Bangladesh’s Secular Democracy Struggles with Violent Radical Islam
Benedict Rogers November 24th 2008
Cutting Edge Burma Desk
Religious persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community continues worldwide. In Pakistan, Blasphemy Laws are being used specially against Ahmadis to harass them. Millions of religious minority are under threat to be falsely implicated in any such case on the basis of personal enmity with a punishment from 3 years RI to death. This blog was created to update Pakistani visitors of www.thepersecution.org, access to which was blocked by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority without any reason.
Snap ties with US and formulate policies in accord with the People’s wishes. — Khatme Nabuwwat conference
Negotiations should be held and (military) operation should be halted; Qadianis’ activities should be monitored in Kahuta and other national institutions
Zahid ur Rashidi, Maulana Allah Wasaya, Muhammad Ahmad Luddhianwi, Mufti Abdul Moeed and Abdul Majeed Shah’s address
Load-shedding, inflation and unemployment should be ended; those who threaten Pakistan’s security should be exposed. — Resolution
According to the press reports a Khatme Nabuwwat Conference is scheduled at Rabwah by the Aalami Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat on October 30 and 31, 2008. As usual, the speakers will make anti-Ahmadiyya provocative speeches and issue statements there. Rabwah is a unique town in that the Government of the Punjab renamed it Nawan Qadian against the wishes of the local population, only to please a few outsiders. After the Notification, the government was conveyed the concern that the revised imposed name of ‘Nawan Qadian’ would perhaps be acceptable to the residents; thus the objective of hurting their sentiments would not be adequately achieved. So they issued a fresh official notification that further changed the name of the town to Chenab Nagar. In fact there are numerous such hurtful impositions on Ahmadis here. I propose now to highlight only one of these.
For the last quarter of a century, residents of this town have been deprived of their fundamental right of assembly. Ahmadis established this town on a barren piece of purchased land. At present more than 50,000 Ahmadis live here. Earlier, Ahmadis would assemble here five times every year and participate in moral and spiritual improvement seminars and programs. The government apparently did not approve of this peaceful pursuit, so it decided to forbid them this basic human right through executive orders. Now, every year Ahmadis request to hold their annual conference, and the authorities fail to even acknowledge the receipt of the letter. Please consider the discrimination practiced in case of others.
A few others, non-Ahmadis, who have been planted in Rabwah, enjoy complete freedom to hold conferences here and invite the speakers from outside. They undertake slander and provocation against the most respected elders of Ahmadis who form 95% of the town’s population. The organizers and speakers at these conferences violate official rules and directions, and are not held accountable for them. The participants then form processions, provoke the local population and precipitate a threat to law and order. Consequently the government tells Ahmadis to remain at home, but does not order the provocateurs to disperse.
These are the facts. The police reports and agencies’ records support all this. In view of such unfair treatment one must wonder what has happened to the basic right of assembly and why it is denied to Ahmadis. Also:
In the light of these questions, would it not be fair to permit Ahmadis to hold their peaceful assemblies in Rabwah, and forbid those conferences that promote only hatred and intolerance, especially when the government claims to be liberal, enlightened and democratic?
- If this basic human right is allowed by the Constitution of Pakistan, why is it denied in this town?
- Is this not blatant discrimination based on faith?
Nazir Umur Aama, Chenab Nagar (Rabwah)
It is a matter of great concern that the authorities have perhaps already undertaken this ugly exercise. In an article by Raja Asrar Ahmad Abbasi, titled “There is need for correct data regarding Ahmadis” in the Daily Ausaf, Lahore of August 7, 2008, he mentioned: “One is encouraged by a recent report that data regarding Mirzai male and female students of schools and colleges is being collected. But it is surprising that this is being done through local police through letters and replies…”
Strange are the ways of this state.
Nankana: Qadianis assassinated a youth who had reported to the police their Blasphemy
Qadiani Dr Asghar had defiled the good name of the Holy Prophet, for which he was arrested and sent to prison.
Muhammad Malik was on his way home after Taravih prayers when the doctor’s men shot at him. The leaders of the Khatme Nabuwwat arrived at the scene.
'Moral education' in a school at Sialkot!Water not available. Residents of Chenab Nagar start migration.Worshippers turn to Tayamum (ablution with dust); forewarn of protest (gherao). Bursting of the main pipe is the cause –Town CouncilChenab Nagar: (correspondent). Residents of Chenab Nagar have moved from the affected areas on account of non-availability of water. The problem has been persisting for the last ten days, and people now have to buy (expensive) bottled mineral water. It is a pity that on account of non-availability of water in the mosques, worshippers have to use dust to simulate ablution. The Town Council is insensitive to their plight in that they have not taken due notice of this for the last ten days. According to the Town officials, the main supply line burst. Its repair was undertaken, but it burst again due to water pressure. The residents, however, state that the Council gave the repair task to unskilled laborers rather than qualified technicians, so the repairs did not last even one day. The affected residents have warned that they will have no option but to protest strongly (gherao of the offices) for which the entire responsibility will be that of the TMA (Tehsil Municipal Administration) Chiniot.
Q. What wine did Mirza Qadiani drink?
A. Tonic Wine of E Plomer.
Q. How did Mirza Qadiani button up his shirt?
A. He would button up the upper button in the lower hole and the lower button in the
Q. Where did Mirza Qadiani die?
A. In a latrine.
Qadianis’ heightened activities: meeting of religious parties called in October.
The meeting will deliberate upon the lobbying of higher circles and the efforts to sabotage hundred years’ Shariah, constitutional and legal achievements in the field of End of Prophethood.
Problems of MQM’s Altaf Hussain’s open support to Qadianis and imposition of still more Qadianis on key posts will be looked into.
For general informationQadianis, their businesses and their homes will all be blown to dust.
O Muslim, expel them from your trade centers so that you do not lose business.
Inform us of the Qadianis at the address given below, and thus participate in Jihad.
E mail: Kill-the-qadyanis-2008@ yahoo.com
Some extracts of this important resolution should be placed on record of this Report so as to facilitate reference to it later. Excerpts:
“This in-camera joint session of parliament has noted with great concern that extremism, militancy and terrorism in all forms and manifestations pose a grave danger to the stability and integrity of the nation-state. It was recalled that in the past the dictatorial regimes pursued policies aimed at perpetuating their own power at the cost of the national interest.
“The challenge of militancy and extremism must be met through developing a consensus and dialogue with all genuine stakeholders.
“The nation stands united to combat this growing menace, with a strong public message condemning all forms and manifestations of terrorism, including the spread of sectarian hatred and violence with a firm resolve to combat it and to address its root causes.
“That the state shall maintain the rule of law….
“That the federation must be strengthened through the process of democratic pluralism, social justice, religious values and tolerance and equitable resource sharing between the provinces as enshrined in the Constitution of 1973.”
‘God don’t come when you want Him but He’s right on time.’ (anon. jazz historian, in Tennessee William’s Memoirs)A man named Imtiaz Shah lived in Faisalabad for years. He appeared to be religious, but regrettably he was not a good man. He joined the Khatme Nabuwwat faction and became a rabid activist after the promulgation of the notorious anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance XX in 1984. He was always on the lookout to implicate Ahmadis in the mischief of this law, and succeeded greatly. He was instrumental in implicating no less than 150 Ahmadis in various police cases. He also made it a habit to shout insults at any Ahmadi he came across, even women. He would often turn violent if his victim protested. He was booked by the police in Hudood cases (sex-related). The authorities knew him to be an evil man; they expelled him once from the city for a few months.He returned, more active than before. He committed an assault on an Ahmadi, Zaheer Ahmad and injured him grievously. His victim did not live long after the incident.On November 14, 2002, Imtiaz Shah, accompanied by an associate Rafaqat, intercepted an Ahmadi, Mr. Abdul Waheed in the bazaar at about 1100. While Rafaqat held Waheed firmly, Imtiaz stabbed him with a dagger. When Abdul Waheed fell, the murderer announced to the people nearby that he had dispatched a Qadiani and told them not to help the victim. Waheed was thereafer taken to a hospital where he died. He is survived by his widow and three daughters aged 6, 4, and 2.The next day Imtiaz Shah reported to the police station and proudly admitted to have performed a religious duty. the police arrested him and Rafaqat, and sent the case to an Anti-Terrorism Court. The judge sentenced Imtiaz Shah to death and Rafaqat to life imprisonment. Later, a sessions judge unjustly set Rafaqat free.The grieved party and Imtiaz Shah both appealed to the High Court. The High Court surprisingly endorsed Rafaqat’s acquittal, and provided further relief to Imtiaz Shah by reducing his sentence to mere seven years in prison. This was unprecedented in legal history, under the circumstances of the case.Ahmadis, thereafter, approached the Supreme Court that apex court set aside the High Court decision. The presiding judge of the Supreme Court refused to consider the complaint, and summarily and arrogantly announced his verdict to endorse the High Court decision (Guess who the Chief Justice was!). He dismissed the case within a few minutes.In the second half of 2008, Imtiaz Shah was looking forward to his impending freedom. He sent threatening messages from the prison to Ahmadis that he would ‘take care’ of them on his release. Ahmadis felt disturbed at the prospects. In the situation that prevails in Pakistan, Ahmadis have turned to God and pray every day: “O Allah, we make Thee a shield against the opponents and seek Thy protection against their evil designs”. It seems God decided to intervene on behalf of these victims of violence.In the recent weeks, Imtiaz Shah’s behavior became rather erratic in the prison, and he appeared disordered. On October 5, 2008 he had a heart attack. He was shifted to the Allied Hospital in Faisalabad where he died. Three days later, on October 8, Rafaqat, his helper in the murder of Mr. Abdul Waheed also had a cardiac arrest and failed to recover. Then only two days later, one of their principal influences, Bashir A Makon also had a heart attack and died on October 10, 2008. Thus, within only five days, these three public enemies of the Ahmadi community came to naught in Faisalabad.
Chenab Nagar: Girls High School in a dilapidated state. Education continues under the shade of death. 2500 girl students receiving education in building constructed in 1948.No water, open-air toilet etc put Parha Likha (educated) Punjab to shame. A tragedy in the offing.Teacher and students injured in 1997 due to falling electric fans from the ceiling. The building was declared dangerous, but despite a budget in billions, the school is provided no funds.The Deputy Nazim came over when he heard of the media’s visit. Residents demand the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister to rebuild the school and remove the (town) Nazim.The report notes with concern that the school building that was declared dangerous 11 years ago in 1997, has not been rebuilt. A tragedy could be in the offing. The last government spent millions on propaganda and publicity on Parha Likha Punjab, but spent little on repair and maintenance of dilapidated school structures. Dozens of girl students and teachers were hurt over the past years due to structural failures. The students feel worried over the risk to their lives. The Deputy Nazim promised to carry out repairs and maintenance.
I, Asif Ali Zardari, do solemnly swear that I am a Muslim and believe in the unity and Oneness of Almighty Allah, the Books of Allah, the Holy Qur’an being the last of them, the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the last of the Prophets and that there can be no Prophet after him, the Day of Judgment, and all the requirements and teachings of the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah:
That I will bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan;
That, as President of Pakistan, I will discharge my duties, and perform my functions, honestly, to the best of my ability, faithfully in accordance with the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the law, and always in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well-being and prosperity of Pakistan;
That I will strive to preserve the Islamic Ideology which is the basis for the creation of Pakistan;
That I will not allow my personal interest to influence my official conduct or my official decisions;
That I will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan;
That, in all circumstances, I will do right to all manner of people, according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will;
And that I will not directly or indirectly communicate or reveal to any person any matter, which shall be brought under my consideration or shall become known to me as President of Pakistan, except as may be required for the due discharge of my duties as President.
Suicide bombers coming from Punjab: Owais
Lahore, September 22: NWFP Governor Owais Ghani warned Punjab on Monday that militancy was gaining strength in its backyard.
Mr. Ghani also warned against treating the insurgency in the tribal areas as a problem of the NWFP. “It will be ill-advised to think that the militancy will remain confined to NWFP. Militants' activities have already shifted to the settled areas and Punjab and they have established strong links with south Punjab. It’s a national issue, a question of survival for (entire) Pakistan.” Later talking to Dawn, the governor said he had discussed the matter with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. He expressed the hope that the Punjab government would effectively handle the situation.
Religious intolerance in Pakistan widespread: USAhmadis behind bars
International Religious Freedom report says discrimination against minorities prevalent. Says promotions for minorities limited.
It said, “Specific laws that discriminate against religious minorities include anti-Ahmadi and blasphemy laws. The Ahmadiyya community continued to face governmental and societal discrimination and legal bars to the practice of its religious beliefs. Members of other Islamic sects also claimed governmental discrimination.”
There is life imprisonment for defiling, damaging or desecrating the holy Qur’an and 10 years in jail for insulting another’s religious feelings. “These laws are often used to settle personal scores as well as to intimidate vulnerable Muslims, sectarian opponents, and religious minorities,” said the annual review of religious freedom around the world.