The limits of freedom and faith
Opponents of a bid by Muslim states to “protect religion” claim a small success
URL : www.economist.com/world/international/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15833005
Religious persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community continues worldwide. In Pakistan, Blasphemy Laws are being used specially against Ahmadis to harass them. Millions of religious minority are under threat to be falsely implicated in any such case on the basis of personal enmity with a punishment from 3 years RI to death. This blog was created to update Pakistani visitors of www.thepersecution.org, access to which was blocked by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority without any reason.
I am the local president of the Ahmadiyya community, Kaki Nau (Shorkot). I own a sales agency of fertilizer on Multan Road. A few mullas came to my shop. They talked to my employee and demanded that the Quranic verses and Islamic inscriptions exalting the Almighty Allah be removed from the premises, as they injured their feelings. They came again after a few days and threatened further action. Two mullas named Muhammad Hussain and Dost Muhammad went to the DSP and told him, “He (Khan) poses himself as a Muslim. He has Quranic inscriptions at his shop, erase them otherwise we will remove them forcibly ourselves.” The DSP told the police SHO to look into the complaint. The SHO came to my shop and found nothing objectionable except the Islamic inscriptions exalting the name of God. I also talked to the SHO and briefed him on the situation. He reported back to the DSP.
After a few days some elders of the area approached me and asked me to erase these words from the shop. I told them that it is not possible for me to erase them, ask somebody else to do it, or allow anybody to do that in my presence. A man named Luqman from the village offered to erase them. I reminded him that he had offered eight pilgrimages to Makkah; he should fear God’s displeasure. He said he would have it done by some boys.
My employee came to the shop after the dawn prayers to switch off the lights of the electric board of the shop. He saw that mulla Idrees of Jamia Farooqia along with two children was leaving after erasing the Islamic inscriptions from the main board of my shop.”
I own a CD’s and mobile phones store. Activities against the Ahmadiyya community have been increasing in the area for the last six months, but they have picked up pace recently. There’s a doctor’s clinic near my shop that I occasionally visit. He gave me some hateful pamphlets against our community, and asked me to read them. After some days he called me, but I excused myself. He then distributed such literature, and pasted stickers on shops where we buy groceries from. These stickers urge the boycott of Qadianis, and call it a sin to have business interaction with them. However those shopkeepers continue to sell us goods.
A conference regarding the Seerut-un-Nabisa (Attributes of the Holy Prophetsa) was held near our house, to which Ahmadis were also invited. Slander was used against the Ahmadiyya community and hateful literature was distributed in public. They asked an Ahmadi (whose faith was not known to them), who sells ice cream on trolley, to join their group and distribute hateful literature far and wide, and thereby earn a reward from God. He took the literature but did not distribute it. He told me that they are planning a big conference in opposition to Ahmadiyyat, and are determined to drive Ahmadis out of this area.
My brother Mazhar used to visit a shop. The work-boy there stopped greeting him. My brother’s friend Munawwar called him there, on the pretence of an emergency. He was met there by a group. They carried a few Ahmadiyya publications. They quoted extracts out of context from them and concluded that Ahmadis are non-Muslims. They asked my brother to become a Muslim. Mazhar told them that he will talk to his family and tell them later. Mazhar took leave, while they insisted on another meeting soon.
After a few days we went to see another doctor for medical advice. The first doctor also came over there and asked this doctor to abstain from dealing with Qadianis. He also gave him some anti-Ahmadiyya literature.
Somebody pasted a hateful sticker at the main gate of our house, which we removed later. My younger sister who teaches in a private school was also approached and given an anti-Ahmadiyya book through a female student.
A woman came to the house of another Ahmadi, abused Ahmadiyyat and urged the family to recant and accept Islam.
Such incidents have become more frequent.
Chiniot (correspondent): The Qadiani principal of TIA (sic) College Chenab Nagar has been replaced with a Muslim principal. According to details a Qadiani principal Ayub Iqbal was appointed to replace Muhammad Jahangir. The religious groups of Chiniot protested strongly against it. The DCO Chiniot Rana Muhammad Tahir Khan explained the situation of religious intolerance to the provincial education department, which changed the Qadiani principal Ayub Iqbal.
Ahmadi leader shot dead in Ferozwala
* Victim’s son claims police took no action despite being intimated about threats
Lahore: An Ahmadi leader was gunned down allegedly for seeking police protection on Tuesday. …
The Daily Times; Lahore, January 6, 2010
Alleged murderers claim Ahmadi leader killed by family
* Victim’s son says accused men pressing police to frame charges against family
* PML-N MPA manages to talk protesters out of demonstration against removal of anti-Ahmadiyya sign board
The four men accused of Muhammad Yusuf’s murder in the first information report (FIR) # 14/10 had gone into hiding and are still at large, according to police sources.
Political pressure: Fateh (the victim’s son) stated that the accused were exerting political pressure on the police to implicate his family in the murder. He said his father had no dispute or enmity with anyone, and had been murdered because of his religious beliefs.
The newspaper printed picture of a billboard in the local bazaar, with the following inscription (translation):
… Have no contact whatsoever with the worst of infidels and worst enemies of Islam i.e. Mirzais and Qadianis; and convey the same to your children. People who meet them will find themselves deprived of Mohammadan intercession on the Dooms Day.
The Daily Times; Lahore, January 11, 2010
THE RECENT INCIDENT OF MURDER OF AN AHMADI LEADER IN Ferozwala, a city of Sheikhupura district situated near Lahore, is a sad reflection of how society chooses to treat a section of the minorities, variously known as Mirzais or Qadianis in Pakistan. What is more disconcerting though is the apathy – rather collusion of the state – which not only allows such incidents to take place under its very nose but also tends to protect the perpetrators.
Instead of arresting the accused and investigating further, it is reported that the police let the four abettors go when they visited the police station with PML N’s member of the Punjab Assembly Pir Ashraf Rasool. Meanwhile, both the police and the nominees in the FIR have been pressurizing the family to withdraw the murder case. Alarmingly, even after the ghastly retribution visited upon Mohammad Yousaf, Khatam-e-Nabuwwat Youth Wing’s signboard on the main roundabout of the town, which urges believers to kill and maim Islam’s enemies and to socially boycott Ahmadis has not been removed. …
The Daily Times; Lahore, January 13, 2010
Ahmadi leader’s murder suspects ‘visit’ police again
Influence: However, Fatehul Din, the complainant and son of the murdered Ahmadi leader, told Daily Times the accused had been given undue favour by the police and PML (N) MPA Pir Ashraf Rasool. He said he had never asked the police not to arrest the accused. He said the MPA accompanied the accused to the office of the SP (Superintendent of Police) to influence the police.
The Daily Times; Lahore, January 14, 2010
Ahmadi leader’s family offered to withdraw case: accused
* Claim they want Khatme-Nabuwwat Youth Wing dismantled Family deny allegations, say accused conducting anti-Ahmadi propaganda.
The Daily Times; Lahore, January 22, 2010
Men accused of Ahmadi leader’s murder released
The Daily Times; Lahore, January 30, 2010
Status quo shall be maintained meanwhile, that is to say, the petitioners who claim to be in possession, shall not be dispossessed.
Pakistan facing threat of terrorism and extremism (The Chief Minister Punjab told the outgoing Australian High Commission)
The Frontier Post; May 27, 2009
Pakistan is a society of endless contradictions, says Jemima
The daily Dawn; June 8, 2009
Mr. Muhammad Iqbal was imprisoned for life in a fabricated case of blasphemy. He was arrested in March 2004, and is currently incarcerated in the Central Jail, Faisalabad. An appeal has been filed with the Lahore High Court against the decision of the Sessions Court. It is registered as Criminal Appeal No. 89/2005. He is now in the sixth year of his imprisonment.
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 seventh year of their incarceration. Their appeal to the Lahore High Court is registered as Criminal Appeal No. 616/2005 dated 26 April 2005.
Mr. Ijaz Ahmad and Mr. Yasin were sentenced to two years’ imprisonment and fined five thousand rupees each, on January 28, 2010 by a magistrate Hidayat Ullah Shah at Vehari, Punjab on baseless charge of preaching.
Housing and Town Planning Jhang
Everyone is hereby informed vide this advertisement that a grand auction of one-Kanal, 10-Marla and 7-Marla residential plots, and 5-Marla commercial residential plots and one-Marla commercial shops in Low Income Housing Scheme Chiniot, and also one-Kanal and 10-Marla residential plots and 7-Marla commercial/residential plots and one-Marla commercial shops will be held at 11 A.M. according to the following schedule:
Terms and Conditions of auction:The participant will have to submit the advance of surety deposit through a scheduled bank, payable to the Deputy Director/Secretary District Housing Committee Jhang along with an attested copy of his national identity card.
2. The participant with have to be present personally or represented by specially nominated persons.
3. Presiding Officer will have the authority to cancel a bid or bar it.
4. The highest bidder is required to deposit 1/3 amount of the total bid as deposit within 7 days in my office. This 1/3 amount will include the advance paid as surety deposit; otherwise the bid will be considered as cancelled and the advanced deposit will stand forfeited.
5. The bidding will be subject to the approval of the District Housing Committee, Chiniot. Approval/non-approval of the District Housing Committee Chiniot will be posted on the office notice board under my signature. No further intimation will be undertaken to the bidders regarding approval/non-approval. Every bidder is personally responsible to come to my office to find out if his bid has been accepted or not. Subsequent to this approval, the bidder is required to deposit the balance 2/3 of the bid in one installment in the Treasury within 30 days of the date of auction, and also will have to pay any tax imposed by the government, otherwise the sale/allotment of the plot will be deemed cancelled and the deposited 1/3 auction money including the surety deposit will stand forfeited by the government, and no excuse/objection will be entertained.
“The number of plots in above schemes may be cut or increased as per the demands of the situation.”
As per Order No. 3(1) 76-II.M.II dated 7.7.1976 of the department of Housing Urban Development and Public Health Engineering, Government of the Punjab, individuals belonging to the Qadiani/Ahmadi/Lahori denomination are not eligible to participate in the auction (of plots) in Area Development Scheme, Muslim Colony, Chenab Nagar. Everyone desirous of participation in the auction in the said scheme will have to present an attested declaration on oath along with his application form that (1) He has complete and unconditional faith in the End of Prophethood of the Khatam un Nabiyyeen Hazrat Muhammad (p.b.u.h.), (2) He is not a follower of any person who claims to be a prophet in any sense or of any description after the Prophethood of the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.), nor does he consider such claimant to be a Messenger or a religious reformer, (3) He should not be related in any way to any person from Qadiani/Ahmadi/Lahori Community or sect, nor call himself or get called Qadiani/Ahmadi/Mirzai/Lahori (4) Successful bidders for the plots in the said scheme will not be eligible to transfer the acquired plot subsequently to any member of the Ahmadi/Qadiani/Mirzai/Lahori sect; otherwise the plot/the material and the deposited amount will stand forfeited to the government. Other conditions, terms and information concerning this auction can be had from the undersigned during working hours.
Advertiser: Deputy Director/Secretary District Housing Committee (IPL-1795)