The yellow press
Vernacular press continues to play an ugly and despicable role in promoting and supporting anti-Ahmadiyya persecution. In fact, some of the Urdu dailies seem to compete with each other in this game. They think it improves their sales, and also it keeps the mullah on their right side. Not content with negative reporting, some of these papers publish articles and make editorial comments. There is no other religious, ethnic or territorial group in Pakistan that is half as shabbily treated by the press as Ahmadis. During the month of October, Urdu newspapers that are published at Lahore and Faisalabad only, made more than 132 anti-Ahmadiyya entries. The daily Pakistan had 27 entries, the Nawa-i-Waqt 24, the Khabrain 21, the daily Din and Awaz 13 each, while the Jang and Express scored 12 each. Apart from the quantum of this reporting, its content and tone is noteworthy in that it violates all norms of healthy and positive journalism. Below we give translation of only 15 of the 132 entries, as sample:
Sectarianism cannot be controlled without crushing the head of Qadianism
The government, rather than treating Qadianis mildly, should deal with them as provided by the Constitution. Muhammad Hussain and others
The dailyExpress; October 16, 2004
We are ready to uproot Qadianis. The respected Ulema
Qadianis are outside the pale of Islam. No one should have any dealing with them.
The daily Awaz, October 18, 2004
All the religious parties should call a round table conference and destroy anti-Islam forces.
Suicide bombings are sponsored by Qadiani mastermind in concert with external powers. Malik Rab Nawaz
The daily Nawa-i-Waqt; October 5, 2004
Martyrdom of Mufti Jamil and Maulana Nazir (at Karachi) is the joint venture of Jews and Qadianis. Hafiz Bashir
The daily Din; October 11, 2004
Qadiani Anjuman should be banned and all its assets should be confiscated. Maulvi Faqir Muhammad
The daily Aman; October 8, 2004
An excerpt from an essay published in the Sunday Express of October 17, 2004:
“A mention of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad here, in my opinion will hurt the sanctity of the pen and the paper. However, he is the cancer of the last 125 years. One cannot but drink this poison to warn the innocent Muslims, particularly the youth……” (Translation)
The Blasphemy Law and other religious laws must be protected. The government should reject the US Report on religious tolerance and Qadianis. Maulvi Faqir Muhammad
The daily Nawa-i-Waqt; October 25, 2004
Muslim diplomats and the ulema in UK should have the Ahmadiyya
Television banned. International Khatme Nabuwwat Movement
The daily Nawa-i-Waqt; October 29, 2004
Chiniot: Qadiani converts to Islam
The daily Jang; October 30, 2004
The seventh annual 15-day course to ‘Repel Qadianism and Christianity’ completed under the management of Almi Majlis Khatme Nabuwwat
The daily Pakistan; October 12, 2004
We shall sacrifice even our lives to protect the end of prophethood
Qadianis are a threat to the national security. Address of Dr Javed and others in Tajdar Khatme Nabuwwat at Bokharian
The daily Express; October 5, 2004
Sheikhupura: 16-years old daughter of the doctor who recanted from Qadianism is abducted.
Qadianis are sending messages: “If you, your husband and children rejoin Qadianism, your daughter will be retuned to you”. Mother of Shahida Bibi (sic)
The accused refuse to admit the abduction.
Shehr Bano’s father made only a verbal report in the police station, and not a written (formal) report. The clerk of the Police Station City B Division The daily Pakistan; October 3, 2004
(Note. An Ahmadi spokesman later issued a press statement that neither the complainant nor the accused in this case belong to the Ahmadiyya Community. Ed.)
Our beloved country has still a long way to go to protect the end of prophethood. Qadiani minority has proven its sway over the majority by its gross violation of the law. Their conduct is a threat to national security. Deputy Secretary JUI
The daily Khabrain, October 5, 2004
Qadianism is the other name of fraud. Nobody’s honor and possessions are safe (with them). Mirza Ghulam Ahmad cannot be called even a decent person.
Sheikh Raheel Ahmad
The daily Khabrain; October 2, 2004
“Shorash Kashmiri had dedicated, particularly the last part of his life, to the cause of protection of end of prophethood. Thus he considered Qadianis not only a threat to Pakistan but to the entire Muslim Umma…..”
From an article on Agha Shorash, the journalist, in the daily Sahafat; October 25, 2004. (The journalist’s adopted name ‘Shorash’ means disorder, fracas, row).
During the year 2004, the quantum of anti-Ahmadiyya propaganda in the daily Urdu press was enormous. Newspapers, published at Lahore alone, printed 2021 news items with anti-Ahmadiyya bias. These covered a space of 8,820 square inches. This amounts to 28 full pages of newspaper size (22” X 14”). This does not include the articles published in other periodicals that covered approximately additional 200 pages during the year. As compared to this, the press printed Ahmadiyya response in 20 entries only, mostly of the size of a postage stamp; the total space allocated to these was less than 50 square inches.
Almost 50 years ago, the famous Munir Report on anti-Ahmadiyya violence in 1953 candidly assigned due responsibility to the Urdu press for precipitating and then stoking the fire of the riots. It is certain that any future historian will also hold the vernacular press responsible for grossly misguiding the people of Pakistan.
False news and the yellow press
Mullahs and the yellow press form a natural team who indulge conveniently in mutual support. Nawa-i-Waqt was once edited by Mr Hameed Nizami, a journalist of great integrity and standing. Since his death, the paper is more concerned with its profits and political clout than with principles. On Ahmadiyya issue, it sets aside higher journalistic norms and becomes an organ of clerics and obscurants elements.
Maulvi Faqir Muhammad is well known for his lack of scruples. He was once detained under the Goonda Act (meant for rascals) by the Commissioner of Faisalabad. The mullah had to apologize before he was released. Now he lives on stipend for anti-Ahmadiyya activism. He is a past-master at writing applications and sending them to various high officials. He thrives on the hypocrisy and timidity of government officials, and gets the desired results through threats and ultimatums, mostly bogus.
Maulvi Faqir Muhammad persuaded the daily Nawa-i-Waqt to print the following two–column headline in its issue of January 30, 2004:
Qadianis undertake unlawful preaching and call to prayers
Maulvi Faqir Muhammad
The mullah stated that the Ahmadi community of Ghasitpura was making the call to prayers from its mosque and demanded registration of a police criminal case. The accusation was a blatant lie. Ahmadis continue to comply with the law and do not make the alleged call in the village. The mullah and the Nawa-i-Waqt however do not seem to be concerned with facts; they have other aims and objectives.