a video of Umair and demanded Rs. 5 million from his family as ransom. Later at one time, only one individual was left there to watch him. Availing the occasion Umair escaped. The kidnappers chased him but he took lift from a motor cyclist and reached home safely.

The incident was reported to the police.

Ravi Clifton Colony, Shahdara Town; January 2014: Mr. Tahir Ahmad Qureshi runs a school here. A mulla, Zahid Iqbal Naqashbandi, from an adjacent mosque, mounted a hate campaign against the school and Mr. Qureshi. In his sermons, he used foul language against the Ahmadiyya community and promoted hate and violence. “Qadianis are apostates, Kafir and Wajib-ul-Qatl,” he asserted. He told them not to send their children to the school of ‘Qadianis’.

The mulla had also done some wall-chalking on the outer walls of the school against the Ahmadiyya community. The neighbors asked him to stop the hate campaign, and removed the wall-chalking. At the occasion of Eid Milad un Nabi, the whole street was decorated with festoons but the portion in front of Mr. Qureshi was left void. Thereafter a local took the initiative and filled the gap with paper buntings, at which the mulla called him a Kafir.

Gulshan Ravi: It would be recalled that in April 2013 mullas aided by the police raided an Ahmadiyya centre here. They carried out this operation jointly, like a team. Ahmadis were arrested, including a woman and a child. Eventually eight Ahmadi men were charged under the blasphemy clause PPC 295-B and an anti-terrorism clause, ATA 11-W – most wrongfully.

The trial went on for a year. Eventually a good and fair judge acquitted all the accused.

After the raid, the centre which was also used as residence was sealed by the police. Thus the resident’s car and personal belongings remained locked and were not available to the owner. These were eventually released and the location was rented out (to a non-Ahmadi). The clerics and ill-wishers did not like that and started an agitation that the released building would again be used as a centre. The police sent for both the parties and made the Ahmadis sign an undertaking that the location would not be used as a ‘centre’.

Lahore; November/December 2015:                         Chaudhry Abdul Ali, an Ahmadi experienced two hostile incidents recently. On November 30, 2015, some unknown person threw damaged plastic sheet prints of Quranic verses in the backyard of his house. Thereafter a person came to his house and introduced himself as Tahir, a property dealer. He asked if Mr. Abdul Ali wanted to sell this property. This was strange, as Mr. Abdul Ali had not hinted to anyone to sell his property.

In another incident somebody pasted a 2013 calendar on the outer wall of his house on December 04, 2015. The calendar had Quranic verses, pictures of the Prophet’s mosque, Holy Ka‘aba and Holy Prophet’s turban printed on it.

Mr. Abdul Ali is apprehensive and is exercising caution.

Khatme Nabuwwat (Training) Course:  This course was advertised in the ultra-right wing daily Islam, scheduled for 24, 25, 26 December at Jame Masjid Begam Khan & Madrassah Rahmatulil Aalameen, 63-C Abu Bakr Siddique Colony, Band road, Lahore. One, Maulana Abdul Naeem of AMTKN sponsored it. It was announced that Maulanas Abdul Qayyum Niazi, Naeemuddin Mahmudul Hasan and Aziz ur Rahman Sani would be there.

Rally Khatme Nabuwwat:  This rally was also advertised in the daily Islam on 20 December 2015, for 12 Rabiul Awwal at 1 p.m. in Gulshan Umar Colony, Green Town, Lahore. One, Pir Waliullah Shah Bokhari sponsored it representing World Pasban Khatme Nabuwwat and Provincial PML-N’s Ulama and Mashaikh Wing. The main promoter was named in the ad as Allama M. Mumtaz Awaan as the Quaid of World Pasban Khatme Nabuwwat and convener Tehrik Namus Risalat. This betrays the politico-religious interlink of this sectarian activity.

Shalimar Town, Lahore; November 14, 2015:         Aalami Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat (AMTKN) organized a Khatme Nabuwwat Inam Ghar (prize camp) here. Maulvis Allah Wasaya and Aziz ur Rahman Sani participated in it. Prizes were distributed among the students of schools, colleges and madrassahs with reference to a sectarian Khatme Nabuwwat course. Approximately 200 participants were present in this program which lasted for three hours. Police were also present at the occasion. Such events were held in the past as well in Lahore. These result in greater intolerance among youth towards Ahmadis, as slander and hatred is an essential part of such courses.

A scene from the deadly attack on Ahmadis in Lahore The Friday Times, Lahore; December 11-17, 2015

Johar Town; May 18, 2015:              Three Ahmadis, Mr. Iqbal, Mr. Aslam and Mr. Aamir Shehzad own a furniture factory in Thokar Niaz Beg. Mr. Iqbal left the country as he found the general hostility unbearable. Mr. Aamir Shehzad, his nephew, now acts as the manager of the factory. On May 18 when he came out of the building to receive a container, he requested the nearby shopkeepers, most of them members of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, to reposition their vehicles to facilitate parking of the container. They did not oblige. Instead, one of them asked him in where a number of mullas were present. Not knowing his family relationship with the senior proprietor, they asked him as to why he was working for a Qadiani. Aamir attempted to avoid the interview. They however were bent upon conveying their message. “If we could, we would kill these Qadianis today. They are Wajib-ul-Qatl (must be killed),” one of them insisted. At this, Aamir came out, although they called him to come back in.

Their message was a cause of great concern to Aamir and Aslam.

Rehmanpura:             A non-Ahmadi friend of Mr. Arif Chughtai, an Ahmadi, told him that eight Ahle Hadith maulvis had visited Usmania High School (a state school in Samanabad) and asked the children to give them phone numbers of their Ahmadi acquaintances. “We intend to kill them, as directed by the chief minister,” they explained.

Ahmadis in Samanabad had to upgrade their security measures.

Iqbal Town; May 19, 2015:               Six persons accompanied by a police constable attempted entry in the rented house of Ms. Mehmuda Basharat, the local president of Ahmadi women. These men wanted to look around the apartment.

Ms. Basharat contacted the owner and told him of the unwelcome visitors and requested him to stop them. The owner spoke with them on phone. “We have been sent by Mr. Nasir to visit the apartment,” they said. The owner told them that he did not know Mr. Nasir and had not invited anyone to visit the place. He told them to leave.

A little later, the owner sent a few men to the apartment however by then the intruders had gone.

The incident was disturbing to Ms. Basharat who is not sure of the real intentions of the unknown visitors.

Dehli Gate, Lahore; May 2015:         Dr. Fazl ur Rahman, an Ahmadi, is a medical practitioner in Tariq Hospital, Lahore for 17 years. Approximately 15 mullas came to the hospital and told Dr Tariq, owner of the hospital, that Dr Rahman had proselytized and distributed pamphlets. “You must expel him from the hospital,” they demanded. Dr. Tariq replied that he would personally look into the matter. Later, Dr. Tariq said to Dr. Rahman, “I know that you would not make such a mistake, but you know that mullas are dangerous and it is not a big deal for them to gather a crowd; and if mullas did that, the hospital will get a bad name. Tell me what should be done?” Dr. Rahman replied that it was up to him to decide.

Dr. Rahman is still working in the same hospital; however, he has been advised to exercise caution.

Al-Faisal Town, Lahore Cantt; June 7, 2015:                      The mullas of madrassa Anwar ul Aloom here decided to come out in the street in their anti-Ahmadi drive. They came out after 1:00 p.m. and distributed leaflets to the pedestrians in the bazar. They put up stickers here and there and distributed hateful calendars and posters.

China Scheme:           Mr. Sultan Ahmad, an Ahmadi runs a private school in Bhagatpura, Shad Bagh. The student population is 300. It is known as a good school in the neighbourhood.

The mullas did not like an Ahmadi-owned school to be a success story with good reputation, so they decided to move against it. Approximately 20 such bigots came over to the school at 6:15 p.m. on the first day of Ramadan. They knocked at the doors of locals and distributed anti-Ahmadi handbills. During the recent few weeks mullas of the Khatme Nabuwwat faction have driven a sustained campaign against the school. As a result, a few students shifted elsewhere.

Samanabad; September 12, 2015:     Mr. Bilal Ahmad is an active member of the local Ahmadiyya community. He got acquainted with a non-Ahmadi, Mr. Awais who called him to his place for some discussion. Mr. Bilal hesitated to go to his place. Awais however lured him to come, and Bilal went to his place with a non-Ahmadi friend. There they found Awais with another fellow who threatened Bilal for proselytizing Ahmadiyyat. Sensing the danger Bilal and his friend forced their way out.

Subsequent inquiry showed that Awais used to contact Ahmadi youth through Facebook and then used the contact details to exploit their vulnerability. Ahmadis have been advised to be on their guard with Awais.

Handu Gujjar; September 14, 2015:             A man was seen doing photography and videography of the local Ahmadiyya mosque. When pursued he fled from the scene.

Iqbal Town; August 2015:     Mr. Khalid Mahmood recently received threatening phone calls and a letter from the Khatme Nabuwwat Pakistan, Lahore Division, on their letter-head. The letter conveyed (translation):

“Mr. Khalid Mahmood (Qadiani), we have received a complaint that you preach in Iqbal Town. This preaching is for the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. You tell people of your teachings which is a crime according to the law in Pakistan and also amounts to falsehood and blasphemy in Islam. Now a police case will be registered against you and your family and you will be expelled from the area. We expect you to accept our indictment and be prepared to defend yourself.  Action has already been initiated against you. Be prepared or keep negotiating with us. (From: Secretary Khatme Nabuwwat Iqbal Town). …”

Mr. Mahmood has been advised to exercise care.

Bigotry on the streets of Lahore – targeting Ahmadis “Qadianis are traitors to both Islam and the country – Allama Iqbal ra” Photo courtesy: The Friday Times; December 25, 2015 

USCIRF annual report on Ahmadis’ situation in Pakistan

Washington:   The USCIRF issued its Annual Report 2015. It has a chapter on Pakistan.

In its Key Findings section the report mentions: “… However, despite these efforts, Pakistan continued to experience chronic sectarian violence targeting Shi’a Muslims, Christians, Ahmadi Muslims, and Hindus. Despite positive rulings by the Supreme Court, the government failed to provide adequate protection to targeted groups or to prosecute perpetrators and those calling for violence. Pakistan’s repressive blasphemy laws and anti-Ahmadi laws continue to violate religious freedoms and foster a climate of impunity.”

In sub-section titled Targeted Sectarian Violence the report mentions:

The Pakistani government failure to effectively intervene against violence targeting the Shia minority community, as well as against Christians, Hindus and Ahmadis, continued during the reporting period.

Its sub-section titled Ahmadis contains the following:

During 2014, individual Ahmadis continued to be murdered in religiously motivated attacks. In May 2014, a Canadian American Ahmadi doctor visiting Pakistan to do relief work was murdered in front of his family. In July, three Ahmadis – a grandmother and her two grandchildren – were killed in an arson attack by a mob. In December, a major Pakistani television station aired an interview with religious scholars who referred to Ahmadis as ‘enemies’. Days later, an Ahmadi was murdered; the community suspects motivation from the television broadcast. (See more about the unique legal repression of Ahmadis below). In addition, local police repeatedly forced Ahmadis to remove Qur’anic scripture from mosques and minarets.

And another sub-section:

Legal Restrictions on Ahmadis

Ahmadis are subject to severe legal restrictions, both in the constitution and criminal code, and suffer from officially sanctioned discrimination. 2014 was the 40th anniversary of Pakistan’s second amendment, which amended the constitution to declare Ahmadis to be “non-Muslim”. Other discriminatory penal code provisions make basic acts of Ahmadi worship and interaction criminal offenses. They also are prevented from voting.

The last section is Recommendations. It makes numerous recommendations to the US Government; two of these mention Ahmadis specifically:

  • Urge the Pakistani government and provincial governments to review all cases of individuals charged with blasphemy in order to release those subjected to abusive charges, as is underway in Punjab, while still also calling for the unconditional release and pardoning of all individuals sentenced to prison for blasphemy or for violating anti-Ahmadi law.
  • Call for the repeal of the blasphemy law and the rescinding of anti-Ahmadi provisions of law; until those steps can be accomplished, urge the Pakistani government to reform the blasphemy law by making blasphemy a bailable offense and/or by adding penalties for false accusations or enforcing such penalties found elsewhere in the penal code.

Attack on Ismaili community in Pakistan – condemnation

London:          Forty-five men and women of the Ismaili community were gunned down in Karachi when they were commuting in a bus. All the attackers managed to flee after the attack. The Worldwide Ahmadiyya Jamaat released the following statement through its Press and Media Office:

“Attack on Ismaili Community in Pakistan – condemnation

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community unequivocally condemns the recent attacks on a bus in Karachi, Pakistan, where it is reported that over forty innocent people from the Ismaili community have been killed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this heinous crime. We offer our heartfelt sympathies and condolences to all those who have been affected and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community stands ready to help those in need.”

 A belated fatwa (religious edict)

Lahore; May 17, 2015:          The daily Mashriq of May 18, 2015 reported the following fatwa, as the lead headline on page 1, issued by “200 Sheikh-ul-Hadith Wal Quran, renowned Muftis and sterling Ulama” who participated in the Sheikhul Hadith Conference organized by Tanzeem Ittehad Ummat, in Lahore:

“SUICIDE BOMBERS AND THEIR EMPLOYERS ARE HELL-BOUND

JIHADIST PHILOSOPHY OF TALIBAN, AL QAEDA, BOKO HARAM, AL SHABAB AND SUCH OTHER GROUPS IS MISLEADING, UN-ISLAMIC AND IGNORANCE

IT IS NOT RIGHT TO TAKE UP ARMED STRUGGLE TO IMPOSE SHARIA

THOSE INVOLVED IN SECTARIAN VIOLENCE ARE GUILTY OF FASAD FIL ARD (BARBARITY ON EARTH)

AN ISLAMIC GOVERNMENT MUST CRUSH REBELS AND TRAITORS

PAKISTANI TALIBAN AND ISIS ARE MODERN-DAY KHARJIS WHO ARE REBELS AGAINST ISLAM

ATTACK ON NON-MUSLIM MINORITIES’ PLACES OF WORSHIP IS A GREAT SIN AND CRIMINAL ACT: Fatwa of (200) Ulama and Mashaikh in Sheikhul Hadith Conference at Lahore.

It is relevant to point out that a somewhat similar position in principle was taken and recommended by the founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement at the turn of 19th/20th century. Since then the ulama have accused the Jamaat Ahmadiyya of holding un-Islamic position on Jihad etc. It is now after more than a century that these ulama have realized that their previous position was in error. It is good that they have decided to go public in hope to cut their losses.