Unworthy role of the vernacular press
The vernacular press considers it profitable to publish anti-Ahmadiyya news and views. Often these are no news – only statements, slander, calumny and provocations. It is not rare that they publish articles that are highly abusive, very injurious, and contain knowingly false allegations. Quite often, grave threats are implied. In any civilized state, someone would hold the writer and the editor accountable, but in Pakistan, it is a permissive society against Ahmadis.
During the month of May alone, the Nawa-i-Waqt and Insaf printed 36 items each about Ahmadis, while the daily ‘Pakistan’ and ‘Ausaf’ were close behind in second and third positions. A few samples, only from the first fortnight of May of the vernacular press are translated and reproduced below to give an idea of the nature of this yellow journalism.
- Maulvis declare that any future agitation will be only for total annihilation of Qadianis. The Pakistan; May 1, 2002
- Qadianis in league with foreign powers propose to abrogate the Constitution. Qadianis and Jews are enemies of Islam and the nuclear program. The Insaf; May 2, 02
- 60 ulema take out a procession in Sargodha in protest against abolition of religion entry in voters’ lists. Negative activities of Qadianis may lead to a clash. The Jang; May 3, 02
- Qadianis plan to malign us in international community by precipitating riots as in Gujraat (India). The Ausaf; May 4, 02
- The Jews and Christians have assured their B team, Qadianis, of getting the ban lifted on their proselytizing. The Nawa-i-Waqt; May 5, 02
- Raja Zafarul Haq (PML N) stated that the President has committed treason by giving the right of vote to Qadianis to ensure success in Referendum. The Khabrain; May 5, 02
- Marriage annulled of three Muslim witnesses of a Qadiani wedding. Fatwa of excommunication withdrawn after they tendered apology. The Awaz, May 6, 02
- NGOs are preaching Christianity and Qadianism. Noorani The Insaf; May 7, 02
- The US intends to crush religious parties through abolition of Blasphemy Law and support to Qadianis. The Jur’at; May 9, 02
- Now Qadianis will occupy seats in the Senate and Assemblies. Our hundred years’ efforts have been spoiled by the government. The Ausaf; May 9, 02
- We shall resist with full force if Qadianis are given freedom to preach their dogma. The Jang; May 10, 02
- Qadianis are traitors to Islam as well as Pakistan . Majlis Ahrar The Din; May 11, 02
- Recruitment of Qadianis in the army should be disallowed. Chinioti. The Ausaf; May 12, 02
- The President has promised us not to disturb Islamic provisions of the Law. Chaudhry Shujaat The Asas; May 13, 02
- Terrorism exists due to collaboration of the government and Qadianis. Chinioti The Asas; May 13, 02
- General Musharraf got votes only from Rabwah. Fazlur Rahman The Nawa-i-Waqt; May 13, 02
- The government should take note of Qadianis’ activism; otherwise we shall ourselves resist by force. Toofani The Nawa-i-Waqt; May 15, 02
- 99% of terrorism in Pakistan is emanating from Qadianis. They are loyal to Britain and India. Qadianis have terrorist training camps in Qadian. If Separate Electorate is not restored here, the lovers of the Prophet will rise like a cyclone that will wash away those in power. Chinioti The Pakistan; May 16, 02
etc; etc; etc.
Material not fit for reproduction is not included in the quotes above. All this was tolerated, accepted and thus encouraged from the mullah and the press, after the much-trumpeted speech of 12 January by President Musharraf!
The vernacular press stokes the sectarian fire
Chiniot: December 2002: Mullah Ghulam Mustafa is a third-line functionary in an anti-Ahmadiyya organization. He claims to be a missionary of the Khatme Nabuwwat (Finality of Prophethood) Movement. Some weeks ago, the Ahmadiyya Community applied to the authorities as usual to hold its traditional Annual Conference at Rabwah. The request has not been granted as a matter of routine for the last 18 years. Ahmadis apply regardless. The Community, however, announces the provisional dates of the Conference. The same procedure was adopted this year, at which Mullah Ghulam Mustafa got very annoyed and issued a “press statement”. Excerpts:
“Muslims have become very agitated at the Qadianis’ announcement of holding their Conference at Chenab Nagar in the last week of December. This announcement is dangerous as it comes immediately in the wake of setting up the new government. Qadianis are not permitted to pursue their religious activities anywhere in Pakistan. Strict restrictions apply to them according to the Constitution. The government should take notice of all this. They should be forbidden to collect funds from their simple-minded members for this purpose. They will have to pay for it(sic). The government is warned that if Qadianis hold their Conference, Muslims will hold their own at the same location on the same date. Ulema of various denominations have been invited to assemble at Muslim Colony, Chenabnagar (Rabwah) on December 25. Accordingly, a Conference will be held at Aqsa Chowk (in Rabwah) on 25, 26, 27 and 28 December. A general call will be given after Eidul Fitr: ‘Let’s rush to Chenabnagar’. Therefore, the government should take serious notice of Qadianis’ announcement, otherwise we shall be absolved of all responsibility for negative consequences.”
The reaction of this mullah is hardly a surprise, however it is surprising that the daily Jang, that indulges in perpetual pontification, did not fail to give the mullah undue importance by reproducing his outrage in a 3–column headline in its issue of December 3, 2002, as shown below:
The authorities despite the re-advent of democracy did not allow Ahmadis to hold their Annual Conference in Rabwah.
It was again the daily Jang, Lahore that spared 3-column space for Mullah Abdur Rahman Makki on November 4, 2002. Makki had the following to say (excerpts):
Allah permits no Compromise with Infidels
We shall not deviate from our mission even if we have to offer 100,000 martyrs and 100,000 arrests.
Habibabad: Hafiz Abdur Rehman Makki a leader of Jamaat Ad Dawa declared to hundreds of thousands of participants of the Seminar on its second day that supremacy of Islam is destined with the help of sword. Allah gave the Prophet not only the Sharia but also the sword……. Seventy thousand Pakistani youth have not sacrificed their lives in Kashmir so as to compromise on the issue of Jihad” etc. etc.
Not only that many Muslims would take strong exception to this mullah’s understanding of Islam and his bloated figures, but for the Jang to give that much space to the cleric is indeed gross.