Difficulties in employment, business
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.
Challenges in Work
Work, business and jobs mean interaction with other people as colleagues, customers, competitors. In Pakistani third world economy where resources, jobs, production of wealth are limited, people tend to thrive or make a living by overstepping others – by hook or by crook. Ahmadis are easy targets for their faith-based identity. Whenever convenient, a competitor raises the religion issue against an Ahmadi colleague, superior, subordinate or competitor and makes an easy ‘kill’. Life at work can be precarious, for most Ahmadis in Pakistan.
Teachers fired on religious grounds
Attock; November/December 2014: A non-Ahmadi teacher, Tahir Naeemi, said something objectionable in his class of Islamic Studies in Punjab College, Attock. The issue was raised in a leaflet and circulated in the city, and on the internet too with the following statement:
“The punishment for the blasphemer of Prophet (p.b.u.h.) is decapitation. A peaceful protest against the blasphemer of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.), accursed Tahir, will start from Fountain Square.”
It was wrongly mentioned that Tahir is from the Ahmadiyya community. Opponents of the Ahmadiyya community took out a rally in Attock city. It covered a distance of 6 kilometers from Attock City to Punjab College on Kamra Road, and chanted slogans against the Ahmadiyya community. They also created an uproar outside the Punjab College.
Later Tahir offered his explanation to the administration and the police. However, on the basis of this incident, the administration discharged two Ahmadi teachers i.e. Mr. Raheel Anjum (Rawalpindi College of Commerce, Kamra Cantt) and Mr. Ahmad Saeed (Allied School, Punjab College Attock City) from their jobs. This action makes no sense, except that the denominational identity of the two teachers was considered inconvenient by the administration. If that be so, it is unbecoming wimpish surrender to the bigoted brigade.
Campaign against a female Ahmadi school head
Lalian, District Chiniot; February 2015: Ms. Nasira Begum is working as acting principal in Government School CTSC, Lalian. Some anti-Ahmadi elements hanged some banners in the city against her with the statement: “Qadiani principal should be expelled from the school.” An officer of the Special Branch inquired into the matter and talked to Ms. Nasira. He said that his staff had taken photographs of the banners, and he knew about the people who had put them up. He said that when he questioned them about these they replied, “We have no problem with her except that she is a Qadiani.”
Job at risk
Lahore; January 2015: An Ahmadi Mr. Farrukh Ziaur Rahman worked for construction company H.A. Builders. One Arsalan worked there too. He asked Farrukh questions about Ahmadiyyat and insisted on getting some literature about the Jamaat. At this, Farrukh gave him the book ‘The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam’. After receiving the book Arsalan showed his real colours and began severely opposing Farrukh and incited other workers and the owner of the company against him. In fact he aimed at replacing Farrukh in his job. As a result, the workers in the company turned hostile against Ahmadiyyat and say, ‘It is better to eat with a dog than with a Qadiani’. They accused Farrukh of blasphemy and proselytizing.
On January 7, 2015, the owner of the company invited two clerics from the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jama‘at-e-Islami to the company. They were turned on Mr. Farrukh whom they said, “You are an apostate, worthy of being killed, and a blasphemer. We will get you booked under PPC 295-C. You have small children to look after; it would be better for you to leave this place without further delay.”
All this mischief was done by Arsalan to take over Farrukh’s job. He accused Farrukh of hatching plans against the company, preaching Ahmadiyyat and distributing Ahmadiyya literature among co-workers. Arsalan passed on the book given to him by Farrukh to the owner of the company who turned hostile to Farrukh.
Thereafter Farrukh stopped going to work in the company. The Jamaat advised him to remain vigilant about his security and take all necessary precautions for his safety.
An Ahmadi businessman harassed greatly
Civil Quarters, Peshawar; November 24, 2014: Mr. Bashir Ahmad has a motor workshop here on Peshawar Road. On November 24, 2014 approximately 150 people led by mullas came to his shop. “Talk with us or become a Muslim,” they said in a threatening tone. They entered the workshop and said insulting words about the founder of the community. They also used foul language against the parents of Mr. Ahmad. They took an oath from the workers at the workshop that they would not socialize or deal with him.
As if that was not enough, the local police made inquiries about the workshop and its proprietor. In view of all this, the workshop had to be close down.
Ahmadi teacher’s ordeal continues
Chak Chatha, District Hafizabad; March 18, 2015: Mr. Habibur Rahman, an Ahmadi school teacher was mentioned last year in our reports for his continual faith-based persecution. He was transferred to Government Primary School Hameedpura and thereafter to Thatha Khurlanwala. There the situation was a bit calm for him, although he still received threats.
On March 18, 2015 Assistant Education Officer Kassoki telephoned Mr. Rahman and facilitated his talk with head of CTSC who directed Mr. Rahman to go back to Hameedpura, and assured him all possible support for his security.
Fired from job on religious grounds
Daska, District Sialkot; April 30, 2015: Mr. Abdul Hafeez Saqib, an Ahmadi was working in the franchise of a telecom company as sales officer for five years. Mullas of the Khatme Nabuwwat faction started a campaign against Mr. Saqib and other Ahmadi businessmen of the area. They displayed banners, with the name of Ahmadis printed on them, at different places in the city. These banners contained insulting remarks and appeal for boycott of the mentioned Ahmadis. This campaign affected the office of Mr. Saqib where the manager and a staff member turned against him. They incited the owner of the franchise against Mr. Saqib. On April 30, 2015, the owner fired Mr. Saqib from the job. Asadullah, a son of Mr. Saqib is also facing opposition and has received threats from the mullas.
An Ahmadi businessman harassed
Qayampur Virkan, District Gujranwala; May 16, 2015: Ahmadiyya community here is facing a tense situation for one year. Miscreants harass Ahmadis in many ways. A daughter of Mr. Zahid Ahmad, an Ahmadi died in March 2015. Her burial in the common graveyard was obstructed by opponents. After this the hostility was turned into a campaign. Anti-Ahmadiyya elements held many gatherings, invited mullas who exhorted the participants to boycott Ahmadis.
Muhammad Waqas, a landlord of the same village, is the leader of this campaign. He illegally occupied two acres of the Ahmadiyya mosque’s land. Mr. Zahid runs a business of selling chicken in Qayampur Virkan. On May 16, 2015 Waqas asked Mr. Zahid to shut down his business. “As you are not a Muslim and the chickens slaughtered by you are not Halal, so you are feeding Haram meat (forbidden by Sharia) to the people. If you will not shut down this business, I’ll take you to court,” he warned. Mr. Zahid was not cowed down.
After this incident, a local delegation met with Waqas’s father, told him of his son’s active hostility against Ahmadis, and requested his indulgence. He reportedly counseled his son who promised to refrain from any such activity. However, Ahmadis decided to exercise caution.
Plight of an Ahmadi
Chaman Abad, District Rawalpindi; December 2015: Mr. Mureed Hussain joined the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in 2000. Since then he is facing severe opposition from his family. Once they tortured him badly. This time his in-laws informed his office superiors that Mureed Hussain had become a Qadiani so he should be interrogated. The administration asked Mr. Hussain to submit an affidavit, which he refused. They also asked him about his religious beliefs. The administration told him to restrain from going anywhere except his home and office. They also searched Mr. Hussain’s room and took possession of his correspondences with the Jamaat.