Saturday, October 30, 2010

Religious Affairs Minister to ban Ahmadiyah

Sat, 10/30/2010
10:35 AM

Religious Affairs Minister to ban Ahmadiyah
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

GARUT, West Java: Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali said he wanted to disband Ahmadiyah but he did not offer timetable for the sect’s dissolution.

He said that after a long period of contemplation and asking for divine advice, he concluded that banning Ahmadiyah would be the best solution for all the problems relating to the group, which mainstream Muslims view as heretical.

Suryadharma said that Ahmadiyah should abandon Islam and stop using Islamic symbols such as the Koran and mosques.

“If they refuse to join the mainstream, they must not use Islamic symbols,” he said as quoted by

Suryadharma and strict Muslims have objected to Ahmadiyah’s refusal to acknowledge that Muhammad was Islam’s last prophet.

Local Ahmadiyah leader Rahmat Syukur Maskawan rejected the minister’s ideas, saying that, fundamentally, Ahmadis were Muslims who believed that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was the person who continued Muhammad’s propagation of Islam. — JP

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Asma targeted in Ahmedi hate campaign

Express Tribune, Pakistan
Asma targeted in Ahmedi hate campaign
Rana Tanveer
October 27, 2010
Pamphlet calls her an anti-Pakistan, pro-American and pro-Indian Ahmedi.
Pamphlet calls her an anti-Pakistan, pro-American and pro-Indian Ahmedi.
LAHORE: One of the leading candidates in the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) elections is being targeted by a hate campaign that calls her an Ahmedi, pro-American and pro-Indian.

The Khatme Nabuwwat Lawyers Forum based in Markaze Sirajia, a seminary in Ghalib Market, Gulberg, Lahore, recently published an eight-page pamphlet titled Targeted Missile Against Supreme Court that claims Asma Jahangir, a contender for the office of SCBA president, is a Qadiani, a derogatory term for Ahmedis. It also accuses her of being anti-Pakistan and pro-US and pro-India.

The pamphlet has been distributed at the Lahore Bar Association and posted to members of the SCBA.

Also, an Urdu language daily recently published a statement from Majlise Ehrar secretary general Abdul Latif Khalid Cheema that “Qadiani elements” were campaigning for Jahangir in the SCBA elections. He said “anti-Muslim forces” wanted her elected president in a nefarious plot to abolish the blasphemy laws.

Jahangir, talking to The Express Tribune, accused her opponents of resorting to dirty tricks to win the election. She was confident that the SCBA members would not be influenced by “such mudslinging”, but regretted that such a campaign had been undertaken.

Hassnain Jameel, her spokesman, said Jahangir is a Muslim and her opponents were criticising her for fighting for the rights of minorities and the destitute.

Advocate Tahir Sultan Khokhar, vice chairman of the Khatme Nabuwwat Lawyers Forum, who is not a member of the SCBA, said that this was not the first time the group had acted against a ‘Qadiani’. “Since its inception two years ago we have taken significant steps in this regard,” he said.

Khokhar said the pamphlet was meant to tell voters the truth about Jahangir. He said he only wrote facts about her in the pamphlet and left it up to voters to decide which candidate was the right choice.

‘Military candidate’

Ahmed Awais, Jahangir’s main rival in the election, denied having anything to do with the hate campaign or the pamphlet. “It is not right to bring religion or other matters into it. The elections are an internal matter for lawyers,” he said. Awais said he had always been respectful towards his opponents during his campaign speeches, though they had abused him in their speeches.

He said he too was being targeted by “hateful propaganda” portraying him as the army candidate in the elections, a major insult since lawyers worked so hard for the ouster of General (retired) Pervez Musharraf as president. He was also being called a PML-N candidate to get the sympathies of PML-Q lawyers and a PML-Q candidate to get the sympathies of PML-N lawyers.

Senior members of the bar condemned the circulation of the pamphlet and the unsubstantiated rumours about the candidates. They said such mudslinging was an insult to the bar and the values it stood for.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2010.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

SBY fails to uphold supremacy of law: Observers

Sat, 10/23/2010
11:34 AM

SBY fails to uphold supremacy of law: Observers
Hans David Tampubolon, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Law enforcement, the fight against corruption and economic enhancement were the weak points of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s administration during the first year of his second term, a discussion heard on Friday.

“In terms of law enforcement, we have witnessed many issues over the last year, including the Bibit-Chandra case, the Bank Century debacle, bloated bank accounts allegedly belonging to high-ranking police officers, the Molotov attack on the Tempo magazine office and the bullying of anticorruption activist Tama S. Langkun,” Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) senior researcher Burhanuddin Muhtadi told the discussion at the House of Representatives.

Oppression against minority groups was a major problem Yudhoyono had to resolve, Burhanuddin added.

“There is one regent’s instruction to exile Ahmadiyah followers to a remote island. The state must do something about that,” he said.

Burhanuddin was referring to the West Lombok regency administration’s suggestion to move 20 Ahmadi families, who had already been displaced for many years after their village was attacked by mainstream Muslims, to an island in Sekotong subdistrict. West Lombok regent Zaini Arony said the plan was part of the government’s efforts to “protect” the Ahmadis.

Zaini said he would seek the governor’s support of the widely-criticized plan, because it had only been put forth after consultations with religious, community and youth leaders. Critics have said the plan would amount to violation of human rights, and Zaini acknowledged that not everybody in the meeting supported the idea.

Early this month, an Ahmadiyah village in Bogor, just south of Jakarta was also attacked by militant mainstream Muslims, but the police were able to contain the violence.

Signs of increasing intolerance have also been evidenced by church closures and fierce militant rejection of churches and their congregation members in their neighborhoods.

Burhanuddin said that persecution against the Ahmadis reminded him of medieval practices in Europe, which should have long since been absent in a modern democracy like Indonesia. The government’s poor showing in the fight against corruption was ironic because the main selling point of Yudhoyono’s last presidential campaign was his commitment to the supremacy of law, he added. Another discussion speaker, law expert Irmanputra Sidin, said the President was to blame for the law enforcement agencies’ failure to reform themselves.

“The police and the attorney general have both failed to regain public trust. We can [therefore] say that Yudhoyono has failed,” he said.

Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party chairman Anas Urbaningrum defended the administration, saying there had been major improvements in law enforcement, however, most of them went unheard because of poor public relations.

Commenting on a possible Cabinet reshuffle, Anas said that Yudhoyono should react firmly to Cabinet ministers who did not perform well, and some ministers should be replaced.

“The President should not maintain Cabinet ministers who did not perform well because they would only burden his administration,” he said.

Rumors of a possible Cabinet reshuffle have been swirling since last week when Yudhoyono marked the first year of his second term in office.

The Democratic Party has long insisted that Yudhoyono must improve his administration by replacing certain ministers. Golkar, the second largest party, has also made similar calls, and has even said it did not mind preparing substitutes should Yudhoyono dismiss certain Golkar ministers.

Anas said the first year in office was the best time for Yudhoyono to reshuffle his Cabinet because the new ministers would still have enough time to familiarize themselves with their jobs.

He maintained that the Yudhoyono administration had made progress during the past year, but public awareness remains low because of the administration’s inadequate communication skills.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hardliners call for deaths of Surrey Muslims

The Independent, UKUK
Hardliners call for deaths of Surrey Muslims
Thursday, 21 October 2010 By Jerome Taylor, Religious Affairs Correspondent

Islamic extremists have started openly calling for the destruction of a controversial Muslim sect in a major escalation of sectarian conflict within British Islam, an investigation by The Independent has revealed.

Members of the Ahmadiyya Community have seen a significant upsurge in threats and intimidation over the past four months, sparked by an extremist attack on two of their largest mosques in Pakistan earlier this year.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim community during Friday prayers at Baitul Futuh Mosque in Morden, London.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim community during Friday prayers at Baitul Futuh Mosque in Morden, London.

Hardline Islamists in Britain have been distributing leaflets calling for the murder of AhmadiMuslims in Kingston-upon-Thames whilst mosques have been vandalised in Newham and Crawley. Preachers in south London have also been orchestrating a boycott of Ahmadi businesses and Ofcom has had to reprimand an Islamic satellite channel for repeatedly calling the sect “Wajib-ul Qatal” - an Arabic phrase used to describe those who digress from mainstream Islam that translates as “liable for death”.

Community leaders say the upsurge in animosity towards Ahmadis is directly linked to violence in Pakistan where local Taliban militants have declared war on sects that they deem to be heretical such as the Ahmadis and the Shi’a.

Although the Ahmadis have been targeted by extremists in the past, the combined attacks on two mosques in Lahore in May was the most brazen assault on their community yet, with 93 worshippers killed as they gathered for Friday prayers, including a number of Britons.

Followers of the Ahmadiyya sect in Ciampea examine their burnt-out mosque in Indonesia's West Java province earlier this month. Many Muslims in Indonesia regard Ahmadiyyah as a heretical sect and have called for it to be suppressed.
Followers of the Ahmadiyya sect in Ciampea examine their burnt-out mosque in Indonesia's West Java province earlier this month. Many Muslims in Indonesia regard Ahmadiyyah as a heretical sect and have called for it to be suppressed.

Since the mid 1980s the Ahmadi community has been headquartered in Morden, south London, after their leaders were forced to flee Pakistan, the only country in the world that legally forbids them from declaring themselves Muslims. They claim to have 70 million adherents worldwide although detractors say the number is closer to two million. An estimated 15,000 live in Britain including their spiritual leader Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad.

The Ahmadi leadership had hoped the attacks in Lahore would prompt an outpouring of sympathy among British Muslims. Instead, they say, it has emboldened a minority of extremists to openly target them in an upsurge in intimidation.

Rafiq Hayat, national president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK, told The Independent: “Through leaflet distribution, posting of hate material on websites and via programmes on satellite TV (often in Urdu and other south Asian languages) our community is being made a target of hatred and hostility by preachers of hate. The perpetrators of this act are Muslims and whilst they are certainly not representative of the vast majority of Muslims in this country, they are creating hatred in society.”

Police in Kingston-upon-Thames have opened a hate crime investigation earlier this summer when an Ahmadi woman was handed a leaflet by a man which stated: “Kill [an Ahmadi] and the doors to heaven will be open for you.” In Tooting, meanwhile, some mainstream Sunni preachers have urged follower to boycotts Ahmadi businesses.

To many orthodox Muslims, the Ahmadis are considered heretical because they believe that their 19th century founder was none other than the Mahdi - Islam’s equivalent of the messiah - and the successor to the Prophet Mohamed.

Islamic satellite channels, a rapidly expanding but largely unregulated section of the broadcast media, have played an instrumental role in recent anti-Ahmadiyya campaigning. This week Ofcom criticised the Ummah Channel for a string of three programmes broadcast shortly before and after the Lahore massacre in which clerics and callers alike said Ahmadis should be killed.

In one programme “Seal of the Prophethood” a cleric declared: Until now, whenever one has claimed to be a prophet the Muslim nation has issued fatwa that he should be killed. It is only that at present Muslims are weak and they do not have the power to slice such a man in two parts.”

On 21 May the Ummah Channel broadcast a in which Islamic scholars debated the status of Ahmadis within Islam.

When a caller named Asim asked for a scholar to explain whether Ahmadis were legitimate Muslims the imam replied: “Since the time of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) the Sahiba [knowledgeable scholars] have confirmed that anyone who believes in a prophet after the Holy Prophet is a kafir [unbeliever], murtad [apostate] and Wajib-ul Qatal [liable for death].“

He later added: “Until now, whoever has claimed prophethood, the Muslim Ummah has issued the fatwa for them to be killed. And all these false prophets have always been killed. It is only now that Muslims have become weak and they do not have the strength that they should cut such people into two.”

Ahmadis were also frequently referred to as “filth” who should be avoided by mainstream Muslims.

Ofcom ruled that the Ummah Channel breached broadcasting regulations with its “abusive treatment of the religious views and beliefs of members of the Ahmadiyya community”.

A representative of Ummah Channel said the station has now broadcast apologies for the programmes. “The Ummah Channel would like to express their sincere apologies for any offence caused,” the spokesperson said. “It was never the intention of the Ummah Channel to support or condone these opinions that were delivered by independent scholars during ‘live’ phone in shows.”

The Ahmadis say that doctrinal opposition towards their community is being spearheaded by Khatme Nubawwat Academy, a British offshoot of a Pakistani group that is dedicated to confronting Ahmadi beliefs.

The group, whose name translates to “The Finality of the Prophet”, has close connections to the Pakistani establishment and met Pakistan’s high commissioner in the UK earlier this summer.

They also held a conference in Newham on 18th June in which one of their speakers claimed that the attacks on the two mosques on Lahore were an Ahmadi conspiracy.

Imam Suhail Bawa, a leading Khatme Nubbawat preacher, told worshippers: “This will become apparent very soon to you all that Qadiani [a derogatory term for Ahmadis] themselves are behind this whole conspiracy. [They] are responsible for whatever has happened in Lahore. This is all Qadiani conspiracy. They now come to television programs to try to “falsely” demonstrate their victimisation.”

He then went on to warn that any attempt to try and change laws in Pakistan which forbid Ahmadis from calling themselves Muslims would be met with violence on a similar scale to a previous massacre of Ahmadis in 1953 in Lahore.

“If the anti-Qadiani laws or the blasphemy laws are touched by anyone in Pakistan,” Imam Bawa said, “then the 1953 Lahore agitation against the Qadianis will be repeated in the streets once more. The streets and roads of Lahore were filled with blood in that agitation.”

Khatme Nubbawat preachers have also given anti-Ahmadi speeches in Tooting Islamic Centre.

On the website for the group’s east London offices in Forest Gate, Ahmadis are described as “nothing but a gang of traitors, apostates and infidels”. The term Wajib-ul Qatal is not used although their preachers in Pakistan often use the term.

Akber Choudhry, a spokesperson for the Khatme Nubawwat Academy, said: “[We are] an independent UK organisation that is loosely affiliated with other such organisations around the world, and one of their major goals is to counter Qadiani (Ahmadiyya) propaganda within the laws of the jurisdiction in which each such organisation is based. We condemn all atrocities being committed in Pakistan and it is our wish and desire that Pakistan be free from all war, foreign intervention and attacks on civilians.”

Asked whether he thought it was acceptable to describe a religious group as a “gang of traitors, apostates and infidels” Mr Choudhry replied: “The words ‘apostates’ and ‘infidels’ are understood differently in English than in their Islamic theological sense, especially within the Urdu-speaking Muslims, and can be replaced by terms more sensitive to the current climate in which the connotations of these words have changed quite rapidly in the past few years.”

But Mr Hayat said he believed groups like Khatme Nubawwat create an atmosphere that encourages ordinary Muslims to be hostile towards Ahmadis.

“Freedom of speech is one thing, but incitement of hatred is another matter altogether,” he said. “We appeal to the authorities to nip this in the bud; otherwise this campaign of hatred against Ahmadi Muslims today will tomorrow grow into a threat against other moderate Muslims and indeed the wider society.”


Govt must protect Ahmadiyah, other minorities: Golkar

Thu, 10/21/2010
10:55 AM

Govt must protect Ahmadiyah, other minorities: Golkar
Ridwan Max Sijabat, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The government has a constitutional obligation to protect Ahmadiyah and other minority religious groups and must take action against violence directed against them, says a Golkar Party representative.

Speaking at a press conference at the end of the party’s three-day leadership meeting in Jakarta on Wednesday, Golkar’s patron board chair Akbar Tandjung said the government had no authority to interfere in Ahmadiyah’s internal affairs, including its religious teachings, and should take action against hard-line groups that burned down Ahmadiyah mosques and other buildings in several cities in the country.

“Our party has proposed a bill on religious freedom to help provide protection for all people, including minorities.”

“In the name of Pancasila — the state ideology — and the diversity of the nation, the government cannot prohibit Ahmadis from following their own teachings, which are different from the true Islam followed by the majority of Muslims. The government also has to guarantee Ahmadis their fundamental right to their faith,” he said.

Hard-line groups launched a string of attacks on Ahmadiyah followers and their buildings in Banten, West Java, and West Nusa Tenggara over the last several years. Ahmadis accept Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, instead of Muhammad, as their last prophet.

Hundreds of Islam Defenders Front (FPI) followers burned Ahmadi houses in Parung, Bogor, last month. Earlier, several hard-line groups sealed mosques belonging to Ahmadis in Kuningan, West Java, demanding the government disband the sect.

Despite the 2008 joint ministerial decree accepting Ahmadiyah’s existence, Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali asked Ahmadis to dissolve their sect and come back to the true Islam.

Golkar slammed the government for its slow response to the recent FPI assault on HKBP church ministers in Bekasi, West Java, and is determined to campaign for religious tolerance to counter increasing intolerance among Muslims.

Golkar chairman Aburizal Bakrie said his party, one of the nationalist parties, together with the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the Greater Indonesian Movement Party (Gerindra) and the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura), was deeply concerned about the deterioration of national attachment towards Pancasila among the people.

The declining implementation of and respect for Pancasila has been demonstrated by the increase in social disharmony, increasing intolerance among the Muslim majority and increasing terrorism and the emergence of terrorist cells, said Aburizal.

When asked why Golkar had remained silent amid the government’s slow response to minority attacks, Aburizal said his party was not an executive body, although it was included in the pro-government coalition.

“Our party has proposed a bill on religious freedom to help provide protection for all people, including minorities,” he said.

Golkar and local party members in Banten, West Sumatra, South Sulawesi and West Nusa Tenggara have been involved in the issuance of sharia-inspired bylaws, as previously reported.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fresh attack on Ahmadiyyas

The Daily Star, Bangladesh
Your Right To Know
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Front Page
Fresh attack on Ahmadiyyas
4 houses vandalised in Tangail
Our Correspondent, Tangail

Two Ahmadiyyas were seriously injured and four houses vandalised in a fresh attack on the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat community by religious bigots in Ghatail upazila of Tangail on Monday afternoon.

The injured, Shamsul Haque Akanda, 60, and his wife Hasna Banu, 50, of Chandtara village of the upazila were taken to Tangail General Hospital. Hasna was shifted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) a few hours later as her conditions became more critical.

“About 12 to 15 extremists led by one Sattar stormed into our house at 5:00pm and attacked us with sharp weapons,” Shamsul Haque told The Daily Star as he lay on his hospital bed.

“They also ransacked three other adjacent houses of our community,” he added.

Mominur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Ghatail Police Station, said Hasan Ali, son of the injured couple, has filed a case in this regard accusing 15 people though none have been arrested so far.

“Additional police personnel have been deployed at the village,” he added.

Earlier, in June and August this year, 20 people were injured and 30 houses including a makeshift mosque were damaged in a series of attacks by the bigots centering construction of an Ahmadiyya mosque in Chandtara village.

Following the attack and looting incidents in August, Khalilur Rahman Akanda, a long-suffering Ahmadiyya of the village, filed a case accusing 56 locals of harassing members of his community.

“Since filing the case, the accused had been threatening the local Ahmadiyyas saying that they will attack us again once they got bail,” said Rubel Hossain Akanda, nephew of the injured couple.

“Of the accused, 55 surrendered in a Tangail court and got bail,” he added.

A section of locals under the banner of “Imam Parishad” have long been campaigning against 40 Ahmadiyya families in the village.

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad founded the movement Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at on March 23, 1889, envisioning it to be a revitalisation of Islam. Ahmadiyyas consider themselves as Muslims and claim to practice Islam in its pristine form.

Monday, October 18, 2010

British Parliament to debate Ahmadiyya Muslims prosecution in Pakistan on Oct 20

Punjab Newsline, India

British Parliament to debate Ahmadiyya Muslims prosecution in Pakistan on Oct 20

Punjab Newsline Network
Monday, 18 October 2010

By Maqbool Ahmed
LONDON: A special debate will be held in the British Parliament about Ahmadiyya Muslims prosecution in Pakistan. This debate will be held on 20th October 10 in the British Parliament at 14:30 on British Time. This year Ahmadiyya Muslims in Pakistan has been attacked in the different parts of Pakistan by the fundamentalist.

In May 10 nearly 85 Ahmadiyya Muslims were killed in Lahore Mosque attack which was made by the Tehreke-Taliban Pakistan. On the other hand The Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has categorically rebuked the false notion that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat has any interest in seeking political power or leadership of any kind. He said the sole purpose of the community was to seek the pleasure of God Almighty and as a means to achieve this, the Jamaat was involved with humanitarian relief throughout the world.

Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said that despite the ongoing persecution that it faced the Jamaat sought nothing from the Government of Pakistan or from its politics. He said:“It is the foolish belief of those motivated by material interests that because the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat is a well organised and coherent community it may one day seek to overthrow the government. Let it be clear that we have no interest in seeking to enter the politics of Pakistan or for that matter that politics of any other country.”

As private citizens every Ahmadi Muslim, in his personal capacity, had the right to take part in local politics or become affiliated to a particular party. However the Jamaat collectively had no interest in the politics of any State. He said: “The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat and its institution of Khilafat has absolutely no interest or desire to overthrow any government. That is not our purpose. ”

Despite the decades of cruelty faced by the Jamaat in Pakistan, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said that the Jamaat felt great pain at seeing the country and its people in its current turmoil. The pain felt was not out of sympathy for the government but out of sympathy for the country itself and its people. Thus the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat would always be ready to offer any sacrifice for the sake of the nation. He said: “Anywhere in the world where there are problems we utilise all our capabilities in an effort to try and relieve the situation. We do this simply because this is what we were taught by our master, the Holy Prophet Muhammad. It was he who taught that a person should forget his own suffering and instead serve mankind.” In response to the recent floods in Pakistan the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat had raised vast sums in various countries which were then sent to Pakistan through a number of official channels. Furthermore teams of volunteers were sent to assist on the ground. This led to the head of a well known charitable trust in Pakistan to remark that Ahmadis were always the first on the scene to offer assistance.

He also said that “Our aid in Pakistan is extended irrespective of religious or sectarian differences. Humanity First has also undertaken much work for the flood relief and indeed it has earmarked a further $1million to rehabilitate the flooded areas. Without any regard for religion we will continue to carry out such efforts.” His Holiness said that when undertaking relief effort the Ahmadi Muslim teams did not even mention that they were Ahmadi lest it lead to any form of confrontation with those opposed to the Jamaat and thus denying aid to those poverty stricken people who needed our help.

Indonesian Vice President: Stand Up Against Radicals

Jakarta Globe, Indonesia
Indonesian Vice President: Stand Up Against Radicals
Ulma Haryanto & Anita Rachman | October 18, 2010

Indonesian Vice President Boediono, left, with United States President Barack Obama at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC in April. In the strongest comments by a senior politician yet against creeping radicalism, Boediono said the country must not abandon the basic principle that guarantees religious freedom for all. (EPA Photo)
Indonesian Vice President Boediono, left, with United States President Barack Obama at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC in April. In the strongest comments by a senior politician yet against creeping radicalism, Boediono said the country must not abandon the basic principle that guarantees religious freedom for all. (EPA Photo)
Jakarta. Vice President Boediono has received cautious praise after calling on the “silent majority” to take a stand against a growing radicalism that he describes as threatening to take the country down a path of destruction.

“Once we allow radicalism to take over our way of thinking, it will lead us toward destruction,” the vice president said in a speech on Saturday at the opening of the Global Peace Leadership Conference, organized by Nahdlatul Ulama.

“Freedom of expression has been used by certain groups to spread hatred,” he added.

Though racism and interreligious conflict are fundamental issues that exist in most societies, Boediono said, Indonesians should protect the foundation upon which the country was built — the principle of unity in diversity. “Although Islam is the religion of the majority of people, Indonesia is not an Islamic state,” he said.

Boediono said the country must not abandon the basic principle that guarantees religious freedom for all.

To do this, he called on the silent majority to take a stand. “Radicals are usually vocal, though they are few in number. They drown out the silent majority,” he said. “But there are times when the silent majority must dare to speak out. We must loudly reject radicalism and return to the original agreement of the founding fathers of the nation.”

Pluralism advocates applauded him for speaking out strongly on a threat they have long warned of but that officials have paid little attention to. Week after week, stories of discrimination against minority religious groups fill news pages, and several surveys have pointed to a worrying increase in intolerance among Indonesians.

Dhyah Madya Ruth, chairwoman of Lazuardi Birru, a group that aims to educate young people about the dangers of extremism, said it was important that the government made a clear stand.

“We have to create a synergy between the government, the people and civil society organizations in solving this problem,” she said. “Most important in this is not just the silent majority, but the silent government has to make a firm stand.”

Burhanuddin Muhtadi, an analyst from the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI), said that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had never strongly addressed radicalism.

In August Yudhoyono decried “groups that threatened the nation,” but his vague message could not be grasped by the public, Muhtadi said.

“He is too focused on his own image. He doesn’t want to be considered antagonistic toward Islamic hard-liners.”

Another important government figure who needs to stand up against those who promote hatred is the religious affairs minister, said Ulil Abshar Abdalla, the founder of the Liberal Islam Network and a Democratic Party politician.

“For example, in several Islamic gatherings people openly call for the banishment of [minority Islamic sect] Ahmadiyah. That should not be allowed,” he said, adding that he regretted that Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali had adopted a conservative approach that fostered radicalism. Suryadharma has openly advocated banning the Ahmadiyah sect.

Copyright 2010 The Jakarta Globe

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Suspect’s Plight Reflects Sense of Injustice Felt by Ahmadiyah Followers

Jakarta Globe, Indonesia
Suspect’s Plight Reflects Sense of Injustice Felt by Ahmadiyah Followers
Nivell Rayda | October 17, 2010

Ahmad Nuryamin, 35, was arrested and accused of a stabbing he says he was forced to confess to during torture. (JG Photo/ Nivell Rayda)
Ahmad Nuryamin, 35, was arrested and accused of a stabbing he says he was forced to confess to during torture. (JG Photo/ Nivell Rayda)
Bogor. For the past two weeks, 35-year-old Ahmad Nuryamin has been sharing a four-by-six meter cell with 11 other detainees at the Bogor Police headquarters, some of them hardened criminals and rapists.

Nuryamin, or Yamin as he is known to friends and family, had signed a confession saying that he stabbed a 15-year-old boy. But he claims that he only signed it after being tortured by two police officers.

The boy, who has not been identified, is believed to have been part of a mob of some 200 people that on Oct. 1 burned and looted homes, schools and a mosque in the village of Cisalada, home to about 600 followers of the Ahmadiyah, a minority Islamic sect.

“I didn’t stab anyone,” Yamin, an Ahmadiyah member and resident of Cisalada, told the Jakarta Globe. He said that when he saw people trying to burn down the village mosque with Molotov cocktails, he grabbed a kitchen knife from his home for protection and ran to help stop the attack.

“I put the knife in the left pocket of my jeans and ran to the mosque. Amid the chaos, a young boy bumped into my shoulder from behind,” he said. “I reacted instinctively and drew my knife. I could see him falling to the ground. He had a sword with him the whole time. But he immediately got up again and ran away.

“My knife couldn’t have hurt him. I didn’t see any blood on my knife or on my clothes. I even used the same knife to cut a guava later that night — I only have one knife at home you see. I even wore the same clothes when I was arrested the morning after.”

On Oct. 2, two police officers in civilian clothing arrived at Yamin’s home as he and his wife were drying rice.

“They told me that they just wanted to talk. So I went along and followed them to the back of a police pickup truck,” he said.

Yamin said that as they drove to the police station in Ciampea, the two officers punched him on the right side of his face and slapped him across his jaw, splitting his bottom lip.

“Confess, or I will drop you at Pasar Selasa [a local market] and let the mob finish you off. Confess, or I will let the mob burn your village to the ground once more,” one officer threatened, according to Yamin. “During my interrogation, I told the investigators what had happened. They didn’t listen to me and told me to shut my mouth, despite seeing first hand that I had bruises on my cheek and blood running from my lips. I never saw [those two officers] again. I never caught their names, but I can’t forget their faces.”

Bogor Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Tomex Kurniawan has pledged an internal investigation into the torture allegations, but said it was unlikely such force was used. “Why would we even use brute force?” he told the Globe. “We have incriminating evidence, including the kitchen knife that was used to stab the victim. We also have sworn statements from witnesses. A suspect can say whatever he wants, even in court. So we don’t really need a confession.”

Members of the Ahmadiyah, a sect founded in India in 1889, hold that the group’s founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was a prophet, a belief branded heresy by mainstream Muslims.

The nation’s top Islamic body, the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI), issued a fatwa, or religious edict, in 2005 against the Ahmadiyah, calling its teachings blasphemous.

The MUI’s ruling was followed by a wave of violence against members of the sect, who had previously lived in relative peace among other Muslim populations. Amid intensifying calls to ban the sect, the government issued a joint ministerial decree in 2008 that prohibited its members from practicing their faith in public and from spreading its beliefs.

This month’s attack in Cisalada was the latest case of violence and intimidation toward members of the sect, estimated to be around 600,000 nationwide.

Similar vandalism and attacks on Ahmadiyah mosques and dwellings have occurred in other places like West Nusa Tenggara, where homes belonging to members of the sect in Lombok were burned in 2006, leaving more than 100 homeless.

The West Lombok district administration last week said it was planning to relocate the displaced Ahmadiyah members to a remote area, arguing that it was for their own protection.

In Cisalada, harassment against Ahmadiyah members was first recorded in 2007. That year, hundreds of people protested the renovation of the sect’s local mosque. Some even went as far as to vandalize the building materials at the site.

“So you can see why I had to protect the mosque,” Yamin said. “I’m not a religious man, but I couldn’t just stand there and watch as people burned our place of worship and the Koran. I just couldn’t.”

Like other countries, Indonesia recognizes the right to self-defense as justification for using force to counter acts of violence.

“But the use of force has to be proportional,” said Topo Santoso, a legal expert from the University of Indonesia.

He added that if the case went to court, Yamin would have to prove that he did not stab the boy out of vengeance or retaliation. Yamin would also have to prove that he was in immediate danger before defending himself.

“The right to defend oneself should only be used to stop a criminal act from happening, and that is for the court to decide,” Topo said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the Oct. 1 attack, which saw at least 17 homes looted, and two of them reduced to rubble. Bogor Police have charged three suspects — identified only as RM, DM and AB — said to have been directly involved in the attack. But unlike Yamin, they have not been taken into police custody.

“We don’t want to cause more problems. Our main concern is to prevent a repeat” of the attack on the Ahmadiyah community, said Tomex, the Bogor Police chief. “They have been cooperative. Several community leaders have also vouched for them, guaranteeing that they will not try to run away or destroy evidence.”

Bonar Tigor Naipospos, deputy chairman of the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace, a nongovernmental organization that promotes religious tolerance, said the fact that police had not yet detained the other three suspects fueled a sense of injustice among the Ahmadiyah.

“It goes to show that Ahmadiyah members are treated differently, not just in their everyday lives but also in the eyes of the law,” he said.

The activist said investigations into attacks against Ahmadiyah members were rare, and that perpetrators often escaped prosecution. “Police must also bring down the attack’s mastermind, financiers and provocateurs,” he said. “Only then will the attacks stop.”

The Indonesian Survey Circle (LSI) recently said that the government’s inaction toward attacks against the Ahmadiyah had fueled intolerance and religious tensions.

According to a 2005 study conducted by LSI, only 13.9 percent of 1,000 respondents supported acts of violence towards the group. A similar survey released last week suggested that the number had grown to 30.2 percent.

The situation in Cisalada is starting to return to normal and police have pulled back most of the officers safeguarding the village. For Yamin and his family, however, it will be more difficult to return to their normal lives.

“I just hope Yamin can come home soon. He’s just a simple villager and an honest man,” Yamin’s brother, Dicky, told the Globe.

“Two of his three children were out playing when police arrested Yamin, the other one is just a baby. When the children returned home, their father was already in police custody. I’m having a hard time explaining to them what had happened to their father. I don’t want them to think that their father is a criminal.”

Copyright 2010 The Jakarta Globe

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Worshippers told at Tooting Islamic Centre to boycott Ahmadiyya shops

Wimbledon Guardian, UK
Ahmadiyya Investigation
Worshippers told at Tooting Islamic Centre to boycott Ahmadiyya shops
1:20pm Thursday 14th October 2010
Exclusive By Omar Oakes »
Haji Halal Meat: Sacked Ahmadi employee who 'would not convert'
Boycott plea: Leaflet written in Somali found in
Streatham mosque
Ahmadi shopkeepers face financial ruin after clerics demanded a boycott of their shops.

Imam Suliman Gani, of the TIC, admitted he personally pleaded with the owner of the Lahore Halal Meat in Tooting not to sell his business to an Ahmadi man.

He said: “Since the Qadianis are routinely deceptive about their religion, there was a potential risk of Muslims being offered meat that wasn’t necessarily halal.

“Can you imagine the uproar in the Jewish community if it was found that a shop selling purportedly kosher food was not doing so?

“If there is any deception involved in the provision of halal meat, naturally, we will prefer to err on the side of caution.”

Imam Suliman Gani: Pleaded with Tooting businessman
Imam Suliman Gani: Pleaded with Tooting businessman
Mr Gani offered no evidence to support claims the meat might be non-halal and later admitted if the meat came from the same supplier as before [which it did] “there would be no issue”.

One leaflet, the origin of which is not known but was posted on the wall of the Streatham Mosque, called for a boycott on Lahore Halal.

Another Ahmadi butcher, who came to London in 2001 after fleeing Pakistan, won an employment tribunal last month after being sacked in March.

Employment Judge Baron accepted Azizur Rahman, owner of Haji Halal Meat in Upper Tooting Road, pressured his employee to convert to the Sunni Muslim faith.

The tribunal heard: “Mr Rahman said he had been told that if he continued to employ the claimant then his customers would cease to patronise him.

“Mr Rahman referred specifically to pressure being placed on him by the head of the Sunni sect who had helped Mr Rahman to gain admission for his daughters to single sex school for girls.”

Mr Rahman claimed he had been influenced by a conference held by KN at the TIC on March 28, where worshippers were ordered to boycott Ahmadi-run shops.

During that conference Mr Gani shared a stage with KN Abdul Rehman Bawa. Mr Bawa said: “I don’t know why our sisters or mothers are talking with these Qadiani and making friendships … I know in this road, Tooting high street, all of the shops who are selling to Qadiani.

“Don’t make friends with them… they are trying to deceive you, they are trying to convert you from Islam to Qadianism.”

The owner of one Tooting halal butchers said his trade had fallen by nearly 50 per cent in three months. He said: “We have lost so much business because some people refuse to come here just because I am Ahmadi. They use words against me like ‘Kafir’, which means I am not Muslim.

“I’ve lived here for 13 years and lots of people know me in Tooting, but this situation has become so much worse now.”

A Wandsworth police spokesman said an investigation into the alleged hate crimes was ongoing.

Copyright 2001-2010 Wimbledon Guardian, UK. All rights reserved.

Tooting election race infected by anti-Ahmadiyya hate campaign

Wimbledon Guardian, UK
Ahmadiyya Investigation
Tooting election race infected by anti-Ahmadiyya hate campaign
1:10pm Thursday 14th October 2010
Exclusive By Omar Oakes »
Threatened: Tory candidate Mark Clarke 'mistaken for Ahmadi'Ahmadi: Lib Dem candidate Nasser Butt told not to come to hustingsRe-elected: Sadiq Khan MP won with slim majority
Hatred and threats towards the Ahmadiyya community even infected the general election race in Tooting.

Since being re-elected in May with a slim majority of 2,524 after fierce opposition from Conservative candidate Mark Clarke, Sadiq Khan has gone on to become Shadow Justice Secretary.

But Nasser Butt, who stood against him for the Liberal Democrats and is an Ahmadi, spoke out about a campaign to prevent him being elected because of his religion.

An election hustings at the Tooting Islamic Centre (TIC) on April 14 turned into a dangerous farce after hardliners shut down proceedings.

After arriving at the TIC, mixed-race Tory candidate Mark Clarke had to be locked into a room for his own safety after he was mistaken for Mr Butt by fundametalists.

Mr Clarke’s election agent, Andre Walker, said: “We had to be locked in a room for our own security. The mosque committee were embarrassed by it and it was tense for a while…it was clear Nasser’s arrival would have been dangerous and a real problem. There was anger an Ahmadi was running.”

During the incident, Mr Butt said he received a phone call from a committee member who told him it would be best if he did not come to speak as had been arranged.

It has also emerged worshippers were given precise orders at the TIC to urge Muslims not to vote for Ahmadi candidates.

A secret recording of a meeting at the TIC, two days before polling day on May 3, revealed Imam Suliman addressed the meeting alongside Harris Bokhani, speaker from an unknown organisation.

Mr Bokhani is heard to tell the audience: “The majority of Muslims in this area are voting Lib Dem, because they think Nasser Butt is a Muslim.

“If you don’t go in and speak to them, they’re not going to do it. They’re fed up of hearing it from the imams. They want to hear it from you. They need to you go into the community and say ‘Why are you supporting the Qadiani community?’”

Mr Khan told this paper last week he was not aware of the incident until days later and did not know about the pair being locked in a room.

He rejected claims the Muslim vote played an important role in his re-election, claiming he had support from faith leaders across the religious spectrum.

He said: “It’s really important everyone in the community gets along. One of the hallmarks of Tooting is that people with different rules and religions have got along so well for so long.

“If there’s any section of our community that feels vulnerable or discriminated against, there’s a responsibility on the rest of us to reach out and ensure this doesn’t happen.

“There are theological differences but we shouldn’t just tolerate each other, we should respect each other.

“My job as MP is to represent everyone in the community, irrespective of the size of the community and religious beliefs.”

TIC Imam Suliman Gani told us this week: “We never recommend any political candidate on religious grounds.

“Like all organisations, we only recommend political candidates based on how their stated policies affect our community.

“The Ahmadiyya community has been actively distributing leaflets claiming they are the only Muslims who love peace and harmony and thereby maligning the vast Muslim community.

“So, as an example, unless an Ahmadi candidate renounced such maligning of Muslims by the community he belongs to, we would not recommend him as he/she would be antithetical to the perception of our peace-loving community in such delicate times.”

Copyright 2001-2010 Wimbledon Guardian, UK. All rights reserved.

Relgious hate leaflets found in Tooting, Streatham and Kingston

Wimbledon Guardian, UK
Ahmadiyya Investigation
Relgious hate leaflets found in Tooting, Streatham and Kingston
1:20pm Thursday 14th October 2010
Exclusive By Omar Oakes »
Hate Leafllet: Khatme Nabuwwat warns muslims to beware
Hate Leafllet: Khatme Nabuwwat warns
muslims to beware
Inflammatory leaflets have been distributed across south London as part of a targeted ideological campaign against the Ahmadiyya community.

Some of the literature is produced by anti-Ahmadi group KN, whose spokesmen delivered speeches at the TIC in Tooting, Streatham mosque and the Kingston mosque.

One KN leaflet, Deception of the Qadiyani, was recently displayed in the window of the Sabina Hair and Cosmetic shop in Mitcham Road, Tooting.

When we confronted staff to ask why they had put up these leaflets, a worker said: “These people are not Muslims. I did it myself.

Boycott plea: Leaflet written in Somali found in Streatham mosque
Boycott plea: Leaflet written in Somali
found in Streatham mosque
“They don’t believe that prophet Mohammed is the last prophet.”

In August, Kingston police launched an investigation into suspected Ahmadi hate crime after leaflets were allegedly distributed in Kingston on July 6.

Kingston police confirmed a teenage Ahmadi girl, who did not want to be named, gave them a statement claiming the leaflet, which was written in Urdu, said: “Kill a Qadiyani and doors to heaven will be open to you”.

Police said they were appealing for information, but were not in possession of the leaflet, which was allegedly handed to the girl outside the Bentall Centre in Kingston town centre.

Copyright 2001-2010 Wimbledon Guardian, UK. All rights reserved.

Hate campaign discovered against south London Ahmadiyya Islamic minority

Wimbledon Guardian, UK
Ahmadiyya Investigation
Hate campaign discovered against south London Ahmadiyya Islamic minority
1:20pm Thursday 14th October 2010
Exclusive By Omar Oakes »
An international hate campaign by Islamic fundamentalists against a minority sect has spread to Britain and is causing a dangerous rift in south London’s Muslim community.

Victims: Ahmadiyya community based in Morden mosque are targeted
The situation has been likened to the “beginnings of the Holocaust” by a leading expert who is urging the police to act.

Lord Avebury, the long-serving vice-chairman of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group, said the extremist views were being imported from Pakistan and compared the vilification of Ahmadiyya Muslims with the beginnings of the Holocaust.

Our investigation has revealed shocking examples of Ahmadi residents, businessmen and politicians being demonised and ostracised by UK Islamic fundamentalist group Khatme Nabuwat (KN).

Ahmadi-owned businesses have been boycotted and face ruin, while employers have been pressurised into sacking Ahmadi workers.

The hate campaign even infected the General Election result after a campaign to discourage Muslims voting for an Ahmadi Liberal Democrat candidate in Tooting.

There are an estimated 13,000 Ahmadi Muslims living and working in south west London, who were drawn to the area after its first mosque was built in Southfields.

Ahmadiyya Muslims differ from mainstream Islam by believing the second coming of the Messiah has already happened and is embodied by their founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

Their two main mosques are the London Mosque, built in 1926 in Gressenhall Road, Southfields, and the massive Bait-ul-Fatah mosque in Morden, built in 2003 – which their website claims is the largest mosque in Western Europe.

Since then, many Ahmadis who have fled religious persecution in Pakistan have come to live in Merton, Wandsworth, Kingston and Lambeth.

Since being established in 1884, the movement is followed by 160m people in 190 countries worldwide and actively promotes humanitarian efforts under the motto: “Love for all, hatred for none”.

They have a highly active public relations team, which within the past year has promoted community initiatives on behalf of the entire Muslim community, such as an advertising campaign launched in February on London’s bus network.

Copyright 2001-2010 Wimbledon Guardian, UK. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ahmadis may be relocated to an island ‘for their own good’

Wed, 10/13/2010
10:05 AM

Ahmadis may be relocated to an island ‘for their own good’
Panca Nugraha, The Jakarta Post, Mataram

It is proposed that Ahmadiyah followers be relocated to an island, some 60 kilometers south of West Nusa Tenggara capital Mataram, as the West Lombok regency administration is seeking “to provide protection for these displaced people”.

“We have discussed the plan in a coordination meeting with the regency’s officials and community and religious leaders. They’re probably going to be relocated,” the regency administration’s spokesman Ispan Junaedi said on Tuesday.

Over a hundred of the followers of the Islamic sect have taken shelter at Wisma Transito building in Mataram after being kicked out of their homes in Ketapang hamlet in Lingsar district on Feb. 4, 2006.

West Lombok Regent Zainy Arony had earlier told reporters the relocation plan was intended to protect Ahmadiyah followers.

He said the plan was made based on human rights consideration since under the law, and despite their beliefs, they are Indonesian citizens, who were protected.

“We also hope the provincial administration to play a role in assisting solve the problem,” Zainy said.

Ahmadiyah followers said they did not know about the plan.

“I just found out about the plan after an interview with a BBC London journalist. We regret the plan has not involved us,” Ahmadiyah provincial chapter head Jauzi Djafar told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

He said the relocation plan may be an acceptable solution for the refugees, who have been denied their rights for the past five years, but they had to be involved in the plan.

He said that the 127 Ahmadiyah followers living in the shelter were still hoping they could return to their homes in Ketapang hamlet.

He said the regency administration would need to provide houses and to ensure their safety.

“Why don’t they just compensate them for their assets lost in Ketapang so they can find new places to live outside the shelter?” Jauzi said

“And if there is guarantee of their safety, why there is a need to be relocated? Why not return them to their hometown as before? We’re confused about this plan.”

Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali claimed in Medan, North Sumatra on Monday that disbanding Ahmadiyah “would cause fewer problems than keeping it in existence”, insisting this was not discriminatory since the sect spread false Islamic teachings.

He said that the 2008 joint ministerial decree on the sect, which banned the Ahmadis from propagating their views — allegedly leading to attacks on the sect by hardline Muslims, would not be changed.

The latest attack against the sect, believed to have some 200,000 followers across the country, took place in Bogor, West Java, when some 20 people threw stones and set fire to Ahmadiyah houses and places of worship in Ciampea. A mosque, five houses, a car and two motorcycles were burned in the attack.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ahmadiyah Intolerance Has Flourished on Indonesian President’s Watch: Survey

Jakarta Globe, Indonesia
Ahmadiyah Intolerance Has Flourished on Indonesian President’s Watch: Survey
Nivell Rayda & Camelia Pasandaran | October 12, 2010

Jakarta. The level of intolerance among the Muslim community toward the Ahmadiyah sect has more than doubled during the six years of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s rule, a survey indicates.

In the study by the Indonesian Survey Circle (LSI), 30.2 percent of 1,000 respondents in 100 towns and cities across Indonesia supported acts of violence against the sect, which many mainstream Muslims deem deviant.

LSI researcher Adrian Sopa said this was a sharp increase from a similar survey in 2005 that showed only 13.9 percent of respondents backed such moves.

“The government must do something before the problem escalates,” he said.

“[President Susilo Bambang] Yudhoyono must put an end to hate speeches and attacks and ensure religious freedom.”

However, in a speech on Tuesday, Yudhoyono blamed the rise of hard-line activity on the country’s transition toward a fully fledged democracy.

“In a large-scale transformation, there might be disorientation and resistance,” he said.

“It often causes uncomfortable feelings [and leads to different groups] blaming each other. It happens because the old values have been abandoned while the new values have not been properly established.”

The LSI’s latest survey comes on the heels of an attack against the Ahmadiyah and a plan to banish them to an island.

On Oct. 1, hundreds of attackers ransacked and burned down houses, schools and a mosque in Cisalada village, home to 600 followers of the minority sect.

On Monday, meanwhile, the district head of West Lombok announced plans to relocate a group of Ahmadiyah refugees to a deserted island to quell the local community’s unrest over their presence there.

The LSI concluded the growing number of attacks against Ahmadiyah was rooted in the government’s failure to prosecute the perpetrators.

A similar study released last month by the Center for the Study of Islam and Society found “a worrying increase” in religious intolerance among Muslims in 2010 compared with 2001.

Of 1,200 adult Muslim men and women surveyed nationwide, 57.8 percent said they were against the construction of churches and other non-Muslim places of worship — the highest level recorded by the study center since 2001.

More than a quarter, or 27.6 percent, said they would object to non-Muslims teaching their children in school, up from 21.4 percent in 2008.

Center chief Jajat Burhanudin said the results were “good news for radical groups” in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority state.

“Religious intolerance encourages people to become radicals, join terrorist networks or at least support the agenda of fundamentalists who commit violence in the name of religion,” he said.

Indonesia’s Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, while the country of 240 million people, 80 percent of whom are Muslim, has ratified the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Followers of Ahmadiyah, a sect founded in India in 1889, profess the group’s founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was the last prophet, (*) a belief that runs counter to mainstream Islamic beliefs that reserve that distinction for the Prophet Muhammad.

In 2005, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) issued a fatwa, or edict, calling the sect’s teachings blasphemous.

Since then, a string of violent acts and discrimination against members of the group have gone mainly unpunished.

The statement is erroneous. Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian did not make any such claim of being last prophet. Please visit for further info.

Copyright 2010 The Jakarta Globe

Monday, October 11, 2010

Officials Announce Plan to Relocate Ahmadiyah Families to a Deserted Island

Jakarta Globe, Indonesia
Officials Announce Plan to Relocate Ahmadiyah Families to a Deserted Island
Nivell Rayda | October 11, 2010

A follower of the minority Islamic sect, Ahmadiyah, holding a burnt copy of the Koran in Ciampea, West Java, after violence directed at the Islamic sect earlier this month. In what is likely to be a hugely controversial - if not illegal - decision, authorities in West Nusa Tenggar plan to relocated 20 sect families to a deserted island in Lombok. (Reuters Photo/Dadang Tri)
A follower of the minority Islamic sect, Ahmadiyah, holding a burnt copy of the Koran in Ciampea, West Java, after violence directed at the Islamic sect earlier this month. In what is likely to be a hugely controversial — if not illegal — decision, authorities in West Nusa Tenggar plan to relocated 20 sect families to a deserted island in Lombok. (Reuters Photo/Dadang Tri)
akarta. A district head in West Nusa Tenggara announced plan to relocate 20 Ahmadiyah families to a deserted island, a move many say is both discriminatory and inhumane.

“We are trying to protect Ahmadiyah members,” Zaini Arony, district head of West Lombok, said on Monday, as quoted by Antara.

Zaini said he had discussed the matter with religious figures and members of society, adding that it had been agreed that Ahmadiyah members would be relocated to an island in Sekotong subdistrict.

He claimed the local government feared a repeat of an incident in February 2006 when thousands of mainstream Muslims burned homes belonging to Ahmadiyah members in the district.

The incidents left as many as 137 people homeless, all of whom had to be escorted by police officers to a temporary shelter in the provincial capital, Mataram.

In August, at least 20 families left the shelter and returned to the district. Zaini said their return was rejected by a number of groups.

Zafrullah Pontoh, the president of the Indonesian Ahmadiyah Congregation (JAI), told the Jakarta Globe that the West Lombok government had never discussed the matter with the sect. “The local government is trying to banish Ahmadiyah from West Lombok,” he said.

Followers of Ahmadiyah, a sect founded in India in 1889, profess that the group’s founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, is the last prophet, a belief that runs counter to mainstream Islamic beliefs that reserve that claim for the Prophet Muhammad.

The nation’s highest authority on Islamic affairs, the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI), issued a fatwa in 2005 against the Ahmadiyah, calling its teachings blasphemous. And the government issued a joint ministerial decree in 2008 banning its members from practicing their faith in public or spreading its beliefs.

Ulil Abshar Abdalla, founder of the Liberal Islam Network and a Democratic Party politician, said the government must remain neutral and not support calls of intolerance against Ahmadiyah from mainstream Muslim groups.

“It needs time to correct religious indoctrination [in mainstream Muslim] that spur hatred towards Ahmadiyah. It needs time to reach cultural maturity to accept different views,” he said.

“However, I am saddened that the government is supporting this cultural immaturity and making it a political policy.

Copyright 2010 The Jakarta Globe

Ahmadis continue to live in fear

Mon, 10/11/2010
10:30 AM

Ahmadis continue to live in fear
The Jakarta Post, Bogor/West java

Intimidated by rumors of another assault, more than 600 residents in the isolated Cisalada neighborhood in Ciampea Udik village, Bogor, are living in fear after fresh violence.

“I’m afraid to go to the traditional market because other residents might try to kill me,” 51-year-old Lela (not her real name) told The Jakarta Post last week.

Lela and her husband live in a house only a dozen meters away from a mosque that was torched on Friday.

“I cannot erase the horrific memory of dozens of young men from Pasar Salasa and Kebon Kopi [areas] suddenly attacking our neighborhood,” she said.

Lela was referring to an incident that took place last Friday evening, when approximately 20 people attacked Cisalada residents at around 7:15 p.m. Assailants threw stones and Molotov cocktails, and burned more than 30 Koran at an Ahmadiyah mosque that was under construction. The mob disbursed but later returned in larger numbers and set fire to five houses, a car and two motorcycles.

So far, none of the assailants have been apprehended, but one Ahmadi was arrested on Monday for allegedly stabbing one of the attackers.

Yellow police lines surrounded the remains of shattered buildings when the Post visited the area.

Soldiers and police officers used empty houses as makeshift base camps. Five police trucks were parked in schoolyard that no longer had glass in its window frames. Some officers patrolled the area with rifles slung around their shoulders.

Lacking confidence in the authorities’ ability to prevent further attacks, some residents decided to move their families to other areas in Bogor, West Java.

Ali, a 34-year-old university student living in Jakarta, came home to visit his mother and help her move to temporarily stay with relatives

“I’m worried about her, especially considering these rumors of an even larger assault,” he said.

A nearby house belonging to Ali’s uncle was allegedly raided by the angry mob during the incident.

Even though the incident was immediately reported to the nearest police precinct, located only 7 kilometers away, the police finally arrived two hours after the initial assault, neighborhood unit chief Edi Humaedi said.

“I watched the mob marching toward us, and one hooligan even asked for my permission to burn our mosque. Can you imagine such a thing? They were just young kids,” Edi said.

He said he would defend his belief and neighborhood, to death if necessary, if another mob attacked his community.

Another resident from nearby Pasar Salasa, Dodon, 51, said he was angry with Ahmadiyah followers because their teachings were blasphemous and insulted Islam.

“Their Koran is different from ours. They have removed several verses and they believe that the Prophet Mohammad wasn’t the last prophet,” Dodon told the Post, although he also admitted to never read the Ahmadis’ scripture. (rch)

Ahmadiyah followers insist they are Muslims

Mon, 10/11/2010
9:19 AM

Ahmadiyah followers insist they are Muslims

JAKARTA: Ahmadiyah congregation members have refuted suggestions made by mainstream Indonesian Muslims that they should abandon Islam and form a new religion.

“We object to those who do not consider us a part of Islam,” Ahmadi’s Garut branch executive Rahmat Syukur Maskawan said, as quoted by on Sunday.

In response to the growing animosity, Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), suggested last week that Ahmadiyah followers should no longer claim that they are a part of Islam.

Followers of the sect would suffer from isolation if they insist on associating themselves with Islam while at the same time violating the basic teachings of the religion, NU deputy secretary-general Enceng Shobirin said.

The campaign to outlaw Ahmadiyah, a frequent target of persecution, was political. Rahmat said, adding that he deplored the statement made by NU and questioned the organization’s commitment to defending minority groups and upholding pluralism.

Ahmadiyah has been declared “heretical” by the Indonesian Ulema Council for saying that its founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was a prophet. Such belief is against the dominant view among Muslims that Muhammad was God’s last prophet. — JP

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Monthly Newsreport - Ahmadiyya Persecution in Pakistan - September, 2010

Suicide attack on Ahmadiyya mosque; one Ahmadi killed

Mardan, KP; September 3, 2010: A terrorist attack took place against the Ahmadiyya mosque in Mardan. Sheikh Amir Raza, an Ahmadi was killed while three others sustained injuries. Further loss of life was prevented by the brave response of Ahmadi guards on security duty. It was the occasion of Friday congregational prayers.

At about 13:05 two terrorists tried to enter the premises. Initially one of the attackers threw a grenade towards the mosque entrance which landed a few metres away. At this, the Ahmadis standing near the entrance went inside and bolted the mosque door from the inside.

Ahmadi security personnel stood at their posts and fired back. One of the attackers was injured and fled. The other began to fire shots indiscriminately. He continued to move forward but was resisted by the Ahmadis on duty. Seeing that he would not be able to enter the mosque, the terrorist chose to detonate his bomb. The effect of the explosion was massive and as a result the mosque gate and the outer wall were destroyed. This resulted in Ahmadi casualties. Nearby homes were also damaged by the explosion.

Sheikh Amir Raza was 40 years old. He was a popular and dedicated member of the Ahmadiyya community. He owned an electronics shop. He is survived by his wife, Lubna Amir, two school-going sons and an infant daughter.

Three other Ahmadis were injured in this attack; Mr. Fahim Ahmad Khan, Mr. Tauseef Ahmad and Mr. Imran Jawed.

It is worth noting that there was no police presence at the mosque, and the terrorist who fled remains untraced.

The vernacular press chose to give minimum coverage to the attack on the mosque and the brave response of the duty personnel. Reportedly this is the first occasion that an attacking suicide bomber was made to flee from the scene by the determined response of the guards, and the attack was rendered a complete failure.

The Head of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, Hadrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said in his Friday Sermon of 3rd September 2010:

“What type of people are these, who in the name of Islam and in the name of God perpetrate such evil acts? These people who attack worshippers of God in His name can under no circumstances claim to be Godly. Just two days ago there was also an attack on a Shia religious procession in Lahore in which many innocent people were killed and many others were injured. May God quickly save our country from the acts of such evil persons and groups. Indeed I pray that He saves the entire world because such evil has spread throughout the world.”

Appreciation by the Chief Minister: Mr. Amir Haider Hoti, CM appreciated the bravery of youth on duty during the attack and awarded the two Ahmadis, Mr. Fahim Ahmad and Mr. Tauseef Ahmad a reward of fifty thousand rupees each the following day. The CM’s father who is also a local MNA visited the site an hour after the attack took place and inquired into the well-being of the local Ahmadis who appreciated the gesture.

Another Ahmadi killed for his faith

Faisalabad; September 8, 2010: Mr. Naseer Ahmad Butt S/O Allah Rakha Butt was killed by an unknown motorcyclist wearing a helmet on September 8, 2010 at 12:15 p.m. in broad daylight in a busy market of Faisalabad. He owned a fruit shop. He was shot four times in his chest.

He was 50, an affectionate man and very popular in the area. He had good relations with non-Ahmadi Muslims. He was a devoted Ahmadi.

He is survived by his parents, a wife Mrs. Yasmeen Naseer, a son Bilal Ahmad, 23 and two daughters, Miss Aisha Naseer, 18 and Miss Sajeela Naseer, 11.

He was taken to Rabwah the next day where his burial took place under high security.

Azad Kashmir authorities relent in face of religious extremists

Kotli, Azad Kashmir; September 2010: Azad Kashmir has almost continuously been mentioned in our reports. The political classes there tend to yield to the sectarian demands of the mullas, not realizing that these policies could threaten the state, the society and indeed the politicians themselves.

At Kotli, certain agitators took out a procession on September 8, 2010 ostensibly against electrical power outages. However, when they arrived near the Ahmadiyya mosque they started raising slogans against Ahmadis. It was clear that the move was preplanned. Only a day earlier at the Khatme Nabuwwat Conference in Rabwah, the sponsors had passed a resolution on the Ahmadis of Kotli.

The crowd shouted abuse and hateful words against Ahmadis and threw stones at the mosque. They also forcefully removed the mosque’s gate. Police officials arrived, observed the situation and told the two parties to come to the police station. Ahmadis were there on time, but the agitators failed to turn up. The mosque gate was found lying in the police station. Ahmadis asked for its return, however the police officials did not oblige, and advised the Ahmadis to remain calm and cooperative. The police sent for the two parties the next day. The next day the SHO was be away from the office. When his superior, the ASP was asked to return the gate, he expressed his inability and advised that the gate not be replaced yet. When told that the Ahmadiyya mosque would be unsafe without the gate, he had no answer.

Ten days later, the gate was still not returned to Ahmadis by the police. The clerics issued a call to take out a procession in the city on September 27. Their demands had now been raised to the demolition of the niche and minarets of the mosque and erasure of the Kalima from there. They put up anti-Ahmadiyya banners and posters in the town. The Deputy Commissioner and a magistrate came to visit the mosque. They were urged by the Ahmadis to ensure peace. Ahmadis, however, took steps to defend their place of worship.

On 27th September, the opponents held their conference and named it, of course, ‘Khatme Nabuwwat Conference’ – their usual guise for mischief. They made hateful and provocative speeches and made these offensive pre-meditated demands to the authorities. They raised slogans, and named some Ahmadi leaders as targets. The police took no action against them, but went ahead with registration of a police case under PPC 506/2 against Mr Amir Qaisar Daud, Ahmadi for criminal intimidation.

The mullas gave the administration and the police one hour after the conference to act against Ahmadis. The administration requested the clerics to give them three days, which they granted. The mullas have threatened that, ‘otherwisethey will take action on their own. If the authorities decide to be so timid in imposing law and order, it is understandable why the mulla treats them with such contempt.

In the meantime, the police inspector incharge of the post at Tatta Pani sent for the president of the local Ahmadiyya community and told him to remove the Kalima from the Ahmadiyya mosque, as demanded by the mulla. He conveyed, that he had received these orders from ‘above’. The president told him that he would not undertake this sacrilege, nor would allow the mulla to do it.

The situation remains tense, while the politicians, the administration and police officials decide where to draw the line, or allow the writ of the mulla to prevail.

According to recent press reports, many Muslim leaders urged the West in the UN to clamp down on attacks on Islam by the extreme right. One of them, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said the battle was between moderates and extremists in all religions. “We must, and I repeat, we must urgently reclaim the centre and the moral high ground that has been usurped from us.” However, it is pity that most Muslim leaders are quick to forget what they said at the UN, as soon as they return home.

It is on record that in 2004 when Pakistan, in the Musharraf era, was a member of Human Rights Council at the UN, it sponsored a resolution entitled: “Promotion of Religious and Cultural Understanding, Harmony and Co-operation”. However, while this Resolution was at a preparatory stage at home, the police in Sindh charged 15 Ahmadis under the Ahmadi-specific law for writing Bismillah (In the name of God) and Assalamo Alaikum (Islamic greetings) etc on wedding invitation cards. The police proceeded to arrest the bridegroom and his father. It was in the same days that Mr. Muhammad Iqbal, an Ahmadi accused was given life imprisonment in a fabricated case of blasphemy, at the demand of a Pakistani state attorney.

Aalami Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat - a religious body?

For years the Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat has put on a façade that it is a religious organization that concerns itself with the creed of End of Prophethood, as such it is entitled to all the privileges under the law of Freedom of Faith.

The reality, in fact, is quite different. This organizations is sectarian to the core and is a cover for extremist mullas who have a political agenda, both national and international. The leadership promotes and encourages violence in the name of religion.

For instance, only a week ago, these people targeted two Ahmadis, and urged their followers to murder them. Rana Nasim Ahmad, a manager of a courier company in Faisalabad, on September 22, 2010 found a poster on his car parked outside his office. The wording and threat conveyed in the poster is worthy of serious notice, its Urdu original with English translation is given below.
O Muslim slaves of the King of Madina, the Seal of Prophets, the Intercessor for the sinners, Prophet Mohammad, the Arab, peace be upon him; Brothers
The cobra of the false Prophethood of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani is advancing to devour the faith of our young generation. What kind of Muslim is he who sits idle, with his lips closed and eyes shut over these shocking, most disturbing heretic set of beliefs?
How come your sense of religious honour has gone numb?
Who will bridle the tongue of Qadianism?
O Muslim brothers, there are some people among us who are misleading us and they ought to be taken note of. Their penalty is death. It is indeed Jihad to kill them in the open.
Rana Nasim Ahmad (Qadiani Kafir) - Zonal Manager OCS (pvt) LTD Faisalabad
Majid Mubarak (Qadiani Kafir) - Manager OCS (pvt) LTD Lahore
Guarding the End of Prophethood, and Mohammad’s intercession (PBUH)
If you need the intercession of Muhammad, the Arab, PBUH, on the Day of Reckoning, and if you wish to stand under his (PBUH) banner, you will have to work for Guarding the End of Prophethood. You will have to confront the Qadiani gang; are you ready for that? (A statement of the Wise of the Era, Martyr of Islam, Hadrat Maulana Muhammad Yusuf Ludhianwi)
For references and photocopies visit:
The Publicity Division of the Alami
Majlis Khatme Nabuwwat

The high political figures and police and administration officials regularly participate in the meetings and conferences of this sectarian group. They facilitate the activities of those who approve and promote intense communal hated and sanction violence. It is reasonable to assume that the leadership of this organization is in close contact with the terrorist wings of other Islamist Jihadi groups who, for instance, killed 86 Ahmadis in Lahore on May 28 this year. The authorities need to revise their attitude towards these people and treat them the way they deserve.

Ahmadi denied burial in public cemetery

Jalalpur Jattan, Gujrat; August 2010: Mirza Sultan Ahmad died in his village in August 2010. He was to be buried in the village cemetery according to his will. The local anti-Ahmadi group obstructed the burial which caused a quarrel. The police were informed who detained the two parties. The SHO advised his son to avoid confrontation and bury his father in their own land beside the public cemetery. The son took a wise decision, abandoned the plan of local burial and took the dead body to Rabwah for burial.

A few days later, these agitators thought of another mischief and decided to disinter the corpse of the son of Mirza Sultan Ahmad, who died a year and half ago and was buried in the village graveyard. The police were informed and the SP was contacted. The SHO went to the village. He addressed the villagers in the mosque after the Friday congregation, and warned them against disturbing the peace. He pointedly warned the mischief-makers in the village.

After this timely action of the SHO, the situation is normal in the village.

A convert denied Ahmadiyya burial

Chak No. 97 GB, Faisalabad; August 16, 2010: Mr. Tahir Ghani S/O Mr. Munawwar Ahmad Khalid died in a road accident on 15 August, 2010. His body was brought to his village. He had joined Ahmadiyyat in the recent past. Some of his relatives are Ahmadi while a majority of them are non-Ahmadi. Ahmadis decided to give him an Ahmadi burial. However his non-Ahmadi relatives, urged by a mulla, barred them. Ahmadis approached the Numberdar and other elders of the village. It was mutually decided that first the Ahmadis will say his funeral prayer, thereafter the non-Ahmadis will say the funeral prayer and bury him. At this, approximately 100 Ahmadis from far and wide came there to say the funeral prayer of their Ahmadi brother.

When the Ahmadis were about to say the funeral prayer, the non-Ahmadis violated their previous agreement and declared that they will not allow them to do so. The Ahmadis decided to resist and took over the dead body to proceed with the burial rites. The situation became tense. The mulla threatened to disturb the peace of the village. At this Ahmadis decided to forego what was their right and maintained the peace.

When the deceased was alive, the mulla urged others to boycott him socially. When he died, the mulla decides to deny Ahmadis the chance to offer his funeral prayers. Obviously, the mulla is interested only in making mischief.

Authorities informed

The authorities cannot complain that the Ahmadiyya central office does not keep them informed of the communal threats posed to the community by its opponents. As before, the community headquarters at Rabwah informed all concerned about an anti-Ahmadiyya sectarian conference planned to be held by the mulla, at Rabwah on September 7, 2010. The translation of the Circular is given below:

Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya Rabwah (Pakistan)
Ph: 047-6212459
Fax 047-6215459
I bring to your notice an important and sensitive issue. According to press reports, opponents of the Ahmadiyya community have announced that they are holding a Khatme Nabuwwat Conference in Chenab Nagar (Rabwah) on September 7, 2010.
Ahmadis, who comprise 95% of the population of Chenab Nagar (Rabwah) are not permitted to hold here their annual conference, public meetings and various other community functions. However, their opponent organizations are allowed a free hand to transport outsiders to Rabwah, take out processions, use loud-speakers in public, hurl insults against Ahmadi leaders, make foul gestures, provoke, insult and disturb the law and order of the town.
Once again, one such conference is announced for September 7. This time, it is scheduled in the sacred and blessed month of Ramadan. This conference is a threat to the law and order of the town. As ever, it is likely that members of banned organizations will come to Rabwah to participate. Here, they make sorties in groups, enter residential neighborhoods and make provocative visits to Ahmadiyya places of worship. There is a risk of some unpleasant incident in the town at this occasion.
Under these circumstances, it will be appropriate not to permit this conference, nor to extend it official sanction. In other circumstances, the participants should be directed to use only the main roads, not misbehave with women, not raise provocative slogans, desist from misuse of sound systems, and refrain from hateful sectarian speeches that incite violence.
In case there is an unpleasant development, the administration and participants will be responsible.
Last year too, you were requested action on these lines, however there was no positive response.
It is hoped that effective steps will be taken to ensure peace of this town.
It is a sensitive issue, and deserves immediate action.
Saleem uddin
Director of Public Affairs
Rabwah (Chenab Nagar) District Jhang
Dated: 31 August 2010

We regret to report that the conference was allowed and facilitated by the authorities.

Anti-Ahmadiyya Conference in Rabwah

Rabwah; September 7, 2010: A one-day ‘International Khatme Nabuwwat Conference’ was held at Jamia Usmania, Muslim Colony Rabwah. This ‘International’ open-air gathering was attended by no more than 200 participants, most of them boys from local madrassa. However, the lack of participants did not deter the organizers and the speakers from the usual slander and bad-mouthing, and making shameless demands.

This time, the leading mullas failed to turn up. The reasons are not known. They had to stay content with a message from ‘Maulana Abdul Hafeez of Makka’. Qari Shabbir Usmani, the local leading cleric led the proceedings. Other participating mullas included Rashid Hijazi, Khalid Shabbir, Aasim Makhdoom from Lahore, Amjad Hussain, Qari Riaz from Lahore, Muhammad Najam, Zaman Bhatti advocate of Lahore, Irfan Barq, Ayub Chinioti, Qari Asif Rashid of Lahore, Muhammad Ashraf, Qari Abu Bakr etc.

The resolutions adopted were those that violated accepted norms of human rights and international covenants. They included the following, inter alia:

Qadianis should be banned.
Add column of ‘Religion’ to the national identity card.
Block the Qadiani MTA (TV channel).
Implement Sharia as proposed by the Islamic Ideology Council.
Change the name of Nusrat Jehan Girls College and school to Aisha Siddiqua, as Nusrat Jehan was the name of the wife of Mirza (Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian).
Note: These institutions were built and established by Ahmadis, but were nationalized by the Bhutto regime.
The administration of Kotli (Azad Kashmir) should handle firmly the thieves of the Khatme Nabuwwat.
This conference urges the respected Ulama to issue weekly statements in support of Khatme Nabuwwat and against Qadianism.
The American drone attacks in FATA should be effectively resisted. We condemn suicide attacks, but all this is American thuggery and a conspiracy to bring a bad name to Islam.
Quranic inscriptions written on Qadiani places of worship should be expunged.
Entry forms to educational institutions should have an affidavit concerning Khatme Nabuwwat.
The education syllabus should include the creed of End of Prophethood.
Qadiani religious endowments should be taken over by the state.
Ban the Qadianis’ newsletter – the Al-Fazl.
Dismiss all Qadianis from government services and the army.

Despite the low attendance at the conference, Ahmadis had to take appropriate precautions. The law enforcing agencies also remained vigilant.

No end to harassment

Rawalpindi, September 2010: For some families fear and harassment have become a way of life, and they continue to suffer one affliction after another for being Ahmadi. Mr Shahid Mahmud and his family is one such family.

Mr. Mahmud hailed from a business family. He was kidnapped in November 2007 and held hostage for ransom. Although his family paid the ransom in millions, he was not released. The police however carried out a successful raid and recovered him after weeks of detention.

The police arrested some of the culprits who were sentenced to imprisonment by a court. These dangerous criminals, however, were released after three years, and they are a threat to the society once again, particularly to those who were instrumental in their incarceration.

Mr. Mahmud could not bear with the ever-present threat and decided to flee the country. He has gone abroad, but his family remains behind. With the head of the family away, they face threats from the criminals who kidnapped Mr. Mahmud over three years ago.

Mr. Mahmud’s faith became the rallying point for those who intended to do harm. They put up posters in the market, where Mr. Mahmud worked, that Shahid Mahmud was an Ahmadi and it was incumbent upon everybody to boycott him. They threatened violence against those who violate this decision. In this they are supported by a police official who had played a part in the kidnapping of Mr. Mahmud, but has escaped accountability.

Shahid Mahmud and his family have suffered greatly over the past years, and there is no light at the end of this tunnel yet. The situation of Ahmadis in Pakistan is getting worse with the passage of time, as is apparent from the contents of this monthly report.

The police partiality in District Faisalabad

Chak 21 Gokhowal, District Faisalabad: The police in Faisalabad have a long history of partiality and inaction, where Ahmadi are concerned. As a result, a number of Ahmadis have been murdered in this city and district over the years. Such excesses are undertaken by the extremist elements as a result of soft handling by the police of criminal activities of religious bigots.

On Eid, an Ahmadi youth on security duty interrupted a non-Ahmadi youth who was walking through the parking area of an Ahmadiyya mosque during the prayer. This led to a quarrel. The opposition fired in the air, and the Ahmadi responded in kind. An ASI who was present on the spot intervened and told the parties to calm down.

Later, a score of non-Ahmadi mullas and extremists revived the dispute and were harsh with the ASI. The SHO arrived at the scene and accompanied the mullas to their mosque. This resulted in registration of a police case against six known and two unknown Ahmadis – obviously a fabrication.

On return to the village, the mullas announced that a Khatme Nabuwwat Conference will be held in the evening. It is routine to exploit the sacred creed of Khatme Nabuwwat for personal vendettas. Five hundred men attended the conference. The mullas told the participants that they had got a criminal case registered with the police, and they should remain united and be ready.

Later, senior police officials visited the village and met the non-Ahmadis. Thereafter, they met Ahmadis too, and told them to send Mr. Nadeem Ahmad and Furqan Ahmad to the police station the next day, as they were mentioned in the FIR.

At the police station, the two parties agreed on a truce. The SHO assumed that some of the PPC sections will be withdrawn from the police case. However, the case will remain, and the rest will be decided by the court.

Again - in District Faisalabad

Chak 194, Lathianwala, District Faisalabad; September 12, 2010: Only four days earlier, they murdered an Ahmadi in Faisalabad city. A few weeks earlier they killed three Ahmadis in one attack in the same town. In September 2009, they killed Mian Laiq Ahmad.

The mullas of the Sunni Tehrik, helped by the police have made life almost unbearable for the Ahmadis of Lathianwala. It was in this village where the Faisalabad police booked 32 Ahmadis last year in a fabricated case under the blasphemy law and anti-Ahmadiyya law. It seems that some Ahmadis have decided, enough is enough.

Mr. Nasir Ahmad had an argument with a non-Ahmadi on September 12, 2010 over a financial transaction. This led to a quarrel and the two sides exchanged fire. As a result, a passer-by was killed. It is not certain whose bullet hit him. The opposition gave it a sectarian colour, took out a procession, blocked the road and burnt tyres. The police found it convenient to move against Ahmadis in general and arrested 10 of them. Thereafter they registered a murder case against four Ahmadis by name and ten unnamed. The named Ahmadis avoided arrest, while the police arrested seven Ahmadis from the mosque and three from the village against the 10 unnamed virtual accused. It was all wrong, a fabrication and conspiracy to put pressure on the Ahmadi party.

The next day, the opposition took out a procession and threatened to set fire to Ahmadi homes. The police proceeded to lock the Ahmadiyya mosque and confiscated the weapons of those who were performing security duty there.

Thereafter, the community elders met senior police and administration officials to convey their concern. The officials told them that they knew that the vendetta was initially personal and not communal and also it was not known whose bullet killed the passer-by, as the firing took place from both sides. They told Ahmadis to present the four named accused. Later when these four reported to the police, they released the ten Ahmadis.

The tactics of the police of arresting the innocent and locking up a place of worship only to procure arrest of some named accused are worth noting. Although both the parties exchanged fire and it is not established whose bullet caused the death of the passer-by, the police and the administration have put almost the entire burden on the Ahmadiyya population. The biased attitude of the police is troubling indeed.

Agitation in Khanewal

Khanewal; September 2, 2010: Opponents of Ahmadis pelted stones at an Ahmadiyya mosque in Khanewal. These miscreants could not be identified. They also wrote abuses and foul language against the Ahmadiyya community and its holy founder during the dark hours. The mosque has continued to be pelted for days.

A Khatme Nabuwwat conference was also held in Madrassa Dewband, Tariqabad. A mulla, Ataul Mun‘am Naeem, spoke against the Ahmadiyya community. He told the audience that the growth of Ahmadis must be stopped as it was proving harmful for the Muslim Umma. A number of mullas participated in this conference. Anti-Ahmadiyya activities of the mullas are on the increase in this area.

A different opinion from the Ulama

Islamabad; September 17, 2010: It is refreshing to note that not all the Pakistani ulama uphold obscurantism and medieval theology. A few are well aware of the ground realities and have the courage to speak up against what is routine and popular. The daily Khabrain, Lahore reported on 17 September 2010 the proceeding of a penal discussion program in ‘Line 8’ on Channel 5. Extracts:

Dr Khalid Masood, former Chairman of the Islamic Ideology Council stated that madrassas have now become a political party in the country and are playing the political game. The rulers used them and showered them with grants to prolong their own rule. … Dr Khalid stated that in Arab countries no mosque or madrassah can be established without government’s permission. But that is not the case here. The political ulama do not wish to see madrassas under official patronage. Terrorism is a crime, there is no justification for it, and it must be punished. Extremism leads to terrorism, he said.
Muhammad Amir Mashhadi, Deputy Secretary General of the Majlis Wahdat al Muslimeen stated that ethnic and sectarian groupings were developed in the Ziaul Haq era. Suicide bombers do not come from a single group, they hail from different groups who are supported by different countries. Just as the political leadership here is corrupt, so is the religious leadership. He stated that while one group or another owns up suicide attacks, the Ulama assert that the US did it. This shows that they are tools in the hands of foreign powers. The judiciary, police, agencies, institutions, rulers, all are corrupt. Rulers’ top priority is to remain in power, so they protect and support the corrupt and the terrorists. Political parties support the extremists to augment their vote bank.
Pir Mohi ud Din the president of Pakistan Mashaikh Council said that … it is not for the government to simply condemn terrorism, like a common man; its job is to take effective action. He urged that all madrassas should be registered and those who do not co-operate their degrees and certificates should have no official standing. Extremism is being nourished in the guise of madrassas’ (education). Corrupt people who invoke religion for personal gain are involved here. It is the job of ministry of religious affairs and agencies to expose them.

Ahmadis behind bars

Three Ahmadis; Mr. Basharat, Mr. Nasir Ahmad and Mr. Muhammad Idrees along with 7 others of Chak Sikandar were arrested in September 2003 on a false charge of murdering a cleric. The police, after due investigation found no evidence against the accused. Yet they faced a ‘complaint trial’ for a crime they did not commit. Based on the unreliable testimony of the two alleged ‘eye-witnesses’ (who were discredited in court), seven of the accused were acquitted, but on the same evidence these three innocent Ahmadis were sentenced to death. They are being held on death row at a prison in Jehlum, while their appeal lies with the Lahore High Court. They are now in the eighth year of their incarceration. Their appeal to the Lahore High Court is registered as Criminal Appeal No. 616/2005 dated 26 April 2005.

From the Press

Ahmadi shot dead in Faisalabad
The daily Dawn; Lahore, September 9, 2010
One dies in suicide hit on Ahmadiyya worship place (in Mardan)
The daily Nation; Lahore, September 4, 2010
Nankana: Qadiani recants to become a Muslim
The daily Aman; Lahore, September 15, 2010
Baddo Malhi: Qadiani family accepts Islam after learning about the blasphemy of American against the Quran.
The daily Ausaf; Lahore, September 14, 2010
23rd annual conference of the International Khatme Nabuwwat conference in Jamia Usmania, Muslim Colony, Chenab Nagar
Groups arrive from other cities and towns
The daily Pakistan; Lahore, September 9, 2010
Sargodha: A Qadiani family coverts to Islam
The daily Nawa-e-Waqt; Lahore, September 2, 2010
Annual Khatme Nabuwwat Conference to be held in Chenab Nagar on 14, 15 October
The daily Musawat; Lahore, September 20, 2010
Suicide bombers and their handlers are all hell-bound. – 50 Ahle Sunnat Ulama
Those who justify suicide bombing are equally guilty. Opponents of the two-nation theory and Sufism are playing the violent game as tools of the US, India and Israel. Mazhar Kazmi, Pir Amin and others
The daily Express; Faisalabad, September 4, 2010
Insults against Islam risk ‘civilization clash’, Muslim leaders warn West
The daily Dawn; Lahore, September 30, 2010
Pakistan suffers natural calamities and disasters on account of rulers’ own faults. – Amir Jamaat Daa’wa (Hafiz Saeed)
The daily Aman; Faisalabad, September 25, 2010
Two killed in terrorist attack on mosque (in Bahawalpur)
The daily Dawn; Lahore, September 26, 2010
French parliament adopts ban on Burqa
The daily Dawn; Lahore, September 15, 2010
Aafia sentenced to 86 years in US prison
The daily News; Lahore, September 24, 2010
World Pasban Khatme Nabuwwat’s protest demonstration against blasphemy cartoons; burn US flag.
The daily Ausaf; Lahore, September 20, 2010
Burqa ban: Bill presented in the Italian parliament after the French. A burqa-clad woman could be fined 150-300 Euros and be imprisoned for a year.
The daily Pakistan; Lahore, September 19, 2010
Row over anti-Islam editor’s Harvard honour
The daily Dawn; Lahore, September 23, 2010
The law ‘death for apostasy’ should be imposed earliest. – Maulvi Faqir Muhammad
The daily Nawa-e-Waqt; Lahore, September 7, 2010
Jews, Christianity and Ahmadiyyat are a united force against Islam – Haji Arif (of Jamia Faridia, Bhakkar)
The daily Ausaf; Lahore, September 14, 2010
Qadianis are assassins of Muslim Umma’s interests – Abdul Latif Khalid (Ahrari)
The daily Nawa-e-Waqt; Lahore, September 5, 2010
Suicide bomber strikes Al Quds rally; at least 56 killed, 160 injured. Carnage in Quetta.
The daily Dawn; Lahore, September 4, 2010
Girls school blown up in Swat
The daily Dawn; Lahore, September 5, 2010
Religious procession attacked in Lahore. Triple terror blasts leave 27 dead.
The daily Dawn; Lahore, September 2, 2010
Two killed in terrorist attack on mosque
The daily Dawn; Lahore, September 26, 2010
Murder of two young men in Sialkot. Students of Jamaat al Dawa played an important role in the killing.
Monthly Nia Zamana; September 26, 2010
Video shows Taliban ‘stoning’ woman
The daily Dawn; Lahore, September 28, 2010
Militants stoking sectarianism
Islamabad: Pro-Taliban militants were trying to create a sectarian sift, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Saturday, as a new wave of violence piled pressure on a government already struggling with flood crisis.
The daily Dawn; Lahore, September 5, 2010
Police detain Ludhianwi (Chief, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat)
The daily Dawn; Lahore, September 25, 2010
The US has attacked Muslims by sentencing Dr. Aafia – Ata ul Muhaiman (Ahrari)
The daily Ausaf; Lahore, September 25, 2010
Jihad in the way Allah is the only way to eradicate Kufr – Maulana Hussain Chinioti
The daily Din; Lahore, September 28, 2010
The cursed who claimed Prophecy should be given deterrent punishment – Tehrik Fidayan Khatme Nabuwwat
The daily Jang; Lahore, September 28, 2010
Suspect in Danish embassy blast acquitted
The daily Dawn; Lahore, September 26, 2010
Kurram (tribal) clashes toll crosses 100
The daily Dawn; Lahore, September 18, 2010
1700 dead, 474 bridges and 1.2 million buildings destroyed; 800,000 rescued – Report issued by Pak Army. 5.4 million acre agri-land affected.
The daily Ausaf; Lahore, September 16, 2010
Flood loss estimates rise to $43bn; PM
The daily Dawn; Lahore, September 2, 2010
Flood loss worse than depicted: Mullen (Admiral, Chairman US Joint Chief of Staff)
The daily Dawn; Lahore, September 4, 2010
Floods hit more than 10,000 schools, says UN
The daily Dawn; Lahore, September 23, 2010
Dozens of people clubbed to death Hafiz Mohammad Mughees Sajjad 18, and Mohammad Muneeb Sajjad 15, in the presence of eight policemen and also allegedly of former (sic) district police chief Waqar Chauhan. The bodies were hung upside down at a chowk.
Press reports
Karachi explodes again. 15 die in fresh target killings.
The daily Nation; Lahore, September 21, 2010
Imran Farooq, MQM leader murdered in London
The daily Express; Faisalabad, September 17, 2010
SBP (State Bank of Pakistan) protecting influential debtors: (Supreme) Court
The bench had acted on media reports that the SBP quietly allowed commercial banks to write off Rs 54.6 billion loans under a scheme introduced by former president Pervez Musharraf.
The daily Dawn; Lahore, September 30, 2010


Blair’s memoirs: a key observation
Extremism in Afghanistan: “We need a religious counter-attack, not just a political or military one.”
The daily Dawn; Lahore, September 2, 2010
Flood – 2010
Not on recorded history has a flood of such magnitude swept through Pakistan. For the past month and a half, the waters have swept from the Swat Valley south to Indus delta and into the Arabian Sea destroying bridge, road, and 1.8 million houses. Some 20 million lives have been affected and 1,752 have died. The great Indus plain, home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, lies in ruins. More rains could unleash greater tragedy as people in temporary shelters are left exposed to the elements and disease. The U.N. Secretary General has rightly called this tragedy ‘a slow motion tsunami’.
The Newsweek Pakistan; Lahore, September 9, 2010
The Anarchic Republic of Pakistan
Today there is much greater awareness among the Pakistani people that extremism poses a severe threat to the country and their livelihoods. There is also a much greater acceptance that ultimately civilian rule is better than military or mullah dictatorship. What is still lacking in the war against extremism, however is a consistent and powerful message from both the government and the army that they will combat all terrorists – not just those who threaten their security. Pakistan’s selective approach to extremism has to end before it can defeat the problem and move on to become what its founders originally intended it to be.
Ahmad Rashid, September- October, 2010

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