A sectarian course in public and press
Faisalabad: Minhaj-ul-Quran Council advertised and held a week-long course, open to public, at Madrassah Darul Ulum Nuria Rizvia Gulberg-A, Faisalabad. They named it unabashedly Radde Qadianiat Course (Anti-Ahmadiyya Course). They showed utter disregard to the declared anti-sectarian policy of the government. The authorities took no action, as correctly assessed by these mullas.
The organizers of the course were regular in sending their progress reports to the press daily, and the Urdu press gladly published them as if sectarianism harms only the government and not the society. They spared two-columns for the course news daily, and printed all the names of even obscure mullas. It seems that the vernacular press nourishes and promotes obscurantism as a duty.
The course started on July 21, with the opening address by a mulla Qadri. Mulla Azmi stated that ‘Qadianis are busy in worldwide conspiracies to extinguish the flame of the love of the Prophet’ (Nawa-i-Waqt; July 22). According to the press, mulla Saeedi stated on July 23 that Qadianiat is a tree planted by the British and it will not be allowed to grow. Professor Ilyas told the participants on July 24 that now anyone who claims to be a Prophet is an infidel; and anyone who even asks him some evidence in support of his claim is also an infidel (Kafir). Munir Shah urged everyone to come out in the open to protect the Ummat’s future by fighting the Qadiani mischief, through love for the Prophet. The daily Ausaf reported on July 26 that Justice (r) Nazir Akhtar demanded of the government to put an end to proselytizing by Qadianis. “They were declared non-Muslim in 1947(sic) and we went quiet after that; had we been active in containing this mischief, it would have ceased to exist by now”, he said. (It is relevant to state here that this Nazir Akhtar is the same individual who as a sitting judge of the Lahore High Court had proposed that a Muslim may take law in his own hand to implement the Ghazi Ilm Din penalty for apostasy [murder].) The last day of the course was reported in the daily Express (of July 27) and the paper reported the concluding address of mulla Khan Mohammad: “To put an end to Qadianism, we shall have to follow Islam…. From the very first day, Qadianis are enemies of Islam, and are busy in unholy efforts to destroy Islam, but they always fail in their machinations.”
This course, dedicated to sectarian prejudice and hatred, met no visible objection from the press, the society or the authorities. Would this not justify someone else arranging an anti-Shia course, anti-Sunni Course or an anti-Christian Course? In fact an anti-Christian Course (Radde Isaiat) is already scheduled at Chenab Nagar from August 18 to September 10 under the management of Aalami Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat Muslim Colony, Chenab Nagar. Participants have been assured of free stationary, board, lodging and even a stipend. The publicity notice is pasted on the front gate of the Post Office at Rabwah, a government building.
Chiniot, September 11, 2007: The daily Jang, Lahore published the following story in its issue of September 11, 2007:
Non-believers in Khatme Nabuwwat will be chased allover. Maulana Abdul Majeed Shah
Chiniot (correspondent): Non-believes in Khatme Nabuwwat will be chased all over. No sacrifice will be spared in this regard. This was stated by Maulana Abdul Majeed Shah while addressing the closing ceremony of the 15-day Anti-Qadianiat Course. He said that the evil of Qadianism is kind of a cancer for the body politic of Islam, that must be exterminated with full effort. Maulanas Sahibzada Aziz Ahmad, Aziz-ur-Rahman Jallandhri, Allah Wasaya, Ghulam Mustafa, Qazi Ehsan Ahmad and Muhammad Ismail Shuja Abadi also addressed the ceremony.
Early this year, the daily Dawn of January 11, 2007 reported the official policy as, “President Musharraf said the only solution was to reject forces that fanned hatred, leading to sectarian strife.” But here are the culprits who not only indulge openly in this kind of activity, they even get it publicized in the Urdu press. It appears that the state is not serious about its basic policy, and the mulla knows it.
Harassment of Ahmadis of Sargodha
Sargodha: Mullas have become active here on the anti-Ahmadi front. Haji Mubarak Ahmad and Mr. Irfan Ahmad, Ahmadis own the Al-Mizan Auto Store near the General Bus Stand. A few mullas have taken to propaganda against them urging others to be violent again the Ahmadis. Reportedly they hinted of even a suicide attack.
Also, Mubarak Abdus Salam, an Ahmadi’s house in Model Town was visited repeatedly by some miscreant who came at night and stuck a provocative stoker at his gate. Mr. Salam is worried. In his neighborhood is located the Rahmania Dawakhana which is a center for mullas who normally indulge in violence against Shias. This location is suspect in this anti-Ahmadi activism. Mr. Salam has been assured of support by other Ahmadis by remaining on call on mobile phone.
Jamaat Al-Da`wa indulges in clash and killing
Muzaffarabad: The daily Jinnah, Lahore in its issue of June 12, 2007 published the following story (extracts):
Hospital set on fire in Muzaffarabad after a clash with
activists of Jamaat Al Da`wa
One dead, 6 wounded in exchange of fire; 1 arrested. Both parties dig in at Muzaffarabad
(Report by Wahid Iqbal): “An argument over a 10-rupee chit led to a fire-fight between the activists of Jamaat Al Da`wa and the locals, outside the Taiba Hospital. Activists of Jama`at Al Da`wa have armed themselves with automatic weapons and taken to bunkers in Shawai area. They are firing at the advancing locals. There is great tension in the area. Al Da`wa activists are armed with heavy weapons and have dug in, while the locals are also armed. The locals offered the statement that two (of their) men were hand-bound and shot in the hip while a third was shot in the neck (by Al Da`wa). Assistant Commissioner Saud ur Rahman stated that seven Al Da`wa men have been arrested. According to the local sources, a land dispute was going on for one week between Jama`at Al Da`wa and the locals. The situation is grave, and the army could be called.”
Jamaat Al Da`wa had undertaken relief activities in Azad Kashmir after the great earthquake there in 2005. Availing the opportunity, they promoted their own agenda of extremism and Jihad. It would be recalled that an NGO, Humanity First , which has many Ahmadi contributors and workers, also undertook relief work in the earthquake effected area. It did good work. Al Da`wa became jealous and undertook slanderous propaganda against the Humanity First. In January 2006 the weekly Ghazwa (it means: battle), an organ of Al Da`wa undertook a nasty campaign against Ahmadis and the Humanity First. It accused the NGO workers falsely of dressing immodestly, preaching Qadianism, eve-teasing, no relief-work, targeting children, injecting poison etc. (Ref: News Report February 2006 )
Jamaat Al Da`wa is the new name of the banned Lashkar Taiba.
Assessment of the Pakistani mulla — by a mulla
Akora Khattak (NWFP): The Pakistani mullah has taken up Anti-Ahmadiyya stand as his foremost priority. He leaves no stoned unturned in his drive, and poses to be pious, reasonable and even truthful in his anti-Ahmadiyya propaganda. These monthly reports have occasionally laid bare the falsehood in their campaign, however now we report from the press a comment on these clerics by one of their own colleagues. It would be recalled that Qazi Hussain Ahmad, Maulvi Fazl ur Rehman and other members of their team of MMA often come to Rabwah to participate in anti-Ahmadi conferences and join the chorus of the Khatme Nabuwwat ulama by shouting hoarse the sectarian and extremist diatribes in these gatherings. Maulvi Samiul Haq, who till recently was one of the stalwarts of the MMA, was interviewed by a team of journalists. Excerpts from his interview, published in the daily Khabrain of February 9, 2007 are produced below for information and record:
“Maulvis’ administration in half of Pakistan is neither Islamic nor Welfare… Majlis Amal sold out its honour to gain power; people will not forgive…. The MMA itself is a great deception of the present time. The six-party alliance has shrunk to only two parties, and even these two are not united ……..The MMA government in NWFP is neither Islamic nor Welfare. It claims to implement a model peace, but its poor performance has provided an excuse to pardon all the past governments…. If the suicide bombers could do it, they would accord priority to target these clerics as it is these in whose supervision all (these wrongs) are being committed…. The situation there (in Peshawar) is more like that of the stone age. Their judicial reforms were not given a time schedule, so it was all claptrap; the whole world witnessed the finale of the Sharia Bill and the Hasba Bill… Qazi Hussain Ahmad is a sly character who only shrieks and shrills, and is a spoiler; if he wants to resign or not attend the Assembly session, who is stopping him to do so? The Qazi says that they do not want to undo the alliance; but we did not form the alliance to indulge in loot and plunder. In fact all of them are a band of forty thieves (chalees choron ka tola); their problem is the consideration that if twenty of these become dissidents, the other twenty cannot undertake their robbery. In this situation it is not really an alliance; in fact it will be better to curse this united front that has failed in attaining its religious ends, nor has it succeeded in implementing its agenda…” etc.
Fanatic kills woman minister — the news, and a comment on its relevance to an Ahmadiyya precedent
Gujranwala: A fanatic mullah Sarwar murdered Ms. Zille Huma, provincial minister during the open court at PML House on February 20, 2007 (The Daily Times, February 21, 2007). His criminal background is somewhat similar to another mulla who along with a colleague killed an Ahmadi in broad daylight in a Faisalabad bazaar and faced prosecution. The two cases deserve some in-depth analysis, as that would help draw worthwhile lessons.
Ms. Huma’s killer, according to press reports, is an Islamist. He stated that he murdered the minister as, according to his understanding of Sharia, a woman should not be a ruler. He also accused her of not observing Islamic code of dress. He told the police and the media that he was not sorry for his act, and will continue with this practice if he got another opportunity. Earlier, in 2002/2003 he murdered and injured numerous women. He was then arrested, and he readily admitted to having killed four call girls and injured four other. He remained in prison for approximately one year. According to press reports, some religious supporters helped him during his prosecution, and even raised money to pay Qisas for his murders. He was well-known to the police and the society as a killer. He delivered sermons (Daras) in mosques and was a fiery speaker at religious conferences. At the trial, he availed of legal loop holes and interpretations (Qanuni mushgaphion) and was set free.
Mulla Sarwar ended up killing a VIP of the establishment. The administrative, judicial and societal environment produces and nourishes such monsters. Initially permissive attitudes are allowed free play against marginalized sections of society; the encouraged assassins then turn against the society in general. Here we narrate one such case that targeted Ahmadis.
Imtiaz Shah, a fanatic from Faisalabad was known to the police for his anti-Ahmadi activism. Ahmadis had reported his dangerous moves to the authorities. However, the police took a lenient and indulgent view of his conduct and took no action against him. Earlier he had been declared an absconder from law, however he remained free and unchecked after his reappearance and indulged in nefarious activities. Then on November 14, 2002 at about 11:00 he, helped by a colleague, Rafaqat Ali, intercepted an Ahmadi Abdul Waheed in the bazaar. There, Ali held the victim from behind tightly and facilitated for Shah to launch a full blooded dagger thrust on the left of his chest. Having committed his grisly act, he shouted to the on-lookers that he had dispatched a Qadiani. Half an hour later a relative moved the Ahmadi to the hospital where he expired.
Imtiaz Shah surrendered to the police the next day. He confessed the crime and told them that he had stabbed the Qadiani “as part of his religious duty” (The daily Dawn, November 16, 2002). The sources claimed that Imtiaz Shah told the police of his intention to kill three notable Ahmadis of Faisalabad. The police prosecuted the two criminals for murder in an Anti-Terrorism Court. The judge held Imtiaz Shah guilty of murder and sentenced him to death, however he was kind to Rafaqat Ali who was equally guilty because without the active facilitation provided by him Imtiaz (an old man of 60) could not possibly have succeeded in inflicting so powerful a dagger thrust in the chest of his youthful target who was only 30, and acquitted him.
The convict challenged his conviction and sentence of death before the Lahore High Court while the complainant challenged the acquittal of Rafaqat Ali. The Division Bench of the High Court not only upheld the acquittal of Rafaqat Ali, it reduced the death sentence of Shah to imprisonment of only seven years. This was a shocking verdict for the bereaved widow and orphans of the deceased. They then appealed to the Supreme Court for justice. The full bench of the apex court gave a summary hearing to the appeal in August last year and the Chief Justice remarked most benignly, “Let us see whether a case at all is made out or not?” Then the Chief Justice most summarily announced the dismissal of the petition. According to an expert in law “Never has ever, in the judicial history of the country, a murder case been dealt with and finally disposed off so summarily and through so short an order”. As a result, Imtiaz Shah is expecting to be released shortly. The judicial and administrative system is about to let loose another Maulvi Sarwar, whose next victim could be anybody — a common Ahmadi or a VVIP ‘Mussulman’.
It would be appropriate to draw some conclusions. Obviously, it is not just and fair to be kind to religious criminals who indulge in fake and petty piety but feel free to commit serious crimes in the name of religion. Secondly, hanging of these misguided fanatics only will not solve the problem; it is essential that their superiors and guides be tracked and brought to justice. They are bold enough not to hide their activities and intentions; the seers of Imtiaz Shah and Rafaqat Ali converge on Rabwah many times a year and shout themselves hoarse in open-air meetings. They are all on record in the books of intelligence agencies and the police. Thirdly, the establishment should own up the ‘enlightened moderation’ seriously and follow it up with action. The following is not a casual observation by Ms. Zahida Hina in her column in the daily Express of February 25, 2007: “Gujranwala is a bastion of PML (Q) that is camped in the dark fortress of obscurantism but pays only lip service to enlightened moderation in order to remain in corridors of power”. Fourthly, the state must effectively discourage private parties and individuals to take law in their own hands in the name of Sharia. In the past, regrettably, the state itself misled the common man on this most harmful and criminal path. The Deputy Attorney General (of Pakistan) in the Federal Shariat Court is on record as: “Death is the penalty for those who do not believe in the finality of prophethood, and in Islamic countries it is a heinous crime. It is not necessary that the Government should take action, but on the contrary any Muslim can take the law in his own hands”, UNDOC E/CN-4/1986/SR.30 at p.15. It is for consideration as to whether or not the Deputy Attorney General was thus himself guilty of committing a heinous crime by making this statement. It is about item the state and the society in Pakistan turns 180 degrees from the dark days of General Zia. Last but not least, in matters of principle and policy, the plenipotentiaries should not discriminate against Ahmadis and hold them out as exception. The murder of an Ahmadi is a grave and serious crime; the Quran is very explicit in stating this wisdom “… whosoever killed a person, unless it be for killing a person or for creating disorder in the land – it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and whoso saved a life, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind” 5:33/32.
Is there anyone who is prepared to learn a lesson from the past?
Swat: The situation of law and order in Swat became a cause of great concern to most, while some even feign surprise. However, it would be a surprise if it had not developed into what it had. Almost the entire society, the administration, the mulla, the police, the local politician, the vernacular press and of course a section of the population, all participated and worked to this end in the past 25 years. We reproduce below a report of an event that happened in June 1998; it was mentioned in a UK report titled: Plight of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan (1989-1999) :
Denial of Freedom of Faith
Since the creation of Pakistan, anti-Ahmadiyya forces had always managed to think of and implement new ways and innovations to persecute Ahmadis. It seemed now that they had run short of ideas; but no, they struck again with a vengeance and established a new low in their vicious campaign. It was a well co-ordinated attack at Swat where the executive, the police, the clerics, the press and even the newly installed Khidmat Committee took part to share the discredit. The high command was exercised from Islamabad.
On 18 June 1998, the Daily ‘Ausaf’ of Islamabad reported in heavy print that: Qadianis have established in Swat a preaching headquarters; All actions are being taken in secret; Their library contains 1100 books; The authorities are negligent; The emotional flood of Swati people will be difficult to control. The Daily ‘Azadi’, on the same day, printed the same report and added, ‘Swati people are lovers of Islam; their emotional flood will not only damage the targeted sect but also national assets and properties’. It was amazing that these petty members of the yellow press simultaneously described the Ahmadiyya preaching drive as ‘secret’. Falsehood is reputed to have a short memory, but not so short.
The next move was also preplanned. The following day, on 19 June, an extremist by the name Syed Badr Zaman Sabar made a written complaint to the Superintendent Police, Mingora, who under the directions of Muhammad Yousaf, the Deputy Commissioner of Swat, organized a wholesome raid team. According to the Daily Ausaf of 20 June, the team comprised Magistrate Altaf Hussain, Khurshid Alt Khan DSP, Haq Nawaz CIA inspector, Zehrab Gul police inspector and for novelty, some members of the ‘Khidmat Committee’. Khidmat Committees had been recently installed as part of the National Agenda of Mr Nawaz Sharif the Prime Minister and their job is to ‘serve the people’. The raiding team raided the residence of Mr. Naimatulla, the local President of the Ahmadiyya Community and the living quarters of Mr. Karamatulla, the Ahmadiyya Missionary. As Mr. Naimatulla was not at home, the police arrested his son instead, Adil Suhail, who was a secondary school student. The youth, whose peace was disturbed at home by the raiding party, was charged under section PPC 107/151 for disturbing the peace. Mr. Karamatulla was also arrested and removed to an unknown location. A criminal case was registered against both Messers Naimatulla and Karamatulla, but initially the charges against them were kept confidential. Perhaps the police wanted to arrest the president before declaring the charge. Mr. Naimatulla came to know about the police search, so he avoided returning home and presenting himself.
The raiding party, according to the FIR and the press reports, confiscated scores of books written by the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, a book of Hadith, a pack of Ahmadiyya daily newspapers, letters, four audio cassettes, one video cassette, some books on history and a commentary on the Holy Quran, a few books written by non-Ahmadi authors, one on Sufism, the Bible and three photographs of Hadrat Ahmad (Founder of Ahmadiyya Community) . This inventory is commonly to be found in almost all Ahmadiyya Centers and in most Ahmadiyya homes where residents are well initiated in religion. A licensed pistol along with three bullets was also found; this belonged to Mr Naimatulla who was a well-placed respectable citizen and kept it for self-defense. One could ask; what is objectionable about having at home religious books, daily newspapers, and a licensed small arm? There was nothing illegal-the intruders found nothing objectionable-still they charged the innocent Ahmadis under PPC Sections 298C, 298B and 295A. The administration had no shame about framing charges for which they had no basis, no evidence — nothing. In any fair court, the authorities would lose the case on the first day and would be asked to pay damages. However, they feel safe in Pakistan where they know that only the defendant suffers even if he is not in the least guilty. The proxy complainant, in his application, rabidly demanded the victims to be charged under the Blasphemy Law, PPC 295-C and face a death punishment.
It was subsequently arranged that Mr. Karamatulla was shifted to Saidu Sharif to deny him easier access to his friends and well-wishers who could arrange some legal aid for him. Mr. Naimatulla stayed away from the police while the extremists and the yellow press howled for his blood. The expert coordinators followed up the operation to their satisfaction. The hired press printed news eulogizing the commendable action of the district authorities. Even the DSP Khurshid Ali Khan’s statement was reported in the Daily ‘Aaj’ of 20 June. A ‘Reporting Team’ reported that the eradication of the Qadiani Center had pleased the people of Swat to no end. A Swat Action Committee was formed which comprised a few clerics who demanded that Qadianis and Pervezis be banned in Swat. The clerics demanded that properties of Qadianis be seized by the State. The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Malakand received a delegation of the ulema and assured them appropriate action.
This year it was reported in the press that Mulla Fazalullah, the Maulana Radio established his writ in part of the Swat district and disputed the writ of the state in rest of the area. His vigilantes enforced his version of Sharia, abducted men, closed down girls’ schools, pulled down barber shops and destroyed CD and Video stores. When the security forces moved o restore the state writ, Fazalullah’s men resisted violently, blew up trucks carrying troops, abducted officials and beheaded them in public. You reap what you sow.
Hatred and violence preached in Islamabad
Authorities fail to take notice
Islamabad: It seems that authorities are incapable of learning lesson from bitter experience. Even the Red Mosque convulsion has failed to educate them in the basic wisdom of the idiom “to nip the evil in the bud”. The mullah of the Jame Masjid, Al-Falah in Sector G7/3-2 shouts himself hoarse in preaching hatred and violence against Ahmadis all the time. Although the president has repeatedly stated that sectarianism is a great threat to Pakistan, there is apparently none to put the mulla on leash. We report below extracts from the Friday sermon delivered by the Khateeb on October 26, 2007, (translation):
- The Holy Prophet organized an army of companions to fight Aswad Ansi, saying: “He is attempting to loot my prophethood (Daka dalna); he should be delivered to hell”. (The cleric committed the enormity of misquoting the Holy Prophet). A man named Feroz succeeded in doing that, and the Holy Prophet gave him the good news of a place in paradise.
- Siddique Akbar’s (Abu Bakar) major problem was the End of Prophethood. He sent an army of companions to fight Musailma. As a result of the fight, 23000 soldiers of the Musailma’s army were dispatched to hell while 1200 companions including 750 Huffaz (those who had committed the Quran to memory) became martyrs. He (Abu Bakr) cared little and said, “Let the Huffaz die, I shall not permit the stealing of the End of Prophethood”. (In fact, the above cases were about containing armed revolts against an established government. Ed)
- Qadianis in league with Jews are at liberty to spread disorder in the world. Seventy thousand Jews are supporting them. At the occasion of the readvent of Prophet Isa, the beasts of forest will learn to harm no one. No Christian will be spared. Mirza Qadiani wrote down insults in his books against Prophet Muhammad, all other prophets and all Ulama. He said that those who do not believe him to be a prophet of God, are dogs and their mothers are bitches.
- I urge you to rise, and finish them (Ahmadis) off.
Well, here is a mullah in the capital who openly incites the worshippers to undertake blood-letting on a large scale. It is reasonable to assume that intelligence personnel must have recorded his sermon and reported to their high-ups. What else is needed to firmly read the riot act to this rabble-rouser?
A Seerat Conference!
Rabwah; 31 March and 1 April 2007: Rabwah was once again targeted by anti-Ahmadi zealots by permission of authorities — this time in the name of Seerat-un-Nabi (The character and conduct of the Holy Prophet Pbuh).
It was announced by the organizers, who belong to the notorious Ahrar faction, that a two-day conference would be held to celebrate the birthday of the Holy Prophet, and a procession will be taken out from Bokhari mosque that will march through the high street of Chenab Nagar (Rabwah) and will be addressed on the subject of Seerat by the learned clerics (namwar rehnuma wa ulama karaam). (The daily Aman, Faisalabad; March 23, 2007)
Ahmadis have no objection if a community holds its religious conference or takes out a procession, so long as it sticks to its declared theme. However, at Rabwah, the mullah obtains the permission from authorities for a conference in some fair name, but invariably promotes a different agenda that is highly prejudicial to peace and harmony of this town. The proceedings on March 31 and April 1 were no different despite the undertakings given by the clerics to the authorities. There was hardly an element of Seerat in it.
What happened on these two days is reported below from the report published in the daily Nawa-i-Waqt on April 3, 2007. Inter alia following was said or done:
- Maulana Zahid-ur-Rashidi said that work is going on to promote the agenda of international Kufr (anti-Islam) and the American demand to undo Islamic elements in the Constitution of Pakistan. Hudood Ordinance (amendment) is a part of the same agenda. He said that IIC has no right to make recommendations that please the rulers, and call them Islamic.
- Qazi Arshad Ali Hussaini stated that those who create doubts on the issue of ‘end of prophethood’ are apostates and outside the pale of Islam.
- Maulana Abdul Rashid Ansari of Karachi stated that Qadianis are followers of a false prophet who invited people to Kufr, ignorance (dalalat) and misguidance.
- Malik Khalil Ahmad said that we shall defend the belief in the ‘end of prophethood’ with our blood as did the martyrs of 1953.
- Maulana Masood Dogar said that foreign NGOs and Qadiani ‘Humanity First’ are playing a dangerous game against national security and Khatme Nabuwwat by supporting the earthquake victims in Northern Areas.
- Ata-ul-Muhaiman Bokhari said that they are the guardians and gate-keepers of the Holy Prophet’s apostolic status and ‘end of prophethood’. … He said that Qadianiat was another name of deception and fraud (dajl-o-talbis). Some national and international powers would like to enable Qadianis have a political role in Pakistan; however unless Qadianis accept their position allotted to them through Islam and the Constitution, no let-up is possible in the present state of confrontation against them. etc.
The Nawa-i-Waqt further reported that:
- Participants of the procession were wearing red shirts, and waved red-colored flags bearing sign of crescent.
- The glorious procession shouted sky-high slogans Nara Takbir, Allah-o-Akbar, Khatme Nabuwwat and Martyrs of Khatme Nabuwwat – Long live (Zinda bad).
- Markets and bazaars had closed down and Qadiani men and women watched the procession through the windows.
- A Joint Action Committee meeting and convention was held of various student and youth organizations under the chairmanship of Khalid Shabbir Ahmad.
Following resolutions were reportedly passed at the conference, inter alia:
- This conference is greatly concerned by hostile activities of American imperialism against Muslims (Alam-i-Islam).
- Humans should not be decimated simply because they are Muslims.
- Ban on charity organizations that truly serve mankind, like Al Rashid Trust and Al Akhtar Trust should be lifted.
- Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, the hero of Pakistan should be set free, and those who disclosed atomic secrets should be punished. [The mulla blamed Dr Salam, an Ahmadi for selling Nuclear tools to the U.S. (sic)]
- Wide-spread promiscuity and lewdness supported in the name of Spring Festival should be put to end.
- Those picked up by secret agencies should be recovered.
- Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry should be set free, and given an open trial.
- Do not compromise national security to promote American interests. etc.
One may ask, was this compatible with the theme of this conference that was held in the name of Seerat? Apparently, none of the resolutions had a direct concern with the model and teachings of the Holy Prophet (Pbuh). Also, all that is quoted above is that was printable in the press; a great deal was said that is not print-worthy, however all that is available with security agencies in their audio and video recordings. The slander and lies of various speakers was appropriate only for the notorious Ahrari mullahs. For example, they again parroted the lie that 10,000 martyrs sacrificed their lives in the 1953 anti-Ahmadiyya agitation. The prestigious Court of Inquiry Report that took into account all the casualties in various locations and mentioned them town-wise amount to an exact figure of 37 rioters killed by the army and the police. The mullah knows the truth, but believes that his business flourishes only on feeding falsehood to masses.
The authorities should not only impress upon the organizers to stick to the declared theme of the conference, but also hold them accountable for straying into the domain of intolerance and communal hatred. Also, Rabwah may be spared from becoming the location where the mullah has the license to promote his questionable national and international political agenda.
Anti-Ahmadiyya Conference at Rabwah
Rabwah; 1 and 2 November 2007: Still another anti-Ahmadiyya conference was allowed and facilitated by the government at Rabwah for two days, on 1 and 2 November. It has become routine with authorities to disallow Ahmadis to hold their traditional annual conference in their own town, while they permit the Ulama twice or thrice a year to transport hundreds and thousands of madrassah students from other towns to Rabwah to hold anti-Ahmadi rallies and meetings. This is done by the government that beats the drum of enlightened moderation. Here we provide a brief report on this Conference, include what is noteworthy and exclude what is routine, scandalous and pure abuse by the clerics who converge to this town of peace-loving and law-abiding citizens.
The daily Ausaf, Lahore reported on November 1 that “Servants of Khatme Nabuwwat (End of Prophethood) are arriving (at Rabwah) from all over the country in groups. Activists of the Khatme Nabuwwat Youth Force have taken over the charge of security arrangements, under the leadership of Abdur Rauf Rufi.” It listed all the scores of mullahs that were scheduled to address the conference. Fed incorrectly and deliberately (as always) by the organizers of the Conference the daily listed a number of big names who had not even agreed this time to turn up; for example Qazi Hussain Ahmad, Liaquat Baloch etc.
The daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore in its issue of November 3, 207 reported the following statements at the Conference, inter alia:
- Pakistan is under the orders of the US. We shall undertake jihad against it. Americans want to impose their will all over the world. Bombing of madrassahs and the Swat Operation is going on to please the US. Muslims, fired by religious zeal will overturn through Jihad the aims and objects of Jews and Christians.
- Bombing of the Quran-reciters is going on to please the American president.
- World powers want to break up Pakistan, and their allies are busy in sowing disunity among Muslims. The Red Mosque incident and all that is going on FATA and Swat is on behest of the US.
- The US considers the Muslim world its maid (laundi). It wants to break it up (Alam Islam) through terror.
- Maulana Fazlur Rahman, while addressing the Friday congregation said that Qadianis were planted by the British. They are a cancer for the Muslim world. When the English occupied this land, they maintained the drive to put an end to Jihad. To achieve that they created the Qadiani mischief that till now is working against the national solidarity. As for incidents involving terrorism, Muslims have nothing to do with those. Qadianis should desist from conspiracies against the integrity of the country and Islam.
- Maulana Fazlur Rahman Darkhasti said that hundreds of girls died at Jamia Hafsa, but Allah’s succor never arrived. Why? Because, Allah is angry; when He is happy with us, things will change.
- As Qadianis are non-Muslims constitutionally, their places of worship should not look like Islamic mosques.
- A resolution was moved that the Muslims of Pakistan, in the forthcoming national elections, should vote only for candidates who are Islamists and have full faith in the dogma of the end of prophethood.
The daily Khabrain of November 3, 2007 reported the following from the proceedings of the conference, inter alia:
- A resolution was passed that the Sharia punishment of apostasy (Death) as recommended by Islamic Ideology Council of Pakistan should be implemented.
- (In a Punjabi language text book) the Qadiani belief regarding the death of Jesus is upheld as opposed to the confirmed faith of all Muslims that Jesus has ever remained alive, by: “Five hundred and seventy one years had passed since the death of Jesus,…” This sentence supports Qadiani belief (of Jesus having died). The writer of this story and its approving authority should be held accountable.
- So long as the mischief of Qadianism exists, this body pledges to oppose it through Sharia and law. Official military operations in Red Mosque, Madrassah Hafsa, Wana, Waziristan, Swat and other Tribal Areas were severely condemned, and prayers were offered for the salvation and higher status of the martyrs. The Government was told to stop the massacre of fellow Muslims…. In a resolution, great concern was shown for the suicide attacks, and the state policy was held responsible for these.
Apart from what was reported in the print media, following also took place:
– Mullah Alam Tariq said that the rulers, that have imposed themselves on us, are all without honour — so are our religious leaders.
– Maulvis Abrar Sultan and Abdul Karim Nadeem used slanderous language against the holy founder of Ahmadiyyat, and called him a liar and an apostate.
– A mullah who calls himself Commando Saifulla Akhtar also addressed the gathering.
– Mullah Hamadi said, “Qadianis are Satan, and the progeny of Satan.”
– A resolution was moved to severely condemn the worst pro-Qadiani stance (Bad tareen Qadianiyat Nawazi) of Pervaiz Ilahi, the Chief Minister of the Punjab.
– Chaudhry Zahur Ilahi, a forefather of Chaudhry Pervaiz Ilahi had rendered great services in the cause of End of Prophethood.
– Fazlur Rahman appealed the participants to vote for his JUI in the forthcoming national elections.
Some of banners hung at the venue displayed the following:
- I ask those who believe in the prophethood of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as to why have you allowed an evil, bad character, foul talker and a fraudulent man sit on the throne of Muhammad Arabi?
- The door of prophecy is closed after the Khatam an Nabiyyeen (Muhammad PBUH). At this the Muslim world is entirely agreed. So anyone who claims to receive a revelation after the Holy Prophet is an apostate and outside the fold of Islam.
- Boycott Qadiani and Jewish products.
- Millions of salutations to the martyrs for the honour of the Holy Prophet.
- Always keep clear of the trio: Qadian, Satan, Shezan.
The above leaves little doubt that these mullas are least concerned with matters spiritual; politics, national and international is their top and perhaps the only pursuit. It is strange on the part of the government to let them assemble and aggressively promote their politics in the guise of religion.
The speakers at the conference included, among others:
- Maulvi Fazlur Rehman, a leading political priest
- Maulvi Alam Tariq, a brother of Mullah Azam Tariq a leader of the banned SSP, who died a violent death
- Maulvi Farid Piracha, a leader of the extremist Jamaat Islami
- Maulvi Hamadi the inspiring spirit behind most of the murders of Ahmadis in Sindh
- Maulvi Abdul Karim Nadeem, a leading mullah in the art of profanity, slander and provocation
- Maulvi Akram Toofani (cyclone); he was imprisoned in England for weeks for his criminal activities. Etc.
It is noteworthy that the conference was held on November 1 and 2, and the General waited till November 3 to declare Emergency (plus). The mulla was grateful, and expressed his gratitude formally in a resolution: “This session of Aalami Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat is thankful to all participants and to all district and local officials for their cooperation in holding this conference….”.
Still more conferences
Mr. Bhutto was the first political leader in Pakistan to undertake a major thrust by the state in the religious affairs of its people. He orchestrated the move to have Ahmadis declared ‘Not-Muslim for the purpose of the Constitution and law’. This was done on September 7, 1974. Thereafter, mullas and their sympathizers in the print media annually commemorate this day. Anti-Ahmadi organizations hold conferences generally in the name of Khatme Nabuwwat (the end of prophethood). However, in this guise, they all pursue their own special agenda. This year is no exception. Clerics organized this event at certain locations. A brief report, mostly from the press, is made below.
Rabwah: The conference was held at Muslim Colony, Chenab Nagar. According to the daily Nawa-i-Waqt of September 8, 2007:
- The leading clerics stated that the mischief of Qadianiat had the backing of the forces of the Cross and Zion.
- The events of Jamia Hafsa and Red Mosque (of Islamabad) are a condemnable chapter of history.
- The Chenab Nagar environment was shaken by the resounding slogans of Khatme Nabuwwat – Zinda Baad (Long Live).
- People are converting to Islam en-masse in Europe and the West. The Zionists and Crusaders are nonplussed in the face of Islamic expansion. These scared elements are misrepresenting Islam through the media, and are accusing Muslims of terrorism. He (Maulana Hafeez Makki) said that the evil of Qadianiat, that is responsible for the break-up of Islamic unity, is supported by the Crusader, Zionist and Brahman.
- There is the planned conspiracy to pit the (Pakistan) army against its own people and create the same conditions in Pakistan as Iraq and Afghanistan. All this is at the behest of (the intelligence) agencies of the U.S. India and Israel.
- The next day, the same newspaper entered the following report, inter alia:
- Madrassahs have a foundational role in the defense of Islamic dogma and thought; it is for this reason that imperialists are busy in conspiring against them.
- Qadianis have always acted as agents of India, Israel and the U.S. They spy on behalf of RAW, MOSSAD and CIA, and having stolen important secrets pass them on to their masters.
- They (the government) have rained fire and lead on male and female students of Jamia Hafsa and the Lal Masjid and bulldozed the (building of the) great college of learning of the Islamic world. He (Qari Shabbir Ahmad Usmani) said that each and every minute of Pervez Musharraf’s rule is lamentable for Islam but a cause of joy for the infidels (Aalam-e-Kufr).
- He (Maulana Ilyas Chinioti) said that the rulers rained poisonous destabilizing gases and explosives using gunship helicopters, tanks, cannons, chemical bombs and mortars, and martyred hundreds of innocent, pure, pious, resolute, angelic and chaste boys and girls and harmless children (at the Lal Masjid, Islamabad).
One may ask the question, as to how all of this is connected to Khatme Nabuwwat (the end of prophethood) in whose name they get the license to hold these conferences? What the Nawa-i-Waqt did not report was the following, inter alia:
- Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was an agent of the British. — Qari Allah Yar
- Qadianis were Kafir (infidels) yesterday, they are Kafir today, (and will always remain designated as such). — Qari Shabbir Usmani
- Mirzais, Jews, Aga Khanis are all anti-Islam and anti-Muslim. — Abdul Hafeez Makki
- Our rulers have no honour (ghairat); they only strive to please the Americans. Abdul Rashid Ghazi is a martyr. His blood will be fruitful.
- The U.S. is determined to destroy Islam and Muslims, but the moths (perwanay) of Khatme Nabuwwat will dash their designs. — Zia-ul Hasan of Faisalabad
- Qadianis are Kafir, theirs is a false prophet, and they are outside the pale of Islam. — Rafiq Jami of Faisalabad
- Pervaiz Musharraf is not a Syed. He has given key posts to Hindus, Christians and Qadianis. — Mulla Allah Ditta of Qasur
- The President is responsible for the death of four thousand children (at Islamabad). — Maulvi Muavia Azam Tariq of Jhang
- The war will continue till the destruction of America — slogans
Following resolutions were moved and passed at the conference, inter alia:
- A religion column should be added to computerized identity cards.
- The government should impose an immediate ban on the transmission of MTA (the Ahmadiyya TV channel) in Pakistan.
- As per confirmed reports, the Qadiani lobby was behind the Lal Masjid tragedy.
- The long-term detention of Dr Qadeer is extremely regrettable.
- Punishment of Apostasy in accordance with Shariah law (death, according to these mullas) should be implemented as recommended by the Islamic Ideology Council.
- The government should take over the Qadiani Auqaf (charities etc).
- We salute the sacrifices of the martyrs of Lal Masjid and the courage of Maulana Abdul Aziz in the service of imposition of Shariah.
- We strongly condemn the forays of American forces in Tribal Areas and violation of the international border. …
This was a glimpse of the conference held in the name of the End of Prophethood. Authorities permit this every year at Rabwah while denying Ahmadis the right to hold peaceful religious conferences of their own.
Chiniot, Jhang, Chichawatni, Faisalabad, Tando Adam: Similar conferences were permitted by the authorities and held at these locations. The mullas at Tando Adam went much farther by asserting:
- It is the duty of an Islamic government to kill false claimants of prophecy.
- The credit of having the Qadianis declared Non-Muslims goes to thirty thousand martyrs of the 1953 Movement. (A high level judicial inquiry counted all the dead as thirty-seven only. Ed.)
- Qadianis are not only Kafir, they are Wajib ul Qatl (must be put to death).
- The Qadiani problem is not over; it is a cancer. We shall now start a movement to have them declared Wajib ul Qatl.
- September 7 should be declared public holiday and be celebrated officially.
- Qadianis should be removed from all posts in the Army.
- The Swedish ambassador in Pakistan should be deported.
The daily Express, Karachi; September 9, 2007
This conference was addressed by mullas Saeed Jalalpuri, Mian Hamadi, Abdur Razzaq Meekho, etc.
Anti-Ahmadiyya sectarian conferences at various locations
Chichawatni (District Sahiwal), Ahmad Nagar (near Rabwah): The declared policy of the government is that extremism and sectarianism will be suppressed. “We must deal with extremism …. Extremism spawns terrorism”, said General Musharraf (The Dawn; January 30, 2006). However, the authorities expressly permitted the notorious Majlis Ahrar Islam to hold an open-air anti-Ahmadiyya Khatme Nabuwwat Conference at Chichawatni in the third week of March, and later mullahs assembled in great numbers also in Ahmad Nagar in the suburbs of Rabwah to indulge in unrestricted slander and hate propaganda against Ahmadis. They also promoted their international and national political agenda at these occasions. Reports of these conferences published in vernacular press are reported below.
Professedly the Chichawatni conference was called in the name of Shuhadaa Khatme Nabuwwat martyrs in the cause of ‘end of prophethood’ movement in 1953. The lie was mentioned here also that 10 thousand were martyred in 1953 (The daily Jang, Lahore; March 16, 2007). Obviously the grossly exaggerated figure of 10,000 martyrs promotes hatred not only against Ahmadis but primarily against the departments of the state which were told to restore peace and order. Further it was mentioned that “Mushahid Hussain Syed has made a statement in press that the Blasphemy law will be revised. This has disturbed the entire nation.” Also, the Ulama and top leaders of student organizations “expressed their determination that they will not spare any sacrifice in the cause of Islam, Pakistan, End of Prophethood and the Movement to Protect the Honor of Companions of the Holy Prophet.” According to the daily Pakistan, Lahore of March 17, Maulana Abdul Hafeez Makki said, “The entire Realm of Disbelief, including the US is greatly upset at the increasing population of Muslim Ummah, while Muslim states, and Pakistani rulers in particular are busy in tearing apart their Islamic identity in their servitude to Jews and Christians, in order to sustain their personal political power”. In blatant violation of Universal Declaration of Human Rights the mullahs passed the following resolutions at Chichawatni Conference and had them published in the daily Pakistan:
- Qadianis should be stopped by law to own up the Islamic Creed, Islamic usages and Islamic epithets.
- Qadiani periodicals should be banned and their presses sealed.
- Qadianis holding important key posts should be fired.
- The Anti-Qadiani Act should be vigorously enforced.
- The Qadiani TV channel (MTA) should be banned.
- Qadiani places of worship which resemble mosques should be demolished.
- The Qadiani Community and its auxiliary organizations should be declared illegal, in order to control terrorism.
- Sharia punishment (of death) for apostasy should be legislated and enforced.
If the above is not extremism, what else is? Khalid Hasan was on the mark when he wrote in The Friday Times of January 13-19, 2006: “Enlightened Moderation is no more than a pair of words flung at us every day, but we see little evidence of it on the ground.”
The conference at Ahmad Nagar indulged in identical rhetoric and rant. The mullahs there went a step further to also demand that:
- The Rabwah land of 1034 acres should be confiscated from the Qadiani community and resold to residents at current rates.
- Muslims should implement a social boycott of Qadiani and Lahori Mirzais.
- Qadianis should be divested of the Roads and parks land of Chenab Nagar (Rabwah).
- The Islamic Republic of Pakistan should take over Qadiani endowments and charities. Etc.
The daily Khabrain, Lahore; March 19, 2007
The Pakistani mullah, like his Taliban brethren in Kabul (in 1996 – 2001) thinks that he is living on a distant planet completely isolated from the rest of mankind, and is free to say and do anything bizarre, absurd or evil.
It would be appropriate to mention these leaders of obscurantism in dispatch and place them on record for history. These were:
Mullahs Ata-ul-Moheman Bokhari, Zahid-ur-Rashdi, Abdul Hafeez Maki, Javed Hussain Shah (Faisalabad), Abrar A Zaheer, M Irshad, Ejaz A Raza, Saifulla Khalid, Abdul Latif Khalid Cheema, Hafiz M Qasim, Moavia Rashid, Javed Hussain Shah.
At Ahmad Nagar: Fayyaz-ul-Hassan, M. Tahir Shah, Tahir Abbas, Saif Ali, Moeenuddin Golarvi, Amanullah Hashmi etc.
Lal Masjid (The Red Mosque) of Islamabad
The management of the Lal Masjid of Islamabad, which in July 2007 was a mini-apocalyptic scene of worldwide attention, has a direct link with anti-Ahmadiyya history and even persecution. It is therefore appropriate to place on record briefly some authentic reports from the national vernacular and English press for future reference.
The origin: At the time of shift of the capital to Islamabad, one Maulvi Abdullah was called up by authorities from Karachi and appointed Khateeb of this mosque in Sector G6-4, on the recommendation of Maulvi Yousaf Binori of Jamia Binoria, who was reputed for his aggressive anti-Ahmadiyya mindset. Abdullah was an ex-student of his madrassah. He was born in District Rajanpur. He initially went to a madrassah Qasim-ul-Ulum, Multan, established by Mufti Mahmud, father of the present Chief of JUI (F) Maulvi Fazlur Rahman. On account of Abdullah’s appointment there, the Lal Masjid and its madrassahs got committed to the current Deobandi extremist version of Islam.
Thereafter: During the anti-Ahmadiyya agitation of 1974, the Lal Masjid became the headquarters of anti-Ahmadi activists in Islamabad. It played a significant role in events that led to the Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan, whereby Ahmadis were wrongfully declared Not-Muslims .
Ziaul Haq years: Gen. Ziaul Haq chose religion to support his political ambitions; that suited Maulvi Abdullah perfectly. Thus the state and high-church Lal Masjid cooperated to great mutual advantage. The Lal Masjid expanded its complex, and usurped state land in a big way. Jamia Hafsa (for women) and Jamia Faridia (for men) were established with official connivance and support. Abdullah developed close relationship with security agencies during the anti-USSR jihad in Afghanistan. Funds were no longer a problem. Abdullah took up the theme of End of Prophethood in his sermons and agitated the anti-Ahmadiyya sentiments of his flock, especially in 1984 when the General promulgated the notorious Ordinance XX . Dr Israr Ahmad, while addressing a condolence meeting at Lahore for the departed ‘martyrs’ of Lal Masjid mentioned the services of the clergy of this mosque to the cause of ‘end of prophethood’.
With the passage of time Abdullah was greatly influenced by Mawdudi’s writings. He got convinced that a theocratic state was the ultimate answer to society’s problems. He reportedly met Osama bin Laden and Mulla Umar in 1998.
Abdullah’s heirs and legacy: Abdullah had two sons, Abdul Aziz and Abdul Rashid. Aziz took up religion as profession, while Rashid preferred secular education and a liberal life-style. Rashid took up a government job and also worked for UNESCO for a while. His father was not happy with him, and reportedly disinherited him. Abdullah was murdered in 1998 in dubious circumstances. He left behind a vast estate, and Abdul Rashid, after serious consideration, decided to turn to religion and share the great prosperity and influence which his elder brother was set to wield. On account of his secular education and worldly experience, he could be an asset to the extended empire of the Lal Masjid. So Abdul Aziz accommodated him as his Deputy Khateeb, although the younger brother had little religious education and rarely led the prayers, but he did grow an impressive beard for the new appointment. Aziz occasionally delivered fiery sermons about ‘the end of prophethood’ that got a mention in the press, which disturbed Ahmadis residing in the capital.
Further development of this Islamist enterprise: The two brothers, wielding religious power and special contacts improved family fortunes manifold. Aziz’s wife Majidah (later given the Arabic name Umme Hassan), who had no formal religious education, was appointed the principal of Jamia Hafsa. The student population of this madrassah quadrupled to 4500 within 9 years. The electricity bill alone of the establishment amounted to Rs. 150,000 per month. It is reasonable to assess that the routine expenses of the complex were no less than 10 million rupees a month, as most of the students of the two madrassah received free board and lodging, and there were no tuition fees. Maulvi Abdullah’s progeny was rolling in money. No wonder when Maulvi Aziz moved, he had a contingent of armed guards escorting him. His daughter when captured was loaded with expensive jewelry.
Power corrupts: All that money and clerical power gave new ambitions to the two brothers of the Lal Masjid. They now wanted greater visible role on the national stage. By 2007 the brothers had become entirely committed toward turning Pakistan into a Taliban style Islamic state. They took to supporting the Jihadi sentiment, so popular with religious extremists. They even declared that troops killed in fighting militancy in FATA were not Shaheed (martyrs), which upset the army officials greatly. Islamabad authorities’ decision to undo illegal extension of seven mosques in Islamabad provided the duo an opportunity to show their clout. In defiance they told Jamia Hafsa girl students to occupy the nearby children’s public library, in January 2007. The rest is well-documented history. During the next five months, the Lal Masjid and its madrassahs took up threatening and militant posture. They demanded that Shariah be imposed in the country within one week, and Islamabad should be cleansed of all houses of ill-repute. They abducted women on charge of running a brothel, kidnapped policemen as hostages, issued warnings to CD and video shop-owners, issued Fatwa against a women federal minister who then had to resign, raided a massage parlour and kidnapped Chinese nationals. The writ of the state was openly challenged. The two clerics received great publicity in media. They loved it, and overdid it. To show off their militant intentions, they put up visible barricades and fortifications. The authorities had to send security forces to encircle the Lal Masjid complex, which led to exchange of fire on July 3 in which 12 persons were killed and 150 injured, and the militants set fire to numerous nearby government offices and buildings. That precipitated the eventual clash. In the preceding days and weeks, Maulvi Aziz declared Jihad and pledged ‘thousands of suicide attacks’ if the government tried to shut down the madrassahs. He exhorted his students to be ready for Shahadat (martyrdom) and told them not to give up the struggle till the Shariah had been imposed in the country. The confrontation became very ugly, and a clash imminent. Last minute effort was made to come to peace, however Ghazi demanded safe passage for himself and his band which was not acceptable to the authorities. A curfew was imposed in Sector G6. The action started in the wee hours of July 4.
4 July to 10 July, 2007:
July 4: Maulvi Aziz was arrested while trying to flee in burqa.
July 5: Minister Ijazul Haq said that Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi was holding girl students as hostages. Security forces urged all the resistance to give up and surrender, and extended the dead-line repeatedly. Twelve hundred availed the offer and came out, however a big number remained inside voluntarily or against their will. Aziz appeared for an interview on PTV television in burqa.
July 6: According to Ghazi more than 450 men and women students had written their last wills. “We are ready for the final round,” he said.
July 7/8: Security forces punched holes in outer wall to facilitate escape of hostages. “335 died,” claimed Ghazi; the government denied. Ghazi threatens Islamabad with the fate of Baghdad.
July 8: Heavy exchange of fire continues. Reportedly 12 girl students took to hunger strike to demand leave from madrassah, while three girls trying to escape were hit in the legs by the militants. Maulvi Ayub, the muezzin and a supervisor of the militants is discovered to have fled from the mosque. Three Chinese killed in Peshawar.
Wafaqul Madaras clerics warn the government of madrassah backlash if mosque operation not halted. Lt Col Haroon Islam, commanding officer of the security force is killed by sniper fire, and another officer injured.
July 9: Supreme Court took suo motu notice of Lal Masjid situation. “The government should explain how did the weapons reach the Lal Masjid”, asked Justice Abbasi. Shujaat-led team negotiates with Rashid Ghazi; cleric to be given option of house arrest or exile.
July 10: Negotiations fail. Security forces (SSG) launch final assault. Rashid Ghazi is killed. Stiff resistance by militants. Eleven security personnel killed in action. Scores of defenders die including Ghazi’s mother and his nephew Hassan. Aziz’s wife and daughters surrender. 137 men, women and children recovered and taken in custody. Life in Islamabad is paralyzed. Curfew remains imposed in Sector G6.
July 11: Clean-up operation continued. Booby traps, bunkers, fortified basements and trained militants make the task of security forces difficult. Later, resistance was wiped out, claimed officials.
Noteworthy reports in the press, and observations:
- Since long the two clerics had played host to many militant/Jihadi outfit. Some of these were holed up there during the action days of July. Aziz developed close relations with Mulla Fadalulla of Swat, Fazlur Rehman Khalil of a banned outfit, and other militant groups.
- Earlier, Maulvi Aziz claimed over 300 Basharats (sacred dreams) wherein the Holy Prophet visited him and supported his mission. “Was this the mother of all farces, or what? Certainly, the facts are disquieting,” wrote an editor of a weekly.
- On July 3, armed clash was initiated by 150 madrassah students when they attacked a security picket. The students attacked office of Ministry of Environment and set it ablaze.
- The two maulvis and armed guards detained women and children and used them as hostages. Some students’ parents who went inside were not allowed to come out.
- Aziz came out in consultation with Rashid; he also brought along his daughter Amina out of harm’s way, leaving others’ daughters to offer the great sacrifice.
- Lal Masjid complex had hoarded automatic weapons, rocket launchers, anti-tank mines, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, assault rifles, suicide vests, plenty of ammunition, hand grenades, gas masks etc. Commentators ask how all those explosives and weapons got there despite the central location of the complex in the capital.
- Aziz stated in his interview, “We have a relationship of love and affection with Jihadi organizations; … We have infused the girl students with motivation for Jihad; … We love the Taliban; … Al-Qaeda is an organization that is propagating the message of jihad, and it is a positive thing to have links to jihad; … Taking photos is not allowed in Islam; … Our women can use chemical weapons. We have trained them in this at a secret location.” However, Aziz advised the students to surrender in his PTV interview on July 5.
- Rashid Ghazi expressed complete confidence in Chaudhry Shujaat.
- Federal Minister Ejazul Haq admitted in an interview that in an incident in which Rashid Ghazi’s car carrying a cache of arms had been impounded by security personnel, he had secured his release from criminal proceedings.
- Aziz was wanted in 25 criminal and terrorism cases including plotting terrorist attacks, kidnapping of police and the Chinese and snatching of state property.
- Aziz, while escaping had taken away Rs. 241,000. His daughter was wearing jewelry worth many hundreds of thousand of rupees.
- The two madrassas encroached on a total of 9,094.45 square yards (18 acres) of land.
- Maulvi Aziz was the chief promoter of Shahadat among all his students and staff. However, he, his wife and daughters successfully avoided Shahadat (martyrdom). The entire family recommended the easy way to paradise. The two brothers succeeded in getting hundreds dispatched to the Hereafter.
- Even before the looming operation started, the Lal Masjid family, the mullas of Wafaq ul Madaras and others were laying claim to the future of the Mosque and the madrassahs. Their property worth is in hundreds of million.
- It is noteworthy that not a single suicide attack was attempted during the entire episode. Aziz had threatened the authorities with hundreds.
- During the negotiations, Ghazi demanded safe passage for foreigners as well. The authorities claimed at the end of operation that five foreigners had been killed.
- In the TV interview on July 5, Aziz kept wearing lower part of his burqa and stated, inter alia, “…When I saw that lives were being lost, I consulted Abdul Rashid Ghazi about slipping away quietly. … We wanted to pressure the government; government buildings accidentally came our way (of arson)… My wife was among those teachers who were not letting the girl students come out; they (the girls) were being lovingly told that this was the time to offer sacrifices. … Islamisation is the responsibility of the government; however anyone can provide leadership and show the way. …There are no militants in the mosque…”. Prior to the final assault of the security forces, Rashid Ghazi was willing to give-up provided he was given a safe passage and not arrested. The intelligentsia expressed their concern about the type and quality of leadership that the promoters of Shariah are able to offer to the people of Pakistan.
Op-ed: The policies, claims and slogans of Abdul Aziz and his brother Abdul Rashid Ghazi, if examined in the light of their conduct of the past two or three days subsequent to the siege of the Lal Masjid, it becomes absolutely clear how ignorant of ground realities are these so-called leaders who promote their business in the name of religion and urge simple folk to lay down their lives. The leaders of Taliban had hundreds of thousand of innocent Afghans killed only by raising slogans, and turned their country into a vast ruin. The same is being done, on a smaller scale, by the Ghazi brothers of Lal Masjid who have no understanding of the essentials of Shariah that illegal construction on someone else’s land cannot be called a Masjid, and also if you lock-up the doors of a mosque and station armed militants on its barricaded roof then it is no longer a mosque — it become a stronghold or a military post.
Dr. Mehdi Hasan in the daily Waqt, Lahore; July 7, 2007
It is not enough to ask why the Lal Masjid brothers were trying to run a state within a state, or why were they taking the law in their hands. They had no business to do that either but that’s hardly the point. Why were they allowed to take the law in their hands? Who set them up as moral vigilantes? Who allowed them, or facilitated them, to carry on their charade for so long? …
So what was really going on? Beset on all sides by problems, did the government simply sleepwalk its way into this mess? Or were hidden hands playing the Red Mosque brothers and pushing them to a point where they could be dealt with in such a manner so as to bring maximum advantage to the government?
Ayaz Amir in the Dawn of July 7, 2007
But mark our words; Mr. Aziz will be back because the clerics will always remain on the right side of Agencies.
Editorial of the Daily Times; July 6, 2007
Those who supported the Lal Masjid clerics for more negotiations, safe passage for them, opposed Operation Silence (or Sunrise), etc:
– Hafiz Saeed of Jamaat Al-Da`wa
– Mr. Rafiq Tarar, former President
– Qazi Hussain Ahmad of Jamaat Islami; also Liaquat Bloch, Prof Ghafoor Ahmad, Hafiz Idrees, Fareed Piracha, Amir-ul-Azeem, Abdul Malik
– Wafaqul Madaras al Arabia. Maulvis Saleemulla Khan, Hasan Jan, Hanif Jallandhri, Dr Abdur Razzaq Sikandar
– Mufti Rafi Usmani of Jamia Darul Ulum, Karachi
– Dr Israr Ahmad of Tanzeem Islami, Lahore
– Justice (R) Maulvi Usman Taqi
– Maulvi Samiul Haq of JUI (S)
– Maulvi Fazlur Rehman, Amanullah Haqqani, Kashif Azami and others of JUI(F)
– Maulvi Pir Saifullah of Jamia Manzur ul Islamia. Also Maulvi Abdur Rahman and Abdur Rauf Farooqi
– Lahore Ulama Council
– Hafiz Hussain Ahmad
– Tahaffuz Namus Rasalat Mahaz: Engr. Saleemulla, Mukhtar Rizvi etc.
– Gen (R) Hamid Gul
– Mazari tribe of D G Khan, Rajanpur
– Maulvi Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianwi, Sh. Hakim Ali, Abdul Ghafur Jhangvi and others of the Sipah Sahaba
– Imran Khan, Chief of Tehrik Insaaf
– The mullas of Chiniot (a town close to Rabwah), namely Ilyas Chinioti, Ayub Chinioti, Abdul Waris, Amin Gauhar, Abdul Karim; also Sadiq Mujahid, Jamil Fakhri etc.
Those who openly condemned religious extremism:
– Mr. Altaf Hussain of MQM
– Ms Benazir and Amin Fahim of PPP
– Jamaat Ahle Sunnat, Lahore: Allamas Hussain uddin Shah, Mazhar Saeed Kazmi, Riaz Hussain Shah, Turabul Haq Qadri, Abdul Malik, Bagh Ali Rizvi and many other Ulama
– Javed Ahmad Ghamdi and Rafi Usmani (ulama)
– Supreme Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya community
Lessons learnt: There are obvious and plenty of lessons for those who want to learn them. There is no need to state the obvious.
Epilogue: The people of Pakistan want to know from General Musharraf, Shaukat Aziz, the military, ISI, et al, whether the legacy of General Ziaul Haq will continue to be honoured or will Pakistan and its people be placed first, since it has been irrefutably established that both are diametrically opposite.
Qazi Faez Isa; Tracing the roots of the malaise; the daily Dawn of August 6, 2007