The evil of Ahmadi-specific law
Nama Jandeka, District Okara; August 10, 2006: The police registered a case under PPC 298C, the Ahmadi-specific law, against Mian Muhammad Yar, president of the local Ahmadiyya community, and arrested him for preaching. The FIR was registered as No. 46/06 dated 10 August 06 at Police Station Haveli Lakha, District Okara.
The FIR shows that there was no complainant. The police took the initiative for some political reason. Mr. Yar is an influential person, and the only Ahmadi in the family. In the local Union Council, first his father, thereafter his brother and now his cousin is the Nazim. Someone who did not like Mr. Yar moved the police to strike him with the religious law. The police report mentions that Mr. Yar was sitting at his farm along with friends and was showing them a TV program received through dish antenna. The police took possession of his TV set and the dish antenna.
If declared guilty, the friendly president could be imprisoned for three years.
A spurious charge by unscrupulous SHO
Dera Ghazi Khan, July 26, 2006: Muhammad Salim, Sub-Inspector of Police, accompanied by a few constables raided the city’s Ahmadiyya mosque, noted the names of those present, collected a number of issues of the Ahmadiyya daily that he could lay his hand upon, and went back to register a criminal case. There he fabricated his report and made out a case that is baseless. It deserves to be thrown out by any court; however, its mischief will cause the unavoidable stress, effort and expense that go with such cases, for the victims.
The Sub Inspector stated in the FIR, inter alia, “While on duty, I along with …. was present at Block 3 for rounds and crime prevention when an informer informed me that there are a number of the banned copies of the Alfazl magazine in the Baituz Zikar (mosque) that are distributed to the people, which injures their feelings. If a raid is carried out now, these banned magazines can be recovered from the Qadiani Centre…. I found there 31 copies of Alfazl that contain the teachings of their founder, and confiscated these as items in support of the charge, as the Home Department, Government of the Punjab has banned the publication and distribution of the daily Alfazl. Messers Bashir Ahmad and Muhammad Iqbal, by keeping the 31 copies of the banned Alfazl in their charge for distribution have committed a crime in terms of PPC 188….”
The Sub Inspector is wrong; the Home Department has not banned the daily Alfazl; in fact the Punjab Government has expressly permitted its publication. It is being published daily and is sent by official post to thousands of Ahmadi homes, mosques and offices, where its old copies are preserved in bulk. His opinion that these copies were kept at the Ahmadiyya mosque for distribution to non-Ahmadis to injure their feelings is presumptuous and very silly. However, very occasionally, to placate some mulla, the Home Department has confiscated in the past specified issues of the daily. The Sub Inspector, with after-thought will perhaps sift through the 31 confiscated copies and hope to find a banned issue. In all likelihood he will be disappointed. His raid on a house of worship was uncalled for, malicious and violation of a fundamental human right – the Freedom of Religion of Ahmadis. The two accused committed no crime – the Sub Inspector did, perhaps on behest of some mullah. By his action, the SHO brought a bad name to the government of the Punjab and Pakistan.
The applied penal code exposes the innocent accused to six months’ imprisonment. The case was registered as FIR 227/06 at Police Station City, Dera Ghazi Khan, on July 26, 2006, under PPC 188.
Mulla continues to wield unworthy influence
Faisalabad; May 5, 2006: The daily Aman published the following Press Release issued by a notorious cleric of Faisalabad representing a religious body reputed for its extremist views and drives:
“PR. The Chief Secretary Punjab has told the Home Secretary to render a report on the incident of postal dispatch of a Qadiani pamphlet to respected Ulema, by the Qadiani non-Muslim Jamaat of Chenab Nagar.”
It is not clear as to other than being of Qadiani origin was there anything else objectionable in the pamphlet. The press release, however, does show that the mullah has easy access to the Chief Secretary, the highest ranking administration official in the Punjab, and has the clout to make him demand an explanatory report from the Home Secretary who heads the entire police service and security agencies in the province. It shows that these powerful civil servants follow some other orders than the policy pronouncement of the President that one often reads and hears in the print and electronic media.
The mulla scores – once again, as usual
Chiniot: The daily Jinnah in its issue of November 19, 2006 published the under mentioned news. It is self explanatory and conveys its purport quite candidly:
“Authorities accept (our) demands. Anti-Qadiani drive is therefore postponed.
All three demands met. Maulana Ilyas Chinioti, Maulana Abdul Waris, Ayub Chinioti and others’ statement
Chiniot (Tehsil reporter): An emergency meeting was held of the Ulama Karam of Chiniot and Chenab Nagar at Muslim Colony, Chenab Nagar. Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Chinioti, Maulana Abdul Waris, Maulana Muhammad Ayub Chinioti, Maulana Qari Muhammad Yamin Gohar, Maulana Masud Ahmad Sarwari, Maulana Amanullah Qaisar, Maulana Muhammad Abu Bakr, Qari Gulzar Ahmad, Maulana Abid Khan, Maulana Abdus Salam, Maulana Shabbir Usmani, Maulana Ghulam Mustafa, Maulana Allah Yar Arshad and Sufi Noor Muhammad addressed it, and stated that the respected Ulama have postponed their decision to launch a drive against the government and Qadianis, as the authorities have accepted all their (Ulama’s) three demands. Accordingly, the unlawful place of worship of Qadianis at village Ahmad Nagar (at the outskirts of Rabwah) will be demolished and its loudspeaker will be removed. Moreover the wall chalking at village Ahmad Nagar will be effaced. If Qadianis do not do it themselves, the authorities will implement these demands.
Moreover it was demanded of the government that Qadiani professor Mansur Ahmad be transferred immediately from Taleem-ul-Islam College, Chenab Nagar and all Qadiani publications and periodicals should be banned. Moreover the DSP (Deputy Superintendent of Police) Chenab Nagar should be transferred.”
It would be of interest to know that it was the DSP who had accepted all their demands. The story is indicative of the clout these petty mullahs have been ceded by the political powers of the Punjab.
Another case of official myopia in the field of religious tolerance and harmony – Recognition of a Hafiz
Lahore: Following was a report and comment in August 2006:
Officials officiate as mullahs
Following news item was published in the daily Pakistan, Lahore of August 22, 2006:
“A Qadiani cannot write the title ‘Hafiz’ with his name
Faisalabad: (Bureau Report) A three-member Sub-Committee of the Education Board Faisalabad has recommended that a Qadiani cannot add the title of Hafiz to his name, as this title is specific to Muslims, and as per constitution Qadianis are non-Muslims. The Committee made these recommendations in relation to an application of a student from Chenab Nagar, Mr. Atique Ahmed, whereby he had requested that as he has memorized the Quran, the word Hafiz should be added to his name. The concerned branch forwarded the candidate’s application to the Board for guidance and decision. The Board assigned it to a sub-committee that comprised Muhammad Akhtar Cheema, Chaudhri Nazir Ahmad and Mian Farooq. The Board will give a final decision on the Committee’s recommendation in its next meeting.”
This news deserves a comment. According to the Ferozsons Dictionary the word ‘Hafiz’ means: “; having a good memory; one who knows the whole Quran by heart;”. It is a common noun, used also as a title. There is no legal or historical constraint that it can be applied only to Muslims. The Quran invites non-Muslims to read it, and, of course, remember its contents if they want to. There is no bar. The bar is only in the minds of the present day Ulema and the officials who want to appear more pious than even the mullah, through irresponsible and unjustifiable priestly opinions. They take the line that is most convenient, and play to the gallery. Human rights do not occur to them till they are hit on their own head by some act of tyranny.
The following month, the daily Pakistan of September 13, 2006 published the following report:
Qadiani not permitted to add the word Hafiz to his name
The Education Board issues directive
A Qadiani had sought permission to add ‘Hafiz’ to his name. The title shall be given only to Muslims – the Board
It would be of interest to mention that in pre-partition India, when there was greater inter-faith tolerance, non-Muslims were awarded the university degree of Maulvi Fazil, and Muslims who were qualified used the (traditional Sikh) title of Giyani. Giyani Ibadullah was a well-known Muslim scholar. A Parsi used the title ‘Shamsul Ulama’. The Faisalabad Education Board is somewhat like proverbial Mr. Craven who is always on the side of progress: he had false teeth when he was twenty-seven.
Management by exception
Lahore: According to the daily DAWN, Lahore of August 24, 2006:
“As many as 10 district police officers have been asked to personally monitor and pursue 18 high profile cases of sectarian killings in Punjab to ensure conviction of the accused in league with the prosecution service department.
The direction has been given by the law minister Muhammad Basharat Raja on behalf of the Chief Minister. The DPOs were from Lahore, Sheikhupura, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur, Attock, Jhang and Vehari.”
It is noteworthy that DPO Mandi Bahauddin is not in the list, although it was at village Mong, District Mandi Bahauddin that 8 Ahmadis were killed and almost twenty injured in a sectarian attack on an Ahmadiyya mosque last year.
Does the Government of the Punjab not consider murder of 8 Ahmadis a high-profile case?
Drop scene of a dishonest venture
Baseerpur, District Okara; September 10, 2006: According to the daily Pakistan of September 10, 2006, a big incident occurred at Baseerpur that involved non-Ahmadi officials; however no Ahmadi was involved.
One, Mazharul Haq reported to the DPO Okara and the Ulema by phone that the Ahmadiyya TV channel MTA was being shown on the local cable network, and that he had the video-recording as a proof. This agitated the mullahs and the police, and they all cried ‘wolf’. At this the police arrested eight persons including Munir Anjum Rehman, the Deputy Nazim who is a partner in the local cable-network business. Subsequently the Ulema and others attested that the detainees were ‘genuine’ Muslims, so they were released. An inquiry proved that the initial report was incorrect. Thus an artificially created ugly situation was brought under control by the efforts of the Ulema and the police. In the process, SHO Baseerpur Inspector Arshad and Incharge Investigation Inspector Mushtaq were relieved of their duties and ordered to report to the headquarters. Two other officers were appointed to take over the charge. The whole incident smells of false reporting, false blame, false credit and false religious emotions. ‘Much ado about nothing’ perhaps suits for incidents like this.