Urgent Report: The Government of Punjab’s latest act of outrageous persecution against the beleaguered Ahmadiyya community

URGENT

Human Rights

May 10, 2015

 

The Government of Punjab’s latest act of outrageous persecution against the beleaguered Ahmadiyya community

All the 23 published volumes of the community’s founder proscribed

The community’s daily newspaper and monthlies Khalid, Ansarullah and Tehrik Jadid also placed on banned list, on recommendation of Mutahiddah Ulama Board Punjab

 

As per an ad of the Home Department of the Government of Punjab in the daily Dunya of May 8, 2015, published from Faisalabad, 150 books/CDs/periodicals etc. stand proscribed. These include 11 from Ahmadi sources, including all the 23 volumes of Roohani Khazain (Spiritual Treasures) written by the holy founder of the Ahmadiyya community, as well as Tazkarah, a compendium of his dreams, visions and revelations.

The ad, titled WARNING, mentions in its opening sentence that this action has been taken on the basis of recommendations made by the Mutahiddah (Joint) Ulama Board.

The advertized Warning forbids production, publication, display and sale of the listed items and orders their proscription. The violators would be booked under CrPC 99-A and Anti-terrorism Act 8 and 11-A. It prescribes imprisonment up to five years and fine for any violation. DCOs and DPOs have been directed to ensure implementation.

This exposes tens of thousands of Ahmadi families in the country, in fact all of them, to the risk of police searches, registration of religion-based criminal cases, arrests, court trials and severe penalties. Their women and children could be similarly treated.

This measure will deprive Ahmadis of their religious teachings and understanding of their basic scriptures, the Quran and Hadith, and thus act as a very big blow to their freedom of religion and its practice.

 

Ahmadiyya periodicals, the daily Alfazl, the monthlies Khalid, Ansarullah and Tehrik Jadid have been included in the list, although these are published under official authorizations granted earlier after due process. The entire list does not include any other daily or monthly edited by a ‘Muslim’. Jihadi press like the daily Islam are not on the list. This is blatant discrimination.

The order has proscribed Ahmadiyya periodicals, so it would be fair to ask the Home Department to point out a single extract from these, over the last whole year, that favours, promotes or even remotely encourages terrorism.

Showing Roohani Khazain as one item (out of 150) the authorities have banned, in one sweep, approximately 85 books and booklets authored by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Founder of Ahmadiyya Community. No other author in the list has been treated this way, showing deliberate discrimination. Also, counting thus all books separately, 64% of the banned list comprises Ahmadiyya books while the remaining 36% are distributed among all the other faiths and the 72 sects of Islam. The bias and bigotry is glaring.

As mentioned above, Tazkarah is a compendium of the founder’s dreams, visions and revelations, compiled in one volume long after his death. It is an esoteric publication that least deserves a notice under terror concerns. This compilation however is of great importance to Ahmadis who hold it in great esteem. The ban is gross violation of Ahmadis’ freedom of religion.

These 85 books include the one titled: The British Government and Jihad. In this the holy founder wrote down his famous edict on Jihad and terrorism. On the issue of Jihad he wrote:

“I have come to you with an order: jihad with the sword has ended from this time forward, but the jihad of purifying your souls must continue. I do not say this of my own accord. This is indeed the will of God. Recall the hadith from Sahih al-Bukhari which honours the Promised Messiah by saying yada-‘ul-harb. That is to say, when the Messiah comes he will put an end to religious wars.” p. 17

On the issue of terrorism he was equally explicit:

“Muslims are not being killed today by anyone because of their faith. What authority do they have to justify the killing of innocents, I wonder?” p. 15

It is noteworthy that the Home Department decides to ban such historical edicts as above, and allows dissemination of edicts like that by Maulvi Yusuf Ludhianvi (given hereafter). No wonder General Sharif recently, after 181st Corps Commanders meeting emphasized on “re-energizing the National Action Plan in true letter and spirit and achieving discernable results.”

The Home Department which decided to ban Tazkarah decided not to ban a book ‘Tohfa Qadianiat’ authored by ‘Maulana’ Muhammad Yusuf Ludhianvi and published and advertised by Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat, Multan which carries on its pages 680/681 this text, (Translation):

“My and your duty”

… What does the sense of honour and shame (ghairat) demand from Muslims? In fact, it demands that not a single Qadiani should be left alive on earth. Seize each one of these malignant individuals and kill them. I am not being emotional when I say this. This is the verity; this is the edict of Islam. This is the law of Islam concerning Murtads (apostates) and Zindiques (heretics)….”

Also relevant to the above is an announcement by the same Mutahiddah Ulama Board, Punjab in the monthly Laulak, of April 2015, self-declared mouth piece of the Aalami Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat, in the following words (Translation):

 

Action by the Mutahiddah Ulama Board, established by the Punjab Government

There is no restriction whatsoever on literature over the dogma of End of Prophethood.

Proceedings of the Joint Session of the Sub Committee Nr 1, 2 of the Mutahiddah Ulama Board Punjab, held on January 22, 2015

… The End of Prophethood literature relevant to their (Ahmadis’) unbelief (Takfir), rebuttal and refutation is in no way (in the category of) hate-material. As such the Home Department, the Police Department in general and the Government of Punjab in particular are not to take any action whatsoever on the production, publication, printing, distribution and sale of the End of  Prophethood literature. It was unanimously recommended that the Home Department Punjab should issue a formal notification in this regard…” Sahibzadah Maulana Fazl ur Rahim Ashrafi, Chairman Mutahiddah Ulama Board, Punjab

By accepting the recommendations of the Ulama Board, arguably without any resistance, the provincial Home Department has unwittingly assumed the role of clerics’ puppet. Does this not betray misplaced political policy and guidance?

Since the time of dictator Zia ul Haq, this perhaps is the most painful hurt inflicted upon Ahmadis through government regulation. It has been undertaken in the Punjab. The fact that earlier in 2010 the Taliban chose Lahore, the capital of this province, as the site to massacre 86 Ahmadi worshippers in their mosques, is very significant.

A fair question in the light of the above: Has the Government of the Punjab correctly understood the intent and purpose of the National Action Plan? If they have, how come their implementation is so lop-sided? They embrace religious extremists and hit hard their victims!

 

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