Great mischief afoot
Rabwah; December 28, 2014: According to a press report in the daily Jang, Lahore, Majlis Ahrar Islam and Tehrik Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat intend holding a conference in a mosque in Rabwah on 12 Rabiul Awwal (Birthday of the Holy Prophet). According to this report the organizers expect a large number of bands (Qafiley) from all the four provinces and Azad Kashmir to attend this conference. Syed Ata-ul-Mohaiman Bokhari, based in Multan, will preside over the rally.
Following is noteworthy in this context:
- Ahrar are the infamous party who precipitated severe anti-Ahmadi riots in the Punjab in 1953. The worthy judges of Lahore High Court who held inquiry in those riots placed the following on record in their historical report:
“The conduct of the Ahrar calls for the strongest comment and is especially reprehensible. We can use no milder word for the reason that they debased a religious issue by pressing it into service for a temporal purpose and exploited religious susceptibilities and sentiments of the people for their personal ends.” p. 259
- Ahrar suffered great disgrace then, but have resurfaced in recent years. As before they use their age-old tactics under the guise of ‘Khatme Nabuwwat’ to re-establish themselves.
- After the recent Peshawar tragedy, the civil society and apparently the state too intend to suppress the evil of sectarian violence. Mullas aim to blunt this measure, through the loopholes of Holy Prophet’s birthday, Honour of the Prophet, End of Prophethood etc.
- The question is why a Multan-based organization be allowed to assemble in a town so far as Rabwah, District Chiniot to celebrate a religious occasion?
- Also why should non-Ahmadi bands and groups from all over Pakistan assemble in Rabwah where 95% population is Ahmadi?
- They have declared in press (the daily Al-Sharaq; December 28, 2014) that they “will take out a huge procession unlike any previously (faqid-ul-misal); it will sortie from Masjid Ahrar, and the Ahrar and Khatme Nabuwwat leaders will address the Qadianis at Aqsa Chowk and Evan Mahmud and extend them the usual offer to join Islam.”
Ahmadiyya central office in Rabwah has sent a letter to all relevant authorities urging them to take preventive action, especially these days when national, political and religious environment is heavily polluted and greatly sensitive.
Obviously these clerics have malafide intentions and plan to foil state and society’s restrictions on sectarian mischief. It is thus a test case for the authorities to show that their thunders are not for media consumption only; they mean business.
Victimization in Sarshamir Road, Faisalabad, Punjab
Chak No. 84 J/B, District Faisalabad; August 2014: Opposition to the Ahmadiyya community in Chak No. 84 J/B, Sarshamir Road, Faisalabad verged on extreme. Opponents are led by a cleric of the Ahle Sunnat faction, Qari Sajjad Ahmad Rizvi, who is Imam of the ‘Jamia Masjid School Wali’. He misquoted writings of the Founder of Ahmadiyyat and thereby incited his followers to violence against Ahmadis. Every Friday, he held a gathering (mehfil) in one of the squares of the village, used obnoxious language and publicly issuedfatwas that Ahmadis werekafir (infidels), and thereby Wajib-ul-Qatl (must be killed). On 8th August 2014, he gathered a crowd and used filthy language against the Founder of Ahmadiyyat, and incited the audience to violence against the Jama‘at Ahmadiyya.
This was reported to the local police station that took no action against the mulla.
On Sunday, 10th August 2014, an opponent of Ahmadiyyat, Shabbir, from the same group, came over to the house of Mr. Abdul Wahid, leader of the local Ahmadi youth organisation, and accused him of proselytizing to his wife. Mr. Wahid replied: ‘I never preached to your wife on my own. I only answered some questions she herself raised about Ahmadiyyat. We do not proselytize because the state and the Jama‘at both have told us not to’. At this, Shabbir retorted that Ahmadis were kafir (infidels) and liars. Meanwhile, another non-Ahmadi man, Rana Abdul Jabbar, came over and admonished Shabbir over his behaviour.
Shabbir left, only to return with a crowd of charged bigots. The crowd tried to break open the door of the house of Mr. Abdul Wahid. They used abusive language against the Ahmadis. At this, three non-Ahmadi youth who were neighbours of Mr. Abdul Wahid came out of their home and told the crowd, “You are using abusive language standing in our block, right in front of our homes. We will not spare you.” The angry three boys held sticks etc, in their hands, so the crowd quickly dispersed. Ahmadis dialed 15 and informed the police of the situation, whereupon policemen from Thikriwala police station and some policemen of the Elite Force arrived at the scene in their vehicles.
The Inspector asked Mr. Abdul Wahid about what had happened. He and the local Ahmadi president apprised the police of the hateful and provocative activities of Qari Sajjad Rizvi. The police were informed that the Qari conducted a Jalsa in the village every Friday and incited the people to violence against the Jama‘at Ahmadiyya. It was for this reason that the three non-Ahmadi youth decided to act against the Qari and his crowd.
The local Ahmadis told the Inspector: “We are a peaceful people, and want to live in peace. If the non-Ahmadis do not consider us Muslim, or are unwilling to socialize with us, we have no objection;but, they must let us live peacefully in the village.” At this, the Inspector said that the non-Ahmadis in general want the same. However, he told both parties to come to the police station on 11 August 2014 for resolution of the conflict. He added, “But, if the parties failed to reach an agreement, 40-50 people from both sides would be sent behind bars.” Justice – the Punjab Police style!
As told by the Inspector, twelve members of the local Ahmadi Jama‘at arrived at the police station at ten o’clock the next day. However, no representative of their opponents turned up. The Inspector again required both the parties to report to him at 5 p.m. This time, the non-Ahmadis did turn up. The S.H.O keenly listened to both the parties and reprimanded the non-Ahmadi mulla: ‘You are lying while you are Muslim, whereas the Qadianis, who are non-Muslim, are telling the truth’.
Later, the S.H.O made peace between the parties, and obtained assurances from both sides on a stamp paper that they would neither utter any word against each other nor make any hostile speeches.
This was not a bad handling as compared to many other such occasions where the police, intimidated by the mullas, imposed unjust penalties and restrictions on the marginalized Ahmadis.
Religion conscripted to serve personal vendetta
Jhangar Hakim Wala, District Nankana; December 5, 2014: Mr. Zaheer Abbas, president of the local Ahmadiyya Jamaat, has a land dispute with someone who is a bitter enemy of the Ahmadis. The case was to be heard on 5 December 2014. Mr. Abbas asked the administration to record the parties’ statements separately. When the statement of Mr. Abbas was being recorded the opponents brought along the president of Khatme Nabuwwat District Nankana, Abdul Majeed with his fellows. They threatened the witnesses of Mr. Abbas and bad-mouthed the Ahmadiyya community and hurled abuses.
They also threatened to kill their contestants, at which Mr. Abbas returned home. The case is still open.
Fabrication and falsehood – beyond limit
Lahore; June 24, 2014:The daily Islam, in its issue of June 24, 2014 published an op-ed written by one Mufti Muhammad Muawiya Ismail of Mankot. This op-ed essentially comprises a story with little merit, except that it deserves a place in archives as a sample of mendacity and cock-and-bull story-telling undertaken by some mullas in the second decade of 21st century in a newspaper in the Islamic Republic, that has named itself ‘Islam’ and places its space at the disposal of such liars.
The op-ed makes the following opening statement:
“Suddenly there was a loud sound of sobbing in the class, it made the lecturer Sir Shafiq and all the boys look in that direction, in surprise. Sir Shafiq, who was giving the lecture, went silent.”
The story then mentions that this event happened in a ‘most prestigious college’ of some city. Sir Shafiq was a ‘very pious lecturer’. As usual, he was explaining a verse of the Holy Quran when:
“The lecture turned to the issue of Khatme Nabuwwat (End of Prophethood) and Sir Shafiq explained it in great length and informed the students in detail of the bogus arguments given by the Pakistani Musailma Kazzab (Musailma the liar). Some students appeared to have heard of these detail for the first time (in life). Sir Shafiq mentioned in detail all the Qadiani products and said that Muslims’ sense of honour (Ghairat) demanded that they should never use these products.”
The lecture content in classes held in this ‘most prestigious science college’ is noteworthy.
The story goes on to tell that at that stage the sobbing was heard from a corner in the class. This sobbing then turned into loud wailing (Talibilm ba awaz bland roney laga). “At this Sir Shafiq also shed tears and he used a handkerchief to wipe his eyes.” When all eyes were at him the sobbing boy (Muhammad Zain) stood up and started telling his story.
Briefly, Zain told the class that he hailed from a Qadiani family. His father and uncle were both missionaries. As a child he experienced hate and discrimination from other (non-Ahmadi) boys in the street. That made him take interest in the two different belief systems of the local communities.
According to Zain (or the mental fabrication of Mufti Muawiya): “A few months ago my father and uncle went out on a proselytizing tour. On the way they had a terrible accident. My uncle did not survive the injury while my father barely escaped death with a chopped hand. There was great loud lamentation in our house. My uncle’s dead body was brought home. Everyone was sad. I was there, and sitting there I noticed that there was some movement under the shroud of the deceased. First I took it as just my imagination, but then when I moved the sheet off my uncle’s face, I nearly fainted. All those present there got scared and moved back as we saw that my uncle’s face was undergoing a transformation. His face was turning into that of a swine. A little later it became exactly that of a swine (thori der kay baad un ki shakal bilkul khinzir ki tareh ho gai.) Now no one was prepared to go near him. At last we sought help from outsiders who dumped my uncle’s dead body in a pit, without the ritual bath and coffin (bagair ghusal o koffin).
“The next day huge worms appeared and fell out of my father’s wound, as if they were emerging from their holes…. I then told my papa, ‘Believe it or not; we are in the wrong, I am not going to remain a member of our false religion. I am going to convert into a Muslim…. Eventually all members of my family became Muslims. At this I raised the slogan: Khatme Nabuwwat and everyone shouted Zindah Baad (long live).”
To avoid any inquiry and research in this fabricated story, the Mufti has made sure that:
- The name of the city where this ‘most prestigious college’ is located is not mentioned.
- The names of the father and the uncle who met the Divine wrath are not mentioned.
- The name of the college where the story was told by Zain is not revealed.
- The hometown of Zain where the entire family got converted to ‘Islam’ is not given.
- The month, not even the year of this yarn is mentioned.
It should be mentioned that the Ahmadiyya community is not aware of any accident involving two missionaries, where one died and the other lost his hand. It is now for the liar ‘Mufti’ to produce the father of the mythical Zain, who survived minus one hand.
Maulana Fazlur Rahman (JUI) calls on the Amir of International Khatme Nabuwwat Movement, in Saudi Arabia
Makka: The daily Mashriq, Lahore published the following in its issue of January 17, 2014:
“Maulana Fazl ur Rahman’s meeting with Maulana Abdul Hafeez Makki the Chief Amir of the International Khatme Nabuwwat Movement, in Makka Mukarrama
Maulana Fazl ur Rahman, the Amir of JUI called on Maulana Abdul Hafeez Makki the Chief Amir of the International Khatme Nabuwwat Movement at his residence in Makka Mukarrama. They held in-depth discussions on the present situation in the Muslim World (Aalam e Islam). They restated their resolve to hound the Qadianiat. Maulana Muhammad Makki the Sheikh of the Holy Kaaba, Maulana Dr. Saeed Ahmad Inayatulla, Malik Muhammad Makki, Sahibzada Muhammad Umar, Maulana Qari Sohail Ahmad, Maulana Abdur Rauf, Hafiz Muhammad Tahir and others also attended the meeting. At that occasion Maulana Abdul Hafeez Makki stated that the Muslim Ummah should join hands to safeguard the dogma of ‘end of prophethood’ and the honour of the Prophethood and the Respected Companions; also action should be taken to block all mischief (fitna) and disbelief.”
In our report for the month of December 2013 we mentioned that Abdul Hafeez Makki organized an ‘end of prophethood’ conference in South Africa which was attended by a big Pakistani delegation who spoke openly to take up a major role in the Shia-Sunni conflict in the Muslim world. According to a recent press report, the Fazlur Rehman’s JUI has joined the PML-N led government in Islamabad.
Three days after the above press reports of the daily Mashriq, the daily Ausaf, Lahore published the following news story on January 20, 2014 (extracts):
“The US and Qadianis are committed to destroy this country. The authorities should set an example (Nishane Ibrat) with the terrorists: International Khatme Nabuwwat Movement
“The target-killing of the Ulama in Karachi, Peshawar and Sargodha is a great tragedy. The government should look for the real motives behind terrorism: Maulana Abdul Hafeez Makki
“Chiniot: (District reporter) The top leaders of the International Khatme Nabuwwat Movement, Maulana Abdul Hafeez Makki, Maulana Dr. Ahmad Ali Siraj (Kuwait), Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Chinioti (PML-N), Maulana Qari Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, Maulana Zahid Mahmud Qasimi and Maulana Muhammad Qadri said in a joint statement… (the headline above, etc.) Some lobbies are active behind the scene that could be under the remote control of Qadianis. The US and its allies are anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan; they do not wish to see any peace in Pakistan. They, in fact, intend to push Pakistan into a civil war after break down of law and order engineered through the Qadiani lobby. They will never succeed in this. …”
It appears that the mullas of the Khatme Nabuwwat faction and other factions are preparing and adjusting their positions to fill their pockets with petro-dollars released to handle the expected change in the national and regional political and military situation.
Hide and seek between the mullas and the administration
A mulla’s report
Lahore: The Pakistani mulla has succeeded in almost neutralizing the writ of the state. In this the authorities played the ball with him. The credit (or discredit) is shared mutually. The nature of interaction of the state and the extremists is frankly and truly described by the well-known mulla Zahid-ur-Rashidi in his column in the daily Pakistan of January 16, 2014. An extract of the op-ed is translated below for information and record.
“An incident comes to mind regarding the ‘hide and seek’ game, and I mention it for the benefit of my readers. It happened during the Khatme Nabuwwat campaign in 1984…. Maulana Ziaul Qasimi and …were among the top leaders of the movement. I was the Information Secretary. Sialkot was the centre of the campaign, so I had to go there often. The district authorities put a ban on me and Maulana Zia-ul-Qasimi forbidding us to enter the Sialkot district.
“As I repeatedly avoided receipt of this Order, I was declared a ‘proclaimed offender’ (PO). A proclaimed offender is one who cannot be contacted in the normal way, so he is served the Order through proclamation and is thus warned to comply with the Order. This proclamation is signed by the concerned official and is then affixed at the door of the accused’s residence.
“A police man brought this Order; at that time I was sitting in my office in the central mosque in Gujranwala. I hesitated to receive the Order; at this the official said that in that case he would affix it at the door of my office. I told him, “It is up to you.” At this he went out only to return to say, “I do not have the glue; could you give me some glue?” So, I opened my drawers and handed him a bottle of glue. He took it, and having affixed the proclamation at my office door, he departed. A little later I took it off and placed it in my file.
“In short, such hide and seek would go on during our campaign in accordance with the policy in vogue. Often it was our policy to offer ourselves for arrest, while sometimes the policy was to avoid arrest and we would then play hide and seek with the police. It is a long story and an entire book could be written on it.”
In no country where law and order is taken seriously, criminals and authorities would interact in the manner described above. Thirty years before the above story, worthy judges who authored the famous Report on Punjab Disturbances of 1953 observed: “Further, we feel that the Ahrars (mullas who were predecessors of the ilk of Zahid-ur-Rashidi) were treated as members of the family and the Ahmadis as strangers. The Ahrar behaved like the child whom his father threatens with punishment for beating a stranger, but, who, knowing that he will not be punished, beats the stranger again. Then, out of sheer embarrassment, since other people are watching, his father does strike him – but gently.”
Another 30 years later, the attitude and practice of the authorities remain unchanged. The present-day Deobandis, the Ahrar, the Taliban etc behave the same way and the authorities do not strike them even gently, because they are ‘members of the family’. The best policy option available, according to authorities, is none but dialogue with the criminal gang. But this time the victims are not Ahmadis only, they are the entire population of Pakistan.
Pak mullas visit India and South Africa
Lahore: Maulvi Zahid-ur-Rashidi, a prolific writer wrote a series of 20 articles in the daily Insaf, Lahore during March 2014, under the title: Safar Nama Janubi Africa aur Bharat (Tour of South Africa and India). He undertook these visits in December 2013.
Rashidi initially wrote about his tour to South Africa in the daily Pakistan. We reported essentials of his narrative and made our comment in our monthly report of December 2013. Whatever he wrote is important for its wider implications, so our report is ‘recommended reading’. In a nutshell, Rashidi urged all the ulama in the South African conference to turn their main attention to the emerging Sunni-Shia conflict in the Middle East and use all resources to confront the Shia aggression (sic).
India, however, is a different country (where Muslims are a religious minority) and the hosts ‘Jamiat Ulama e Hind’ while claiming seniority over Pakistani Deobandis, have a different view of communal relationships. They had invited Pakistani mullas to the Sheikhul Hind World Peace Conference on the centenary of Maulana Mahmud Hasan (Deobandi of the historic Reshmi Romal Movement). The Pakistani delegation comprised approximately 30 mullas under the leadership of Maulana Fazl ur Rahman. They entered India on December 11, 2013 and spent a week there. This report is based on Rashidi’s articles; the comments are ours.
In South Africa, the conference, attended mostly by Pakistani, Saudi and South African mullas and a few from India, expressed mainly anti-Ahmadi and anti-West sentiments, for example:
- The honourable government of Saudi Arabia, in order to ensure ban on entry in the Holy Sites to deniers of the End of Prophethood, especially Qadianis, should add affidavits regarding the dogma of the Khatme Nabuwwat in visa application forms for pilgrimage and work. Also, its rigorous implementation should be ensured.
- Sheikh Ehsan of South Africa, the president of the Muslim Judicial Council stated that it is essential to pay attention to the mischief brought along by modern philosophy in the form of democracy, freedom and (human) rights.
In India, however, the sponsors of the conference talked of peace, harmony, tolerance and social service, and the invitees, including the Pakistani mullas, found it convenient and savvy to tow the line. Maulvi Rashidi, despite his sectarian profile in Pakistan, has done well to report the unanimous resolutions of the Sheikh-ul-Hind Press Conference, inter alia:
- We will co-operate with one another to promote friendly relations and peace and harmony at all levels in order to establish world peace and human well-being.
- We strongly condemn all forms of terrorism and fully support the fatwa of Deoband.
- The thought of prosperity and peace is futile without attending to the rights of minorities, poor, marginalized sections of society and women. So we will spare no effort to ensure that they are given their rights and provided social justice.
Excellent words to say and endorse; but alas, hypocrisy of Islamist clerics was only skin deep. Rashidi could not suppress the temptation to report that during the visit “Amir Ahrar Hind Maulana Habib Ludhianvi II presented a sword to Maulana Fazlur Rahman as token of respect.”
Maulvi Rashidi himself is one of the few top policy-makers of the anti-Ahmadi campaign going on in Pakistan for decades. All the edicts of Wajib-ul-Qatl (must be killed) against Ahmadis, assaults, attacks on Ahmadiyya places of worship, deprivations of human rights, social maltreatment are all orchestrated mostly by Deobandi mullas, of the same ilk as those who attended the above mentioned conference in India. They say one thing and do the other. Maulvi Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, one of the leading Deobandi elders, issued the following fatwa for his disciples:
“Lying is permissible to promote faith (Haq); however as far as possible avail of ambiguity; but if inescapable tell an absolute lie.”Fatawa Rashidia Kamil
Maulvi Rashidi is based in Gujranwala. He is proprietor of the leading madrassa there. Gujranwala is the city where more Ahmadis were killed for their faith in 1974 agitation than the rest of entire Pakistan. This is the city where some years ago, Mr. Farooq Sajjad, a non-Ahmadi hafiz (one who had committed the entire Quran to memory) was murdered over a fabricated accusation of blasphemy; the crowd burnt his dead body and then dragged it all over the streets behind a motor cycle.
Maulvi Rashidi should spare the region and this country; if he can only reform his city in the light of what he endorsed in India, it will be a great contribution to Pak society and a model for other clerics.
Bitter fruit of bitter seed – a madrassa named Abdullah Bin Ghazi
Rojhan, District Rajanpur; December 24, 2014: The daily Express, Faisalabad published a report by its correspondent. It merits a place in archives; its translation is produced below:
Rojhan: Raid on Maulana Abdul Aziz’s ancestral madrassa; vicious literature retrieved.
One accused Hafiz Abdullah arrested; Maulvi Hayat absconded.
Case registered under Anti-Terrorism Act
Rajanpur and Rojhan: (Correspondent and Reporter of Daily Express) Police raided the madrassa established here with the name Abdullah Bin Ghazi father of the Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz, and recovered provocative literature. An accused was arrested and a case under Anti-Terrorism Act was registered. The madrassa cleric absconded. It is learnt that Rojhan police were informed that provocative literature was stocked in the madrassa located in ancestral home of Maulana Abdul Aziz in village Shahwali Gadha Nar, and some sort of planning was under way. When the police raided, Hayat Muhammad, the madrassa maulvi escaped. The police however carried out a search of the madrassa and discovered massive amount of provocative (Shar angaiz) pamphlets and other material. A man present at the site, Hafiz Abdullah was arrested. Police is looking for Maulvi Hayat and his colleagues. As per sources, the FIR has been sealed, whereas four persons have been named in it.
More than mulla Abdul Aziz, his father Abdullah Bin Ghazi deserves a mention here. Abdullah who had significant following was among the first few clerics who converged on Islamabad and secured for themselves a niche with the federal authorities. He claimed to be an activist of the End of Prophethood movement and attained plenty of clout and dow in the capital. The eventual role of the Lal Masjid can be arguably attributed to this cleric. It is no surprise that the madrassa in his village was discovered to be a hornets’ nest.
Noteworthy is the report that the raid yielded only one arrest of a non-entity, and that the FIR has been sealed. Abdullah Bin Ghazi wields influence well after his death – even in the face of the massacre in Peshawar.
Baseless and brutish application of anti-Ahmadi laws in Sindh
Khuda Abad, District Badin; July 24, 2014: A case was registered in Police Station Tando Bhago against five Ahmadis, Mr. Muhammad Idrees Gurgaiz, Mr. Muhammad Abbas Gurgaiz, Mr. Muhammad Khan Gurgaiz, Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad Gurgaiz and the local Ahmadi missionary with FIR No. 96/14 under PPC 298-C on July 24, 2014.
The case was registered by the police on the call of the press secretary of JUI (a politico-religious party) Muhammad Ramzan. Ramzan claimed that Ahmadis consider their place of worship a mosque; they say Azan to call worshippers to prayers; they teach the Holy Quran there, etc. According to this accuser, he went to the Ahmadiyya mosque and saw the accused offering prayers therein; thereafter the missionary made a speech wherein he invited Muslims to join them and avail many facilities and assistance – rubbish, of course.
The registration of this frivolous case is indicative of the non-professionalism of the district police, loose guidance from the provincial capital, subservience to the clerics, and co-operation with a politico-religious party based in KPK, that agrees with the Taliban’s understanding of Islam. This party and its mullas who have taken charge of many mosques in Sindh have defaced the tolerant and mild Sufi Islam for which the Sindhi society was known.
The daily Dawn published this news on July 26, 2014.
Thanks to a judge who did not take long to understand that the case was shallow, and granted bail to the accused.
Booked for ensuring security
Rabwah; December 16, 2014: Two Ahmadis, Mr Khurshid Ahmad and Mr Bilawal Ahmad, security guards were booked here by police with FIR No. 393/2014 on December 16, 2014 under PPC 341/342, 506/148 and 149.
Police have repeatedly informed Ahmadiyya community in Rabwah that this town is on the target list of terrorists and the residents should take steps to ensure security. In this the police and the residents have co-operated in various ways, including patrolling by mobile citizen guards.
The two guards were booked by the police on the complaint of a resident mulla Ghulam Mustafa of an End of Prophethood organisation. According to the FIR, the two accused stopped two mullas and interrogated them, indulging in ‘wrongful confinement’ and ‘criminal intimidation’.
For Ahmadis of Rabwah (A place for martyrs?) it is a dilemma. If they do not take security measures, they violate official warnings and instructions; if they take steps to ensure security, they are booked on fabricated accusations.
If declared guilty, the two accused could be imprisoned for two years – for doing their duty!
Samanabad; April 26, 2014: Mr. Khushnood Ahmad had a close brush with severe religion-based persecution when he was whisked blind-folded to a police station on a baseless charge. Mr. Ahmad has a courier business of cargo. According to the details he received a phone call from someone who pretended to be a customer. The caller arranged a rendezvous with Mr. Ahmad but later changed it and asked him to come to the Red Chilli re
staurant. This was a gang of mullas who played a trick to implicate Mr. Ahmad in a police case. Accordingly, a man came and handed over a bag to him in which there was a copy of the Holy Quran. Mr. Ahmad sensed danger. He tried to quit the place leaving the bag at the counter but mullas who had gathered there as planned, intercepted him and called the police. A police van arrived in no time, hand cuffed and blind-folded him and took him away. One of the mullas remarked, “I have been chasing you for the last one and half month.” The police shifted him first to an unknown place, then took him to Gulshane Ravi police station and then to Samanabad police station.
A delegation of the Ahmadiyya community reached the police station and convinced the higher officials that the entire event was a malicious plan of mullas and of Hasan Muawiya (a.k.a. Tooti), as he is always among the first to know of such cases and make a ‘complaint’. The superintendent of police understood the evil conspiracy and let Mr. Ahmad off the hook.
An encounter with a suspect mulla
November 7, 2014: A mulla came on a motor-bike to the Ahmadiyya mosque in Model Town on Friday November 7, 2014. He was dressed in black clothes and had his head covered with a piece of cloth for turban. He asked the people on duty whether a congregation was to be held. Then he went to the side gate and insisted to be allowed inside. On refusal, he stood clear and talked to someone on phone. Thereafter he went away. He appeared to have a jacket around his waist. He was followed by Ahmadi security personnel for his suspicious moves. He rode through various parts of the city and then entered the office of Sunni Tehrik in Paul Nagar.
A vicious mischief averted
January 2014: Mr. Sadiq Ahmad owns a cloth shop in Azam Cloth Market. A mulla-looking customer came to his shop and asked the rates of cloth. Due to rush in the shop Mr. Ahmad told his salesman to attend to him. He took him upstairs in the store to show him the stock. They returned after about half an hour. The mulla departed saying that his cousin would come to make the deal. Mr. Ahmad asked his salesman the reason of the long time in the store. He said that the mulla had started saying his prayers upstairs.
The mulla came back after half an hour and stood outside at the corner. He took some photos of the shop with his mobile phone. Mr. Ahmad called the mulla in and asked for his mobile phone. The mulla hesitated but gave him the phone. It had a few photos of Mr. Ahmad’s shop and the street. Thereafter the mulla had sent some SMSs to someone named Ibrahim. Upon inquiry the mulla replied that he had attended primary classes and then studied in a madrassa in Afghanistan. Mr. Ahmad took a photo of the mulla with his own mobile phone. At this the mulla left the shop hurriedly.
Mr. Ahmad was extra cautious in view of the incident of Dr. Masood who stayed behind bars for approximately two months on complaint of a fake customer. This saved him from a similar mishap.
Lahore has been hot-bed of anti-Ahmadiyya activities since the twin attacks on two Ahmadiyya mosques in 2010 that resulted in death of 86 Ahmadis. Fresh incidents are regular occurrence.
PAF Colony: Mr. Shafiq Azam lives here. The watchman of the area informed him that two suspicious men came and inquired about him, calling him ‘Insolent to the Prophet’. They were wrapped in sheets and were hiding rifles under them. “Where does he live,” they wanted to know. The watchman put them off.
North Cantt: Mr. Zeeshan Bashir is head of the local Ahmadiyya youth organisation. His neighbour is a mulla. One day when Bashir came out to go to his office, he saw the mulla waiting near his house. Bashir noted his presence with due suspicion and delayed his departure for office. He attempted the sortie again at 10:30 a.m. The mulla was not there. However, Bashir did not go far when he saw the mulla ahead waiting for him. The mulla started chasing him on a motorbike. Probably he wanted to see the workplace of Mr. Bashir. Mr. Bashir decided not to go to his office then, and returned home zigzagging through streets. The incident shows that the mulla and his sponsors have some vicious plan up their sleeves.
Samanabad; March 16, 2014: Some unidentified men came to the shop of Mr. Qureshi Rafiq Zahur, Ahmadi, damaged his shop and harassed him. Later the SHO of local police station intimated that an application from Majlis Khatme Nabuwwat Muslim Town had been received on which the Deputy Superintendent Police directed him to ‘do the needful’. A photocopy of a calendar which was hanging in the shop was also attached to the application. Subsequently the SHO came to his shop and took away a few copies of parts of the Holy Quran (seeparas) from his shop.
Mr. Zahur felt greatly upset and harassed on account of these interventions.
Samanabad; March 16, 2014: There is a restaurant (Hot Chilli Restaurant) in front of the Ahmadiyya mosque in Samanabad. The manager and a waiter of the restaurant came to the Ahmadiyya mosque and handed over a plastic bag to the Ahmadis present there and stated that the bag was found lying on the outer shade of the restaurant, and it contained some religious books.
The CCTV recording was then checked. A mulla was seen in the video, who came to the Ahmadiyya mosque at 2:15 p.m. He looked around the area and went away. Five minutes later two men came on a motorcycle. They were carrying two shopping-bags. One of them put one of those bags on the outer shade of the restaurant and went away.
This was done surely to create some mischief against Ahmadis. The police were informed of the incident and were shown the video of the suspects.
Rachna Town; June 5, 2014:Hostile mullas pasted offensive stickers in a street that led to an Ahmadiyya mosque. At the corner of that street there is a shop owned by an Ahmadi, Mr. Riaz Ahmad Bhatti who has rented it to a non-Ahmadi butcher. Mullas affixed those offensive stickers inside this shop and told the shopkeeper that he would be held accountable if these stickers were removed.
Township:The daughter-in-law of Mrs. Azar Rasheed went to the market. She stopped by a shoemaker`s shop to get her shoe repaired. A mulla was sitting there. When he saw an Ahmadi woman, he asked the shoemaker to visit the mosque to learn what is to befall Mirzais (Ahmadis).
A few days later, her twelve year old grandson went out to buy some rice. On the way, a mulla stopped him and asked him why he hadn`t come for the prayers. The boy replied that he would deliver the rice at home and then go to the mosque. At the shop, another mulla sitting there told the shopkeeper to attend to the boy quickly as he wanted to speak to him. The mulla asked the boy if he knew the `Kalima`. The boy replied, “Yes I do” and recited the ‘Kalima’. When he was about to leave, the shopkeeper told the mulla that the boy was a ‘Mirzai’. At this the mulla replied, “Why wasn`t I told about this before, I wouldn`t have let him go.” On hearing this, the boy, who was still nearby, ran back home.
Baghbanpura; August 2014: Mr. Mazhar Umar Butt, an Ahmadi was returning home from the bazaar when Hasan Muawiya the younger brother of the well-known Maulvi Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi noticed him. Muawiya started shouting abuse against the founder of the Ahmadiyya community on seeing him. Mr. Butt refused to pay heed to the insults and paddled fast to return home.
Green Town; August 31, 2014: A mulla held a Khatme Nabuwwat conference in Masjid Abdullah. Other mullas from the city were also invited at the occasion. As usual, anti-Ahmadiyya speeches were made and the audience were incited. Mullas held a meeting after the conference in which they planned to take out a procession on September 1 and set fire to Ahmadis’ houses.
Ahmadis informed the police of their plans. The inspector questioned the mulla over the report. He accepted that they had plans for a procession but not about torching Ahmadis’ houses. The police inspector warned him against any such attempt.
A glimpse of religious extremism and its promoters
When Malala was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the mouth-frothing anti-West radicals were not happy and posed a catch-question: Why was Abdul Sattar Edhi not awarded the prize; he deserved it much more?
Ayesha Siddiqa answered very appropriately: “To put things straight – the Nobel Peace Prize and similar awards are political, which are meant to recognize achievements that those, who choose to put the money aside for recognizing individual or collective efforts, consider critical for the world. These awards are not meant as a definitive judgment on a land and its people… Abdul Sattar Edhi is indeed a great man, but that does not mean we should not recognize a 17-year old girl, who stands tall in her conviction and courage.”
The religious right in Pakistan, however, were not convinced by this explanation and decided to come forth without scruples. They decided to strongly condemn even Edhi – for his (mutual) recognition of the Ahmadi community.
Two years ago, the Ahmadi international Jamaat nominated Mr. Edhi for its own ‘Peace Prize’. Mr. Edhi accepted the honor and said a few words of appreciation and prayer for the Jamaat. The self-styled World Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat Council issued a one-page pamphlet recently; its contents disclose the rabidity of the leaders of this Council. A translation is provided below:
The Cursed Abdul Sattar Edhi who prayed for Qadianis
Edhi has stated in a video statement that he is grateful to Ahmadis who awarded him the Peace Prize, and that he prays for the Qadiani Jamaat.
O Edhi, you have prayed for the false prophet Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani and his false Ummah, who have committed the worst blasphemies against our holy master (PBUH), Allah Taala, the noble companions, the Family (Ahle Bait), the respected saints, the Holy Quran, and Makkah and Madinah.
Edhi, reply; would you pray for one who abuses your mother and father? Edhi, if someone rags your sister, daughter or wife, will you pray for him?
You have prayed for Qadianis, the worst enemies of the Master (PBUH). Well, we the entire Muslim Ummah pray against you the bad prayer (Bad Dua) May Allah ruin you.
May Allah make you an example of admonition. May Allah give you death without coffin.
… World Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat Council, Lahore (World End of Prophethood Council, Lahore)
The authorities have taken no action against the publishers of this hateful, false propaganda leaflet, despite the law. This attitude of the government towards such elements over the past decades has made Pakistan a country that is sliding down fast to religious extremism. Farahnaz Ispahani of Woodrow Wilson Center and Nina Shea, a senior fellow wrote a blog for the CNN on this subject and stated:
“… the reality is that Pakistan is facing a serious problem, with the mushrooming of Islamist appeal within Pakistani society reminding us that we risk seeing the Talibanisation not simply of a small minority of ordinary citizens, but large swaths of the populace of the world’s second largest – and only nuclear armed Muslim country….
“State laws and practices relating to Islamic blasphemy, in particular, are increasingly suppressing moderate voices, while allowing extremists to dominate cultural discourse and learning. As a result, extremism is making ideological inroads into wider and wider segment of the population….”
Lahore: The right-wing daily Ausaf reported the following on November 12, 2014 (extracts):
…Deoband branch of the important Ahle Sunnat sect has the most influential status in Pakistan. The followers of this sect are considered to be war-mongers (Jangju). In recent history they came forth as the most resistant Mujahedeen against Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Later they were known as Mujahedeen Taliban…. A recent successful effort in reuniting them was made in Medina Munawwara (Saudi Arabia) where all the leaders along with Maulana Fazlur Rahman, Maulana Samiul Haq and Maulana Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianwi indicated their will to unite. (Emphasis added) The second session was held two days ago at the residence of Maulana Syed Ata ur Rehman Bokhari (sic), the Amir of Majlis Ahrar Islam. Maulana Allah Wasaya, Hafiz Hussain Ahmad, Qari Hanif Jallandhri, Maulana Zahid ur Rashidi, Dr. Khadim Hussain Dhillon, Maulana Yunus Qasmi, Hafiz Numan Hamid, Maulana Aziz ur Rehman and others participated. It was decided in this most important meeting that a meeting of top leaders of religio-political parties would be held on 18 November in Islamabad in which Maulana Fazlur Rahman, Maulana Samiul Haq, Maulana Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianwi, Qari Hanif Jallandhri, Allama Tahir Ashrafi and others will attend…..
The daily Dawn reported the following on November 19 after the proposed group was formed:
Deobandi parties form united group
ISLAMABAD: The country’s politico-religious parties of the Deobandi school of thought, including two factions of Jamiat Ulama-i-Islam led by Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Maulana Samiul Haq, decided on Tuesday to form a united group.
The decision was taken by leaders of the parties at a Deobandi conference convened by the relatively unknown Majlis Ahrar-i-Islam Pakistan group headed by Maulana Hafiz Ataul Momin Shah Bukhari.
The conference decided to form two committees to strengthen unity of different Deobandi groups.
One committee, the supreme council, will formulate policies for a collective struggle. It will be headed by Maulana Dr. Abdul Razzaq Iskander, the head of Jamia Uloom-i-Islamia, Binori Town, Karachi.
The second committee will be responsible for implementing policies formulated by the supreme council. It will be headed by Maulana Hafiz Ataul Momin Shah Bukhari, son of renowned Deobandi cleric Ataullah Shah Bukhari.
Published in Dawn, November 19, 2014
Formation of this group was applauded by the Pakistan-oriented Deobandi organizations in the UK. They called it a Cyrus Wall (Sadde Sikandari) against secular forces.
This prospective alliance deserves a comment. Although Deobandis are a minority faction in Pakistan, they gained great influence in the country during the reign of military dictator Zia ul Haq, whose father was a Deobandi mulla. They maintained this supremacy after Zia perished in air crash, but they suffered slow erosion in the wake of Taliban’s terrorism (who mostly belong to Deobandi sect) and the activism of Brelvi factions like PAT (Dr. Tahir ul Qadri), Sunni Tehrik, JUP etc. The publicity given to the harm done to Pakistan by Zia’s islamisation also brought discredit to this school of thought.
The press report mentions Majlis Ahrar ul Islam as the sponsor of the proposed alliance. Ahrar are the group which earned nearly universal disgrace in the Punjab riots of 1953. In the prestigious Punjab Disturbance Inquiry Report (1953/1954) the worthy judges wrote: “The conduct of Ahrar calls for the strongest comment and is especially reprehensible. We can use no milder words for the reason that they debased a religious issue by pressing it (End of Prophethood) into service for a temporal purpose and exploited religious susceptibilities and sentiments of the people for their personal ends.”
Mulla Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianwi has faced charges of indulging in terrorism. Some of the other mullas mentioned in the press report are forbidden by District Magistrates to enter their districts during Muharram.
The Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat who also attended the preliminary meeting is the new name of SSP now banned for its involvement in terrorism.
JUI’s sympathies for the extreme right are well-known.
Wafaqul Madaris Al-Arabia is the organization that manages thousands of Deobandis madrassas in Pakistan, nearly 65 percent of the total. These are nurseries of the politically ambitious mullas who consider Jihad (bi-saif) as the self-assumed sixth pillar of Islam.
Mulla Zahid-ur-Rashidi of Pakistan Shariat Council is one of the top brains of Deobandis committed to sectarian strife in Pakistan and the region. Recently he became the patron of the All Parties Khatme Nabuwwat Co-ordination Committee that assumed the responsibility of defending the criminals in Gujranwala who were involved in the riot in which three innocent Ahmadi females including a seven-month old baby were killed. Rashidi has been quite successful in his patronship as not even one of the criminals named in the FIR has been arrested by the authorities. One could argue that this mild official reaction to the arson led to the incident in Kot Radha Kishan where a Christian couple was delivered to a furnace.
Jamaat Islami and Tableeghi Jamaat in Pakistan are also Deobandi in belief and teachings.
It would be a fair assessment to make that the proposed alliances, if it materializes, will be a band of Islamo-fascists, perhaps under the umbrella of the Khatme Nabuwwat issue. It was conceived and arguably sponsored in Saudi Arabia.
Even (some) ulama agree
Lahore:Terrorism, Talibanisation, religious extremism etc are interrelated, and the Ahmadiyya community has since long pointed out their inter-relationship and proposed measures to undo them. Now that the situation is nearly out of control and the society is gravely threatened, even ulama of the Sunni Ittehad Council have understood the toxic relationship and presented a formula to fight the scourge. The daily Ausaf reported the news on June 11, 2014 under the following headline:
Sunni Ittehad Council present 18-point formula to put an end to terrorism and to counter Talibanisation
Of the eighteen points agenda following deserve a mention here:
- The Prime Minister should declare a national Jihad against the terrorists who have declared war on the Islamic Republic.
- Support to the anti-Pakistan Taliban should be declared a major crime and the supporters, patrons and sympathizers should be held formally accountable.
- Senior most Ulema of all denominations should be formed as a Board to contest the misleading understanding of Sharia and Jihad.
- Extremist literature should be confiscated and destroyed. Deterrent and effective laws should be enforced to bar publication of hateful and provocative literature. etc. etc
Islamic State’s presence in Pakistan
The daily Dawn reported the following on November 02, 2014:
Islamic State fears grow in Pakistan and Afghanistan
ISLAMABAD: The Islamic State organization is starting to attract the attention of radicals in Pakistan and Afghanistan, unnerving authorities who fear a potential violent contagion.
Photo by AFP
Far from the militants’ self-proclaimed “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria, the name of IS has cropped up several times in militant circles in recent weeks in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the historic homeland of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
Leaflets calling for support for IS were seen in parts of northwest Pakistan, and at least five Pakistani Taliban commanders and three lesser cadres from the Afghan Taliban have pledged their support.
Pro-IS slogans have appeared on walls in several cities in both countries and in Kabul University, where a number of students were arrested.
Militant, security and official sources questioned in recent weeks say these are local, individual initiatives, and at this stage IS has not established a presence in the region.
But the success of IS in the Middle East is unsettling many of those charged with keeping a lid on Afghanistan and Pakistan’s myriad extremist groups.
“ISIS is becoming the major inspiration force for both violent and non-violent religious groups in the region,” Pakistani security analyst Amir Rana said.
Earlier this month Pakistan’s National Counter Terrorism Agency wrote to a dozen government agencies warning them to be on their guard against IS.
“The successes of ISIS play a very dangerous, inspirational role in Pakistan, where more than 200 organizations are operational,” the agency said.
The letter came as the Pakistani army fights a major offensive in insurgent bastions of the tribal areas, which appears to be weakening its major enemies, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and allied Al-Qaeda fighters.
Reuters reported about a group of TTP joining with Islamic State:
Pakistan Taliban splinter group vows allegiance to Islamic State
A splinter group of Pakistan’s Taliban has pledged support to Islamic State (IS), a spokesman said on Monday, in another indication of the appeal of the Iraq- and Syria-based jihadist group in a region traditionally dominated by al Qaeda and local insurgencies.
Jundullah announced its backing after meeting a three-man delegation representing IS led by al Zubair al Kuwaiti, the group’s spokesman Fahad Marwat told Reuters.
Jundullah is one of several Pakistani groups exploring relations with IS, whose fighters have captured swathes of Iraq and Syria in a drive to set up a self-declared caliphate. They share an aim to kill or drive out religious minorities and establish a hardline Sunni theocracy.
Analysts say that so far IS has mainly attracted sectarian groups rather than anti-state militants like the Taliban. Pakistan has a ready supply of hardened fighters and a population often receptive to sectarian hatred.
Pakistan’s Sunni sectarian groups killed a record number of minority Shi’ite Muslims last year. Jundullah carried out a church bombing that killed around 80 Christians.
“They (Islamic State) are our brothers, whatever plan they have we will support them,” said Jundullah spokesman Marwat.
IS activities have been seen in Lahore too where stickers and pamphlets were distributed. A case has been registered against ISIS in a police station in Lahore for spreading religious hatred under article 153-A of constitution.