Another title authored by the Ahmadiyya founder recommended to be banned
Lahore; March 29, 2019: The daily Pakistan, online, published a report that the Chairman Mutahidda Ulama Board, Allama Tahir Mahmud Ashrafi has sent his recommendation to the Home Department, the Auqaf Department and the CTD Punjab that the book Kashti Nooh (Noah’s Ark) be confiscated forthwith and its publication and distribution be stopped.
This book was authored by the founder of the Ahmadiyya community in 1902 during the Raj. It contains fairly detailed description of his teachings and is thus of prime value and standing for the members of the Ahmadiyya community. The work does address the virulent and unfair attacks on Islam and its Holy Prophet by some leading clerics of other faiths, and as rebuttal shows them the mirror through quotations from their own scriptures and narratives. It is indeed a classic work and is of great value for the researchers as well as the disciples.
The Ulama Board, when accused of curbing the religious freedom of Ahmadis takes the line that it has also banned numerous publications produced by clerics of other denominations. This excuse is malafide and hollow as those publications were authored by subsequent scholars and mullas, while the books produced by Mirza Sahib are of nearly scriptural value to Ahmadis. The Ulama Board dare not recommend a ban on even Sahih Bokhari (of Sunnies) or Nehjul Balagha (of Shias). We quote below briefly the story of one similar ban on the Ahmadiyya TAZKARAH, by the Punjab Mutahidda Ulama Board, to show the prejudice and bigotry in play in such anti-Ahmadi recommendations.
The Home Department Punjab, vide its Notification no. SO(IS-III)6-15/2010 dated 25th June, 2014 “banned, and to be forfeited wherever found,” a book titled TAZKARAH ‘authored’ by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, on grounds that “the Government of the Punjab is satisfied that (the) book contain (sic) material which is treasonable and seditious in nature (and…) prejudicial to national integration”. This calls for a little explanation.
This book TAZKARAH is a compendium of Ahmad’s dreams, visions and revelations. He died in 1908, forty years before Pakistan came into being. Till 1908, Pakistan scheme had not surfaced, its name was not even suggested. Someone may ask the Ulama Board and the government of the Punjab of 2014 as to how do they justify their reasoning that the pre-1908 dreams etc are treasonable and seditious to the Pakistani state. Obviously the reasons quoted are fabrications, even ridiculous.
The ban on TAZKARAH is maintained intact by the present government of the Punjab despite the fact that Pakistan has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) whose Article 19.2 lays down:
“Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.”
We understand that the mullas of the Punjab Ulama Board might never have bothered to read the ICCPR, but the high officials of the provincial government must have known of this international covenant and obligation and are expected to convey to the Board that they will not be allowed to bring disrepute to Pakistan through violations of its international treaty obligations.