Politics of Persecution – 2003

2003

 

A case under Ahmadi-specific law

Rabwah; September 11, 2003: The police registered a case No. 295/2003 against Mr Muhammad Arif, Ahmadi, under Ahmadi-specific law PPC 298C, at the accusation of the notorious mullah, Allah Yar Arshad. The mullah reported to the police that Arif came over to his mosque and preached Ahmadiyyat to him and asked him to convert and become an Ahmadi. No sane person would do that. The facts are different.

Muhammad Arif is an electrician by profession. He had undertaken major repairs of an electric motor fitted at the madrassarun by the mullah. The repair bill amounted to Rs. 850. The mullah paid him Rs. 200 only, and refused to pay the balance. This resulted in an argument and a scuffle. Arif had to flee to avoid injury. The mullah went over to the police with the concocted story and had the case registered against Arif under Ahmadi-specific law for preaching.

Arif has now to defend himself against imprisonment up to three years.

 

Another arrested under the anti-Ahmadiyya Law

Rabwah: Mr Daud Ahmad Muzaffar was arrested and charged under PPC 298C on November 17, 2003 at police station Chenab Nagar. The FIR number is 390/03.

The accused is mentally unstable and is under treatment. His mental state has its ups and downs. On the day of the incident, he felt better and proceeded independently to Hafizabad to meet his father. On his way back, he stopped at the madrassa in the Muslim Colony, in order to avail of the rest room. It seems that his mental condition had taken a downward turn; otherwise he would not have taken the risk of entering such a hazardous location. Once inside, he was grabbed by the mullahs who handled him roughly. Ghulam Mustafa, the Mullah Incharge himself wrote the accusation and delivered the poor fellow to the police. The police formally arrested him and dispatched him to prison at Chiniot.

The poor fellow is in prison since then. His attorney applied for his release on bail, but did not succeed. The magistrate gave the date of December 8, for hearing the bail application. The state attorney offered the excuse that as Maulvi Ghulam Mustafa, the complainant was not available, the hearing should be postponed. The magistrate was not pleased, however he gave another date. It is learnt that subsequently not only the magistrate, even the Sessions Judge did not grant him the bail. The poor fellow is still behind bars and his mental state has worsened.

It is noteworthy that the state has taken over the prosecution from the mullah. If ‘enlightened moderation’ is the guiding principle, the state functionaries are guilty of serious violation of the state’s declared policy. It is surprising that the judiciary, which is expected to provide relief to the poor who become targets of tyranny by the executive, also acts so heartless and callous when Ahmadis are brought before it. Even the mentally disturbed find the judges unmoved.

 

Two faces of a modern mullah

Khanewal, December19, 2003: After the bashing in the post-9/11 Afghanistan war, two years ago, the Pakistani mullah has changed his colour but not mentality. He knows that he should mind his words. However, he is pragmatic, and is quick to change his tactics according to opportunities on the ground. Last month, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, the Chief of Jamaat Islami used all the words in his vocabulary to present himself as an enlightened Islamic scholar. He stated, “ … Islam was the faith of love, peace, equality and justice and a message of welfare for the entire humanity” (the DAWN, Lahore: Nov 17, 2003). However, only a month later, when the LFO issue was under hard bargaining with the government, the MMA threatened street action and made initial moves by visiting different towns to agitate the masses. On December 19, a delegation of these mullahs, including Qazi Hussain Ahmad and Maulana Fazlur Rehman arrived at Khanewal. It was a Friday. They availed of this occasion to raise the Ahmadiyya issue in Friday sermons. At most of the mosques, they arranged to pass a resolution at the congregations to condemn Ahmadis’ religious activities and intentions to build a mosque. The resolution demanded the government to act, and threatened that “in case of inaction, we shall deal with them (Ahmadis) ourselves.”

It is noteworthy that the MMA leaders were on an anti-Musharraf mission, but did not hesitate to dovetail the Ahmadiyya issue in their strategy to achieve their political objective.

The Ahmadiyya Community at Khanewal took note of the open threats and took necessary security measures.

 

A threat from the MMA!

Peshawar: Two pamphlets were distributed recently in Hayatabad, Peshawar. One of these claims to have been promulgated by ‘the Mutahiddah Majlis Amal, Hayatabad Peshawar’, while the other by the ‘Mutahiddah Majlis Amal Action Committee against Qadiani Mischief, Hayatabad, Peshawar’ on the Thanksgiving Day for Passage of the Shariat Bill. Both the Urdu leaflets are highly provocative and damaging to Ahmadiyya Community. English translation of just one of these is produced bellow:

Qadianis, Beware. We are (angels of) Death to You

Qadianis (Ahmadis), be mindful that by the grace of Allah, we have passed the Shariat Bill in NWFP. Now we warn you to either join us or face death. Do not forget the past. We know very well how to implement our plans. If you desire to stay on here, be like us, or be prepared for your extermination. We cannot tolerate your presence in this God-given state. Avail of this opportunity and convert to Islam, otherwise we shall teach an exemplary lesson to your future generations.

Issued by:        The Mutahiddah Majlis Amal                                      Dated 6 June 2003

Action Committee against Qadian Mischief                 Thanksgiving Day

Hayatabad, Peshawar.                                                for the Shariat Bill

It is not certain if it is the MMA that actually issued these leaflets or these were distributed by one of their detractors. However, it is obvious that their producer knows the mind and thinking of these mullahs who may be discreet enough not to put their anti-Ahmadiyya thinking and plans in writing, but their second-tier leadership makes no secret in blurting them out openly in public on loudspeakers. In any case, the leaflets did harm to the peace and security of the Ahmadiyya Community in the area of their distribution.

 

Pressure – unbearable

Some Ahmadis who live in such communities that have faced persistent persecution of a higher level for years have shown signs of fatigue and collapse. NWFP is one such region. The rise of the MMA in the government has made matters worse. There were press reports last month that a large number of Ahmadis were taken back into the mainstream Islam at a special ceremony in a village mosque, near Peshawar. Although the number of converts were inflated by the vernacular press (107), the fact remains that there are some Ahmadis who could not put up with the discrimination, stress and tyranny imposed upon Ahmadis, and decided to yield to the forces of compulsion, obscurantism and bigotry. An article from the monthly Herald, Karachi on this occasion is readable.

In the same circumstances and context, an Ahmadi family from Chak Sikandar, the Punjab declared in October that they had decided to delink themselves from the Community. Chak Sikandar is one of such villages that have experienced great sufferings and tribulations from Khatme Nabuwwat zealots during the past 15 years. Mass arrests of Ahmadis by the police during September 2003 proved to be the last straw on the camel’s back. Chaudhry Shujaat, the mentor of Chaudhry Pervaiz Ilahi the chief minister of the Punjab, was frank enough to declare that the MMA is not their political rival, but a partner.

These incidents of conversion under stress speak volumes of the lack of religious freedom and state-supported serious violations of human rights of Ahmadis. Whither the high-profile strategy of  ‘Enlightened Moderation’!

 

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