Religiously Motivated Murders – 2005

2005

 

Eight Ahmadis killed by anti-Ahmadi extremists in a terrorist attack on Ahmadiyya mosque. Twenty injured.

Mong, District Mandi Bahauddin, Punjab; October 7, 2005: Three militants of anti-Ahmadiyya lobby delivered a major attack on unsuspecting Ahmadi worshipers who were offering their morning (fajr)prayers in their mosque at about 5:15 a.m. They arrived on a motor cycle and opened fire with automatic fire-arms. Faced with little resistance they did a gruesome job and departed having spilled great deal of blood in the holy month of Ramadan. Some people died on the spot while others died in the hospital. In all, eight worshippers were killed and twenty injured. The dead and the injured included men of all age groups, from boys to septuagenarians. Threats of such an attack were known to the government to exist.

Mong is located about 6 miles north of Mandi Bahauddin, and is approximately 30 miles west of Gujrat, the hometown of Chaudhary Brothers of PML (Q)..

It is relevant that in the preceding month, mullahs were permitted by authorities to hold two anti-Ahmadi conferences in Rabwah, the Ahmadiyya centre town in Pakistan. On both occasions, the speakers openly declared that as per (their version of) Sharia, Ahmadis were Wajab ul Qatl (must be put to death). Maulvi Fazlur Rehman, the Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly and the General Secretary of MMA participated in the conference on September 30. He arrived there in full security and with escort provided by the government. Maulvi Tahir Mahmud Ashrafi, Advisor to the Chief Minister of the Punjab participated in the conference held on September 7. Both the leaders, who are on the pay roll of the government, made anti-Ahmadi speeches in these conferences where Ahmadis were openly declared Wajab ul Qatl.

Although the president warned of stringent action against elements involved in printing, publication and distribution of hate material (The daily Dawn; July 22, 2005), the daily Jang, Urdu paper with the largest circulation in Pakistan, of September 16, 2005 printed unabashedly the opinion of one Maulana Saeed Jalalpuri that in the Islamic state, Ahmadis, as apostates, would be given three days to recant, then the penalty of apostasy (death) would be imposed upon them and the earth would be cleansed of their poisonous effect. This mullah later attended the conference at Rabwah on September 30 and made a virulent speech. The daily Nawa-i-Waqt of October 1, 2005 while covering the proceedings of the conference at Rabwah quoted a mullah Abdul Ghafur Haqqani as, “Had the Sharia punishment (of death) for apostasy been implemented in the country, Mirzaiat (Ahmadiyyat) would have died its own death”. No action, stringent or less, was apparently taken against these disseminators of hate and fanaticism. On the other hand, police raids were conducted against all the Ahmadiyya periodicals and the daily Alfzal at Rabwah in August recently; their printing press was sealed and 11 Ahmadi editors, publishers and managers were booked under criminal charges under Ahmadi-specific laws. It is noteworthy that the FIR did not specify the extracts or the piece of writing to which the mullah or the authorities took exception.

The persistent denial of human rights to Ahmadis and their public maltreatment by the government gives great encouragement to sectarian extremists and religious militants who find it convenient to undertake terrorism as at Mong. The president is right in that ‘Extremism creates a fertile recruiting ground for terrorism’. But why the delay in confronting the agents of extremism, and reluctance to support their targets.

P.S. The very next day there was a formidable earthquake that did a great deal of damage to property and killed approximately 100,000 people in Pakistan.

 

Mr. Wasim Ahmad of Quetta

Quetta, September 10, 2005: Mr. Wasim Ahmad, 59, an Ahmadi medical practitioner of Quetta was murdered by unknown assassins at about 9 a.m. on September 10, 2005.

Mr. Wasim Ahmad left home to proceed to his clinic. Outside, he was intercepted by two men on a motor cycle. One of them, according to an eye-witness, had a long beard. He was wearing a green robe and a red turbine on his head. The assassins fired six bullets, of which three hit Mr. Wasim. He was rushed to the hospital where after an extensive operation the bullets were removed, but Mr. Wasim succumbed to the injuries, and expired at about 2 a.m.            Mr. Wasim Ahmad left behind his widow and one son and three daughters, all dependant on him. He was buried the next day.

It is learnt that about six weeks prior to his murder, Mr. Wasim Ahmad was contacted by a few Islamist activists who insisted that he attend the conference “Sunnaton Bhara Ijtima” held at Quetta by the Sunnis. They asked him to ‘convert’ to Islam. Also a few days earlier, some religious zealots of Jamaat Islami and Khatme Nabuwwat factions were in contact with him, and bore malice against him. The police have registered a case against unknown killers. No arrests have been made.

 

Mr Muhammad Iqbal of Sheikhupura

Narang Mandi, District Sheikhupura; November 6, 2005: Mr Muhammad Iqbal, Ahmadi was found murdered in District Gujranwala. He had been shot dead, and his body had been set on fire and burnt almost beyond recognition. An eye-witness from a nearby village stated that at about 3 a.m. he saw a speeding car pass, from which he could hear cries. The car went up to the graveyard where he heard a few gunshots, followed by some sort of bonfire. The next day, the victim was recognized through marks of an appendix operation.

Mr Iqbal had joined the Ahmadiyya Community approximately seven years ago. He was a practicing Ahmadi and was a secretary of the local chapter. He was facing prosecution under the Ahmadi-specific law PPC 298C. There were a number of people who did not like him being an Ahmadi.

From the available circumstantial evidence it is fairly certain that his faith was a factor and a major consideration with his murderers. The police have registered the case against unknown accused and are investigating.

The deceased has left behind a widow and two children aged four and one. He was the sole supporter of his family. They will miss him greatly.

 

Mr. Naeem Mahmud of Sialkot

Sialkot; December 17, 2005: Mr. Naeem Mahmud, Ahmadi was murdered by unknown assassins at about 0630 this morning by two motor cyclists. He was 30.

It is learnt that after the morning (fajr) prayers, Mr Mahmud was walking to his work when the armed killers approached him and fired shots at him. He was hit in the lower part of his abdomen near the back bone. This affected his right leg. He was provided first aid and shifted to Mayo Hospital, Lahore. Doctors operated upon him, but bleeding did not stop. Three days later Mr Mahmud expired. Mr. Mahmud was still unmarried. From his small income, he supported his old parents and younger brothers and sister in the joint family. Mr Mahmud had no personal vendetta with anybody, nor had any financial dispute. He was a good man and a practicing Ahmadi.

Prior to his burial after sunset, Ahmadis offered his funeral prayers in a park in Sialkot Cantonment. The local mullah behaved badly in that he assembled a few narrow-minded fanatics who started agitating against the victim’s final rites. They burnt a few tyres. The police arrived on the scene and dispersed them. The DPO sent instructions to all SHOs against any unrest. Consequently, there was no further incident of law and order.

This was the eleventh murder of an Ahmadi this year for his faith. This is the highest yearly total in the last five years.

 

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