Problems in education
Harassment of Ahmadi teachers and lecturers
Many incidents of this nature happened this year. Those that were reported in writing to the central office are mentioned below in essentials.
- A professor’s plight in Daska, District Sialkot. This happened in March/April 2014. SohailMehmood Babur, Assistant Professor in the local Government Degree College faced severe opposition from some colleagues and a few students in the college, and having been accused falsely of ‘blasphemy’ had to flee from Daska and shift elsewhere.
A few students, perhaps egged on by some teachers, put up a written complaint against Mr. Babur, accusing him falsely of misconduct, inter alia:
- Forcing students to accept that Quran has been changed
- Forcing students to accept that Bible has not been changed and it is present in its original form
- Giving statement that Quran is totally false
- Preferring chirping of birds to Hadith
- Committing blasphemy (showing disrespect to the Holy Prophet PBUH), etc.
Obviously these accusations were pure fabrication as they contradict Ahmadiyya beliefs and position on these issues.
The college principal formed a committee comprising five Associate/Assistant Professors and a lecturer to inquire into the allegations and render a report.
It is a sad comment on Pakistani academia of the second decade of 21st century that all the members of the Committee upheld the lies and fabrications of all the four students, and they all rejected whatever Mr. Babur had to say in his defence.
Driven by bigotry, prejudice and God knows what else, the Committee unanimously concluded and recommended that “The case may please be referred to concerned police station for the fulfillment of legal requirements of investigation and penalization of the culprits (sic).” There was no dissenting opinion over delivering their ‘non-Muslim’ colleague to the vultures of the blasphemy laws.
Mr. Babur had reason to get very worried. Deputy Director Colleges recommended to the Director to transfer him to another city. Faced with a blasphemy accusation, Mr. Babur shifted his family to a far off town. He knows what happened to Ms. Aasia, Ms. Rimsha, Governor Taseer and Minister Bhatti.
Even the right-wing daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore of October 6, 2013 decided to publish an op-ed by Dr. Khwaja, (extract):
O God, save Islam from ‘Muslims’
… (Here) who and when, anyone may kill anyone after designating him a Kafir,
The entire city claims to be Muslim!
Enough is enough. The flood of tyranny and blood is now passing over our heads….
- Severe harassment and maltreatment of an Ahmadi teacher.This happened in Chak Chatha, District Hafizabad in April 2014. Habibur Rahman was a teacher in Government Primary School, Hameedabad. Most of the residents there are Deobandis and are anti-Ahmadiyya activists.
A prize-distribution was scheduled in the school. Parents were also invited to the ceremony. A day before the function mulla Afzal of the local mosque conveyed to the school that if anybody from Mr. HabiburRahman’s family participated in the ceremony, his people would boycott the function. Mr. Rahman was conveyed the gravity of the issue.
In these circumstances, Mr. Rahman decided that his children’s mother would not attend the ceremony. As other children’s mothers were all going to attend, his children got upset and started crying. Some villagers sympathised with Mr. Rahman but expressed their helplessness over the issue. They told him that a Pir along with a mufti and a few mullas met the local mulla and told him to have the Qadiani teacher expelled from the village at the earliest. The local mulla acted upon their advice. Mr. Rahman was also facing severe opposition from a Qari (reciter of the Quran), another teacher in the school. On May 13, 2014 students of class V beat up their class mate Sabih Ahmad, a nephew of Mr. Habibur Rahman.
On inquiry, the students stated that they were urged by the Qari to beat up Sabih, as beating up Qadianis was an act of Divine merit. “If teacher Habib holds you accountable, I’ll take care of that,” Qari had told the students.
The next day the issue was taken up with the Head Teacher. He sent for students’ parents, but only a few turned up.
The Head Teacher then talked with the Qari who told him to stay clear of the incident “in his own interest.” “We set fire to the Police Station Kassoki and killed two policemen for their support to Qadianis (sic, but false); so keep out of this,” the Qari told the Head Teacher. The Qadiani shall not be allowed to stay on in this school, the Qari said firmly.
From then on the Qari agitated the public and other school staff against Mr. Habibur Rahman, who was advised by his community to keep a low profile and get himself transferred elsewhere.
The Principal of the school forwarded the case of Mr. Habibur Rahman to the District Education Officer (DEO) who directed an AEO to form a committee to investigate the matter and submit a report regarding the facts of the case. The committee told the teachers that Mr. Habibur Rahman had complained that he was being discriminated on religious grounds in the school and the matter should be resolved. Some teachers were of the view that Mr. Habibur Rahman had taken the students’ comments too seriously and had over-reacted. But now that the issue had come up, they do not want their children to be taught by a ‘Mirzai’. “If he is harmed in any way, the people of Hameedabad will be accused, hence he should be transferred and an alternate teacher be provided in his place,” they said.
During this discussion, one teacher spoke in favour of Habibur Rahman and said, “He is a very hardworking teacher and he has never preached his religion; he is a virtuous man.” This teacher also stated the tradition that after the battle of Badr, the Kufaar (Disbelievers) prisoners of war were told by Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) that the prisoner who would teach one Muslim to read and write would be released. “If the beloved Prophet (SAW) could do it, why cannot we do the same,” he asked.
To this, the hostile group responded that they considered Mr. Habibur Rahman worse than the infidels of Makkah, so no further argument was necessary and Mr. Habibur Rahman must be transferred; he is not tolerated in their school.
The enquiry team asked the teachers to submit an application on behalf of the villagers addressed to Department of Education. At this, the teachers wrote an application to the effect that:
“Habibur Rahman belongs to Qadiani faith; hence we have only hatred for him, socially and religiously. We do not want a Qadiani teacher to teach our children. Similarly, the students also hate and despise this teacher and do not want him to teach them. If some wrong happens to him, we shall not be responsible. Hence teacher Habib should be transferred and an alternate teacher be provided instead.”
This application was signed by ten residents of the village. After all this, a villager came to Mr. Rahman and told him that a Maulvi Khan Muhammad Qadri had visited the village and had told the villagers that they should die of shame that a Qadiani teacher was teaching their children. “This is the cause of the hype in hostility; it is better for you to leave this school,” he advised.
Mr. Rahman was accordingly transferred to Government Primary School Khurlanwala. His faith-based persecution followed him there too. On first day at the school, a man told him to get himself transferred elsewhere and send the previous teacher back. An opponent of the Ahmadiyya community, named Faizan came to the school to see Mr. Rahman. Mr. Rahman greeted him with Salaam but the visitor did not return the greetings, instead said, “You are a blasphemer. If there was a Christian in your place I would have hugged him; they are Ahle-Kitab (People of Book) at least. The entire village knows that you are a Mirzai. It is better for you to get transferred from here soon.” He further threatened him that he could have lodged an FIR against him under the blasphemy law 295-C for saying Salaam. He also used obnoxious language and warned Rahman of grave tidings. The villagers told another teacher to get rid of the Qadiani teacher.
Mr. Rahman was advised to take precautions and try to get a transfer from there too. The incident is typical how such issues are being (mis)handled by the state and society in Pakistan. Despite seriously wounded by extremists and terrorists, the administration and the silent majority act timid and allow the radicals have their way.
- Ahmadi lady teachers face severe harassment. SabahatRasheed and Mrs. Misbah Rasheed were two Ahmadi teachers teaching in Government Primary School Sahari,District Narowal in January 2014. A student asked the former, “Is it not permissible to say Salaam to you?” It was discovered that Mr. Abid another teacher had told this corruption to the youngsters. The Ahmadi complained to the headmistress. The headmistress called Mr. Abid and asked him the reason. He denied the fact.
Thereafter, Mr. Abid told the story to the local mulla and incited him against the Ahmadi teachers. The mulla made it an issue; he created an uproar and announced in the mosque that Ahmadi teachers were Wajib-ul-Qatl (must be killed). The village-folk formed a procession and marched to the school. They raised slogans against the Ahmadi teachers and called them blasphemers and Wajib-ul-Qatl.
The local Ahmadi elders moved to solve the issue with the help of the MNA. He intervened and transferred two Ahmadi and two non-Ahmadi teachers to another school and sent the case for inquiry to the DCO office, Narowal. This calmed down the situation.
- Plight of another Ahmadi teacher. Muhammad Arif was teaching in Government High School Chak no. 54 South, Sargodha at the end of 2013. He had served this school previously for over eight years as headmaster. He faced severe harassment for his faith from December onward.
A conspiracy was hatched against him in December 2013. Some miscreants of the village and four teachers of the school incited the students of 9th and 10th classes against Mr. Arif. They also sought the help of mullas from a Khatme Nabuwwat madrassa in Sultan Colony. They formed a procession, gathered in front of the office of DCO and blocked the road. They raised slogans against Ahmadiyya community and Mr. Arif. They tendered an application against Mr. Arif alleging falsely, “Qadiani headmaster preaches Ahmadiyyat, does not allow us to say prayers or recite Darood Sharif and the name of Allah in the assembly and levies extra charges as tuition fee, etc, etc.” They demanded that Mr. Arif be fired from his job. The DCO promised them action. He wrote to the District Monitoring Officer and District Education Officer to hold inquiries. The processionists returned hurling abuses against Mr. Arif and threatened him with harm.
The officials of the relevant departments came to the school to inquire into the issue. The students of the school raised slogans in front of them against Mr. Arif. However, majority of the village folk spoke in favour of Mr. Arif, and out of 18, fourteen teachers gave their testimony in support of Mr. Arif. Meanwhile a few mullas from Sargodha also arrived there and made negative inputs based on religious prejudice. Mr. Arif told the inquiry committee that the events had taken a dangerous turn and his life was in danger there. However, he kept attending to his duties.
Mr. Arif received orders of dislocation on December 13, 2013. He reported to the EDO Office, Sargodha. He had a tough time there too. His opponents used their political influence to further harass him. A brother of one of them owns a madrassa in Sargodha. The EDO had a long beard; he also became hostile to Mr. Arif. They wanted to transfer Mr. Arif to some far off location. At last, Mr. Arif was transferred to Government High School Chak 44 South.
Mr. Arif had faced religion-based hostility in 2001 as well. False allegations were made against him, but he was cleared in all inquiries. The lobby opposed to him persists in their evil intrigues and tactics which are so wasteful and bothersome for Mr. Arif who takes his teaching profession seriously.
- An Ahmadi family made to flee for their faith. Agitation against the Ahmadiyya community entered red zone in Chak no. 7, Seenibar, District Nankana Sahib in May 2014. Local Ahmadis were harassed severely by Khatme Nabuwwat mullas. They held demonstrations and agitated village folk to implement a complete boycott against all Ahmadis. Threats of murder and kidnapping were also conveyed to Ahmadis. Mr. Ijaz Ahmad a school teacher became the focus of their hostility.
The mullas called Mr. Ahmad to a place for a ‘reconciliation meeting’ on behalf of one of his non-Ahmadi relatives. Mr. Ahmad arrived there and found the situation very hostile. After a talk of a few minutes, they started abusing and threatening him. They forced him to sign a paper that declared an end to his links with the Ahmadiyya community.
Mr. Ahmad then felt very sorry and under great stress shifted his wife and children elsewhere. He considered resigning his job and relocating himself somewhere where he would have some peace and freedom of faith.
A complete boycott against Ahmadis was implemented in the area. Ahmadis remain at risk there.
- Religion-based hostility in government school. Abdul Rahman Yusuf is serving as a teacher in Government High School Sahiwal. His brother, Mr. Fazlur Rahman is also a teacher in government service. Both the brothers have faced opposition and hardships at work places for months.
Sectarian speeches were made in his school against Mr. Yusuf. The principal permitted that despite the fact that it is a government school. Muhammad AlamJafri, the head even supported the anti-Ahmadi lobby in the school. This encouraged the anti-Ahmadi elements further. Consequently three religious fanatics stopped Mr. Yusuf’s car on October 12 last year when he was driving to the school. They harassed him and told him to quit the education department. They waved a pistol at him to show that they were serious. Mr. Yusuf is facing a social boycott in the school. His colleagues called him bad names in front of students. The students also call him Qadiani and Mirzai (derogatory terms for Ahmadis). The attendant of the school laboratory calls him infidel/accursed.
Mr. Fazlur Rahman was posted appropriately in Government Mahmoodia High School in Chak 93-6R, Sahiwal. The principal of Mr. Yusuf’s school advised the head of Mahmoodia School not to let Mr. Fazlur Rahman join the school. He also contacted a mulla of Jamia Rasheedia, who made a threatening phone call to Mr. Yusuf and told him to stop his brother from coming to the school; otherwise he would be himself responsible for the consequences, the mulla said.
These incidents are very disturbing to the Ahmadi teachers.
- Transfer of an Ahmadi teacher. Muhammad Mansha, Ahmadi, was a teacher in Government Higher Secondary School in KoloTarar, District Hafizabad in December 2013.One Ghulam Abbas was a peon in the school; however he is more of an anti-Ahmadi activist than a government servant. He somehow convinced the principal that if Mr. Mansha stayed in that school he (the Ahmadi) would be at risk.
Although the principal could have arranged for the transfer of the peon or referred him to the police for appropriate action, but he took the easier action – he wrote to the District Education Officer to transfer Mr. Mansha in view of the threat posed to him by the peon.
The principal was good enough to give a copy of his letter to Mr. Mansha. It is reproduced here.
- Ahmadi school principal in trouble. The wife of Dr. Muhammad Iqbal was serving as principal in a school in RazaKhailBala, District Peshawar. On February 13, 2014 some school children burnt a few papers while cooking something. Mistakenly they burnt some papers with Quranic verses on them. The local mullas came to know of this and created hue and cry. They demanded of the DSP to register a police case against the Ahmadi principal. She was on leave that day. The mullas still insisted that the police register a case against her. She was advised not to attend the school for a few days.
Difficulties faced by educational institutes owned by Ahmadis
Education sector has been privatized to a large degree after some bitter experience of the nationalization policy. As a result, Ahmadis opened private schools and colleges. These enjoy considerable reputation with public at large. However, the authorities still retain some legitimate control over them, but the mulla and the authorities misuse their power to create difficulties, at times unbearable, for these institutes.
- Hostile propaganda. This report is from Bait Nasirabad/Bait Daryai in District Muzaffar Garh where anti-Ahmadiyya elements started in October 2014 a campaign against “Nasir Public School” run by the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. This school became a sore in the eyes of local mullas. One of these mullas has established an academy in nearby AddaRind, however it is not popular with the locals, whereas the Ahmadiyya school has a large attendance by non-Ahmadi children. Mullas allege that Qadianis preach their faith to Muslim children and convert them into infidels; hence their school should be shut down. Mullas have spread the rumour that they have filed a writ petition in the High Court and that the school would be closed down shortly.
The mullas planned a rally against the school. To this end they got posters printed and pasted. The administration has warned them against holding the rally and told them that spreading religious disharmony and hatred would not be allowed. The mullas responded that no religious hatred will be spread in the rally; and proceeded with the arrangements for holding the rally.
Members of the Ahmadiyya community were advised to exercise special care and caution.
- Agitation over opening a school by an Ahmadi. The local Ahmadiyya community in InayatpurBhatian, District Chiniot decided in March 2014 to open a school in this village. Mr. Ghulam Ahmad son of Mr. Muhammad Shafi donated 4 kanals of his land for this purpose.
When the opponents of Ahmadiyyat came to know of the planned school, they decided to oppose it. They sent a representation to the police that Ahmadis intend to proselytize in their private school. They took the plea that as there is a madrassa/mosque viz Arabia Nurulhuda (Deobandi) close by, the police should forbid Ahmadis construction of any school at the proposed site.
Haji Ghulam Mustafa, the resident mulla in the Muslim Colony, Chenab Nagar was invited by the villagers to lead the service on Friday, 21 February 2014. The mulla delivered a very hostile and abusive sermon at the occasion.
- Denationalization of Ahmadiyya educational institutes – a Brief
Since 1947, Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya Pakistan owned and managed a number of educational institutes in the Punjab. In 1972, the government of Pakistan introduced a policy of nationalization of educational institutes throughout the country. In pursuance of the above-mentioned policy, eight schools in the Punjab belonging to the Anjuman were taken over by the government.
In 1996 the government came to the conclusion that the nationalization policy has harmed education in the country. So Gazette Notification No: SO(A-1)SA-1-18/90-A-III dated 28.07.1996 was issued by the Government of Punjab. The owners of the nationalized educational institutes were thereby given the option to take back their institutes after fulfilling certain criteria. The Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya opted to avail this offer and contacted the Punjab Education Department.
All the terms and conditions prescribed by the Department were complied with, and a sum of Rs. 11,012,483/- for the above mentioned eight schools (equal to the emoluments and allowances of the staff for six months to one year as directed by the authorities) was deposited in the state treasury at that time.
Again in July 2002, under the revised notification No. S.O. (R&B) 1-18/90-A-III, the scheme for denationalization of nationalized educational institutes to previous managements was announced but to-date no action has been taken by the Punjab Government despite many reminders sent by us to the government.
The government had taken over the management of two Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya’s colleges as well, namely:
- Taleem-ul-Islam College, Rabwah
- Jamia Nusrat College for Women, Rabwah
Subsequent to the revised notification, the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya requested the provincial government on 13.07.2002 to denationalize the said colleges as well.
The government neither ceded the institutions nor gave any response in writing to our requests.
It is almost unbelievable that during the last 18 years with a case as important as this and having received a large amount of money from the Anjuman Ahmadiyya, a charity, the provincial authorities at Lahore have not responded officially nor acknowledged even once in writing to our letters/faxes/petitions. Although they have returned numerous other institutes like F.C. College Lahore to their owners under this scheme, to date, no action has been taken by the Punjab Government to revert to the Ahmadiyya Community their schools and colleges.
We have been told verbally in the past that the authorities find it difficult to denationalize Ahmadiyya institutes, on account of pressure by the mulla. While it is true that mullas are opposed to such a move, it is also on record that mullas as well as some other elements opposed the denationalization of institutions owned by Christian missions but the government’s resolve and policy commitment secured the reversion without blow back.
Now that Islamist religious lobby stands broadly discredited in Pakistan after the Peshawar massacre, its ability to restrain government action has greatly reduced. The Punjab Government can surely muster the required will and courage to implement its own policy and revert the nationalized institutions to Ahmadis.
The denationalization will absolve the Punjab Government of the blame of religious discrimination.
Last but not least, it will relieve the government of the considerable financial burden of maintenance and running eight schools and two colleges.
- ‘No non-Muslim can teach Islamic Studies’. The daily The Express Tribune published the following report from Lahore on October 23, 2014 under the above headline, (extracts):
Petitioner alleges 17 non-Muslims being interviewed for teaching Islamic Studies
Justice Abid Aziz Shaikh of Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday directed the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) to submit an undertaking that no non-Muslim would be recruited as lecturer in Islamic Studies. The judge was hearing a petition requesting the court to declare void a notification for interview of 17 non-Muslims for the lectureship. Justice Shaikh also directed the PPSC’s counsel to produce their National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) record to establish whether or not they were Muslims….
…. The petitioner said 17 non-Muslims were called for the interview for the post of Islamic Studies lecturers. Rehman had filed the petition in 2012 seeking a stay order against the recruitment of non-Muslims as lecturers in Islamic Studies. He had requested the court to declare the notification for interviews void.
It can be assumed that the petitioner, mulla Aziz ur Rehman, had put up his petition to the High Court against PPSC’s call to some Ahmadis for interview who had the required academic qualification and had qualified for the interview.
- A renowned Ahmadi professor made to flee. Dr/Prof Pervez Parvazi is a renowned Urdu scholar and author of numerous books of essays and criticism. He has penned multi-volume series of books on autobiographies/biographies of various Urdu writers. He is an Ahmadi and spent his early years in Rabwah. He was a college lecturer in the Punjab, and then moved on to Japan where he taught for years in University of Osaka.
On return to Pakistan, he reported to his employers, the Education Department that was then run by General Zia’s mandarins.
Dr Parvazi narrated his story in an Urdu book, Akine– partly an autobiography. His narrative of personal experience in Zia’s Pakistan, being authentic, deserves a place in English language archives for future scholars. Here is an extract (our translation):
When I arrived back in Pakistan on completing my term in Japan, I found there a different situation. The entire atmosphere was murky. No one cared for either elders or for youngsters. The literate were not safe, nor the illiterate. Terrorist mullas had gained control of educational institutions. Bigots and men with poisoned minds were occupying high posts in bureaucracy. The poison that Zia had added, in the name of religion, to the fresh and clean environment of Pakistan had affected its deepest layers. My identity as an Ahmadi and my tenure abroad became a poison to my well-being. They did not realise that my teaching in a developed country could be an asset for students in Pakistan. Prior to my departure for Japan, I was teaching post-graduate classes. On my return I was posted in higher-secondary schools. Even there I was often not allowed to teach lest I might corrupt the young minds through proselytizing. When the most contemptible dictator of the present times, General Zia-ul-Haq promulgated the anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance, leave alone proselytizing, Ahmadis were denied to even live and work honourably. For people like me, both persecution and prosecution became common-place occurrences.
I was always lucky, by the grace of God, as for my students. Wherever I went, my students always loved me and were respectful. Whether it was a city, a town or a village my students always liked my teaching style and extended me lots of love. No credit to me; it was their gentle loving hearts that were ever ready to offer their affection.
I was tossed around from town to town for four years and having suffered the whims of junior principals of Inter-colleges, I was finally posted to Government College, Faisalabad. It was a post-graduate institution, so I thought that the teachers there would be broad-minded and liberal, but on arrival I was confronted with a different situation. A few days after my joining in, the attendant in the staff room advised me, “Sir, do not take the trouble of serving yourself with water to drink, always let me serve you.” I told him that it was no problem for me at all. At this he said rather frankly, “I have been told by the Staff Secretary to allot you a separate glass and to serve you water only in that glass.” That got me wondering: O Allah, what luck that I am treated as a Dalit, for my faith. Thereafter I stopped drinking water in the staff room. It was summer time; I had to travel by bus for approximately 45 kilometers every day; I was suffering from diabetes; all that made it essential that I drink lots of water, but the water from the staff room cooler became a forbidden commodity for me. Well, that does happen in these circumstances.
Had it remained confined to this, I would have coped with it. I taught post-graduate classes for a year. When the bigots noticed that students, male and female, loved my company and paid attention to what I told them, they started demanding that I should be withdrawn from post-graduate classes. When this was implemented, the students protested. These protests continued for months. At this the administration adopted a foul and hostile attitude towards me that threatened even my life – they began to consider implicating me in some blasphemy case (wherein the law prescribes death as penalty). This left me only two options: leave the college or become a martyr. I am rather timid; I opted for leaving the college rather than accepting martyrdom. I left the country and headed for Sweden. What they said over my flight is another sordid story.
Akineby Dr Pervez Parvazi, first edition, 1996; p. 89-91
The anti-Ahmadiyya groups gave a high priority to harming Ahmadis in the field of education. Ahmadis have been one the most educated communities in Pakistan and proportionately they have been prominent in the faculty and student population of institutions of higher learning. But after 1984 the government and the mullas have hit them hard in various ways. Ahmadi principals and headmasters were replaced, lecturers were posted away to distant locations, and others were prevented from teaching. Students have been refused admission in professional colleges, they have been denied accommodation in hostels, and many have been subjected to physical attacks by extremist elements on campuses.
All this was undertaken with the help of student wings of religio-political parties. Organizations such as Islami Jamiat Talaba and Anjuman Talaba Islam played a big role in maintaining a turbulent environment in educational institutions against Ahmadis. Both men and women students were targeted. The authorities became willing instruments in permitting and promoting this discrimination.This tide is showing no sign of ebbing. In 2008 at Punjab Medical College Faisalabad, through a co-ordinated move of the mullas, the students, the staff and the administration, all the male and female Ahmadi students were expelled for no reason other than their faith.
Nightmarish ordeal of a college student and his parents
Choonian, District Kasur; January 14, 2013: Mr. Ahmad Jamal S/O Malik Muhammad Rafi, a student of ICS Part I received a threatening phone call from some of his college fellows to remain away from the college (Government Degree College) and that he would be beaten up if he came to classes. He did not go to the college for two days. He told his close friends about the threat. His friends called the college-fellows who had sent the threat to Mr. Jamal. They decided to settle the dispute in the college. When Mr. Jamal reached the college with his friends he found the situation to be already very tense. The miscreants had accused him of blasphemy. An arbitration group had been formed, headed by the president of the Muslim Students Federation. The student leader decreed that Mr. Jamal could come to the college but nobody would talk to him and he would talk to nobody. The miscreants did not like this decision. They demanded that Jamal be rusticated from the college. They called on the Principal, told him the fabricated story, and he found it convenient to immediately rusticate him.
At this Jamal’s father took him away from the village. The miscreants took out a rally on January 15, 2013 and went to the police station Choonian and demanded registration of a blasphemy case against Jamal. In these circumstances Jamal’s entire family felt threatened, so they all moved to another location. The miscreants also came to the village and visited Jamal’s house but found it locked. Jamal’s sister is a student of 3rd year in the Government Degree College Choonian while his younger brother is a 7th class student. They all had to discontinue their studies and move elsewhere.
The police provided no support or security to the targeted family. They have, however, resisted registration of a case against Jamal.
Harassment of an Ahmadi lady-teacher by mullas
Chak no. 83 JB, District Faisalabad; August 2013: Mrs. TayyabaMaqsood w/o Mr. Saeed Ahmad, resident of Chak no. 89 JB Ratan is a qualified Arabic teacher in government service. She started her service in 2009 in a government school in ThekriWala, Faisalabad. A mulla from Jhang Bazaar, Faisalabad noted her presence and took to harassing her in her job. He telephoned the headmistress of her school and urged her to fire her as she was a Qadiani and an infidel. The headmistress told him to contact higher officials who had employed her. The mulla then sought support of the vernacular press and had a news item published against her in the daily Aman of May 12, 2012. It carried the following heading:
A Qadiani teacher discovered teaching Arabic in Girls Middle School 77 JB
Deep conspiracy in appointment of this teacher to teach Arabic by the headmistress, despite full knowledge
The mulla then wrote several letters to higher authorities against Mrs. Maqsood. He complained to the DCO who called Mrs. Maqsood and her headmistress and told them to mind the mulla.
In the face of religion-based hostility Mrs. Maqsood requested to be transferred to another place, Chak 83 JB. The mulla did not spare her there either. He phoned the headmistress of that school, provoked her against Mrs. Maqsood and urged action against her. As a result, other teachers at the school became hostile to Mrs. Maqsood. This hostility spread to the nearby boys’ school where Mrs. Maqsood’s husband was a teacher. His colleagues provoked the students against him and urged them to give him a tough time. The mulla organised a provocative conference in the village in which no stone was left unturned in inciting the public against Ahmadis. Anti-Ahmadiyya pamphlets were distributed among the participants. The children in school were told that Mrs. Maqsood is a liar, she does not believe in the Holy Prophet of Islam and she believes Ahmadi Khalifas to be the prophets. It is a heap of false and vicious propaganda.
Once she was returning home from her school when six men with covered faces pursued her on motorcycles and harassed her. She had to take refuge in a nearby house.
As a result of mulla’s persistence the higher officials also became hostile to Mrs. Maqsood. She was not given medical leave when needed. Even at the occasion of her marriage she was given only a few days’ leave. She was told to take extra classes of primary section, despite being a subject specialist. As per rules she should not be employed on such duties.
A teacher used abusive language against her during the assembly in front of all the students and called her Kafir (infidel). She tried to slap her too. Mrs. Maqsood had to call her brother and father who rescued her from there. The teacher phoned her village that Mrs. Maqsood’s father and brother had attacked the school. This teacher and her husband are in contact with the mulla and pass all the information about Mrs. Maqsood to him.
The mulla has expressly vowed that wherever she goes, he will pursue her.
Unnerving harassment of an Ahmadi lady teacher in District Sargodha, Punjab
Chak no. 43, September/October 2013: Some miscreants hurled abuse at Mrs. SaadiaIjaz, raised slogans against her and stopped her from going to the school. She was a teacher in the local Government Elementary School. She was falsely accused of preaching Ahmadiyyat to students. This agitation was immediately reported to the authorities who arrived at the scene and rescued her.
It is learnt that the miscreants wanted to have one of their relatives appointed in place of Mrs. Ijaz. They co-opted mullas of the Khatme Nabuwwat faction and planned a procession. In this they could not succeed as some elders of the area intervened. The students and principal of the school refused to testify against her. The miscreants used the services of a peon of the school in support of their allegation.
Mrs. Ijazwas temporarily suspended from the school under the circumstances. She was advised not to go to the school until the situation improved.
The administration undertook inquiry and found Mrs. Ijaz innocent of any wrong doing. Consequently miscreants raised the issue again and urged the students and teachers to not go to the school. To that end they made announcements on amplifiers of the local mosque. They threatened that any girl or teacher who would go to the school will be herself responsible for the consequences. The education department however instructed the school management not to interrupt the classes.
The miscreants gathered in front of the school while the girls and teachers were inside. Officials of the education department started the investigation afresh. The miscreants alleged that when a Muslim girl asked Mrs. Ijaz about the ‘pillars’ of Islam she told her of the five ‘pillars’; this amounted to preaching, they said. The inquiry officer heard both the sides and declared the clerics’ claim unfounded. At this the mullas got angry and threatened violence and closure of the school.
The next day, the District Coordination Officer received threatening phone calls from some terrorist organisations. These phone calls were made on behest of the miscreants. The DCO himself visited the school, consoled the victim and said, “Sometimes we have to put burden on the innocent (in the interest of law and order), but please rest assured.”
Mrs. Ijaz was then transferred to the AEO office in Chak 40 Adda to calm down the extremists.
Mischief of a mulla in a school
Peelovains, District Khushab; October 7, 2013: The locals employed a mulla Noor Muhammad to teach the Holy Quran to their children in the government primary school. He is rabidly anti-Ahmadiyya. On October 7, 2013 he brought to the school a photograph of the founder of the Ahmadiyya community, put it on the ground and told the students to trample upon it. The children did as told.
There was an Ahmadi child in the class, Saffan Ahmad who felt deeply hurt by this defiling and started crying. On return from the school he reported this to his father, Mr. Nazar Hayat who narrated the incident to Mr. Muhammad Sarfraz, the local Ahmadiyya missionary.
Mr. Hayat complained against the mulla to Mr. Tasawwar Hayat, the owner of the land of the school and others who had recruited the mulla. They called the mulla three days later, reprimanded him and warned him against a repeat of such conduct. The mulla’s response was arrogant and he told them that nobody could stop him from doing that again. At this Mr. Tasawwar Hayat and AzharMahmood, the two elders of the area, roughed him up a bit.
The mulla told this to his uncle who is also an Imam in the local mosque. They went to the police station with a fabricated complaint of blasphemy that Mr. Tasawwar Hayat and AzharMahmood defiled the Holy Quran by tearing it. The inspector investigated the complaint and found the mullas to be liars. He reprimanded them for their fabrication.
Mulla Noor Muhammad and his uncle still tried to get a blasphemy case registered, with the support of other mullas but could not succeed. On the pressure of mullas, the police inspector, however, registered a case under PPC 337 and 452 against Mr. Tasawwar Hayat and Mr. AzharMahmood for beating the mulla.
The mullas took out an anti-Ahmadiyya rally on October 25 in which approximately 50 men participated. A school teacher spoke in the rally and incited the audience against Ahmadis, while a mulla asserted that ‘reconciliation with Qadianis would never happen.’ This was opposed loudly by one of the participants.
The locals did not appreciate this hate campaign. The SHO called five members of both parties to the police station to solve the issue, and forwarded his report to the DSP.
The loud chatter against any possible move to return to Ahmadis their educational institutions
December 2013:The mullas of the Khatme Nabuwwat faction seem to have some information that suggests a fresh look by some quarters over the status of nationalized Ahmadiyya educational institutions. So, as per their SOP they undertook a propaganda hype in the vernacular press. They condemned the possibility of any such return and called it an anti-Islam and anti-state move. “We shall never tolerate it,” they threatened.
Protests of these sectarian clerics were published in the dailies Jang, Pakistan, Express, Ausaf, Dunya, Nawa-i-Waqt, Khabrain, Din etc. The daily Islam, an organ of the Jihadi movement in Pakistan, issued regularly from Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Multan and Muzaffargarh published the mullas’ statements under three-column headlines on December 15, 2013. “If this move is not checked, it will initiate an unending crisis in the country,”was attributed to mulla Abdul Majid Ludhianwi.
It would be recalled that the government announced in 1996 its policy to revert the nationalized educational institutions to their original owners if they asked for them and met certain pre-conditions. Accordingly, all have been reverted to those who fulfilled the conditions except those that belonged to Ahmadis, although Ahmadis met all the preconditions. This was a violation by the government of its own declared policy. It is now 18 years since the policy was put in place. It is costing a lot to the government while hurting the education of the next generation. The issue has nothing to do with the ‘end of prophethood’; it is an ‘education’ and ‘good governance’ issue.
Threat to Ahmadi students
Lahore; February 2013: A systematic hate campaign is underway in two hostels (Zubair Hostel and Mumtaz Hostel) of University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore. Hate literature was distributed there against Ahmadis. Mr. Mubarak, an Ahmadi student resident of Zubair Hostel faced the brunt of this propaganda. A few mullas came to him and abused him after confirming his denomination. They contacted his room-mate later and incited him against Mr. Mubarak. As a result he contacted the senior warden and told him that he would not share a room with a Qadiani (Ahmadi). So, the warden shifted Mr. Mubarak elsewhere.
Similarly another Ahmadi student, Mr. Usman Ahmad faced hostility for his faith. He is a student of 3rd year in Mining Engineering. A few students came to his room, abused him and threatened him with grave consequences.
Threat to an Ahmadi lady teacher
Chenab Nagar; April 2013: Ms. Sadaf Ashraf, a lecturer in Punjab College, received a threatening letter from Qari Zubair Khan Darwaish, the central secretary of information for Tahaffuze Khatme Nabuwwwat Pakistan. He issued a threatening letter on the letterhead of Jamia Usmania Khatme Nabuwwat (Regd.), located in Chenab Nagar, Rabwah (Muslim Colony). It accused her of preaching Ahmadiyyat to her students. It conveyed:
“If you do not desist from it and do not leave the college … you will be killed, assuch people are apostates and infidels according to the religion of Islam, and Sharia punishment of an apostate is death. The one who kills such an apostate is given the glad tiding of paradise.”
This mulla has not faced justice over this open threat to commit murder.
Education in Pakistan – A statement of great import by AHRC
October 12, 2013: The Asian Human Rights Commission issued a weighty statement on the quality and content of religious education in Pakistan. It is reproduced below as it refers directly to its impact on peace and security of the Ahmadiyya community in this country.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2013
A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission
PAKISTAN: The Government must take the immediate steps to stop the desecration of the education
In his message for the world peace day, the Secretary-General of the United Nations said:
“On this International Day of Peace, let us pledge to teach our children the value of tolerance and mutual respect. Let us invest in schools and teachers that will build a fair and inclusive world that embraces diversity. Let us fight for peace and defend it with all our might.”
There is an onerous responsibility on member states that the quality of materials used for education they offer complies with expectations and aspirations of the world community. However, some countries, particularly Pakistan, are acting contrary to this and are using education to promote extremism and fundamentalism by instilling hatred in the minds of young children in their formative years when their outlook on the society they live is based on the environment they live in and ideology they are exposed to. This creates disorder, hate and disharmony in society rather than promoting peace, love, mutual respect and co-operation for the benefit of society as a whole. Such countries are instilling hatred, intolerance and sowing the seed of extremism and violence in the mind of youngsters.
Recently in Pakistan, text books which are part of the national syllabus are being used in the Sindh province to promote hate and extremism against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. For instance in this text book titled, ‘Islamiat for Class VI’ published by Spectrum on page 10 the text teaches children to not be tolerant of the teachings of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The worst part is that as part of the instructions given to teachers, the teachers are encouraged ‘to ensure students are aware of the evils of the Qadianis’.
Education should not be used as a political or ideological tool and should be free from any form of prejudice, bias and extremist philosophy. However, Pakistan appears to be steeped in appeasing fanatical and extremist Muslim fundamentalists by allowing them to use the education system to promote hate. Please click here to find the syllabus of primary school based on hate.
We draw the attention of the international community to this matter. It becomes the responsibility of the international community that whilst we are observing world peace day to promote and build a fair and inclusive world that embraces diversity, Pakistan is acting contrary to this by not only destroying peace in Pakistan but undermining the efforts of the rest of the world. Wherever education is used for such despicable purposes and objectives it must be checked. As the Secretary-General has said let us fight for peace and defend it with all our might.
This situation of the hate based educational system must be checked by the civilian government and parliamentarians otherwise in the presence of such systems democracy, enlightenment and openness in the society will be stifled. The incumbent government and parliamentarians must revisit the curriculum particularly at primary and secondary levels.
A renowned Ahmadi professor, and his persecution in 1970s and 1980s
Professor Dr Syed Sultan Mahmud Shahid died in Rabwah this year. He was a senior professor in the Ahmadiyya Talim ul Islam College when it was nationalized in 1972. The renowned Dr. Parwazi wrote a biography note on him in the daily Al-Fazl of May 6, 2013. A few extracts (translation):
“Text books written by him (on chemistry) were taught in the colleges of the Punjab University. …
“When I saw this renowned person first time in Rabwah I could not believe that it is the eminent and illustrious professor I had heard so much about. He was a man without any pretense who, holding his little daughter by hand, way buying vegetables in the market. …
“Shah Ji (Prof. Shahid) treated students kindly and informally. I never saw him disciplining students through fines. He would reform them through affection. …
“Dr Syed Sultan Mahmud Shahid was one of the early teachers of the (Talim ul Islam) college. He joined the staff in Qadian (in pre-Partition days). He remained on the staff in Rabwah till the college was nationalized. And it was for this ‘crime’ that he was made to suffer, but he never wavered. …
“After the nationalization of this college, Shah Ji was inflicted many hardships. He was transferred here and there and was often given appointments below his rank and merit; but he bore up with it. Although at the time of nationalization he was among the senior most teachers in the Punjab, he had to sip the bitter drink of injustice.
“Talim ul Islam College (Rabwah) is the only such college that has not been denationalized on account of (religious) prejudice and discrimination; otherwise most institutions have been returned (to original owners). (Professors) Naseer Khan and Sufi (Basharat) have passed away bearing this grief; now Shah Ji has departed with this spot on his heart.”
UET College Hostel; December 1, 2013: Mr. YasirMahmood son of Mirza Nasir Mahmood, resident of UET College hostel faced difficulties and hardship at the hand of opponents of Ahmadiyya community in the hostel.
On December 1, Hafiz Rizwan, a rabid opponent of Ahmadiyyat, knocked at the door of Yasir’s room at about 10 p.m. When Yasir opened the door, Rizwan hurled a heap of verbal abuse at the holy founder of Ahmadiyyat. This caused an exchange of harsh words, and a number of other students assembled at the spot. Yasir asked the hostel guard to quieten down the visitor, but he also became sympathetic to the aggressor, for his anti-Ahmadi prejudice. Two of the boarders persuaded Rizwan to retire to his room.
Thereafter Yasir reported the incident to the Senior Warden and complained to the Vice Chancellor who directed the Disciplinary Committee to look into it. The Senior Warden advised Yasir to not stay in his room; accordingly,Yasir shifted to share a room with other Ahmadi students.
Hafiz Rizwan is busy in anti-Ahmadi activities for the last one year. A few days earlier he attempted to spit at Yasir, but missed the target. Prior to this,Rizwan had hurled insults against two Ahmadis, Mr. Rizwanullah and Hasan, in their rooms.