Problems in Education (2008 – 2010)

2010

 

Authorities informed once again on anti-Ahmadiyya hate campaign

Ahmadis have become victims of target-killing all over the country. Authorities have been informed of this several times in the past, but in vain. No arrests have been made. Such murders have become routine and the basic cause of these atrocities is the unbridled provocation against the Ahmadiyya community in the public and by the media. The Ahmadiyya central office issued another circular to bring this to the notice of the authorities. This letter was written in February this year after the murder of Mr. Sami Ullah. Below is a translated copy of this correspondence:

Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya Rabwah (Pakistan)

Ph: 047-6212459                      Fax 047-6215459                   E-mail: nuasaa@hotmail.com

 

Sir,

I hope that you are well.

The very delicate matter of target-killing of Ahmadis is put before you, for your consideration.

An Ahmadi Mr. Sami Ullah was shot to death a few days ago on February 3, 2010. Such murders have become all too common. The cause of such incidents lies in the incitement of the public in conferences, through the electronic and print media, the publication of provocative literature and propaganda.

A case of religious provocation occurred recently on Thursday, January 21, 2010 at the Government College University, Faisalabad. A seminar on the ‘Role of women in society’ was held in the Telecommunication Department. After the first round of lectures, the stage secretary moved on to the second part and said, ‘Now we proceed to the second part of this program in which we will unveil a religion which is built on the prickly foundations of false prophethood. It removes the need for Jihad from the hearts of Muslims, shackles them in chains of slavery, and at the same time undertakes alterations to the book of God and the sayings of the Prophetsa. This world is a house of mischief, and different mischiefs pop up time and again. The greatest of these is the mischief of Qadianiat, the founder of which is Mirza Ghulam Ahamd Qadiani.’ After this, Iram Rehman of the BTE department and Israr Mu‘avia of the Islamiat department were called to speak. Israr Mu‘avia used highly slanderous language against the Ahmadiyya community. He described Ahmadis as the greatest infidels, called it haram (prohibited by Shariah) to socialize with them, to sympathize with them, and referred to as infidels those persons who accept their penance. He said that the government is supporting them, and they deserve to be killed. Highly provocative sectarian literature was also distributed among the audience at the end of the program to agitate them further.

One such conspiracy had borne its bitter fruit earlier at the Faisalabad Medical College. A mulla of the Madina Town mosque came to the hostel’s mosque and made several provocative speeches, and harassed Ahmadi students. It led to violence. Processions were taken out. All 23 Ahmadi students including the 16 living in the hostel were rusticated by the college administration under pressure from the opponents. Ahmadi students faced great difficulty on this account.

Such activities against Ahmadis are the result of prejudiced and anti-social elements. They are playing a pivotal role in the spread of sectarianism. Edicts of putting Ahmadis to death and hostile activities are the main causes of crimes like Ahmadi murders.

The government and authorities have been informed through different means regarding this sensitive issue but no positive response has been forthcoming.

The above-mentioned incident calls for immediate action. Any negligence may cause a great tragedy. Urgent action is needed to protect the sanctity of this educational institution from the hands of extremist elements.

Sincerely,

Saleem ud Din

Director of Public Affairs

Rabwah (Chenab Nagar) District Jhan

 

Ordeal of a girl student in a university

Faisalabad: Miss Hina Akram, a student of the National Textile University, Faisalabad recently had to quit her studies on account of intense faith-based harassment at the hands of some members of the faculty. It reflects very poorly on the academic environment in a professional state-owned university in the Punjab.

Some months ago, Hina’s father met Mr. Rao Arshad, a teacher at this university. Mr. Arshad told the father that he considered Hina to be an ideal student.

Later Mr. Arshad came to know from an Islamist colleague that Hina was an Ahmadi. He was very upset to hear this, and reacted furiously. He sent for Hina and openly conveyed his anger and displeasure. He said that he was most concerned about her Afterlife (Aakhrat). He advised her firmly to convert to Islam. He even offered her refuge and care with a Muslim family, and gave her some anti-Ahmadiyya literature to read. Hina was disturbed by this and told him plainly that she was an Ahmadi by choice and had no intention of joining their variation of Islam.

Roa Arshad didn’t take the refusal lightly and warned her of the consequences. He told her that she was a Kafir (infidel), and will suffer the consequences. “You will face such a fire of animosity in the campus that not even the Vice Chancellor will be able to help you”, he told her.

True to his word, Mr. Arshad and his colleague started a hate-campaign against Hina among the students and the faculty of the university. An effective social boycott was implemented against her. Insulting and hateful literature was distributed in the university. When pushed to the wall, Hina was promised relief in return for accepting ‘Islam’.

Hina’s father called on the Rector and complained. The Rector offered a few words of sympathy but did not follow them up with action. The situation remained very tense and hostile against Hina. Unable to fight through the prevailing hostility, Hina had to terminate her studies and stopped attending the university. She was in the 6th semester of her B. Sc. course; but that is the end of her professional education – years gone waste. The Islamist teachers seem to care more for their students’ Afterlife than for their education, for which they receive their salary.

 

Higher education denied in state-run college

Lahore: Here is a case where an Ahmadi applicant for admission to M.Sc. (Zoology) class was denied the opportunity by government officials, only for his faith.

Mr. Yasir Ayaz who had obtained a B.Sc. degree in high grade, applied for admission to the 2010-12 session of M.Sc. (Zoology) in Government College of Science, Wahadat Road, Lahore. The session had 10 seats for men.

Ayaz, on the basis of his academic record was selected for an interview. He was well-placed among these candidates because he was at the top among them in total marks in B.Sc. (463 marks) and third in the subject (126 marks). He was sure of the admission.

When called before the Board for interview he was asked a few questions which were not related to the subject. However, when they asked for his residential town, he told them that it was Rabwah. At this he was told that the interview was over and he could leave.

Later, when the merit list was posted, his name was not there. He looked up the waiting list of general merit, but his name was not there either. He felt very disturbed and approached the office where he was plainly told that he had been found ineligible. He was told this by the head of the Admission Committee.

It is relevant to mention that two of his non-Ahmadi friends who had obtained fewer marks in the B.Sc. overall as well as in the subject were admitted to the college.

 

In a state university

Faisalabad; January 2010: A seminar was held in GC University on January 21, 2010. The speakers spoke against the Ahmadiyya community and declared Ahmadis infidels. Anti-Ahmadiyya literature published by Majlis Khatme Nabuwwat was distributed.

 

Ahmadi child harassed in a government school for his faith

Ahmad Nagar, Chiniot; October, 2010: Noman Ahmad Cheema s/o Mr. Mubarak Ahmad Cheema faced severe hostility and persecution at Government High School Ahmad Nagar, District Chiniot. He is a student of 6th class. One of his teachers, Qari Abdur Razzaq constantly harassed him and urged him to declare himself a Muslim. He beat him up also. The young boy felt greatly disturbed. His mother complained to the principal of the school, but in vain. The boy suffered physical and mental torture. His mother had to stop sending him to school, and made alternate arrangement for her son’s education.

 

Threat to an Ahmadi student by a Jamiat (IJT) member

Panjab University, Lahore; July 7, 2010: Mr. Tahir Ahmad, a Pharmacy student at the University reported that a Jamiat student (student wing of Jamat Islami) approached him after the Lahore massacre of May 28, 2010 and made some inquiries. A few days later, he visited the Ahmadi again along with two other members of the Jamiat.

The trio was forthright and threatening to Tahir Ahmad. They told him, “We have dealt with a Mirzai in the past. We bashed him up and tore up his nose and mouth. You are like a younger brother to us. You are a wise man. A hint should suffice you. Quit the University. Do not let us see you around.”

Tahir Ahmad took due note of the threat and intimated to the community elders that he planned to migrate to another college.

 

Ahmadi principal removed for his faith

The daily Nawa-i-Waqt reported the following on February 13, 2010:

Chiniot: (correspondent) The Qadiani principal of TIA (sic) College Chenab Nagar has been replaced with a Muslim principal. According to details a Qadiani principal Ayub Iqbal was appointed to replace Muhammad Jahangir. The religious groups of Chiniot protested strongly against it. The DCO Chiniot Rana Muhammad Tahir Khan explained the situation of religious intolerance to the provincial education department, which changed the Qadiani principal Ayub Iqbal.

This college was originally built by the Ahmadiyya community. It was nationalized in 1972. The government has changed its policy in recent years, and has denationalized most of those institutions and returned them to their owners. However, Ahmadiyya institutions have not been returned. The standard of education in these nationalized schools and colleges has plummeted greatly and caused irreparable damage to the education of Rabwah’s children and youth.

 

Another Ahmadi principal removed for his faith

Islam Nagar, District Sialkot; November 2010:          An Ahmadi principal of a school was removed for his faith, and a junior non-Ahmadi teacher was promoted to his post. The new principal, thereafter, promoted anti-Ahmadiyya propaganda in the school. The two Ahmadi teachers, at the school, are greatly disturbed by this.

 

Master degree in the indiscipline of extremism

Panjab University, Lahore: Professor Burhan Zamir who is required to teach mathematics to M.Sc. Physics classes in University of Panjab, has undertaken to teach them sectarian extremism, it is learnt from reliable sources.

Following the death of an Islamic scholar, Professor Zamir availed that occasion to raise the issue of Ahmadiyyat in his class, and used highly abusive language against the founder of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. In the last 15 minutes of his period with the class, he asked a student to recite a verse from the Holy Quran; thereafter he called Ahmadiyyat the greatest evil not only in Pakistan, but the entire world. His anti-Ahmadiyya utterances and diatribes were more like those from a religious bigot than a professor of mathematics. He accused Ahmadis falsely of blasphemy, forced conversions, financial exploitation etc. He eulogized the services of the expired scholar to the cause of the End of Prophethood. “Today I dedicate myself to that cause”, he offered and urged, “from now onward I shall turn to this issue every day; and I hope you will support me in this.”

He declared that all forms of social interaction with Qadianis is haram (forbidden in Shariah), and to murder them is an act of religious merit (Ba‘ise sawab).

Professor Burhan Zamir has found an easy way to earn his hefty pay cheque. Teaching hatred and prejudice requires less effort than to teach differential calculus, and he is assured of earning a place in the garden of bliss in the Hereafter. One only hopes that other lecturers do not follow his example, as then the Panjab University will turn into a Madrassa.

 

A dilemma, creation of a vicious mind

Lahore; December 7, 2010: Ahmadi students appearing in the crucial Matriculation examination have been made to face discrimination and predicament by a decision of the Secondary Board of Education, Punjab. The daily Nawa-i-Waqt reported the news on December 7, 2010; (Translation):

Chenab Nagar (correspondent): (Only) Two options, Muslim and Non-Muslim, have been provided by the Punjab government to students appearing in the annual examination of class IX and X, on the admission registration forms for examinations to be held by the Secondary Board of Education. No candidate is allowed to brush aside the two options and enter the word ‘Ahmadi’. In case of crossing out, the admission form will be rejected. The Ahmadiyya community Director of Education, Syed Tahir Ahmad Shah condemned and protested this unexpected development. Through a circular, parents of the (Ahmadi) candidates have been advised that accepting the non-Muslim status is not an option at all.

In simple words, Ahmadi students cannot declare themselves ‘non-Muslims’ as that would not be a true statement of their faith, and they cannot declare themselves ‘Muslims’ as then they would face three years’ imprisonment; and they cannot write themselves ‘Ahmadi’ because that option is not available on the form.

The above is a fresh case of deliberate attempt by an organ of the state to discriminate and harass the Ahmadiyya community. It is negation of the oft-repeated announcement that all citizens are treated equal in Pakistan. Rather than solving the existing issues, a fresh non-issue has been raised to push the Ahmadiyya community to a corner.

 

Faith-based agitation against college owned by Ahmadi

Dunyapur, district Lodhran; December 2010: Mr. Azhar Ahmad Chaudhry and his wife own and manage a college at Dunyapur: New Millat College of Commerce and Sciences. It is a success story and the competitors do not like it.

A disgruntled employee of this college left and joined another institution. He has taken up the religion issue and indulges in acrimonious propaganda against the New Millat College and its proprietors. He has accused them of blasphemy and religious bias. He has spread the fabrication that Ahmadis have incorporated alterations in the Quran, and do not allow the students to recite it, etc.

Mullas of Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat have taken up the cause of opposition to the New Millat Collage, held meetings and distributed hate material.

Mr. Chaudhry is worried and has sought advice from community elders. He lives with his family in the college precincts; this causes him serious security concern.

 

A report in the field of education, fit for record

Professor Dr. Pervez Parwazi, an Ahmadi, is a scholar of the Urdu language and is renowned for his articles and books on autobiographies. He spent his life mostly in Pakistan, but now he resides abroad.

In his article in the weekly Lahore of October 9, 2010 he reviewed an autobiography ‘Man, mein thak giya hoon’ written by Mr. Waqar bin Ilahi, a former high official in the Ministry of Education in Pakistan.

Dr Parwazi refers to a repeated gripe of the author that Pakistani scholars who go abroad for education or on appointment do not return to the country. “Is morality of no value to them”, Waqar questions on page 308 of his book. This sentence prompted Dr Parwazi to reply, based on personal experience. We place it on record. He wrote:

(Translation)

“Is it only for the citizens to mind the morals? Are the governments and their officials absolved from caring for moral norms? … I, for one, did not go to Japan on government expense. I received higher education in Pakistan at no cost to the public. I had the experience of teaching in a post-graduate institution; for this reason I was selected by the (Japanese) university. I returned to Pakistan after gaining four years’ experience of teaching in the third largest university in the world in the field of linguistics. (On return), I was shunted for nine years in different under-graduate colleges. I was transferred from one small town to another until I was posted to a village where there was no need of another teacher due to paucity of students. Was it only for the reason of my religious denomination? What option was I left with except accepting a job call from a foreign university? Waqar has cursed those who accept jobs in foreign countries, but he should look inwards. Waqar is lucky that one of his students arranged (the clearance and) payment of his dues (on retirement), but I was not paid the Provident Fund to which I had contributed myself. Do we have one yardstick for giving and another for taking? I was not keen on narrating my tale, but as Waqar bin Ilahi has narrated the Education Ministry’s version, I thought it fit to show the mirror to the society.”

 

2009

Headmaster arrested under Ahmadi-specific law PPC 298-C

Kharian, District Gujrat; May 13, 2009: The police registered a case under PPC 298-C against an Ahmadi, Mr. Mubashir Ahmad at Kharian with FIR 197/09 on May 13, 2009. Mr. Ahmad is headmaster of a government high school. The police arrested him. He is old and suffering from diabetes.

The complainant accused Mr. Ahmad of misguiding the students quoting references from the Quran and Hadith, although he had been advised to desist from it. “Also, he took out Quranic texts and chapters from a school library and sent these to the complainant’s home; action should therefore be taken,” says the FIR. This, of course is not the whole truth.

Mr. Mubashir Ahmad was appointed the headmaster of this school a short while earlier. Mr. Muhammad Anwar, the complainant, who was already working as a teacher at the same school, had a personal vendetta against Mr. Ahmad. The new headmaster, in his efforts to improve the school, discovered that one of the school cupboards was used by Mr. Anwar for his own personal needs. The headmaster asked him to vacate it, but Anwar did not comply. After repeated failed attempts the headmaster took out the contents of the cupboard, that included some holy texts and delivered these with due care to the residence of Mr. Anwar, who felt offended and consulted a mulla. Accompanied by some clerics, he went to the police station and got an FIR registered.

It is obvious that people continue to use the Ahmadi-specific laws to settle their personal grievances. These laws are commonly used to harass and persecute Ahmadis. The police register these cases with no regard to the circumstances and facts of the complaint and proceed with making unjustified arrests. This is blatant tyranny.

 

Ahmadi lady teacher booked under section triable under Anti-terrorism Act

Jodhala, District Sialkot; March 5, 2009:  Ms Bushra Naheed, a teacher at Government Girls High School, Jodhala was booked with FIR No. 71/09 at police station Badiana on March 5, 2009 under PPC 295-A, a clause cognizable under the Anti-Terrorism Act. If declared guilty, she could be imprisoned for 10 years.

According to the accuser, Haleeman Bibi, Ms Naheed allegedly asked two sweepers to dunk Haleeman in a gutter to wash away her sins. This remark, even if true, was not acted upon. Haleeman, however, got in contact with mullas, and reported the matter to the police and the school administration. The police booked the accused under the inapplicable PPC 295-A. The Education Officer found it convenient to suspend the teacher from her job.

This is yet another case, where an Ahmadi has been persecuted by both the authorities and mullas. Obviously the political leadership has not impressed sufficiently upon the bureaucracy to keep the mulla away from manipulating state institutions in support of extremist and sectarian elements, or, the officials understand the official policy to be lukewarm to the problem of religious extremism. Whatever the reason, Ahmadis remain exposed to the tyranny of the state through the mulla.

It is the irony and perfidy of official conduct that the Anti-terrorism Act is used as a tool to terrorize innocent citizens. The judiciary has a long way to go from its newly earned ‘freedom’ to persuade the administration to be a partner in providing justice to the people, especially those persecuted.

 

Prejudice beyond limit

An Ahmadi teacher of a private school ‘Qurban High School’ in Lahore died in January 2009. She was a popular teacher in the school. Her coffin was brought to the school for last respects, and later she was buried with due honour. This reverence rankled with some sectarian teachers. They, assisted by a mulla, told the principal who is also the owner of the school to read out a statement in an assembly of students. This statement contained slander and used abusive language against the Ahmadiyya community and its founder. The Principal refused to comply. At this, some rowdies attacked the school office and damaged its furniture and fittings. Ahmadi teachers and the principal had to be rescued from the trouble spot.

The mulla then added a few more demands and threats to his list. The school administration, already under pressure, conceded to fire all the Ahmadi teachers working in the school in February 2009.

With little support from the authorities, the society is in a state of siege at the hands of clerics. The authorities fail to realize that continuous hold on power cannot be realized by bowing down to injustice.

 

Communal tension in the National Textile University – Faisalabad

Faisalabad; February 2009: A campaign was launched by religious bigots against Ahmadis in the National Textile University Faisalabad at the turn of the year. It included distribution of sectarian literature, hate speeches by mullas in the university mosque, and pasting provocative stickers. They held a conference in the university mosque on 17th February, 2009 after the evening prayer. Four hundred students were among the participants. The mullas made abusive and slanderous speeches against Ahmadis. As a result of this conference an environment of hate and prejudice prevailed in the University. Two Ahmadi male students and three female students had to be shifted outside the hostel. Subsequent to this an Ahmadi delegation met the Superintendent of Police (Operations) of Faisalabad and conveyed him all this information and their concern, in writing. Audio recordings of speeches and copies of the distributed literature were also provided to the official. He promised to look into the case. Subsequently Ahmadi students were shifted back to the hostel on 22nd February, 2009. They faced a social boycott there, but the situation became under control.

Faisalabad is the same city where in June 2008; the management of the Punjab Medical College committed the grave wrong of expulsion of all their Ahmadi students from the college and the hostel. It took months to pacify the situation and reverse the wicked and unjust action.

 

Extremism manifests itself in a university campus

Faisalabad: As if events at the Punjab Medical College in 2008 were not a sufficient eye-opener, the authorities of the state-owned Engineering and Technology University allowed another crisis to occur on their campus.

Mr. Adnan Asif, an Ahmadi, is a lecturer/ lab engineer at the university. Two former students of this university, Waqas and Sajid, visited the campus, went to various class rooms and delivered addresses against Ahmadiyyat. They urged the students to implement a social boycott of all Ahmadi students and lecturers. The university administration responded only after the damage had been done. Their hate campaign was quite successful. As a result, the students in general wanted not to be taught by an Ahmadi lecturer.

Thereafter the Campus Coordinator advised the students that they had been misguided. However, he was not forceful or convincing enough; the students did not agree with him. The Coordinator then timidly took the easy course. He asked Mr. Asif to resign. This was, of course, not acceptable to the latter who replied that it is the writ of the administration that should prevail in the University and not that of the students. Also that, he would not opt to set a precedence that Ahmadi lecturers should resign in the face of student protests. The Coordinator then asked him not to come to the campus for a month while still on pay. Mr. Asif did not agree to this either. At this, the Coordinator told him not to enter any class-room; he will nominate other lecturers to take the classes instead.

Mr. Asif felt very concerned, as he was filling the post on ad-hoc basis. He was expecting to get confirmed soon.

Obviously, the state has failed to learn a lesson from the happenings in the North West, and is woefully slow in adopting a wholesome counter-extremism policy.

 

Sectarianism in women’s hostel and college

Faisalabad; July 2009: Miss Baslah Ahmad, an Ahmadi student of Government College University, residing in the Para-Medical Girls Hostel, near Company Bagh, in Faisalabad reported extensive prejudice and sectarian hostility against her in the hostel. It showed the corroding effect on society of the highly provocative leaflets and folders issued by various Khatme Nabuwwat organizations and distributed freely in educational institutions.

Briefly, Miss Ahmad had been living in that hostel for two years in company of non-Ahmadi girls, and the stay had been smooth and friendly all along – till two months earlier. In April this year a pamphlet titled: Who is Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani? was delivered to the hostel, and Baslah’s room-mates confronted her with that provocative and incendiary material. Baslah tried to avoid the provocation but the agitated colleagues persisted. The incident spread the fire of hatred further in the next few days, and became an issue of which the administration took notice. Fortunately the administration did not join the agitation; it tried to calm the agitators. The girls, however, on their own, told Baslah not to join them at the dining table, and imposed a social boycott on her. The boycott, however, remained only partly effective, as some of the girls privately supported Baslah. Some elements that thrive upon discord and mischief proceeded to suggest that Baslah had committed ‘blasphemy’. They also referred to the last year’s events of the Punjab Medical College.

This incident is an example how sectarianism gets foothold in educational institutions and hostels. A lenient attitude of the administration towards agents-provocateurs encourages them to spread the mischief. Agitational sectarianism leads to religious extremism that leads conveniently to terrorism. This is how educated women are found among those who put on suicide belts.

 

Agitation in an academic institution

Mirpur Khas; January 2009: There is a Government Elementary College (Men) at Mirpur Khas, Sindh. It appears that sectarian and extremists elements have tightened their grip over this institution. The principal of the college is an Ahmadi. The murder of Dr Abdul Mannan Siddiqui, the president of the District Ahmadiyya Community has provided an opportunity for extreme right-wing teachers to accentuate agitation against Ahmadis. Some of these lecturers, apparently guided by leaders of politico-religious parties drafted an application to authorities, and had it signed by the staff members. The application urged the authorities to enforce constitutional and legal provisions against Ahmadis. They demanded that Ahmadis not use terms like Salam, Insha Allah, Bismillah, etc, and threatened that, “otherwise…., we can proceed further to safeguard the faith of Muslims”. They asked for a permanent solution (Mustaqil hal) of the issue.

It is rather fateful that having experienced the impact and consequences of extremists’ policy and practice, the educated section of the society allows itself to be misguided by religious bigots.

 

Another sample from the vernacular press

The vernacular press, with some rare exceptions, has played a very negative role for over half a century in the victimization of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan. It has propagated hostile false news, promoted sectarian strife, prompted its shallow readership to blatantly violate Ahmadis’ human rights and urged the state to do all that it can to persecute this harmless religious community. The Urdu press finds it convenient to routinely give space to any petty mulla to declare: Qadianis are enemies of Islam and Pakistan. Some leading dailies can boast more than two anti-Ahmadiyya news items per day. Most of them print special editions on anti-Ahmadiyya theme on any excuse. In April they highlighted this theme at the occasion of the conference in the Badshahi Mosque and also on the death anniversary of Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, whom one of these papers called the ‘Mujahid’ of the End of Prophethood (The daily Pakistan of April 4, 2009), while another unabashedly declared that “It was shaheed Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto who drove the last nail in the coffin of Qadianiat”. (The daily Jinnah of April 4, 2009)

One of these dailies is the daily Ausaf in Lahore (Chief Editor: Mehtab Khan; Editor: Mohsin Bilal Khan). It tasked one of its staff reporters to fabricate a story regarding Ahmadi students in medical colleges, and came up with three ‘news’ items under a three-column headline on May 9, 2009. The following is the brief account of it. First, the headline:

 

Qadianis are enemies of Islam. They should not be admitted in medical colleges. Students

The Ausaf attributed all three stories to a ‘lady reporter’, without mentioning her name. The malicious view given in the main headline is attributed to ‘students’ although the Ausaf’s record provides ample evidence that this is also its own opinion. This ‘lady reporter’ is said to have visited the medical colleges at Lahore but her opening salvo was again a willful fabrication: “The students of medical colleges express extreme anger (intihai ghamo ghussai ka izhar) over the discreet transfer of Qadiani students who had been expelled from the Faisalabad Medical College.” Obviously the Ausaf aims at reopening the Faisalabad issue of 2008. Who, other than the extremist and sectarian clerics’ lobby, is it working for?

The lady reporter lamented: “Although the Muslim students come from high class families they are unaware of these people who defile the Prophethood (Qadianis) (sic)”. It is obvious that the objective of the Ausaf was to reignite a sectarian issue like the one that took place in Punjab Medical College at Faisalabad. The Ausaf took numerous photographs at this occasion and printed 10 of these along with the story. This is reproduced below in facsimile.

It is relevant to mention that only two days earlier, on May 7, 2009, this newspaper published a story under a three-column headline in which it reported that the issue of Ahmadi students of the Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad had been completely suppressed (daba diya gia) by ‘hidden powers in utmost secrecy’. The Ausaf disclosed the names of all the Ahmadi students, their roll numbers, their home addresses and their new locations.

Pakistan is facing a mortal threat from forces of obscurantism and extremism. Who energizes these forces? Some of them occupy offices of such newspapers. Let this come on the record.

 

2008

All Ahmadi students expelled from a medical college in Faisalabad

PROFESSOR Dr. Asghar Ali Randhawa, Principal of Punjab Medical College rusticated all Ahmadi students, 15 female and 8 male, from the college as well as hostels on June 5, 2008. Four of the female students were in the final year of their studies.

As per essential details, a campaign was going on for the preceding one month against Ahmadi women students who were accused of preaching Ahmadiyyat. It is not far-fetched that an Ahmadi occasionally chooses to defend herself against the oft-repeated charge that “Ahmadis are the worst enemies of Islam and Pakistan.” At this college, the anti-Ahmadi campaign was supported by a warden of the hostel. Moreover the miscreants took to pasting highly slanderous and provocative anti-Ahmadiyya posters on walls. On May 28, 2008 they put up in the hostel a very outrageous and evil poster against the founder of Ahmadiyyat. An Ahmadi student took off one of these and showed it to the warden and requested her to restore some decency in the hostel. The warden’s reaction was negative and partial. Later, a number of male students joined the anti-Ahmadiyya campaign. The issue came before the principal whom some parents of Ahmadi students met and requested to improve the hostel environment. The principal, at the excuse of security, told all Ahmadi women students to shift to one wing of the hostel, although their parents were not agreeable to this apartheid.

As this was an organized campaign, some extremist male students, mostly from the Islami Jamiat Talabah, the student wing of Jamaat Islami, increased their efforts to poison the college environment further. The college administration, rather than handling them firmly as done by the Punjab University earlier in May, gave them a free hand. They started issuing threats to Ahmadi students. One of them even went to different class rooms and openly prompted others to undertake violence. They put up still more of the provocative posters on college walls.

On June 4, the miscreants abducted 4 Ahmadi students from the hostel and subjected them to physical torture. They took in a mulla to help them with religious slander. They made a video tape of the manhandling of their victims. They forcibly undertook search of Ahmadi students’ rooms and belongings, and even stole what they liked. This went on for hours. An attempt was made to inform the principal of what was going on but he was reported to be asleep. So the police were informed but they decided not to intervene. Eventually, the parents of the students whose lives were now at risk, managed to wake up the principal whose intervention secured the release of the abductees.

The drop scene of this sordid drama occurred on June 5 when the miscreants went on strike, surrounded the principal’s office and demanded rustication of all the Ahmadi students. The principal held a session of the Disciplinary Committee and issued orders to rusticate all the 23 Ahmadi students. The committee did not send for any Ahmadi student, pressed no charges, heard nothing in defense from any one, and rusticated en-masse all of them. This action was immoral, illegal, unsupportable – pure tyranny. These doctors and professors behaved more like a bunch of mullas and policemen who, when they suspect one Ahmadi of violating the Ahmadi-specific law, proceed to charge a score in the FIR and arrest them all. If any Ahmadi student was at fault, she should have been disciplined weeks earlier; however it is obvious that by June 5 the principal had became a tool to do their bid. His conduct was then no longer that of a principal.

The decision was vindictive, arbitrary and malicious. No action was taken against a single individual from the agitating miscreants. The fact that all Ahmadi students were put to harm is indicative of the gross lack of genuine and fair inquiry into the case. Teachers are expected to treat students somewhat like parents, but the PMC professors behaved more like an enemy.

This was a case of blatant violation of human rights, mass terror, stark discrimination, religious vendetta and abominable social harm. Its vulgarity is beyond description. Its harm to the affected was immense. Years of their academic work and expense would have been lost affecting their entire careers and future lives.

A copy of the Office Order issued by the principal is placed here.

 

Office order of the Principal of PMC to rusticate all Ahmadi students

Office order of the Principal of PMC to rusticate all Ahmadi students

 

 

At the end of the month there was no news of restoration of the expelled students. The principal, advised by higher authorities, appointed a fresh 5-member committee to look into the case. The committee sent for Ahmadi students and recorded their verbal and written statements.

As the expulsion of all Ahmadi students was arbitrary and highly improper, the appropriate action should have been to first restore all of them. Any fresh committee should have comprised of fair and high-level professors from outside the PMC, so that it could function without pressure from local students and the staff who were the aggressive party in the dispute and its subsequent handling. The committee should have critically examined militant and criminal conduct of the agitating students and held them accountable. During the questioning, the committee asked Ahmadi students’ written statements on their religion, and warned them of being legally responsible for what they wrote.  There were indications that this committee was finding it convenient to be partial and even hostile to the victims.

Some elements demanded prosecution of some Ahmadi students under the Ahmadi–specific laws. In that case, it was only fair to expect that authorities would charge a large number of the violent non-Ahmadi students under the appropriate laws for outraging religious feelings of any class, as they prepared and posted highly slanderous posters against the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya community in the college and the hostel on 28th May, and also for undertaking wrongful confinement and criminal force on June 4, 2008.

This college has the dubious distinction of having a malicious religion column in its ‘admission form’. It is well-known that no Ahmadi would call himself a non-Muslim. Some Ahmadis were questioned for writing themselves Muslim.

In a statement to the press, the prestigious and representative Pakistan Medical Association, Faisalabad, through its General Secretary Dr. Rai Qamar uz Zaman, members Executive Committee Dr. Akmal Hussain, Dr. Azhar Awan and Dr. Saeed Akhtar Tariq, termed PMC Principal’s decision to rusticate all Ahmadi students extremely regrettable (Daily Express of June 18, 2008).

Sectarian and politico-religious organizations were given undue coverage in the vernacular press for their anti-Ahmadi propaganda. Some of these bodies are extremists who are essentially only a few, while others exist only on paper. They demanded, rather unabashedly:

  • Qadiani (Ahmadi) students should be charged under the Blasphemy law; they have defiled the ‘end of Prophethood’. A Qadiani student was discovered to possess even a copy of the Qur’an with English translation.
  • They should be arrested.
  • They should not be adjusted in any other college in Pakistan. etc.

Islami Jamiat Talabah (IJT), the Jamaat Islami, Anjuman Talabah Islam, Shaban Ahrar, Khatme Nabuwwat organization etc made political capital out of the situation. A firm response from the authorities could have defused the issue, as happened at the Punjab University earlier.

Unrest spreads to Rawalpindi: The goons of IJT tried to spread the unrest to other colleges. Rawalpindi Medical College was in resonance with the Medical College, Faisalabad in harassment of its Ahmadi students. A social boycott of three Ahmadi female students was implemented in the girls’ hostel. On June 6, the three left the hostel and shifted to the residences of their relatives. Later they shifted back to the hostel assuming that the situation was back to normal. It was not; at midnight on June 11, non-Ahmadi students shut them up in rooms, locked them from outside and shouted slogans. They were subsequently rescued and shifted elsewhere. Even Ahmadi professors were advised by the administration to stay away from the campus. In view of the situation, male Ahmadi students also moved from the hostel to a community guest house to avoid unrest. The next day some agitating students groups prepared an application to the principal demanding that Ahmadi students should be rusticated like those at Faisalabad. On June 13, they put up posters all over the college stating that it is intolerable to them that Qadiani students study in this college; further they stressed that the transfer of Ahmadi students from Faisalabad to Rawalpindi will not be permitted. Professor Dr Farooq, an Ahmadi was advised by his Head of the Department to go home for the day on account of the prevailing tension. The local daily Jang printed a headline: We shall not allow admission in Rawalpindi Medical College of any student guilty of blasphemy.

Situation tense in Medical College at Bahawalpur: The Islami Jamiat Tulabah at the Quaid-e-Azam Medical College, Bahawalpur promptly took up the relay stick from the Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad. They distributed anti-Ahmadi leaflets and folders that contained intensive hate message. In this they were helped by the mullas from local madrassahs, Jamaat Ahle Sunnat, Majlis Tahaffuz Namus Rasalat and Khatme Nabuwwat. They adopted the policy of mixing fabrication, blasphemy and trade in a clever way and injecting it in their youth. Their mass produced leaflets co-related Ahmadiyyat, the Danish cartoons, imported goods etc. by some queer logic, and delivered a message of hate and rejection. As summer holidays were about to begin, Ahmadi students went home to avoid unrest.

The follow-up: Unrest was reported at UET Taxila also. There were disconcerting news from Nishtar Medical College, Multan, as well.

As some student bodies and their political mentors planned and threatened a law and order situation, it was only reasonable and practical for the authorities to deal with them as a ‘law and order issue’, and not a religious issue. A firm response would have cooled them down faster than some weak-hearted unprincipled seniors imagined and feared.

On July 2, 2008 Human Rights Commission of Pakistan issued a “press release” on this issue in which, the Commission asserted: “It calls upon the provincial and federal governments both to intervene immediately to protect the wronged students and deal firmly with hate-preachers and disrupters of peace because much more than the career of Ahmadi students is at stake.” Copy of the HRCP’s press release is provided.

The college administration, persuaded mostly by its Chancellor and superiors at Lahore, eventually restored the students except three male students. Messrs Syed Hasan Ahmad, Syed Ehsan (both of the 3rd-year class) and Zeeshan (of 4th-year) were ‘advised’ by the college not to come and attend classes ‘for the present’. Another student went to the college but was frightened away by miscreants. Subsequently, however, these were also accommodated in Faisalabad/Lahore medical colleges. In all eight students were provided alternate admission in colleges at Lahore. However, perhaps to placate the mulla, the principal got registered a blasphemy case with police against unknown (Ahmadi) persons for tearing off a so-called ‘end of Prophethood’ poster. The police sent for Ahmadi students in turn, to appear for investigation. This was disconcerting to students and their parents. Extensive provocative wall-chalking remained, and a hostile situation prevailed in the college for weeks. Ahmadi students faced threats and feared harm. The press published statements that expressed threat to their lives. No action was taken against the students who took law in their own hands and abducted Ahmadi students and put them to risk. The situation remained unstable, and, in the absence of any firm action or even due notice of the extremist behavior of agitators, remained precarious.

Epilogue: At this stage, with the benefit of hindsight and the progress of events, it is possible and perhaps valuable to make some comments on the conduct of the involved groups and institutions.

  • The role of the college administration and faculty calls for censure. The hostel warden of the females’ hostel was partial and sectarian. Once the agitation got initiated, it was possible to nip the evil in the bud, but the Disciplinary Committee acted most unjustly and discriminatingly and recommended rustication of all the Ahmadi students. The principal found it convenient to agree. This was highly unprofessional and bad administration. Only when the Governor and the Health Secretary took notice, the restoration process started.
  • The college has an enrollment form, which obligates an applicant to state his religion. The PMC is one of the few educational institutions in the country to have such a column. One may ask as to whether the PMC is a medical college or a madrassah? Why not do away with this unnecessary column?
  • The principal had a police case registered under PPC 295-A, a blasphemy clause, against someone who tore the poster. The punishment under this section is 10 years’ imprisonment. The police followed it up with enquiries from six Ahmadi students. This poster ostensibly was about the dogma of the end of Prophethood, but its contents were openly hate-promoting against Ahmadis and insulting to the Founder of Ahmadiyyat. Thus the bigger offence was to put up this poster in the PMC. The college administration did not object to that in its complaint to the police. Why not? Also, on June 4, 2008, some goons who profess to study medicine, abducted four Ahmadi students, detained and harassed them, threatened and beat them up, and stole their belongings. They were guilty of various serious offences under the Pakistan Penal Code. Why did the college administration not register a police case against those miscreants? It should have done that.
  • There is a so-called Doctors Action Committee that provided support to the agitators in this unworthy event. They admitted rabid mullas daily in the college premises to promote hatred. It is certain that some doctors and professors are not sympathetic to injustice and persecution of Ahmadis. But they keep quiet. It is a sad comment on the moral health of the doctors’ community. In professional environment, a doctor is expected to be free from prejudices.
  • In the vanguard of the disgraceful agitation were the students unions: the Islami Jamiat Tulabah, Anjuman Tulabah Islam, Muslim Students Federation and the expedient magma of the End of Prophethood Tulabah Mahaz. On this, the lesser said the batter. The new government revived the student unions soon after taking over. It is for the politicians and the polity to assess if they really want the student youth in educational institutions of higher and professional education to waste their time in pushing sectarian and agitational politics. The political parties, who provide guidance and funds to the student leadership, seem to be more selfish than patriotic.
  • Some of these young minds are now so full of hate and prejudice that their Ahmadi colleagues do not feel safe in their midst. The political leadership of these students do not realize that prejudice is an evil that is not specifically anti-Ahmadi; it can easily turn against Shias, and then against Deobandis and Wahabis, and there are political and ethnic entities also – there is no end to its targets.
  • A section of the vernacular press behaved very badly during the two months of the PMC event. The daily Aman, Express and Nawa-i-Waqt competed and took the leading three positions in representing the mulla in this case. At times there were three or even four news items on the same day giving plenty of space to the views of mulla baying for the blood of Ahmadi students of the College. The electronic media fared little better. The great ‘anchors’ spared not even a few minutes out of scores of discussion hours at their disposal, to condemn the explosion of injustice at the PMC.
  • The Faisalabad bazaar placed itself on record by supporting the anti-Ahmadi agitation. It closed down in impressive unity on July 3 in favour of the shameful demands against harmless Ahmadi women and men students of the PMC.
  • Political parties were noteworthy for their self-imposed ban on supporting the human and civic rights of the victimized students. No major political party displayed any concern over the issue. Jamaat Islami leadership, however, availed the opportunity to support the agitators and provided guidance and support to its student wing, Islami Jamiat Tulabah.
  • The administration and the police should have performed better, despite their constraints. They have the professional experience to forecast when a small mischief has the potential to grow into a major law and order problem. They should have recommended firm action against leaders of students unions who were involved in criminal activity against Ahmadi colleagues during the long hours of 4 June night. Also, later on, now that the same student leaders and a column-writer of the daily Aman have issued open threats of a possible murder of Ahmadi student, the police should bring that on record and tell them that they will be held accountable for their suggestions, in case of an attempt.
  • It is refreshing and heartening to mention that Pakistan Medical Association, Faisalabad and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan unambiguously supported the victimized students and urged that better sense should prevail in their treatment. Cyril Almeida befittingly said in an article in the Dawn: “So far Pakistan has not shown much of an inclination to wrest away the public space from the mullahs. That’s why it’s so important to tip your hat to those who put up a fight.”

THUS is it not a pity that:

  1. None in the Disciplinary Committee put in a dissenting note to the first recommendation of rustication of all Ahmadi students.
  2. The principal could not tell the Committee that he would not decide in favor of an unjust recommendation.
  3. No one told the stupid and short-sighted leaders of the student unions that they were wasting their own and everyone else’s time.
  4. No national leader went public to warn the wrong-doers that religious extremism on this issue also was misplaced.
  5. None from the Punjab Cabinet asserted that law and order would be maintained at all costs.
  6. None among the traders of the industrial city told their leaders that the ‘issue’ was not their business.
  7. None of the wise guys (columnists) conveyed the wisdom that extremism can prove as bad in the central Punjab as in the barren hills of FATA.
  8. No intellectual came forth to tell the students not to mix their study of physical sciences with esotericism at this stage of their life in the college.
  9. No divine, even of the highest standing, told his brethren in faith to follow the foot-steps of their Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and be tolerant and sympathetic to their follow-students.

However, it is noteworthy that the issue of PMC, Faisalabad was raised in the European Parliament, and they took due notice of it.

In short the poor state of health of Pakistan’s polity should be a cause of grave concern to all concerned.

 

Hunting down Ahmadis in educational institutions

The agitation at the Punjab Medical College Faisalabad provided an impetus to the Ahmadi-bashing mullas to open up the ‘education front’ against Ahmadi youth. They asserted that it is important and exigent to identify Ahmadi students in schools, colleges and universities, and demanded necessary action to that end. Maulvi Faqir Muhammad of Faisalabad unabashedly asked the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister to do that. According to the daily Aman, Faisalabad of August 9, 2008, the mulla demanded: “The ‘entry forms’ for college admission must include the same sworn statement regarding the ‘end of Prophethood’ as prescribed for the passport and the National Identity Card, so that non-Muslim Qadianis, Mirzais and Ahmadis who by writing their faith as Islam violate PPC 198C (sic) may be punished with three years’ imprisonment and fine.”

It became a matter of great concern that the authorities had perhaps already undertaken this ugly exercise. In an article by Raja Asrar Ahmad Abbasi, titled “There is need for correct data regarding Ahmadis” in the daily Ausaf, Lahore of August 7, 2008, he mentioned: “One is encouraged by a recent report that data regarding Mirzai male and female students of schools and colleges is being collected. But it is surprising that this is being done through local police  through letters and replies…”

It was later confirmed that the authorities did indulge in this unbecoming, unnecessary and discriminatory exercise. This reminds one of Nazi Germany!

 

Ahmadi student beaten up

Rajanpur; November 29, 2008: Mr. Rizwan Ahmad, an Ahmadi student doing his F.A. in the local college, was beaten up by members of Islami Jamiat Tulabah (student wing of Jamaat Islami) outside the college premises.

A probable motive for this violence could be the victory of Rizwan Ahmad in a speech competition held recently. He came first; this was not liked by Waqas who is an office-bearer of the Islami Jamiat Tulabah and a son of the Amir Jamaat Islami, Rajanpur. Waqas and his four colleagues beat him.

The incident was brought to the notice of the Principal who agreed to take action. The District Amir of Jamaat Islami and a former Amir were also informed. They expressed their regrets.

 

Loss of employment and livelihood

Kallar Kahar: Mr. Daud Ahmad Joyia, an Ahmadi was selected and appointed as a lecturer in the Cadet College, Kallar Kahar on August 26, 2008. Later the college administration came to know that he was an Ahmadi. The principal sent for him in his office on the morning of September 10, 2008 and told him that it was not possible for him to retain an Ahmadi lecturer. “Your colleagues will not tolerate an Ahmadi lecturer at any cost”, he told Mr. Joyia. It is likely that one or two other lecturers might have objected to Mr. Joyia’s appointment, but the principal found it convenient to fire the appointee rather than educate those who objected to his employment.

Mr. Joyia asked the principal to discharge him in writing and mention the given reason in the discharge slip. The principal refused to do that, and told him to stop coming to the college.

Thus one can easily guess at what kind of cadets the Kallar Kahar college is producing!

 

A glaring discrimination in the field of education

Rabwah: The daily Dawn of  November 26, 2008 published a letter to the editor. It is self-explanatory and is reproduced below:

Glaring discrimination

We are a strange society, and have developed a rather freakish state. We hurry to implement ill-considered plans, and even when their futility becomes obvious, we are slow, very slow to throw them out. Our ability to undertake dishonest discrimination is enormous. Let me mention here a proof, if one is needed.

In 1972, the socialist government nationalized privately owned schools and colleges, including 10 which belonged to the Sadar Anjuman Ahmadiyya Pakistan. Twenty-four years later, when great damage had been done to education, the government was ‘pleased’ to offer denationalization to the owners, conditionally. The Anjuman Ahmadiyya met all those conditions of the government to get its own schools back. Since then the government of Punjab has returned numerous institutions to their owners, but for unstated reasons have not returned the schools of the Anjuman Ahmadiyya. The authorities concerned have failed to respond to various reminders, or even to acknowledge their receipt during the last eleven years. Their discrimination and political and administrative grossness is mind-boggling.

Recently in the in-camera extraordinary joint session of the Parliament, “It was recalled that in the past the dictatorial regimes pursued policies aimed at perpetuating their own power at the cost of national interest”. Well, it is more than six months now that the new democratic regime has prevailed in the provinces and the centre. One expects them to return the Ahmadiyya schools in accordance with the government’s own policy, and not regress from doing that “to perpetuate their own power at the cost of national interest.”

I hope the weekly Time of U.S. was not correct in its recent comment: “It takes a big bomb to make a point in Pakistan these days.”

SYED TAHIR AHMAD

Rabwah

 

The Qadiani headmaster!

Pasroor, District Sialkot: The daily Nawa-i-Waqt of March 4, 2008, the flag-bearer of extreme right in Pakistan reported the following story:

People force the Qadiani headmaster to go back

The EDO assures of change in posting subsequent to students’ and citizens’ demand

Pasroor (Correspondent):       Dr Muhammad Arshad, the Executive District Education Officer, Sialkot, in response to the insistent demand of the people, has assured them to post the incoming alleged Qadiani headmaster elsewhere from the Government High School No.1, Pasroor. The other day when the Qadiani headmaster arrived at the school, thousands of students and citizens encircled his office and forced him to go back. Qari Ghulam Farid Awan, the President of MMA Tehsil Pasroor, Chaudhri Muhammad Asghar Kahlon vice-president of the Punjab Teachers Union, District Sialkot and Alhaj Mian Abdul Ghani a leader of Jamaat Islami have demanded removal of the Qadiani headmaster from the administrative post.

It is not difficult to figure out the reality of the situation from the above account. The involvement of the MMA and JI in the protest betrays the clerics’ interest in it. They organized and precipitated the sectarian dissent and forced the hand of the weak administration. The headmaster was posted elsewhere, sure enough.

 

Brazen demand of a mulla

Lahore:            The daily Nawa-i-Waqt Lahore printed the following story in its issue of February 18, 2008:

The Qadiani vice principal of Government Talim-ul-Islam College Chenab Nagar should be thrown out.

Faisalabad (special correspondent) The Information Secretary of the ‘Aalami Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat has demanded of the Chief Minister, Chief Secretary and the provincial Secretary Education that some grade 19 Muslim educationist professor should be appointed principal of the Govt T.I. College Chenab Nagar, and the Qadiani non-Muslim vice principal should be transferred from the college. He stated that no fresh appointment has been made to this post since the retirement of the last Muslim principal on August 14, 2007. Although, as proposed by the ‘Aalami Majlis a Muslim lecturer was given the temporary charge as principal, but even six months afterwards fresh replacement has not been made yet. As the college is being provided a Muslim principal since 1972, no non-Muslim Qadiani should be appointed as principal and the Qadiani vice principal should be thrown out.

If what the mulla says is correct then it is a scandalous state of the management of public education in the province. And, even if the mulla is not entirely correct, it is revealing how he treats the provincial administration, and makes unspeakable demands on apparently considerate officials. The news also betrays the sectarian and obscurantist policy of the Nawa-i-Waqt who voluntarily spares space for mullas who are ignorant of principles such as civic rights, freedom of belief, educational liberty and enlightenment.

 

‘Moral education’ in a school at Sialkot!

Sialkot: Naqsh Lasani High School (registered with Gujranwala Board) claims to hold ‘First position in Sialkot.’ It published its ‘syllabus for Morality’ for the First Term in September 2007. Its copy became available this year. Excerpts from its Question-Answer section are translated below:

  1. Q. What wine did Mirza Qadiani drink?
  2. A. Tonic Wine of E Plomer.

  1. Q. How did Mirza Qadiani button up his shirt?
  2. A. He would button up the upper button in the lower hole and the lower button in the upper hole.

  1. Q. Where did Mirza Qadiani die?
  2. A. In a latrine.

This is the kind of ‘morality’ that is being taught to teen-age student at a school that claims to be the best in Sialkot and is registered officially with the state Board.

The Ahmadiyya headquarters have informed the authorities of this outrage. Action is awaited.

 

A disturbing poster at the Quaid-i-Azam Medical College, Bahawalpur

Bahawalpur:. Anti-Ahmadiyya anonymous poster was put up in the Quaid-i-Azam Medical

College, Bahawalpur in August. It was hate-promoting, slanderous, and abusive. It mentioned ‘boiling of blood’. It also listed Ahmadi male and female students at the college along with their class and roll numbers. It listed an Ahmadi doctor on the faculty as well.

 

Obscurantism in the Panjab University

November 2008: Mr. Humayun Arif, Ahmadi is a student of Applied Geology in the Panjab University. He is doing well in his studies and was popular in his department – until recently, when some cleric contacted his friends. The mulla told them that Arif was a Kafir and it was forbidden to have any social relations with him. Accordingly these ‘Muslim’ friends turned away from him and implemented an effective social boycott against him. They no longer exchange Salam greetings with him, and refuse to shake hands with him. Arif has been greatly disturbed by the incident.

In view of the fact that extremist views of such clerics eventually lead to terrorism, would it not be appropriate that all extremist ulama should be kept out of all public spheres including formative centers like educational institutions. Here, one is reminded of the mischief precipitated and promoted by clerics in the Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad

 

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