Miscellaneous, brief reports and reports from smaller towns
(2002 – 2008)
Violence in the provincial capital
Lahore: One, Afzal Bakerywala, has assembled a group of goons, named it Qadiani Mukao (Finish off Ahmadis), and undertakes large scale mischief in Peoples Colony of Rachna Town, Lahore. Last year, he threatened an Ahmadi (Mr. Hamid Ahmad) with a dagger, harassed him persistently to the extent that his family had to sell the house and shift elsewhere.
In the same locality, Mr. Ghaffar Virk, an Ahmadi and his sons own a pharmacy. This group threatened them with murder on June 27, 2008. In the evening, dozens of bullies came over to the pharmacy, shouted insults, threw stones at the windows and beat up the owners. Mr. Faizan Shams, an Ahmadi present at the occasion was also manhandled.
The police were informed. Higher officials were informed of the incident in writing.
Pakistan is among the top 10
Colombo: P.K. Blanchandran reported on the internet on Feb. 27, 2008 that if the threat to ethnic and sectarian minorities is the criterion to rank countries, Pakistan will be among the top ten, according to the London-based Minority Rights Group (MRG). Pakistan has been placed seventh with 19.16 points, immediately followed by Sri Lanka, with 16.63, in MRG’s Global Ranking of Peoples under Threat (GRPUT).
In Pakistan, the communities facing persecution are Ahmadiyya, Sindhi, Pushtun, Hindu and Mohajir, according to the Report.
Somalia is the worst country in the world for minorities, followed by Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Chad, in that order.
What a company to keep by a nuclear power!
Indonesian Consul visits a Deobandi madrassah at Karachi
Karachi: The following interesting news appeared in the daily Aajkal, Lahore of May 29, 2008:
Indonesian Consul General visits Jamia Banoria
Karachi: Mr. Mustaqeen the Indonesian Consul General and Mr. Djo Kosolastano the Deputy Consul expressed their pleasure after seeing the educational system, facilities to the students and other arrangements at the Jamia at the occasion of a detailed tour of the site of the international Jamia Banoria. They expressed their good wishes over the worldwide efforts of the Jamia Banoria Aalamia over the propagation of Islam in the country and at the international level, as also for the progress of the Jamia. At this occasion the Administrator of the Jamia, Sheikhul Hadith Mufti Muhammad Naeem, Maulana Ghulam Rasul, Maulana Abdul Majeed, Muhammad Yunus Qureshi, and others from the administration and the faculty were also present. (Online)
Jamia Banoria is a well-known huge Deobandi seminary at Karachi with numerous branches. It has the dubious distinction of indulging in extensive anti-Ahmadiyya and other sectarian activities, and is a known cradle of Jihadi and extremist politics. Mr. Muhammad Rana, a research scholar undertook extensive research on present-day Jihad and wrote a veritable tome titled ‘Jihad e Kashmir wa Afghanistan’ in which he wrote: “The Chief of Jaish e Muhammad Masood Azhar, the Patron of Harkat ul Jihad Islami Saifulla Akhtar and Abdus Samad Sial, Amir of the same are all graduates of the Jamia Banori Town Karachi… Jamia Banoria is supporter of Jihadi organizations; the Ulama of this Jamia had a major role in the formation of Jaish Muhammad (now banned) in particular…. Prior to this, Harkat ul Mujahideen was a Jihadi organization supported by Jamia Banoria. Sipah Sahaba, a sectarian Jihadi organization, called here simply Jihadi Organization is also supported and propped by Jamia Banoria” (pp. 424-426). This Jamia received back its own share of violence, in that its top leaders Mufti Jamil, Maulvi Yousuf Ludhianwi, Mufti Shamzai were murdered by unknown killers in recent years.
In April 2008 the extremist Indonesian Ulama Council agitated the Ahmadiyya issue greatly and came close to having the community banned by the government on allegation of heresy. With that background and the rise of religious extremism in Indonesia it is rather enigmatic that Indonesian diplomats should have chosen to visit this madrassah and express their pleasure over its role. Indonesia had a good reputation in the past of practicing a tolerant version of Islam; its officials would have done well to stay miles clear of people associated with madrassahs like Jamia Banoria in Pakistan. Do these not see what they have done to Pakistan eventually?
Pakistan and Indonesia – who beats the other in religious hypocrisy and obscurity?
One, Rafiq Mahmood of Bagor, West Java put it this way in his review: “On 9 June 2008, following a long period of argument (in the form of downright vandalism and thuggery) and counter argument (in the form of reasoned comment in the intelligent press and widely supported demonstrations and representation), the Minister of Religious Affairs, the Attorney General and the Minister of Interior finally gave way and issued their decree”. Pakistan could thereby lose its leading position to Indonesia in imposing a state version of Islamism, and undertaking blatant interference in personal religion of its Ahmadi citizens. The latest Ahmadi-specific Indonesian law, Joint Ministerial Decree of June 9, 2008 could prove worse than General Zia’s notorious Ordinance XX of 1984 in restricting religious freedom of Ahmadis, as it threatens Ahmadis with 5 years’ imprisonment and also penalties extent to the organization and legal body. There is no reason to think that the Indonesian authorities will implement their bad law with any less vigilance than their Pakistani counterparts. The potential for evil in the Indonesian proclamation is higher than the Pakistani precedent.
The language of the Indonesian decree is unabashedly more hypocritical. The law starts off with the Preamble: “Taking into consideration: (a) that the right to freedom of religion is a human right that cannot be diminished under any circumstances that every person has the freedom to hold their religion and to worship according to their religion and faith,…” etc., but by some queer reasoning it ends up by the Decree that:
- 1. Members of the public are warned and ordered not to declare, suggest or attempt to gain public support for an interpretation of a religion that is held in Indonesia or to conduct religious activities of that religion which are deviant from the principal teachings of that religion.
- 2. The followers, members and/or leading members of the Indonesian Ahmadiyya Jamaat (JAI) are warned and ordered, as long as they consider themselves to hold to Islam, to discontinue the promulgation of interpretations and activities that are deviant from the principal teachings of Islam, that is to say the promulgation of beliefs that recognize a prophet with all his teachings who comes after the prophet Muhammad (SAW).
- 3. Any follower, member, or leading member of the Indonesian Ahmadiyya Jamaat (JAI) who does not comply with this warning and order as specified in the first and second article shall be liable to penalties as prescribed in regulatory laws and such penalties shall extend to the organization and legal body….”
It is a fact of life that every religion practiced in Indonesia and in the world has many different interpretations, and the manner in which their adherents conduct their ‘activities’ varies enormously. Often, members of a family, living under the same roof, understand and practice their common religion differently. Indonesian state has been led by its politicians and clerics to a quicksand of religious and political absurdity and insanity. A fair description of the present Indonesian political and social scene, in the context of Ahmadiyya issue, was undertaken by a researcher Adnan Morgan who writes for Western Resistance and Spiro news and has contributed to various publications including the Guardian and New Scientist. Some extracts from his article are given below:
- Both of these Islamist groups (Lashkar Jihad and the FPI, the Islamic Defenders Group) are said to have tacit support from senior figures within the military as well as the judiciary and police.
- Thalib (leader of Lashkar Jihad) himself had fought Soviets in Afghanistan from 1988 to 1989 and had met Osama bin Ladin. He had been educated at the Mawdudi Institute in Lahore, Pakistan, before dropping out and joining the Afghan Mujahideen.
- Even though Saudi-educated Rizieq Shihab (of FPI that led the recent attack on Ahmadis) could have received seven years for inciting his followers to violence (earlier) when he was found guilty, he was only jailed for seven months.
- In July 2005, the Majlis Ulama Indonesia made a “fatwa” containing 11 decrees, which decried activities involving interfaith, pluralistic and ‘liberal’ thought.
- In March 2006, one of his (President’s) ministers (Mr. Basyuni) openly condemned the Ahmadi…. Basyuni was educated in Saudi Arabia and appears to share that nation’s contempt for ‘deviant’ form of Islam.
- Witnesses claimed that members of the FPI had shouted (on June 1, 2008): “If you are defending Ahmadiyya, you must be killed.” (Shihab) said: “I have ordered all members of the Islamic Force to prepare for war against Ahmadiyya and their supporters.”
- The current government has vacillated while extremists have eroded people’s basic rights and freedoms, and now the country is in danger of succumbing to violence.
- Government bodies suggested that they would ban the Ahmadiyya movement, even though such an action contravened the 1945 constitution. The constitution is based on a set of principles known as Pancsila.
- The recent decision to severely curtail the activities of the peaceful and law-abiding citizens in the Ahmadiyya movement has struck a sour note inside Indonesia and beyond. Already the group has suffered persecution in West Java and on the island of Lombok. Between 2005 and 2008 at least 25 Ahmadiyya mosques have been destroyed.
- To become an Ahmadi, a vow is taken to ‘harm no one.” What seems bizarre to Western minds is that a group which is peaceful and has not initiated violence is outlawed, while a group (FPI) that is openly violent, and has publicity called for a war to be made on Ahmadiyya remains “legal”. (Emphasis added)
- FPI is still said to be linked to the militancy.
- The potential “civil war” between moderate and hard-line Muslims that has been highlighted by the Ahmadiyya/FPI problems reflects a more basic struggle – the struggle between Islamism and democracy. The current government is not, it seems, prepared to alienate or antagonize the islamist minority. As a result it has chosen to make the lives of a peaceful group – the Ahmadiyya – more difficult. Faced with widespread demands to ban or outlaw the Front Pembela Islam, the government of Indonesia does nothing .
- The ideological war that is being fought now in Indonesia is between two diametrically opposed systems – Islamism and democracy. So far, the Islamists appear to be wining.
Mr. Morgan’s well-researched article is available at www. family security matters.org/publications/id.357, CSS. print/pub-detail. asp
Joint Session adopts resolution
Islamabad; October 21, 2008: The Joint Session of the two houses of parliament unanimously adopted a resolution calling for “an urgent review of the national security strategy and revisiting the methodology of combating terrorism in order to restore peace and stability….” Some extracts of this important resolution should be placed on record of this Report so as to facilitate reference to it later. Excerpts:
“This in-camera joint session of parliament has noted with great concern that extremism, militancy and terrorism in all forms and manifestations pose a grave danger to the stability and integrity of the nation-state. It was recalled that in the past the dictatorial regimes pursued policies aimed at perpetuating their own power at the cost of the national interest.
“The challenge of militancy and extremism must be met through developing a consensus and dialogue with all genuine stakeholders.
“The nation stands united to combat this growing menace, with a strong public message condemning all forms and manifestations of terrorism, including the spread of sectarian hatred and violence with a firm resolve to combat it and to address its root causes.
“That the state shall maintain the rule of law….
“That the federation must be strengthened through the process of democratic pluralism, social justice, religious values and tolerance and equitable resource sharing between the provinces as enshrined in the Constitution of 1973.”
It is hoped that the government and the legislators will all remember their present findings and resolve, and will not be discriminative and selective about them. One is reminded that in the earlier few weeks of the new regime two Ahmadi leaders were assassinated in Sindh and all the Ahmadi students of the medical college at Faisalabad were rusticated, but no political leader, except one brave soul residing in London, took a stand in public that these were great wrongs that had been committed. One hopes that the democratic leadership will not succumb to the temptation of pursuing “policies aimed at perpetrating their own power” like the past “dictatorial regimes”.
The government’s response in October in Azad Kashmir towards holding a conference by the sectarian extremists of the Khatme Nabuwwat faction deserves tribute.
“God moves in mysterious way
His wonders to perform”
Faisalabad; September 2008: Here is an inspiring story; worth telling and placing on record.
A man named Imtiaz Shah lived in Faisalabad for years. He appeared to be religious, but regrettably he was not a good man. He joined the Khatme Nabuwwat faction and became a rabid activist after the promulgation of the notorious anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance XX in 1984. He was always on the lookout to implicate Ahmadis in the mischief of this law, and succeeded greatly. He was instrumental in implicating no less than 150 Ahmadis in various police cases. He also made it a habit to shout insults at any Ahmadi he came across, even women. He would often turn violent if his victim protested. He was booked by the police in Hudood cases (sex-related). The authorities knew him to be an evil man; they expelled him once from the city for a few months.
He returned, more active than before. He committed an assault on an Ahmadi, Zaheer Ahmad and injured him grievously. His victim did not live long after the incident.
On November 14, 2002, Imtiaz Shah, accompanied by an associate Rafaqat, intercepted an Ahmadi, Mr. Abdul Waheed in the bazaar at about 11:00. While Rafaqat held Waheed firmly, Imtiaz stabbed him with a dagger. When Abdul Waheed fell, the murderer announced to the people nearby that he had dispatched a Qadiani and told them not to help the victim. Waheed was thereafter taken to a hospital where he died. He is survived by his widow and three daughters aged 6, 4, and 2.
The next day Imtiaz Shah reported to the police station and proudly admitted to have performed a religious duty. The police arrested him and Rafaqat, and sent the case to an Anti-Terrorism Court. The judge sentenced Imtiaz Shah to death and Rafaqat to life imprisonment. Later, a session judge unjustly set Rafaqat free.
The grieved party and Imtiaz Shah both appealed to the High Court. The High Court surprisingly endorsed Rafaqat’s acquittal, and provided further relief to Imtiaz Shah by reducing his sentence to mere seven years in prison. This was unprecedented in legal history, under the circumstances of the case.
Ahmadis, thereafter, approached the Supreme Court that apex court set aside the High Court decision. The presiding judge of the Supreme Court refused to consider the complaint, and summarily and arrogantly announced his verdict to endorse the High Court decision (Guess who the Chief Justice was!). He dismissed the case within a few minutes.
In the second half of 2008, Imtiaz Shah was looking forward to his impending freedom. He sent threatening messages from the prison to Ahmadis that he would ‘take care’ of them on his release. Ahmadis felt disturbed at the prospects. In the situation that prevails in Pakistan, Ahmadis have turned to God and pray every day: “O Allah, we make Thee a shield against the opponents and seek Thy protection against their evil designs”. It seems God decided to intervene on behalf of these victims of violence.
In the months of August and September Imtiaz Shah’s behavior became rather erratic in the prison, and he appeared disordered. On October 5, 2008 he had a heart attack. He was shifted to the Allied Hospital in Faisalabad where he died. Three days later, on October 8, Rafaqat, his helper in the murder of Mr. Abdul Waheed also had a cardiac arrest and failed to recover. Then only two days later, one of their principal influences, Bashir A Makon also had a heart attack and died on October 10, 2008. Thus, within only five days, these three public enemies of the Ahmadi community came to naught in Faisalabad.
‘God don’t come when you want Him but He’s right on time.’ (anon. jazz historian, in Tennessee William’s Memoirs)
Communal tension simmers in Khanpur area
Khanpur, District Rahim Yar Khan: District Rahim Yar Khan in the southern Punjab is notorious for its anti-Ahmadiyya history. Ahmadi-bashers have always maintained communal tension in the area, that has occasionally resulted even in murder of Ahmadis for their faith. Recent status is given below:
- The opposition has enforced a social boycott of two Ahmadis in the bicycle market. The campaign is led by Hafiz Bilal Ahmad of the Tablighi Jama`at. He made the shopkeepers affirm on oath that they will boycott the two Ahmadis. He took other steps as well to spread unrest.
- Mullas of village Sehjah falsely propagated that Ahmadis forcibly take Muslims to Rabwah for conducted tours, so as to preach them their dogma of infidelity. The clerics declared that Ahmadis thus involved would be abducted. They also demanded that minarets of Ahmadiyya mosque should be dismantled. These proceedings created a tense social atmosphere in the locality.
- Mr. Muhammad Ashraf, Ahmadi is in-charge of a local public dispensary for the last 10 years. He received threats that he should take off the first name ‘Muhammad’ from his full name, or face consequences. Recently when he took two days’ leave from his job, some miscreants corrupted the attendance register by deleting the word ‘Muhammad’ from his name for all entries for the last six months, February to July 2007.
- A non-Ahmadi, Mr. Asghar, who is on friendly terms with Ahmadis, received a letter and showed it to Ahmadi friends. The letter contains the edict: Ahmadis are infidels and Wajibul Qatl (who must be put to death); anyone who maintains contact with them is himself an infidel and is Wajibul Qatl.
- The mullas published a photo of the holy founder of the Ahmadiyya Jama`at, and printed hostile propaganda material on its back, and then distributed it as a circular.
- The mullas held an open-air anti-Ahmadiyya Jalsa (conference) at Chak 65-P, and indulged in slander and provocation.
- The mullas fabricated a story that two non-Ahmadis Muhammad Hussain and Ghulam Farid were offered a million rupees each, a bride for each and also getting established in some business as reward by Ahmadis for conversion. They put pressure on the two to get a complaint registered with the police for registration of a criminal case against Ahmadis. When pushed too hard, the two threatened the clerics with a complaint to the police against them. This toned down the unworthy extremists.
- Ahmadiyya community has informed the administration of the on-going agitation. The police took notice and sent for the two parties and asked them to explain. The investigating official acted visibly with fairness and impartiality. The mullas declared that he was a Qadiani at heart.
- On account of the prevailing tension, Ahmadis have minimized their community and religious programs. They also cut down their assembly events at their mosques, and restricted these only to the Salat (congregational prayers).
Saudi assault on Ahmadis and the gloating Pakistani mulla
It happened in Jeddah on Friday, the 29 December 2006
The Saudi religious police raided the Ahmadiyya centre at Jeddah at about 2.00 p.m. and detained all the Ahmadis present there including women, children and an 8-month old infant. Some of the arrested were handcuffed and even shackled. Then they raided another Ahmadi office, broke it open and took away all the records and its computer. Ahmadis had gathered at their center for Friday congregational prayers. Their presence at the center in the afternoon broad daylight, in the city, along with their families was obviously a routine peaceful religious and social get-together. Ahmadis have a sustained record of peaceful and loyal presence in the Kingdom. The police raid was uncalled for, discriminatory and a violation of religious freedom of foreign migrant workers. It was ill-advised and has not brought a good name to the Saudi government. However, the Pakistani mullah was delighted to hear of the raid(s) and gave free vent to his glee in support of a gross violation of Ahmadis’ human rights. The Pakistani vernacular press, as usual, spared ample space for the mullah’s statements. The daily Nawa-i-Waqt of January 10, 2007 reported in a news headline: “Muslims all over the world express satisfaction over the arrest of 100 Qadianis at Jeddah.” It added: “Non-Muslims, as per Sharia are not allowed to enter the holy mosques (Hermain Sharif). Saudi government should take further strict action (against Ahmadis) — Ulama Karam”. The Ulama and the Nawa-i-Waqt conveniently ignored that the arrests were made in the port city of Jeddah, which is not a part of Hermain Sharif. The Nawa-i-Waqt, perhaps committed to oppose the worldwide norm of Freedom of Religion, proceeded the next day, on 11th January, to propagate the views of the extremist Muslim clerics: “Sworn statement regarding faith in the ‘end of prophethood’ should be part of all applications for Hajj and Umra. Qadianis must be punished for violation of and defiling the sacred territory. Qadianis pose as Muslims to promote apostasy in Saudi Arabia — Ulama’s statement.”
The daily Jinnah of January 10, 2007 reported in a three-column headline: “Qadianis preach Kufr (unbelief) in sacred Hejaz. Secret centers sealed. Investigations extended (to other locations).” It added that the Khatme Nabuwwat Academy London (headed by Mullah Abdur Rehman Bawa) and the Mo’tmar Alam Islami and such other organizations had forewarned the Saudi authorities earlier this year. Mullah Abdur Rehman Bawa’s statement was published in detail in the daily Pakistan in which he recommended to the Saudi authorities that the 100 Qadiani apostates should not be deported from Saudi Arabia, as they undertook secret apostasy activities and violated the Saudi Shariah law (so they should be tried there). The daily Pakistan reported the statements of Pakistani extremist clerics e.g. Khalid Cheema of Majlis Ahrar, Maulvi Mughirah of Chenab Nagar etc. The daily Nawa-i-Waqt of 15 January 2007 did not miss to report the demand of Qari Ayub and Mullah Abdul Hafeez Mazhar: “Qadianis involved in defiling the sanctity of Herman Sharif and spying should be hanged”. Thus the mullah, in his wild imagination, rather corrupt fabrication, upgraded the prayer congregation of Ahmadi families to preaching, violation of sanctity, defiling, and finally to spying. Fanny Parker was close to the mark when she wrote: “Externally he is a saint but, internally a devil”.
One must acknowledge the positive input of the liberal press and human rights organizations. The Daily Times made an editorial comment on January 11, 2007 and disapproved the Saudi ‘Islamic cleansing.’ The Amnesty International USA reported and commented upon the incident in its News Service NO: 010 on 17 January 2007, and appealed to the Saudi Arabian authorities “to halt the expulsion of all those targeted solely for their actual or suspected connection with the Ahmadiyya religious community.”
After the arrest, Ahmadis were not initially permitted to offer their regular prayers. Some were not provided with food for two days. They were made to sit for hours out in the cold at night, and were interrogated. Milk was not allowed to be purchased for the baby. No one was allowed access to them in the prison. Eventually, however, the Saudis released all the detainees but put them on notice for expulsion from the Kingdom. The affected are mostly from India and Pakistan and some of them have been working there for years. A large number of them have already been forced out, while Saudi sponsors of others have been told to make arrangements (air tickets etc) for the rest.
This incident is expressive of further advance of religious extremism in the volatile Middle East. It is a victory of obscurantism and negative forces. It pleases only a few mullahs, and is not in the interest of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Authorities should apply breaks even now, and commit no further violation of human rights.
Riyadh slammed for Ahmadi arrests
Following is reproduced from the Daily Times, Lahore of January 26, 2007:
Dubai: The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Wednesday accused Saudi Arabia of carrying out a wave of arrests and deportations against mainly South Asian followers of the Ahmadi faith, describing the move as a “grave violation” of religious freedom.
The watchdog, in an open letter to King Abdullah, said: The Saudi government’s arrest and detention of members of the Ahmadi community solely on the basis of their ‘religion is a grave violation of this right’.
Noting that Saudi authorities had arrested 56 non-Saudi followers of the faith, “including infants and young children”, and deported at least eight to Pakistan or India, without charging them with a crime — HRW urged the government to “release all persons detained in this campaign, stop their deportation and readmit those already deported”. It went on to say: “We write to urge you to put an immediate end to Saudi Arabia’s nationwide campaign to round up followers of the Ahmadi faith who have committed no crime.”
HRW Middle East Director Sarah Leah Whitson said that the arrests represented a “clear indication of the Saudi government’s intolerance of freedom of worship”.
The human rights watchdog therefore called on Riyadh to “publicly commit (to) and respect freedom of religion and freedom, to peacefully assemble and pray with others, and it should bring those instigating religious persecution to justice”. AGENCIES
A Khatme Nabuwwat leader heads for the United Kingdom
Chichi Watni: The daily Ausaf, Lahore in its issue of June 18, 2007 published the following story:
Leader of the Khatme Nabuwwat movement proceeds to London on mission to safeguard the end of prophethood
Chichi Watni (Tehsil reporter): Abdul Latif Khalid Cheema, a leader of the Tehrik Khatme Nabuwwat and Secretary Information of the Majlis Ahrar Islam proceeded the other day to London on a visit to Britain on the mission of Tehsil Khatme Nabuwwat (sic). During his stay there he will participate in congregations and conferences in numerous cities, and will also inspect the work of Tehrik Khatme Nabuwwat and the Ahrar Khatme Nabuwwat Mission, UK.
It deserves a mention that the cleric Cheema is quite an extremist and a rabid mulla in the name religion and Khatme Nabuwwat, based at Chicha Watni. Only a few weeks ago the daily Jinnah of Lahore published the following report from Chicha Watni in its issue of April 7, 2007:
Chichi Watni: Arrest of two persons including Hafiz Asghar the Secretary Information and Publication of Almi Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat
Chichi Watni: It is learnt that the two men were arrested for their involvement in the case of bomb explosion at Mal Mandi Road which occurred on February 24. (For details see News Report April 2007, p.4).
And later, the daily Al Jaridah, Lahore of June 9, 2007 had a story on this very Cheema; headline:
Abdul Latif Cheema of Majlis Ahrar Islam and Rana Sardar Khan of (N) League arrested.
Ahmadiyya press release
London: International Press and Media Desk of the Ahmadiyya Association UK issued the following Press Release on November 26, 2007:
Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association condemns all forms of Terrorism.
Hadrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad also speaks of the current crisis in Pakistan.
Speaking during his weekly address His Holiness, Hadrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association has spoken of the uncertainty and troubles facing the world at this time. He used the address to once again condemn all forms of terrorism and to highlight that Islam’s true teaching is of love and compassion for all of God’s Creation. His Holiness also commented on the ongoing troubles in Pakistan and of the recent persecution faced by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association in Indonesia.
His Holiness stated:
“People throughout the world are living in fear of terrorism that is justified in the name of religion, despite the fact that no religion teaches or allows any form of terrorism. Most certainly Islam, more than any other religion, forbids such practices. It is most unfortunate that during this era hatred is regularly justified in the name of God.
“It is the obligation of every Muslim to show love to all of God’s Creation. In this regard the Ahmadiyya Community has always tried its utmost to fulfill its duties to mankind. And as a manifestation of this love it is up to members of the Community to inform others that the reason why the world is currently facing so much uncertainty and having to bear so many natural disasters is simply that society is turning away from God Almighty. Until this trend is arrested true peace will not emerge.
“One current example is the recent cyclone that has hit Bangladesh. It is reported that this is the biggest cyclone in the past 47 years and has left 600,000 homeless.”
Speaking of the ongoing crisis in Pakistan, His Holiness stated:
“Pakistan is a country that has invoked laws of hatred against the Ahmadiyya Community which prevent its members from basic acts of worship. Yet despite this persecution whenever the country has faced difficulty, such as the earthquake two years ago, it is the Ahmadiyya Community which has been at the forefront of any relief effort.
“During the current troubles there have been examples of lawlessness in Pakistan but the Ahmadiyya Community has always and will always follow the laws of the nation. No member of the Ahmadiyya Community will take part in any protest or civil disobedience. However in the spirit of love for humanity and love for the nation I say that for peace to emerge fairness and justice must prevail.”
His Holiness also commented on the situation of the Ahmadiyya Community Indonesia. He stated:
“In the past days the homes of Ahmadi Muslims and mosques have been attacked and it seems that these acts are being perpetuated by certain governmental sections in an effort to pave the way for future anti-Ahmadiyya legislation. When the Tsunami hit Indonesia a few years ago our community was there taking a full part in the relief effort despite the fact that there was a great deal of hostility towards our Community in the country. It is our task to help mankind always, no matter how they treat us.
“Our reward is from God, no one else.”
Ahmadiyya Muslim Association
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association has prospered throughout the world expounding and practicing its motto ‘Love for All, Hatred for None’.
Further Information: Alislam.org .
End of Release
The state policy to disregard violation of human rights of Ahmadis has promoted a culture of open sectarian extremism all over the country. Reports received only during March from some of the locations are briefly given below:
Khushab: The mullah, Athar Shah who precipitated riots in Takht Hazara four years ago that resulted in murder of 5 Ahmadis, is now active in District Khushab. He has settled down in Qaidabad. He has acquired the support of some political groups including that of Karam Ilahi Bandiyal. This mullah has arranged showing of anti-Ahmadi documentaries and videos through the local TV cable network. Anti-Ahmadiyya stickers have been distributed, and wall-chalking has been done. The mullah is gauging the reaction of authorities, and is raising the level of his mischief by the week. Ahmadis feel very concerned.
Pind Dadan Khan: Qari Qiyamud Din held a demonstration on March 3 and addressed the crowd. He told them a concocted story that a Qadiani in Hyderabad made a blasphemous remark against the Holy Prophet. A Muslim family felt so grieved that they asked one of their male members, who had recently returned from pilgrimage of Makka, to kill the Qadiani blasphemer. They undertook not to partake food till that was accomplished. So the Haji (pilgrim returned) took an axe and cut the uncouth Qadiani to pieces. Referring to this incident, the Qari told the crowd that Qadianis were Wajab ul Qatl (must be put to death).
Ahmadi elders decided to intimate the incident to the district authorities.
Jaura Nurpur, District Qasur: Ahmadi bashers held an anti-Ahmadi conference here on February 16, and called it Shan Mustafa Conference. Clerics, Javed Gil and Munshi Sharif made very provocative speeches and urged the audience to implement social boycott of Ahmadis. They told shopkeepers to sell nothing to Ahmadis. This wave maintained itself for almost a week, then petered out.
Naushehrah, NWFP: The mullah of Masjid Rahman delivered a slanderous sermon on Friday 17. He said that Qadianis are selling pork and call it veal. They consider their Mirza at a higher pedestal than Muhammad (pbuh), etc. etc. Influenced by such harangues, street urchins have stoned Ahmadis houses and used abusive language against Ahmadis. The mullahs have attempted to convert the caricature issue to a political movement, and they urge the government to severe diplomatic relations with relevant countries.
Jhang: A group of mullahs in Jhang are trying to mix the caricature issue with the anti-Ahmadiyya drive to make political gains. They have formed an association, and called it
“ Anjuman Fidayan Namus Risalat (an association of devouts committed to uphold the honour of the prophethood). Their first meeting was planned for March 9, 2006. These people led by Muhammad Siddiqui (perhaps a pseudo-name) issued a pamphlet in which they urged the addressees to sacrifice their lives for the honour of the Prophet, by confronting the challenge of Qadianiyyat.
Kotli, Azad Kashmir: An Ahmadi Raja Muhammad Razzaq and his wife Farzana Begum were found murdered at their home on February 23, 2006. The police is investigating. The murderers and the cause of the murder have still to be pin-pointed. The couple have left behind eight children, aged 22 years to 2 ½ years. They had a small store that provided them with some income for a living.
Anti-Ahmadi activism at Lahore during September
Following was reported from various quarters at Lahore:
Model Town: A pamphlet was distributed that called Ahmadis ‘apostates’ and urged social boycott of Ahmadis. It gave the edict that anyone who has any dealing with Qadianis, is a kafir (infidel). It ridiculed Ahmadiyya view on Jihad that fighting is not permissible to propagate Islam.
Mughalpura: Posters were put up forbidding the population to have their children admitted in the local school ‘Ahmad Academy, Girl Campus’. “Only thus you will safeguard your faith and morals”, the poster urged. The poster is issued by Mirzai Mukao (exterminate Ahmadis) organization. It gave its address as P.O. Box 440, perhaps false.
Rachna Town: Khatme Nabuwwat activists arranged an anti-Ahmadi seminar. They used foul and provocative language against the founder of the Ahmadiyya Community, and distributed sectarian literature.
Garden Town: A man who had covered his face, arrived at the residence of Mr. Afzal Rabbani, an Ahmadi. He got hold of his daughter, placed a knife at her throat and said, “ I know, you people are Ahmadis; I am on your track and I’ll fix you up.” The girl shrieked in fright and the lunatic fled.
Anti Ahmadiyya incidents occurred, of varying gravity, at the following locations; these are described in appropriate chapters elsewhere:
Tando Adam on 5 Jan 06 and 31 Oct 06; Fateh Sher, District Vehari on 26 May 06; Mirpur Sindh on 3 Jun 06; Bambanwala, District Sialkot on 24 Jun 06; Faiz Ganj, District Khairpur on 29 Jun 06; Satrah, District Sialkot on 14 Jul 06; D.G.Khan on 26 Jul 06 and 29 Sep 06 ; Hawaili Lakha, District Okara on 10 Aug 06; Jhando Sahi, District Sialkot on 24 Jun 06; Karachi on 19 Mar 06; Sanghar on 7 May 06; Gujrat on 22 Aug 06; Rahim Yar Khan 12 Feb and 16 Mar 06; Chawinda, District Sialkot on 16 Oct o6; Mira Bharka, Mirpur, Azad Kashmir on 1 Aug 06; Chak 35 N, District Sargodha; Chanda Singh Wala, District Qasur on 16 Mar 06; Ahmad Nagar, District Jhang on 19 Nov 06; Faisalabad in Mar 06; Bahawalpur in Jul 06 and on 25 Oct 06; Chak 37/12-L, District Sahiwal; Talwandi Musa Khan, District Gujranwala on 31 Jan 06; Ouncha Paharang, District Sialkot in Oct 06; Lahore on 14 Feb 06 and in Sep 06; Bagar Sargana, District Khanewal in Nov 06; Thatha Chando, District Jhang on 5 Dec 06; Chak 20, District Mandi Bahauddin; Bhimber, Azad Kashmir on 3 Oct 06; Rawalpindi in Sep 06; Dulmial, District Chakwal; Mandi Bahauddin in Feb 06; Thatha in Sep 06; Qasur on 14 Jun 06; Toba Tek Singh in Jun 06; Ahmadpur Sharqia, Dist. Bahawalpur
Tension in District Khairpur (Sindh)
1. Mullahs had got a criminal case registered under the anti-Ahmadiyya law against three Ahmadis at Gambat in 1998, six years ago. Two of the accused had to flee abroad to avoid prosecution and imprisonment. On January 10, Mullahs had intercepted the third Ahmadi; that caused great consternation. So he refused to attend the next hearing. The judge gave February 7 as the next date. On that date another anti-Ahmadiyya case was to be heard; it has been going on for eight years. All these cases have now become weak, so the mullahs were spoiling for some violence. The situation remained tense in Khairpur.
2. A clan living approximately 10 kilometers away from Krundi, district Khairpur had become Ahmadi. One of them died. The mullahs availed this occasion to generate communal discord and unrest. They organized an open-air conference, and issued threats to Ahmadis. They made plans to occupy the Ahmadiyya mosque. Ahmadis felt very disturbed by these developments, so they approached the senior police and army authorities in the area to intervene to ensure that the mullahs and their sympathizers do not take law in their hands.
Communal unrest in a village
Chak 563 GB, district Faisalabad: There is a sizable Ahmadiyya community in this village. In January, Mr Aslam, an Ahmadi started construction of his house in the village. Someone from the opposition, in league with the Khatame Nabuwwat organization, wrote to the Tehsil Nazim that Aslam was constructing a community house on the unauthorized land. The complaint was false in that the proposed house was Aslam’s personal. As for the land, approximately 80% of the village population, including the complainant, has built their homes on unauthorized land. Nevertheless, the Nazim held a big inquiry in the case and sent for Aslam to explain his financial position. While this was going on, the Khatme Nabuwwat organization approached the Assistant Commissioner with the same representation. Aslam presented himself before the AC four times. Mullahs threatened to demolish the under-construction building on their own. They took to arousing the mob passions through mosque loudspeakers.
Whither the much publicized ‘enlightened moderation’ and the ‘double pincer strategy to fight extremism’!
Problem at Gambat
Gambat, District Khairpur (Sindh): In April, the secretary of the Ahmadiyya Community, District Khairpur reported difficulties for Ahmadis of Gambat. A mullah Siddique, who is an activist of defunct Sipah Sahaba (SSP), led the mischief. As a result, Ahmadis experienced difficulties with authorities, and also faced threats of murder.
A report from District Sargodha
Havely Majoka, District Sargodha: Mr Zubair Majoka, an Ahmadi from the village reported on May 15, 2004 that on three different occasions, public meetings were recently held in the village wherein Ahmadiyya community was made target of slander and vulgarity. On May 4, Mullah Manzoor Chinioti addressed the crowd. This mullah, now dead was a senior office-bearer of the Khatme Nabuwwat Organization that produces hate pamphlets and promotes violence.
Mr Majoka was advised to keep the authorities informed, for whatever it is worth.
A wedding gift
Panwan, district Sheikhupura: Two Ahmadi brothers of Panwan got married at Rabwah on 11 March 2003. The wedding party that arrived at Rabwah, included some non-Ahmadis. They were shown around the town. On their return to Panwan, the mullah came to know of the excursion, and he raised a storm of agitation. He delivered a fiery sermon on September 26. He agitated the villagers to move against the Ahmadis. As a result, the brothers have received two months’ notice to quit the village. They were told to vacate their rented shop with immediate effect.
Two incidents in District Khairpur
Goth Nathey Khan, district Khairpur (Sindh): The president of the local Ahmadiyya community reported two incidents that disturbed their peace.
1. It was sometimes in September that, Mr Nasir Ahmad Kharl, the local president was sitting with the SDO Irrigation in the latter’s office for a friendly chat. A few minutes later, his clerk gave him a message on a chit in confidence, and went out. The SDO told Mr Kharl to leave the office. When asked the reason, the SDO told him that he would tell him on telephone in the evening. Later, when Kharl phoned him, the SDO told him that the chit was from Sipah Sahaba mullah who had demanded that the Qadiani be made to leave the office, otherwise he would be slaughtered. Mr Kharl asked the SDO the name of the mullah, but he refused to name him.
2. Two teen-agers arrived on a motorbike. They introduced themselves to the president and told him that they wanted to convert to Qadianism. The president immediately assessed that the visitors meant mischief. He asked them some questions to which they gave no satisfactory answers, and insisted only on conversion. The president entertained them no further, so they got annoyed and threatened to make him another visit.
Fraudulent warrant of arrest
Peshawar: Mr Haris Khan, Ahmadi, was charged under the religious and Ahmadi-specific laws PPC 295A and 298C in August 2002. He was later released on bail. In the month of June someone, through fraud and mischief, got a warrant of arrest issued against the poor fellow. He came to know of it, and it took him some effort to have the warrant cancelled and remain free.
Dera Khokhar, district Jhang; April 6, 2003: A mulla challenged local Ahmadis to a religious debate at Dera Khokhar. They accepted the challenge provisionally, and contacted their superiors for instructions. They were advised not to indulge in a public debate of this nature. Ten mullahs arrived however and spoke in venomous and slanderous language against Ahmadis. There was no response from Ahmadi side, so they went back shouting profane and vulgar language. Ahmadis realized that they had been correctly advised.
Some incidents during August
Pattoki: Mr. Bashirul Haq, Ahmadi reported of agitation against him by a few miscreants. They put up at his shop a few verses composed by Maulvi Raza Brelvi. These urge the Muslims to be harsh on non-Muslims and to have no dealings with them, etc.
Sialkot: Tajammul Butt, member of a religious student wing accompanied by one Farrukh was noticed making video film of Ahmadiyya mosques in village Bhadal and Nikapura. Obviously, this operation had a purpose. Earlier, Ahmadis have been murdered in terrorist attacks in their mosques in this district. The police took note of these activities and made enquiries.
Nowshehrah Cantt: The local police and members of a security agency visited the Ahmadiyya Mosque and met Ahmadi notables a number of times and made inquiries. They advised the community to remain on guard against any violent attempts. Apparently they had some information to reach this conclusion.
Caricatures of Ahmadi religious leader
Larkana: The president of Ahmadiyya Youth, Larkana was sent by post three photo copies of highly provocative and ridiculing caricatures of the holy founder of the Ahmadiyya Community. These copies were made out from a periodical published in a Gulf state by one, Syed Abdul Hafeez Shah. This rag is openly distributed in this country, while the authorities overlook its hateful and slanderous contents despite the law on the subject. The vulgarity of the caricatures is too much to be reproduced in this Report.
Reports from other locations
Rawalpindi: A co-ordinated anti-Ahmadiyya effort was mounted from five different mosques of Chamanabad and Tench Bhata in August/September. On alternate days mullahs made provocative speeches on mosques loudspeakers. Ahmadis reported to the police and requested intervention. The police responded well and told the management committees of these mosques to desist from such activity. They complied. A lawyer, however, objected to these instructions and threatened to go to the court. The police asked him as to who would be responsible if the law and order situation is affected. The lawyer had no answer to that. That put an end to the fiery speeches.
Kotli, Azad Kashmir: A mullah hurled abuse at the founder of Ahmadiyyat in an open conference on August 2. At nearby Barali, a Sub Divisional Magistrate ordered the police to take action against an Ahmadi, Latif on charge of preaching. A few days later, a few mullahs made profane attacks on Ahmadi leaders. Intelligence agencies also make disturbing inquiries about Ahmadis. On 21 September, they collected information on Ahmadis and their office bearers of the local community.
Kot Agha, district Sialkot: During the night of 10/11 September, mullahs held an open air meeting in this village and urged the residents to socially boycott Ahmadis. They undertook slander and vulgarity against Ahmadiyyat and distributed injurious literature.
Quaid Abad, district Khushab: Mullah Athar Shah who was the architect of Takht Hazara bloodshed, is now active in the Quaid Abad area. He arranged here a Finality of Prophethood Conference on August 28. The speakers used foul language against Ahmadis and announced that murder of Ahmadis was licit. Mullah Athar has installed himself in Quaid Abad and is involved full-time in mischief against Ahmadis. He was greatly successful at Takht Hazara where his activism led to murder of 5 Ahmadis in November 2000.
Peshawar: Mullahs organized a night session at Qissa Khwani Bazar on September 7, 2003. They indulged in their usual anti-Ahmadiyya vulgarity. One of them invited Ahmadis to rejoin Islam or face decapitation after the advent of a truly Islamic government in Pakistan.
Karachi: One, Qari Akram is acting hyper against Ahmadis in Shah Nawaz Bhutto Colony of Gulshan Sir Syed. On 12 September, he gathered some gangsters and moved aggressively against a few Ahmadi residents of the neighborhood. He issued orders to the effect that:
1. Ahmadis will do no business here.
2. No more Ahmadi will be allowed to settle down here.
3. Ahmadis can buy nothing from local shops.
4. They are forbidden to build a house in the Colony.
Ahmadis leadership advised the small community to remain calm and not to respond to provocation.
Agitation at various locations
It appears that the clerics plan to keep the anti-Ahmadiyya pot boiling while the country’s internal situation remains politically sensitive. It fits in their overall strategy. In addition to the incidents mentioned above, anti-Ahmadiyya agitation was fanned at various locations. A few of these are mentioned below:
Sargodha. Mullah Akram Toofani availed of the 12th Rabiul Awwal (birthday of the Holy Prophet) congregation at Qainchi Mor to urge the crowd to implement a social boycott of Ahmadis.
Gujranwala. Followers of Pir Golarwi indulged in slander and diatribes against the Holy Founder of Ahmadiyya Community, at the occasion of the birthday of the Holy Prophet.
Faisalabad. Activists distributed anti-Ahmadiyya pamphlets blaming Ahmadis of (1) informing the US of whereabouts of Aimal Kansi, resulting in his arrest, (2) Information regarding Taliban leading to their capture, (3) Unrest against the government and (4) Rumour mongering. The Khatame Nabuwwat Organization called bad names to the founder of Ahmadiyyat, on 12 Rabiul Awwal. The speakers spoke little on the life and personality of the Holy Prophet; instead they agitated the crowd against Ahmadis and told them to have nothing to do with them.
Goth G.M. Cheema, District Mirpur Khas. Khatme Nabuwwat activists and some school teachers were active in anti-Ahmadiyya agitation.
Some other reports
District Badin (Sind): A mullah who belongs to the banned Lashkar Jhangvi faction of the SSP indulged in anti-Ahmadiyya rhetoric in his Friday sermons during August at the mosque in village Nev Dambalo. He was abusive against Ahmadi leaders and urged the congregation to implement social boycott of Ahmadis.
Rawalpindi: A mullah of the Khatme Nabuwwat Organization addressed a gathering in Chaman Abad Colony of Rawalpindi on July 27, 2003. He indulged in false allegations and vulgarity against the founder of Ahmadiyya Movement. He urged his audience to undertake complete social boycott of Ahmadis. He asked them to contact him when required at his office that is located in Islamabad, close to the Lal Masjid. The mullah distributed hateful pamphlets against Ahmadis.
Agitation at Sadiqabad
Sadiqabad; January 2002: Mullahs at Sadiqabad remained very active and extremely hostile against Ahmadis throughout the month. For instance:
a. They raided the residence of a new convert, treated him harshly and set Ahmadiyya literature on fire.
b. Basharat, a young man expressed sympathetic opinion on Ahmadiyyat to his father on January 1, who then beat him up severely. The father accompanied by a few hooligans went to see the president of local Ahmadiyya community, shouted insults and stoned his outer gate.
c. The opponents made a plan to hold firebrand meetings in the neighbourhood. Ahmadis informed the police who warned the opposition against any violence. They held the meetings regardless. In these meetings they decided to :
1. Implement a social boycott of Ahmadis
2. Try and close down Ahmadiyya Centre in the area
3. Take steps to close down Ahmadis’ satellite dish receiver for TV
4. Get a criminal case registered against Ahmadis under Ahmadi-specific laws
5. Try to get Ahmadi students expelled from schools and colleges
6. Organize an impassioned movement led by mullahs
7. Wage Jihad against Ahmadis
The opposition became very active and made headway. They contacted the local press and had anti-Ahmadi fabrications printed in the daily Kalam-e-Waqt (10 and 11 January 2002). They contacted the local influentials and enforced an unfair agreement. The situation remained tense for weeks.
Incident at Sillanwali
Sillanwali, district Sargodha; August 22, 2002: A mullah, Shahid, belonging to defunct Sipah Sahaba, remains active against Ahmadis. Sipah Sahaba was banned by the government last year for its religious extremism, however its members remain free to indulge in acts of bigotry and violence.
On August 22, Mullah Shahid intercepted Mr Abdul Aziz, an Ahmadi, in the bazaar, pushed him physically and was harsh with him for no stated reason. Aziz’s father arrived at the scene and rescued his son. He then reported the matter to the police. The police took no action against the mullah. Aziz’s father, thereafter contacted Mr Bhatti, a local influential, who then sent for Shahid’s father. The father stated that Shahid was a member of the ex-SSP, and undertook to restrain him.
It is relevant to mention that in the past Shahid had threatened Aziz with violence, and was once seen in possession of a knife, and an unlicensed pistol on another occasion.
Tension at Fatehpur
Fatehpur, district Gujrat: Ahmadiyya Community at Fatehpur is facing active opposition and harassment from non-Ahmadi clerics. The president of the Community, Mr Tanveer Ahmad has been confronted and challenged many a time. He avoided the imposed brawl with great tact. The religious zealots reported to the police against inscription written on the local Ahmadiyya mosque. The police inspector inspected the site and found nothing that was even remotely offensive. He found the inscriptions even laudable. These activists thereafter took the law in their own hands and in the darkness of the night, defaced the inscriptions and vandalized the mosque. Ahmadis undertook the repairs and are now keeping an active watch at their mosque to guard against further attempts.
A Troublesome Matrimony
Narang Mandi, District Sheikhupura: Mr Iqbal joined the Ahmadiyya Community in 1995. He married his cousin Aliya, a non-Ahmadi, in 1996. The marriage did not work out well, and differences arose. They separated, and the ex-wife approached the court. Armed with anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance, she accused her husband of committing adultery with her (his wife) in addition to other accusations. Police arrested the poor fellow. He stayed behind bars for six months before the High Court allowed his release on bail. His wife wanted to add Blasphemy to the list of charges against him; however the High Court disallowed the false charge. In mid-2002 Iqbal was still facing prosecution in the court.
At other locations and occasions in May 2002
D.G. Khan : The mullah of the mosque that is situated close to the Ahmadiyya Centre delivered a fiery sermon against Ahmadis and exhorted his flock to undertake social boycott of Ahmadis. He warned Ahmadis to recant or face Direct Action.
Islamabad: The mullah at Masjid Talha, in Sector I/9 delivered his Friday sermon on the subject of End of Prophethood. He declared that every child is willing to sacrifice his life to defend this dogma. He threatened that if the government does away with the distinction between Muslims and Non-Muslims in Voter’s form, then the Muslims will shed the last drop of their blood. He asked the worshippers to raise their hands in support of this proposal.