Friday, September 30, 2011

Ahmadiyah onslaught ‘hardest test’ for RI democracy

Jakarta Post, Indonesia
NATIONALFri, 09/30/2011 2:20 PM
Ahmadiyah onslaught ‘hardest test’ for RI democracy
Ati Nurbaiti, The Jakarta Post, Canberra
Indonesians used to glowing praise over the country’s democratization were abruptly shamed with scenes of February’s mob attack and brutal killing of three Ahmadis in Cikeusik, West Java, projected in the first session of annual talks on Indonesia in Canberra on Friday.

Although the mob assault was acknowledged as an extreme exception, speaker Greg Fealy said it reflected one of the “hardest tests” for Indonesian democracy.

Even though Ahmadis were the least-liked of Indonesia’s minorities, “with no one important” defending them, in part given their exclusivity, Fealy said they were entitled to state protection guaranteed by the Constitution, more so because of the hostility against them.

He noted that the government was under pressure to ban the Ahmadiyah sect, who are regarded as un-Muslim by other Muslims, because they do not regard the Prophet Muhammad as the final prophet.

Fealy was addressing Indonesian Update 2011 at the Australian National University, after Chancellor and former foreign minister Gareth Evans had lauded Indonesia as “a talismanic example to the rest of the Muslim world”.

Fealy, among the most renowned scholars on Islam in Indonesia, cited the incident as one of the indicators of Indonesia’s “regression”, along with the dwindling anti-corruption drive and declining trust in elections and political parties.

The absence of the rule of law and mixed signals from the state regarding the attack had all resulted in the immunity of “emboldened sectarian vigilantes”.

Western leaders must pay more attention to this issue, Fealy said.

He noted how Jakarta seemed to endorse bylaws in several regencies that have banned Ahmadiyah in their areas, despite the decentralization law clearly stating that religious affairs are an authority of the central government.

Fealy noted how the attackers became the victims, with Justice and Human Rights Minister Patrialis Akbar stating that the assault and murder may not have been a human rights violation. Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali, who has been among many pushing for the state ban on Ahmadis, asserted that they were not Muslim.

Fealy compared the due process against the attackers to protesters who had brought a buffalo to a rally with “SBY” painted on its body. Students were immediately arrested.

“It seems insulting the President is more important” than murder, Fealy said.

“Arrests were made only after an outrage,” Fealy said. The recent verdict on the 11 attackers and one Ahmadi, their security chief, gave the latter, Deden Sujana, the sentences of between three and six months’ imprisonment, for “provoking” the attack that resulted in the death of three Ahmadis after being stabbed and tortured.

Douglas Ramage of AusAID, Australia’s aid agency, and another scholar on Indonesia, said the main factor constraining Indonesia’s progress was the weakening of its oversight institutions in recent years.

Yudhoyono’s leadership, he added, reflected “extreme inclusiveness and consensus”, Ramage said. This guarantees stability but showed a failure of Yudhoyono’s leadership for reform, “ceding space for others to roll back ‘reformasi’”.

Copyright © 2008 The Jakarta Post - PT Bina Media Tenggara. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

PAKISTAN: Ahmadi students are under threat from the extremist religious groups — government turns a blind eye again

News / AHRC News
PAKISTAN: Ahmadi students are under threat from the extremist religious groups — government turns a blind eye again

September 28, 2011

Malice, hatred and discrimination against Ahmadi Muslim students in Pakistan are part of a wider scheme to cripple Ahmadis educationally, economically and socially. Ahmadis were declared a non Muslim minority in Pakistan by the amendment in the Constitution and they cannot perform their religious duties in open places, nor can they declare themselves Muslims. And even then, they cannot enjoy the rights of the minorities as guaranteed in the Constitution of Pakistan.

A campaign against Ahmadi students, particularly women students, has been ongoing, especially in vocational and professional institutions, colleges and universities. Ahmadis are accused of being “the worst enemies of Islam and Pakistan.” It is a common practice by miscreants to paste highly slanderous and provocative posters on walls in the universities and colleges.

It is not long ago that 15 Ahmadi female students and 8 male students were rusticated from the Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad, Pakistan. The Ahmadi female students were particularly targeted and pressurised to choose between faith and career. All this is an organised campaign, conducted allegedly by the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT), a student branch of Jamat-e-Islami, a fundamentalist Islamic political and religious party.

One third year student at the National Textile University, Faisalabad, Punjab province, Ms. Hina Akram, had to leave her studies on account of intense faith-based harassment at the hands of some members of the university. One of Hina’s teachers came to know she was an Ahmadi and reacted furiously; He told Hina that she was a Kafir (infidel) and would suffer the consequences. The teacher and his colleagues started a hate-campaign against Hina. Hina’s father complained to the University but nothing was done and sadly, Hina was forced to terminate her studies as she could no longer face the continued hostility.

However, the persecution, the oppression, the injustice, the denial of their right to education, to foster their talents and academic development is encouraged by the legislation and provision by Ordinance and the liberty accorded to the Mullahs (religious leaders) and their accomplices.

Hina’s future, her aspirations, her hopes and ambitions, has been completely destroyed like those of scores of other Ahmadi female and male students. They are victimised for being members of a Community which all over the world carries the reputation of being peaceful, law abiding and highly respectable among faith communities.

The federal government has still not taken seriously the case of the rustication of the 23 Ahmadi students from Punjab Medical College besides the several reminders from their parents and rights organizations. In the far flung areas the students from the Ahmadi community have to face such practices of the local religious groups at school level which forces Ahmadi students to hide their identity or to migrate to urban centers where Ahmadis face less persecution. The IJT, under the guidance of extremist religious leaders, have been allegedly assigned to clean the educational institutional particularly, universities and professional colleges, of Ahmadi students and the staff of the educational institutions are being forced to provide details of the students.

It is reported that the Punjab provincial government has very soft attitude towards the extremist religious elements including banned sectarian groups and allow them to conduct their activities freely in the province. Please see the links;

Such cases of blatant violations of human rights, mass terror, stark discrimination, religious vendetta and abominable social harm are a challenge to the World Community to be addressed resolutely and with determination.

The government of Pakistan must not allow the extremist religious groups and parties to persecute the minority groups and run their own parallel government by denying the students from the Ahmaddiya community their right to education. The rusticated students should be readmitted in their educational institutions. The government’s policy of appeasement of religious extremist groups is undermining the rule of law which has gone under the hands of religious gangs and sectarian bigots.

The Government of Pakistan must do more to honour its commitments to the international charters. Declarations and technical assistance must be provided to ensure that every citizen of Pakistan has the fundamental right to education without any discrimination on account of faith, religion or belief. The Harare Commonwealth Declaration of 1991 made it obligatory for every Member State to provide special facilities for the education and equal rights of women and ensure all women are treated equally without any prejudice or discrimination. Article 26 of the UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948) clearly emphasises that everyone has the right to education and it will be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit, which unfortunately is not the case for Ahmadis in Pakistan.

Pakistan is a signatory to UDHR. It is also a signatory to the Harare Declaration and various bilateral agreements to qualify for assistance for the provision of education.

The denial of education to Ahmadi Muslim women and men in Pakistan is a deplorable act which needs to be denounced. International organizations, donors and others who fund the provision and development of education, particularly professional and technical education must ensure that Pakistan faithfully adheres to the word and spirit of the charters and agreements it has signed and create an environment which complies with Article 26:2 of the UDHR which states;

‘Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups’.

We solicit the World community to continue its pressure upon the Government of Pakistan to restore the rights and freedoms of Ahmadi Muslims including civil rights and their right to education and intellectual and professional development.

Document ID: AHRC-STM-129-2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Indonesia’s ‘individual jihadists’ gaining ground

MSN News, Malaysia

By Agence France-Presse, Updated: 9/27/2011
Indonesia’s ‘individual jihadists’ gaining ground
There was nothing sophisticated about the suicide bombing at an Indonesian church Sunday – using homemade explosives packed with nails, nuts and bolts, the bomber killed only himself.

National Police spokesman Anton Bachrul Alam holds up photographs of Ahmad Yosepa Hayat, the Bethel Injil Church bomber, during a press conference in Jakarta on September 27, 2011.
National Police spokesman Anton Bachrul Alam holds up photographs of Ahmad Yosepa Hayat, the Bethel Injil Church bomber, during a press conference in Jakarta on September 27, 2011.
The attack was in stark contrast to the country’s deadliest terrorist incident nine years ago, when the Al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) killed 202 people, mostly foreigners, in the highly planned Bali bombings.

With networks such as JI suffering serious damage in the face of a remarkably successful crackdown by Indonesian security forces, a new generation of loosely-connected jihadists has been left to step up.

“The weakening of the large organisations is something positive. Indonesia has done a pretty damn good job of basic law enforcement,” International Crisis Group analyst Sidney Jones told AFP.

“The chances are less likely you’ll get an attack of that magnitude,” she added, referring to the Bali bombings.

Instead the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation has seen a spate of smaller attacks on minority religious groups both from bombers and in incidents of mob violence.

Details that have emerged about Sunday’s attack indicate that these small groups are finding strength and solidarity in their loose alliances.

Police identified Sunday’s bomber as 31-year-old Ahmad Yosepa Hayat, a member of Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT), which was founded by militant spiritual leader Abu Bakar Bashir.

Hayat was sitting among the Bethel Injil Church congregation in Solo, Central Java, when he stood up and detonated a bomb strapped to his stomach, killing himself and wounding 27 others.

Hayat was already on Indonesia’s most-wanted list for his role in another suicide attack five months ago in far-away Cirebon, 300 kilometres (186 miles) east of Jakarta, where another bomber attacked a police mosque.

That incident bore striking similarities to Sunday’s attack, with the bomber managing to kill only himself, and the explosives containing nails, nuts and bolts.

In recent years Indonesia’s police anti-terror unit, Detachment 88, has killed some of the country’s most-wanted militants, including Noordin Top, believed to have played a role in every major terrorist attack in the country’s recent history, and Dulmatin, who had a hand in the Bali bombings.

JI’s spiritual leader Abu Bakar Bashir was sentenced in June to 15 years’ imprisonment for funding a militant training camp in Aceh on Sumatra island, where special autonomy allows the region to implement some sharia laws.

But the attacks on religious minorities and “enemies of Islam” over the past year have been carried out by new cells – with old ties – and mostly made up of young men from vulnerable communities.

In an editorial, the Jakarta Globe said there was “no shortage of young people willing to take up the jihadist cause” and warned Indonesia is heading down a “very dangerous path”.

Jones said there are seven or eight known small groups operating in Solo alone, which are “all in communication with one another” and beginning to merge their agendas.

“Every time we’ve seen one of these smaller networks emerge, there have been at least one or two members with links to older networks,” she said.

“They’re harder to detect than bigger networks. They understood it was dangerous for them to use mobile phones to communicate, which makes it much more difficult for police to track them down.”

Critics of the government say it has done nothing to combat sectarian attacks, which while less deadly, have seen worrying incidents of mob violence.

A court sentenced 12 Muslim radicals to just a few months in jail for an attack on members of the minority Muslim sect Ahmadiyah, in Cikeusik in West Java in February.

The machete-wielding mob clubbed, hacked and stoned three defenceless men to death in front of police.

Victims who survived the attack were handed longer sentences than their assailants for “provoking violence”.

On September 12, on Indonesia’s remote Maluku islands, violence erupted in the provincial capital Ambon after rumours spread through text message that a Muslim motorcycle taxi driver had been attacked and killed by Christians.

“The government didn’t take strong action in Ambon, so this has created a wake-up call to jihadis to do something,” the Institute for International Peacebuilding security analyst Noor Huda Ismail said.

“We need to have transparent and accountable law enforcement. Of course if Indonesia doesn’t enforce the law these groups will keep doing these attacks.”

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Delhi: Quran exhibition called off after protests

Zee News India
Delhi: Quran exhibition called off after protests
Last Updated: Saturday, September 24, 2011, 18:41

Shahi Imam Bukhari detained fearing violence.New Delhi: An exhibition on Quran and the message of Islam being held here was called off Saturday mid-way through its schedule after facing protests from other Muslim groups.

The three-day exhibition was organised in the constitution club by Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, a group of representatives of Ahmadiyyas sect of Muslims. The exhibition was supposed to end Sunday, however, following strong protests from majority of Muslim groups, led by the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari.

The exhibition was wrapped up after apprehensions of tension as Bukhari announced a protest. This also resulted in a brief detention of Bukhari, spurting up tension in the area of old Delhi.

“We had to wrap up our exhibition after a protests from the hardliners,” a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat told agency.

“We were spreading the message of love, to tell the world that Quran is for everyone. But the hardliners don’t want this,” he said.

Bukhari was briefly detained and taken to the Daryaganj police station of old Delhi. The Shahi Imam said that they were protesting against the exhibition as it was not spreading “correct messages” of Islam.

“They don’t consider Prophet Mohammad the last prophet, hence they are not Muslims,” Bukhari said.

“We had urged the government to stop the exhibition as what they are promoting is not authentic. We gave the government time till Friday to close the exhibition, but our requests were not heard, so we decided to protest,” Bukhari told IANS.

“However, when we were to start the protest, I was detained along with my supporters and taken to Daryaganj police station,” he said.

Bukhari said that he then refused to leave the police station premise till the exhibition was called off.

“Protestors were gathering, they (police) then said that the exhibition was being wound-up,” he said.

Bukhari was at the police station from 12 noon to around 4 p.m.

According to police, the situation in the area is now normal.

“Bukhari was detained for some time in the morning. The situation in the area is normal now,” Central Delhi DCP Vivek Kishore said.

© 1996-2011 Zee News Limited, All rights reserved

Fearing row, Bukhari detained

Hindustan Times
IconSat. 24 Sep 2011
New Delhi
Fearing row, Bukhari detained
First Published: 23:14 IST(24/9/2011)
Last Updated: 23:16 IST(24/9/2011)
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, September 24, 2011

Shahi Imam Bukhari detained fearing violence.The Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid and more than a hundred of his supporters were detained for four hours at the Daryaganj Police Station on Saturday morning, police said. Police said Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari and motorcade composed of 25 to 30 vehicles, which was en route the Constitution Club to protest against a three-day seminar organised by proponents of the Ahmadiya sect, was intercepted at Delhi Gate around 12 pm.

“The step was in line with ensuring that the law and order situation did not get out of hand after the Imam and his followers reached the venue.

They were detained under Section 65 of the Delhi Police (DP) Act and later released at 3:30 pm,” said a senior police officer.

According to the Imam, his visit was meant to ensure that the said exhibition, which also featured copies of the Holy Quran containing modifications introduced by the sect as early as 1901, be cancelled on religious grounds.

“I had formally requested the state government to cancel the said exhibition because it is against the prevailing and true tenets of Islam – failing which I would go to the Club to ensure that it was called-off,” Maulana Bukhari told Hindustan Times.

He added that the works on display at the exhibition were ‘more desecrating than the Danish cartoon lampooning Prophet Muhammad’.

Police released the Imam and his supporters from the Daryaganj Police Station at 3:30 pm but the former refused to leave the premises till the authorities concerned called-off the seminar and communicated it to them at 3:45 pm.

Copyright © 2011 HT Media Limited. All Rights Reserved

Exhibition on teachings of Quran denounced

The Hindu, India
News » Cities » Delhi
NEW DELHI, September 24, 2011
Exhibition on teachings of Quran denounced
Madhur Tankha
HOLY READING: A visitor at the three-day Quran exhibition titled 'Love for all, Hatred for none' that began in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: V. V. Krishnan
HOLY READING: A visitor at the three-day Quran exhibition titled ‘Love for all, Hatred for none’ that began in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: V. V. Krishnan
Protest by Muslim Law Board member and Shahi Imam’s brother

A three-day exhibition on the teachings of the Quran by Ahmadiyya Muslim Jammat, Delhi, that opened at the Constitution Club here on Friday ran into trouble when All-India Muslim Personal Law Board member Kamaal Farooqui and Syed Yahya Bukhari, brother of the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, along with their supporters denounced the event for “wrongly interpreting the tenets of Islam and the holy Quran”.

Talking to the media outside the Constitution Club, Mr. Farooqui said since Ahmadiyyas have been branded as non-Muslims in Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and other Islamic countries they cannot mount an exhibition in which they have interpreted the teachings of the holy Quran.

“If we start interfering in other people’s religion as it is being done through this exhibition, then it would create a dangerous precedent in the country. This exhibition cannot be allowed at any cost. Today we are demonstrating peacefully, but if this exhibition continues then on Saturday there will be a bigger demonstration,” he warned.

After the demonstrators had left, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat External Affairs Secretary Syed Tanvir Ahmed said: “Ahmadiyyas are Muslims because they follow what Hazrat Mohammad taught them, read namaz and keep roza. But as this exhibition seeks to promote peace and brotherhood we will discontinue our exhibition after 5 p.m. on Saturday.”

National Minority Commission Chairman Wajahat Habibullah said he had no problem if the Ahmadiyyas described themselves as Muslims. “The teachings of the holy Quran have been beautifully displayed.”

The exhibition is displaying the Quran in 53 Indian and foreign languages including Kashmiri, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi and Gurmukhi, Russian, Spanish, Korean and Vietnamese. Seeking to dispel misunderstanding surrounding Islam, the exhibition is highlighting the tenets of Islam. “We want people to know that Islam stands for peace,” said Ahsan Ghori, while presenting the exhibition before guests. The exhibition highlights that Islam has assigned a position of dignity and honour to women and is a peaceful religion.

Ahmadiyyas face protest at peace mission

Times of India
Ahmadiyyas face protest at peace mission
Shreya Roy Chowdhury, TNN | Sep 24, 2011, 06.49AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Islamic concept of jihad is often misunderstood in the current times of war and terrorism. And Ahmadiyyas have organized an exhibition to tell the world about what they claimed to be the real message of Quran — peace and brotherhood. Through their ‘Holy Quran Exhibition’ at Constitution Club, they said they wanted to change common perceptions.

This is perhaps one of the rare occasions when members of this sect, who face persecution in Pakistan, have come out to proclaim the inclusivity of their faith and answer queries on a wide range of issues. A 10-minute video on Islam’s emphasis on peace and rejection of war is a highlight of the exhibition. “This is an effort by the Ahmadiyyas to tell society that Quran is for everybody,” says Sayed Salahuddin, a volunteer.

But the exhibition has triggered strong protests from other Muslim sects at the venue. They were protesting against the Ahmadiyyas’ claim of being Muslims. The protests forced rescheduling of the exhibition, which will now end on Saturday instead of Sunday.

When the organizers set up the exhibition on Friday morning, they put up display boards addressing issues of jihad, women’s rights, science and globalization along with handsome volumes of over 70 translations of the Quran.

But after the protests the organizers scaled down the exhibition. The books are gone and so have the displays. “We were advised by police to remove the books as mischief-mongers from other sects might desecrate them. We agreed, because we believe in peace,” said Sayed Tanvir Ahmed, one of the organizers, who had come from Qadian, Punjab, where the Ahmadiyya sect was born.

But the man who led the protests, Kamal Faruqui, executive committee member of All-India Muslim Personal Law Board said, “We did not want to create a law and order problem. We wanted a token protest. Ahmadiyyas can’t call themselves Muslims. To be a Muslim, you have to believe in the oneness of God and finality of prophethood. Anyone who doesn’t believe in this is not a Muslim. They have been declared non-Muslims allover the world,” he said.

He heard about the exhibition on Thursday and rumours were confirmed by advertisements in the newspapers. “It’s not a new organization,” continued Faruqui, “They have every right under the Constitution to practice their religion and be treated as a minority. But by calling themselves Muslims, they are deceiving the people.”

The Ahmadiyyas are branded heretics in Pakistan and face opposition. “We are not popular among Muslims,” said Shiraz Ahmad, in charge of education for the Ahmadiyyas in India. “But we never retaliate. We spread the message of peace. We are declared non-Muslims by ulemas because they are afraid they’ll lose control if the masses follow us,” said Ahmad. But he also likes challenges. “We have been facing oppression for over 100 years. But where there is opposition, people also ask questions. They think, let’s go find out.”

Copyright © 2011 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved

Friday, September 23, 2011

KAZAKHSTAN: Parliamentary adoption of restrictive laws imminent?

Forum 18 News
23 September 2011

KAZAKHSTAN: Parliamentary adoption of restrictive laws imminent?

By Felix Corley, Forum 18 News Service <>

Two laws imposing severe restrictions on freedom of religion or belief could possibly be adopted by Kazakhstan’s Senate, the upper house of Parliament, as early as next Thursday (29 September). Both laws passed through the Majilis, the lower house, in one day and reached a Senate committee the same day. One observer described the speed of passage to Forum 18 News Service as “unprecedented”, and a Majilis press spokesperson was unable to say whether any laws had ever had a quicker passage. An official of the government’s Agency of Religious Affairs confirmed to Forum 18 that the two laws would be considered at the Senate’s plenary session on 29 September, but would not say if they would complete their passage within one session. Human rights defenders and some religious communities have already told Forum 18 of their deep concern at many of the provisions, which violate Kazakhstan’s international human rights commitments. The first proposed law, a new Religion Law, would among other restrictions impose a complex four-tier registration system, ban unregistered religious activity, and impose compulsory censorship. The second proposed law amends nine legal provisions, and its changes to Article 375 of the Code of Administrative Offences and to the Law on the Rights of the Child could have a more far-reaching impact on freedom of religion or belief.

Two laws imposing severe restrictions on freedom of religion or belief could be adopted by Kazakhstan’s Senate, the upper house of Parliament, as early as next Thursday (29 September), the date of its next plenary session, Forum 18 News Service has learned. The two laws, which reached Parliament on 5 September, passed through the Majilis, the lower house, in one day and reached a Senate committee the same day. One observer described the speed of passage to Forum 18 as “unprecedented”, and a Majilis press spokesperson was unable to say whether any laws had ever had a quicker passage. Once adopted by the Senate, they would only require the signature of President Nursultan Nazarbaev to become law. Human rights defenders and some religious communities have already told Forum 18 of their deep concern at many of the provisions, which violate Kazakhstan’s international human rights commitments.

The Senate’s plan of work for the week of 26-30 September, published on the Senate website on 23 September, notes that the Working Group established to prepare the draft laws for submission to the full Senate will consider them on 26 September. On 27 September the Senate’s Social and Cultural Development Committee, which is overseeing their passage, will consider them. A full Senate plenary hearing is scheduled for 29 September, but the plan of work does not indicate if the two laws will be adopted then. However, one observer told Forum 18 that, given the speed of the process, it is possible they will be adopted then.

An official of the government’s Agency of Religious Affairs (ARA) confirmed to Forum 18 from the capital Astana on 23 September that the two laws would be considered at the 29 September Senate plenary session. But the official would not say if they would complete their passage within one session.

The current package of restrictive legislation appears to have been planned from at least September 2009 if not before (see F18News 8 October 2009 But the two laws were first mentioned by President Nazarbaev on 1 September 2011 in his address to the opening session of Parliament. They were approved by the full Majilis on the morning of 21 September, with some minor changes, and that afternoon received their official presentation to the Senate, where they were assigned to the Social and Cultural Development Committee (see F18News 21 September 2011

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has offered its assistance to the Kazakh authorities to ensure the new Laws’ compliance with the country’s OSCE commitments. However, the government has not taken up this offer (see F18News 2 September 2011 A previous OSCE review of a 2008-9 draft package of restrictive laws – which appear to have provided a basis for the current drafts – found they did not comply with legal review of the 2008 draft legislation found that they did not comply “with international human rights standards, including in particular OSCE commitments” (see F18News 4 February 2009

Human rights defenders in Kazakhstan expected that a package of restrictive laws, along the lines of the 2008-9 package, would be re-introduced after the country stopped being 2010 Chair-in-Office of the OSCE (see F18News 17 March 2009

What is the current package?

The first proposed law, a new Religion Law, would replace entirely the current Law, which was first adopted in 1992 and which has been amended a further eight times, most recently in July 2011. The current 1992 Law is officially titled “The Law on Freedom of Religious Confession and Religious Associations”, but the new Law is officially titled “The Law on Religious Activity and Religious Associations”.

The draft Religion Law would, if adopted, among other restrictions impose a complex four-tier registration system, ban unregistered religious activity, impose compulsory religious censorship and require both central and local government approval to build or open new places of worship.

The second proposed law - formally titled “The Law on introducing Amendments and Additions to several legal acts questions of Religious Activity and Religious Associations” – amends nine other Laws and legal provisions: the Code of Administrative Offences; the Code on the Health of the Population and Health Care; the Law on State Registration of Legal Persons; the Law on Non-Commercial Organisations; the Law on the Rights of the Child; the Extremism Law; the Law on Military Obligations and Military Service; the Law on Licensing; and the Law on State Property.

Most of the changes proposed in this amending law are minor and technical. However, changes to Article 375 of the Code of Administrative Offences and to the Law on the Rights of the Child could have a more far-reaching impact on freedom of religion or belief.

Both new laws would come into force ten days after their official publication.

“Historical role” of Hanafi Islam and Orthodox Christianity

The proposed new Religion Law defines the state as secular, bans the adoption of any faith as the state religion and declares all religious communities equal before the law. But the preamble states that the country “recognises the historical role of Islam of the Hanafi school and Orthodox Christianity in the development of the culture and spiritual life of the nation”. It also notes that the country “respects other religions which have combined with the spiritual heritage of the nation”.

Government officials have long spoken of a duopoly of Islam for ethnic Kazakhs and Orthodoxy for the country’s Slavic population (mainly Russians), speaking of them – without any basis in law – as the country’s “traditional faiths”. The state-backed Muslim Board has repeatedly pushed for the Hanafi school to be given a monopoly over Islam in Kazakhstan (see F18News 2 September 2011

Although the rest of the proposed new Religion Law makes no mention of any specific faiths, the four-tier registration system could in practice ensure that only the Muslim Board and the Russian Orthodox Church would be able to gain top-level, national registration (see below).

Compulsory re-registration

All religious communities are required to apply for re-registration under Article 24 of the draft Religion Law. Article 24 requires all registered religious organisations to revise their statutes to bring them into line with provisions of the new Law, provide confirmatory documentation that they meet the new criteria and re-register with the Justice Ministry or (for local religious organisations) its local branch. Failure to re-register within one year will lead to liquidation through the courts.

State officials have already threatened registered independent mosques that they will not be re-registered – and so will be banned - if they do not join the state-backed Muslim Board (see F18News 16 September 2011

Complex registration system in new Religion Law

Article 12 of the proposed Religion Law specifies four-levels of registration: national, regional, local and unregistered. All activity by those categorised as unregistered is banned. Local and regional organisations are only allowed to conduct activity in the geographic area they are registered in.

The three categories of registered religious organisations are allowed to teach their faith to their own members. However, only regional and national registered religious organisations will be allowed to, under Article 13, Part 3, train clergy in institutions established – with state approval – by religious organisations. Under Article 13, Part 3, they are allowed to establish “professional educational programmes to prepare priests”. It remains unclear whether religious education not involving training of “priests” will be allowed.

These two differences – geographic area and training of clergy – appear to be the main differences between the three permitted types of religious organisations. Regional and national organisations must register with the Justice Ministry in the capital Astana.

- Unregistered activity banned

Article 3, Part 11 states that unregistered religious activity is banned. Communities which would be too small to register, which are unable to register, or which – like congregations of the Baptist Council of Churches – do not wish to seek state registration would then face punishment for any religious activity they undertook.

- Local organisations

Under Article 12, Part 2, local religious organisations need 50 adult citizen members within one region of the country or main town, and register with the local Justice Department.

- Regional organisations

Under Article 12, Part 3, regional religious organisations need 500 adult citizens who belong to at least two different registered local religious organisations (each with at least 250 adult citizens) located in two different regions or main towns. In other words, a regional religious organisation cannot be registered as such if its local registered organisations are only within one region. The regional organisation is only allowed to function in the areas where its local member organisations are based.

- National organisations

Under Article 12, Part 4, national religious organisations need at least 5,000 adult citizens from all regions of the country, the capital and all major towns (with at least 300 members in each of those territories). It also needs branches all over the country.

Article 15, Parts 5 and 6 require a national religious organisation to gain local registration of all its branches and provide the Justice Ministry with proof of this within one year if it wishes to retain its registered status.

The Majilis added a new Article 14, Part 4 requiring applications to register a regional religious organisation to present a full list of the founders of the local religious organisations whose members are founding the regional organisation.

What would be needed for registration?

Registering a religious organisation requires a statute that needs to be adopted at a meeting attended in person by all the adult citizen founders, according to Article 13, Part 1. The Majilis added the stipulation that would-be founders can attend only “at their own request”. It remains unclear who will determine whether would-be founders have arrived at their own request. A religious organisation must have “a united faith; the carrying out of religious rites, ceremonies and preaching; religious education of its followers; and spiritual orientation of its activity”.

Many of the terms used in both the draft laws – such as “a united faith” - are unclear and undefined. This leaves open the possibility of arbitrary official definitions and actions against groups which the state or officials dislike.

Article 14 requires religious organisations to include the religious faith in the name and bans the name from using terms already used by another registered community. It remains unclear if this would prevent the registration of more than one separate community of Muslims, Orthodox or Baptists, for example.

Under Article 15, all the founders of a religious community need to present their full details to the registering body, which is empowered to subject them to a thorough check (apparently to ensure that they are authentic). It remains unclear whether this might intimidate potential founders of religious communities the government does not like.

Article 16, Part 3 requires each organisation’s statute to explain “the fundamental religious ideas, forms of activity of the religious association, particularities of its attitude to marriage and the family, education and health of the participants (members) of the given religious association and other people, and attitude to the realisation of the constitutional rights and obligations of its participants (members) and officials”. It remains unclear how extensive this information would have to be and how state officials will determine whether any of these explanations are adequate or not.

Also to be presented with registration applications, under Article 15, Part 3, are copies of publications “revealing the emergence of and bases of the faith and containing information on the religious activity linked to it”. The requirement to reveal the “emergence of the faith” also was added by the Majilis.

Article 16 requires each organisation’s statute to specify the territory in which it operates (presumably in line with the restrictions imposed depending on the level of registration).


The proposed new Religion Law claims that everyone has the right to acquire and use “religious literature, other informational materials of religious content, and objects of religious significance at their iown discression”. However, distribution of such literature and objects would only be permitted, according to Article 9, Part 2, in registered places of worship, approved religious education institutions and “special stationary premises determined by local executive authorities”.

Article 9, Part 3 would require that all imports of “informational materials of religious content” – apart from small quantities for personal use – be done only by registered religious organisations with prior approval from the ARA, which has to conduct an “expert analysis” of each title.

It does not appear that the production of “religious literature” or “other informational materials of religious content” within Kazakhstan is restricted, though Article 9, Part 4 requires each work to have the “full name” of the religious organisation which produced it.

This appears to exclude the possibility of private individuals or commercial companies producing such literature. Even were they to have that right, they would be unable to distribute such literature except through the approved venues specified in Article 9, Part 2.

“Expert analyses” – conducted by the ARA – are required not only for all “religious literature” or “other informational materials of religious content” imported for distribution in Kazakhstan, but also for any religious literature acquired by libraries in any institution or organisation. The exact terms of this requirement remain unclear. “Objects of religious significance” – presumably including crosses, crucifixes, Koran stands and vestments – and “spiritual (religious) educational programmes” would also, under Article 6, Part 3, be subject to an “expert analysis”.

“Religious studies experts”, as well as “when necessary” state officials, conduct such “expert analyses” on behalf of the ARA.

Restrictions on new places of worship

Existing places of worship do not appear to face difficulties remaining in operation (provided their communities manage to gain or regain legal status).

However, any new place of worship anywhere in Kazakhstan would, under Article 5, Part 5, require the approval both of the ARA in Astana and the local administration. This would cover not only whether a religious community can build, but exactly where, as well as whether a religious community could gain official change of usage for a building it wants to turn into a place of worship.

Restrictions on children’s freedom of religion or belief

Several articles of the proposed Religion Law attack the freedom of religion or belief of children. Article 3, Part 16 requires leaders of religious organisations “to take steps to prevent the attraction and/or participation by underage children in the activity of a religious association if one of the child’s parents or other of its legal guardians objects”.

It remains unclear how religious leaders will know if parents disagree over whether their child can accompany one of them to a religious community. It also remains unclear whether, for example, the country’s Chief Mufti or one of the Orthodox bishops might become liable if a community under their jurisdiction does not take measures to ensure that every child who attends has the approval of both parents.

A separate amendment in the associated Law would amend the Law on the Rights of the Child. A proposed addition to Article 19 reads: “The carrying out of services, religious rituals, ceremonies and/or meetings, as well as actions directed at spreading a faith, in children’s holiday, sport, creative or other leisure organisations, camps or sanatoria is not allowed.”

It remains unclear whether this would ban religious organisations from running children’s summer camps.

Restrictions on sharing beliefs

Article 1, Part 5 defines “spreading a faith” as “missionary activity” and indicates that it is done “in the name of a religious organisation registered in the Republic of Kazakhstan”, whether by a local citizen or a foreigner. Article 8, Part 1 states that all individuals engaged in spreading their faith must have registration, whether local or foreign. Such missionary permission needs to be renewed annually.

Only registered religious organisations can appoint “missionaries”, who must act in the name of the organisation. All the religious literature they use to promote their faith needs to be presented when applying for their registration as missionaries.

What constitutes “spreading a faith” or “missionary activity” is undefined. This could – to take one example - potentially make any conversation about religious matters by unregistered people an offence.

Restrictions on foreigners

Under the proposed new Religion Law, all founders of religious communities must be Kazakh citizens. Foreign citizens, even with the right of legal residence in the country, appear not to have the right to be official founders.

Many long-term residents of Kazakhstan after the break up of the Soviet Union are technically foreign citizens. After legal residence in Kazakhstan for 15 years, marriage to a Kazakh citizen and with a two-year-old daughter, Russian citizen Leonid Pan was in mid-August denied his application to renew his residence permit because he volunteers to preach in his local Protestant church (see F18News 1 September 2011

Leaders of all religious organisations named by foreign religious organisations (such as Russian Orthodox or Catholic bishops) need the approval of the government’s Agency of Religious Affairs, regardless of whether the appointed leader is a Kazakh citizen or not. Article 19, Part 1 specifically bans such foreign-named leaders from acting without ARA approval.

For foreign citizens to work as “missionaries” in Kazakhstan, they need (like local citizens) to have an invitation from a registered religious community in the country and need personal registration as a missionary. They also need a certificate proving that the religious organisation they represent is registered in their country of origin. It remains unclear what happens if a “missionary” is from a country where religious organisations are not subject to state registration.

Religious care in institutions

The proposed Religion Law allows religious care for those in institutions – including hospitals, prisons, or old people’s homes – provided such care is not thought to obstruct the running the institutions or violate the rights of other residents.

However, under Article 7, Part 4, only priests of registered religious communities can be invited to provide such care and conduct religious rituals.

Hidden slander?

While the proposed Religion Law appears to guarantee rights for registered religious organisations, many of the stipulations centre on possible violations of the Law such organisations should not commit. This can imply that all religious communities are potentially dangerous, and need extra legal controls which do not apply to other citizens – including criminals with no connection to any registered or unregistered religious community.

Article 3, Part 12 specifically bans the activity of religious organisations which use violence, harm people’s health, break up families or encourage citizens not to carry out their legal obligations. It remains unclear whether for example the Russian Orthodox Church would be banned if it accepts young people into monasteries who then cut off ties with their families. It also remains unclear if this might also be used against religious communities, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, which reject military service.

Article 3, Part 13 bans religious organisations which force people to join or who ban members from leaving. Article 3, Part 14 bans religious organisations which force their adherents to hand over their property to the organisation or its leaders. Article 10, Part 2 specifically bans religious organisations conducting charitable activity from trying to use an individual’s “material dependency” to pressure them to join.

Those seeking to conduct “missionary work” in Kazakhstan – whether local citizens or foreigners - would be denied permission under Article 8, Part 5 if such work “constitutes a threat to the constitutional order, social order, the rights and freedoms of the individual, or the health and morals of the population”.

The amending law

The second law, an amending law, changes nine legal provisions including the Code of Administrative Offences. Five articles of the Administrative Code are changed.

A new Article 375 – to replace the current Article which already punishes “violating the Law on Religion” – makes much wider the violations of the Religion Law which would be subject to administrative punishment. However, many of the violations are undefined, including for breaking the Religion Law, violating provisions for holding services, violating the procedure for importing, publishing or distributing religious literature, building places of worship or changing a building’s usage, or conducting missionary activity.

Other punishments are for leading a religious organisation at the nomination of a foreign religious organisation without state approval, as well as failing to prevent someone bringing a child to a religious meeting against the wishes of one of its parents.

Violations of this Article mostly lead to fines, but could lead to bans of up to three months or even a permanent ban on a religious community. Foreigners who conduct violations would be subject to “administrative deportation” (as at present). Such deportation is also confirmed in the proposed amended Article 730.

An addition to Article 636 would give the ARA the right to prepare cases to be sent to court for violations of Article 374-1 and Article 375.

The proposed amending law would thus leave untouched the current Article 374-1 which punishes leading, participating in or financing an unregistered, halted or banned religious community or social organisation. Like the current Article 375, Article 374-1 has been heavily used to punish individuals and communities for exercising their right to freedom of religion or belief (see eg. F18News 1 September 2011

New licence required

While most of the other proposed amendments are more technical, a proposed amendment to the Licensing Law would add a requirement in Article 27, Part 15 that religious organisations which send people abroad for study in religious educational institutions would also require a state licence.

Religious communities’ concerns

Almost all religious communities of a wide variety of faiths that Forum 18 spoke to declined to give any on-the-record comments about the two draft Laws. Privately, members of religious communities have expressed deep concern (see F18News 21 September 2011

Frants Tissen, head of Kazakhstan’s Baptist Union, wrote to all its member churches on 20 September, the day before the Majilis approved the Laws. He expressed concern about new restrictions on children’s participation in religious activity, registration, religious literature and missionary activity. He called for all member churches to hold “prayer and fasting” on 30 September.

Another Baptist grouping, the Kazakhstan branch of the Baptist Council of Churches – a 50-year-old grouping of Baptists across the former Soviet Union – also issued a statement of concern about the new Laws. “Many provisions of the Law severely restrict the life and service of believers,” it warned in a 22 September letter to all its member congregations, seen by Forum 18. It expressed concern about restrictions on services in private homes and holding children’s camps, and the increased administrative punishments for religious activity. And especially important for a community that chooses not to apply for state registration, it expressed alarm at the “complete ban on unregistered churches”.

The Council of Churches called all its members to conduct “prayer and fasting” on 27 September and to appeal to President Nazarbaev and to the Chair of the Senate, Kairat Mami, not to adopt the Laws. It lamented that the speed of the Laws’ adoption did not allow the churches time to organise a collective letter. (END)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Jinnah’s Pakistan, hijacked by clerics

The Express Tribune Blogs
The Verdict
Kashif ChaudharyJinnah’s Pakistan, hijacked by clerics
Posted by Kashif Chaudhry
Published: September 19, 2011
Jinnah founded Pakistan with the dream of it being a secular state where people could live as free citizens. However, today, Pakistan finds it hard to uphold the very ideals it was founded upon
Jinnah founded Pakistan with the dream of it being a secular state where people could live as free citizens.However, today, Pakistan finds it hard to uphold the very ideals it was founded upon
With the partition of the Indian subcontinent, Pakistan came into existence on August 14, 1947. The valiant and astute Muhammad Ali Jinnah led the minority Muslim community of united India to a separate homeland to fulfill the demand for freedom of religion, profession, and speech.

Jinnah was an outstanding lawyer who had studied law in London. He had a modern outlook on the world and was strongly secular. Part of the oath under which he took office reads:

“No subject … in Pakistan shall, on grounds only of religion, place of birth, descent, color or any of them be ineligible for office.”

He was absolutely clear that the new state he was founding would accommodate people of all faiths and descent without any prejudice. To assert this point, he appointed a non-Muslim as his first law minister. The Muslims in his cabinet consisted of Sunni, Shia, and Ahmadis alike. He believed that Islam endorsed a secular democracy and the two were perfectly compatible.

“The great majority of us are Muslims. Consequently, we have a special and a very deep sense of unity. But make no mistake: Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it” he said in an address in 1948.

He believed in a Pakistan wherein the mosque would be separate from the state.

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State” he said.

In the struggle for Pakistan, Jinnah was not faced with the Indian Congress and the British alone. He also had to endure intense animosity from hard-line Muslim clerics and counter their vile propaganda. He was accused, by the ultra right-wing, of blasphemy, and they considered him a great heretic for his secular ideology.

Prominent clerics like Maulana Maududi urged common Muslims not to side with Jinnah. Maududi wrote:

“It is forbidden to vote for [Jinnah’s] Muslim League.”

Despite this, the resolute Jinnah was successful in garnering support from the masses in most Muslim-majority areas.

Today, the nation finds it hard to uphold the very ideals it was founded upon. As it passes through dangerously volatile times, it has forsaken its founding principles of freedom and secularism.

But how and why did Pakistan turn against itself?

Even though he tried his best to steer it toward a secular democracy, Jinnah did not live long enough to see it become one. Over the coming years, Pakistan took a very troubling turn. In a matter of nine years, it became an “Islamic Republic,” and in a little over two decades, it had essentially become a theocracy.

The same extremist clerics who had opposed Jinnah and his struggle for Pakistan gradually claimed ownership of the State. They formed political groups that used religion to amass public support. Their demonstrations of street power, frequently violent, meant that sectarian hatred and intolerance was the order of the day.

Even governments avoided a clash with the radical right and became increasingly wary of arousing any negative religious sentiment and consequently losing popular vote. This only furthered the extremist cause, and in time, the original path Pakistan started on was completely forsaken. Pakistan, it is now said, was formed for the Muslims and is meant to become an Islamic theocracy where the Shariah, as interpreted by the hard-liners, is to be the ultimate law.

One tragedy after another, Jinnah’s Pakistan was dealt with massive blows. His Pakistan was no more his; it had been hijacked by forces of extremism and intolerance.

Non-Muslims could not hold the highest office in any of the core institutions anymore.

In 1953, there were widespread riots against the Ahmadi Muslims, a sect that extremists considered heretics.

The harassment of Shia Muslims and other minority groups also increased and went largely unchecked.

In 1974, the government yielded to intense pressure and declared the Ahmadiyya sect non-Muslim.

Tout de suite, the State had taken authority to decide its people’s religion, and the two were no longer separate.

General Zia ul Haq took over the country and became its third military president in 1977. To legitimize his dictatorship, he sought to please the right-wing and set to Islamize Pakistan. Amongst other things, he introduced the controversial blasphemy laws that stated death as the punishment for any derogatory remark against the Quran, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and other Islamic holy personages.

For Ahmadis, Zia also promulgated an ordinance in 1984 that criminalized the practice of their faith. Zia’s rule was the toughest for citizens who did not adhere to what had now become the state-backed perversion of Islam. Jinnah’s secular Pakistan had drifted into the hands of his enemies.

Jinnah had warned of this in his August 11th, 1947 address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. He said:

“As you know, history shows that in England, conditions, some time ago, were much worse than those prevailing in India today. The Roman Catholics and the Protestants persecuted each other. Even now there are some States in existence where there are discriminations made and bars imposed against a particular class. Thank God, we are not starting in those days.” He continued: “Today, you might say with justice that Roman Catholics and Protestants do not exist; what exists now is that every man is a citizen, an equal citizen of Great Britain and they are all members of the nation.”

In the same address, he said:

“My guiding principle will be justice and complete impartiality, and I am sure that with your support and cooperation, I can look forward to Pakistan becoming one of the greatest nations of the world.”

Jinnah knew that a secular form of government could bridge differences and bring together people of all faiths and backgrounds to build a strong Pakistan. Just as the Catholics had learned to live with the Protestants, he was optimistic that the Pakistan he was founding would be a successful nation, a beacon of tolerance and an example of unity in diversity. However, the men who opposed Jinnah’s ideals before partition stood in his way yet again.

Founded on freedom of religion and practice, Pakistan is one of the biggest violator of religious freedom today. For Pakistan to succeed, it will have to reverse the dangerous turn it took and get back on the path that Jinnah laid before it. The blasphemy laws must be amended, everyone must be equal citizen of the state, the anti-Ahmadi laws must be revisited and the state must remain separate from the mosque at every cost. Pakistan must educate itself and look for the unity that Jinnah so cherished in the diversity across the land.

In February 1948, Jinnah said in an address:

“You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of democracy, social justice and the equality of manhood in your own native soil. With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve.”

Unfortunately, recent events have shown that Pakistan is still far away from taking that vital turn. The government has shown little resolve to go after the perpetrators of religious hate and violence and definitely no will to even trigger a dialogue on the controversial laws of the land. With Pakistan headed toward a steep decline, the solution lies in bold courage and reform. Jinnah’s Pakistanis will have to wake up sooner than later and reclaim the land from his opponents. Pakistanis must bring about a rebirth of Pakistan – Jinnah’s Pakistan.

Copyrighted © 2011 The Express Tribune News Network

CJ urged to take action against land grabbing

The daily Nation, Pakistan
 Monday, September 19, 2011
CJ urged to take action against land grabbing
Published: September 19, 2011

CHINIOT — Advocate Supreme Court Malik Rab Nawaz has appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take suo motu action against Qadiani Jama’at which is not accepting the amendment in constitution that declares it as non-Muslim jama’at.

Addressing the 6th Khatam-e-Nabuwat Conference under the auspicious of Khatam-e-Nabuwat Lawyers Forum here on Thursday, he said that Qadianis had refused to accept the non-Muslim status and entering their names in voter lists as Muslims. He also urged Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to take notice of Qadiani land mafia which had grabbed hundred acres of govt land situated at Chenab nagar (Chak Dhigyan).

Rab Nawaz highlighted that Qadianis Jama’at had occupied all the land of high way, railway and mineral department and the land of River Chenab’s old bridge road in the name of grassy plots and tree plantation. He demanded the CM to direct the Chiniot DCO and Chenab Nagar TMA to get this land free.

He further said Qadianis, violating the rules and directions of State Bank, had made private exchange bank where hundi system was on the rise. He asked the Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to take immediate notice of this violation. He demanded the authorities concerned to create a column of non-Muslims in identity card for Qadianis.

Paying tribute to the leaders and workers of Tehreek Khatam-e-Nabuwat, he commemorated their sacrifices and struggles during the movement.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Persistent persecution

News on Sunday, Pakistan
Persistent persecution
Ahmadi community in Faisalabad keeps carrying the tag of ‘liable to be killed’ with no security
By Aoun Sahi
September 18, 2010

Naseem Ahmad Butt, 55, father of four daughters and a son and a follower of Ahmadi school of thought, was sleeping in the courtyard of his house in Muzaffar Colony in Faisalabad on the night of September 4, 2011 when four unidentified attackers broke into his house and attacked him. He received one bullet in his chest while the second one ruptured his kidney.

The firing woke up his wife whose cries forced the attackers to flee. “My brother was lying in a pool of blood when I saw him. He told me that the attackers were between 20 and 25 years old. One of them kicked him and when he woke up, they shot him. He died in a local hospital seven hours after the attack,” Khalid Pervez Butt, younger brother of Naseem Butt, tells TNS.

Naseem used to work as a technician in a local powerloom and had no enmity. “The attackers did not steal anything from his house. Being Ahmadi seems to be his only ‘sin’ that made him liable to be killed,” says Khalid Butt. His first cousin Naseer Butt was also killed in a similar fashion on September 8, 2010. “Police has made no effort to trace his killers. However, in a hope of assistance, I have got a case registered with police under section 302 of Pakistan Penal Code,” he tells TNS, adding that it is the fourth murder in his family.

Baitul Hadi“In 1994, one of my younger brothers and one of my first cousins (younger brother of Naseer Butt) were killed by religious fanatics. Police had arrested the assailants. Local activists of religious parties held protest rallies against the arrests of culprits and one of the assailants had been released just a few months back,” he says.

Three days after this incident on September 7, 2011, another Ahmadi, Chaudhry Basheer Ahmad, was attacked in Rachna Town in Sheikhupura district. He received three bullets and is still in hospital in a critical condition.

September has always been a tough month for Ahmadis in Pakistan as on September 7, 1974, the Parliament of Pakistan declared them non-Muslims. Almost all religious parties hold rallies and gatherings in the first week of September every year against Ahmadis. Majlis-e Tahffuz-e Khatm-e Nubuwwat takes the lead and arranges an annual gathering to celebrate victory against Ahmadis every year in Rabwah — the Jama’at Ahmadiya’s headquarters in Pakistan.

“Faisalabad has become one of the toughest cities in Pakistan for Ahmadis to live in,” Syed Mahmood Ahmad, secretary of the Faisalabad chapter of Jama’at Ahmadiya, tells TNS. “Naseem Butt was neither an active member of our Jama’at nor was an influential person. He was killed only because of his religious beliefs. Within days after his killing, unidentified people have written slogans like ‘slaves of the companions of Prophet (PBUH) and ‘down with Qadyaniat’ on the walls of Muzaffar Colony.

In May this year, a pamphlet terming Ahmadis ‘liable to be killed’ was distributed in Faisalabad. “It also carried names and addresses of prominent Ahmadis in Faisalabad. We have time and again contacted the Faisalabad police that a group of fanatics is threatening Ahmadis in the area. But no action has ever been taken,” says Ahmad. “On June 2, 2011, I sent an email to the home secretary and the police chief of Punjab as well as Faisalabad’s regional police officer, but nothing has been done to help us.”

Over the past two years, as many as six Ahmadis have been killed in Faisalabad, but no killer has been brought to book. “Religious fanatics are being encouraged by a lack of action on the part of the government agencies. It has even become too tough for Ahmadi youth to get education in public sector universities. A few months back, four girls belonging to our community were expelled from National Textile University. The 2010 annual magazine of that university carried three articles against Ahmadis,” says Mahmood Ahmad.

An Ahmadi praying in MosquePolice officials in Faisalabad do not seem to have taken the issue seriously. “We have no resources to provide special security for Ahmadis,” Shakir Hussain Dawar, senior police official in Faisalabad, tells TNS. “As far as Naseem Butt’s murder is concerned, we are investigating it from all angles. We have not ruled out the possibility of religious factor,” he says.

Saleemuddin, the Jama’at spokesperson, says that Ahmadis are being threatened all across the country, adding that Faisalabad has become the most hostile city towards the Ahmadis. “Most hate material is being generated and funded there. Eleven Ahmadis have been killed in Faisalabad since 1984.” In May last year, more than 88 people were killed in Lahore when gunmen opened fire at two separate places of worship of Ahmadis. “One year has passed, but no progress has been made in the case.”

Human rights activists have termed the situation deplorable. They are worried about the situation and have been writing constantly to the government about the security of Ahmadis. “Faisalabad has become a test case for the government to check the persecution of Ahmadis. The opponents of Ahmadis have even published their addresses and phone numbers on the pamphlets distributed in Faisalabad around three months back. No action has been taken against the culprits. It seems that the persecution will continue,” says HRCP Director IA Rehman.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Monthly Newsreport on persecution of Ahmadis in Pakistan - August, 2011

Ahmadis denied once again their democratic rights in national elections

Islamabad: The government, through the Election Commission of Pakistan, has undertaken the massive exercise of updating the electoral lists for the forthcoming national elections, but have made sure that despite the proclaimed Joint Electorate system, Ahmadis are discriminated against, and religion is mentioned in Form A in a manner that Ahmadis are forced to accept their non-Muslim status to avail voting rights, to which they will not submit. This is the Pakistani version of Gore Vidal’s “Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace”; the state policy here is “Perpetual Denial of Human Rights to Ahmadis for Perpetual Political Self-Interest”.

The Election Commission has issued a booklet of instructions for its registration staff for the verification and updating of electoral lists by checking house to house all over Pakistan. The booklet is in Urdu. All the relevant instructions are there. It also provides specimen copies of the various Forms meant for preparing the lists.

To be more specific, this booklet provides ‘Wazahat’ (explanation) of some important points, at its end. The last point mentioned is: Ahmadiyon key vote ibtidai intikhabi fehrist mein elahdah darj kiye jaen gai aur, register key sufah key ooper “Ahmadiyon ke liye” likha jae ga; that is: “Ahmadis’ votes will be entered separately in the Initial Electoral List, and at the top of that register the notation “For Ahmadis” will be entered.” It is noteworthy that the Commission entered this instruction in the booklet on its last page as the last entry; this betrays the guilt feeling.

The new Form A, for registration of fresh voters, is essentially the same as the old Form 2. It has a column for religion which specifies religions as 1. Musulman, 2. Hindu, 3. Eesai, 4. Sikh, 5. Buddh, 6. Parsi, 7. Qadiani/Ahmadi, 8. Deegar (other) Ghair Muslim (Non-Muslim). It provides a square after each entry for ticking. The applicant is required to affirm with signature or thumb impression, the following oath (if he claims to be a Muslim):

“I affirm on oath that I believe completely and unconditionally in the finality of Prophethood of Khatam un Nabiyyeen Muhammad (peace be upon him), and I am not follower of any person who claims to be a prophet in any sense of the word or of any description whatsoever after Muhammad (peace be upon him) or recognize such a claimant as prophet or a religious reformer; nor am I associated with the Qadiani group or the Lahori group nor do I call myself an Ahmadi.”

The language of the above affidavit is noteworthy. One can be confident that the inquisitors of the Spanish Inquisition in medieval ages would not have been more thorough in preparation of their affidavits.

This raises an important question. If the present democratic dispensation cannot put right the obvious wrongs in the field of human and democratic rights, what justification do they have in insisting that people should prefer them over autocratic regimes who otherwise deliver better services and governance in the short run?

Also, the ruling PPP considers its claim irrefutable that Ms. Benazir Bhutto gave her life for liberal democracy!

Faisalabad: Ahmadi shot dead inside his home for his faith

September 4, 2011: Mr Naseem Ahmad Butt (55) was martyred here at about 1 a.m. He was sleeping in his home in Muzaffar Colony when four unknown assailants jumped over the wall of his home and fired at him. They taunted the victim for being a Qadiani. He was shot in his stomach and chest. The assailants immediately fled the scene. Mr Butt was left critically injured, and was taken to a hospital where he died at approximately 9 a.m.

Mr Naseem Butt was a peaceful and law abiding citizen. He is survived by his wife, four daughters and one son.

The Press Spokesman of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Jamaat, Abid Khan said in London:

“The religious extremists in Pakistan have taken yet another life. What they perhaps fail to realize is that through their actions they are harming the entire peace and stability of Pakistan as a whole. Hatred and persecution of any organization or group must be condemned by all those who believe in tolerance and love for humanity. Such attacks serve only to destabilize society and to spread discord.”

In fact such a murder by criminal bigots was on the cards and was expected anytime in Faisalabad. They had openly called for it a few weeks ago by distributing in this city hateful pamphlets which named Ahmadis, gave their addresses and called them Wajib ul Qatl (must be killed). Ahmadis presented these pamphlets to the city police, informed the provincial authorities and urged all, including the federal government, to take preventive action. Apparently nothing was done except registration of an FIR, although the publishers and instigators had printed their identity, phone numbers and E-mail addresses on the pamphlet.

The Daily Times, Lahore published a news report on these pamphlets on June 14, and mentioned about ‘plans of execution of terrorist activities against Ahmadis in the region. The report had further mentioned that the terrorists were collaborating with other wings and laying out a proper plan of Ahmadis’ target killing.’ “The government and law enforcement authorities did not take due notice of the people distributing pamphlets and other hate material, ignorance that eventually led to the killing of Naseem Ahmad,” the paper remarked in its issue of September 5, 2011.

The Express Tribune took notice of this murder in its editorial titled: A most dangerous place. The editor wrote, “Quite shockingly, the Faisalabad police chief says he has no information about the pamphlets which brazenly name the threatening organization.” The Express Tribune observed further on September 5, 2011, “The Punjab government’s record of protecting Ahmadis has been dismal.”

Although all the relevant information is available in the files of the Faisalabad Police and with the provincial Home Secretary, we produce here again the address of the organizations who bayed for the blood of ‘Qadianis’ in their pamphlets issued in June this year:

Alami Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat
All Pakistan Students Khatme Nabuwwat Federation
Phone No: 0321-7611895 and 0321-8823953

In a threatening letter in March this year they gave their following address on their letterhead pad:

Alami Majlis Tahaffuz-e-Khatme Nabuwwat
22 - Cooperative Bank Building Inside Circular Rd, Faisalabad
Phone 263352

The editorial of the Express Tribune, mentioned earlier, made the following disquieting remarks in its closing: “Its (the state of Pakistan’s) failure in Faisalabad to come to the help of the targeted Ahmadis is symptomatic of the terminal phase of its existence. Hatred and extremism are becoming hallmarks of the sociology of the state.”

Demolition of an Ahmadiyya place of worship by authorities

Jattwala, District Lodhran; August 21, 2011: Ahmadiyya community in Jattwala, district Lodhran intended to build a place for their worship. Ali Hasan, a member of Lashkr-e-Taiba (a religious outfit banned for its terrorist activities), filed an application in the District Superintendent Police Office to stop its construction. The SHO came to the site on the order of his superiors and ordered a stop to the construction and told both the parties to report to him in the police station the next day. There, Ahmadis agreed that they would build only a hall for community functions and provide no niche and minarets. Their opponents agreed to this, and the police allowed the construction.

Later on, some mullas and press reporters came to the site again and started making hue and cry that a mosque was under construction. They gathered approximately 500 men and were about to demolish the construction but were dissuaded by some notables of the area from doing that. A delegation of mullas and press reporters met the District Coordination Officer and put further pressure on him to demolish the Ahmadiyya hall. The DCO succumbed to their pressure tactics and ordered the Tehsil Municipal Officer to demolish the construction forthwith. The police came to the site and demolished the building.

Some press reporters and television teams came to the site and recorded the statements of agitating clerics. They expressed satisfaction over the co-operation of authorities in the demolition of the Ahmadiyya mosque and vowed to demolish the Ahmadiyya mosque in Lodhran city as “it had become a place of terrorist activities”.

Such is the role of the democratic government in upholding the Freedom of Religion of Ahmadis in Pakistan.

Authorities urged to proscribe hate literature

Rabwah: The Director of Public Affairs, Ahmadiyya headquarters wrote the following letter to all the concerned authorities on August 20, 2011.

Nazarat Umoor-e-Aama
Sadar Anjuman Ahmadiyya Rabwah (Pakistan)
Ph: 047-6212459
Fax: 047-66215459

Subject: Request to stop circulation of provocative hate literature
Jamia Usmania Khatme Nabuwwat, Muslim Colony, Rabwah (Chenab Nagar) has issued a folder containing a time table for fasting during Ramadan. It contains numerous anti-Ahmadiyya provocative writings. The writings urge Muslims to undertake extreme action against Ahmadis. Hate and prejudice is spread in the fair name of religion through this baseless written material. Ahmadis are thereby exposed to attack and aggression.
The folder also calls for financial support to the monthly organ of this organization, which is dedicated to anti-Ahmadiyya propaganda.
It is relevant to mention that the head of this organization, Qari Shabbir Ahmad Usmani is placed in the Fourth Schedule of the police record. He was General Secretary of the Sipah Sahabah, a banned organization. He is facing prosecution in court on criminal charges in FIRs 580 of 31 October 2006, 255 of 20 September 2002, 734 of 21 December 1994, 279 of 14 November 1986 and 245 of 26 October 1985, all registered in Police Station Chenab Nagar/Rabwah.
The monthly Sada-i-Khatme Nabuwwat that has been published for years is neither officially registered nor has permission from the authorities for its publication.
The time-table folder solicits contributions from the general public while according to government rules organizations are forbidden to collect funds without due permission.
We have kept the authorities repeatedly informed of this delicate situation but unfortunately no action is taken against these elements. This results in grave consequences.
It is a pity that these extremist blood-thirsty elements avail of the sensitive national situation and exploit religion to target a specified community, harming the country thereby. Such literature plays pivotal role in this scheme. Although all the decent folk condemn such activities, the negative role and support of the print and electronic media encourages these elements.
Since the promulgation of the anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance XX in 1984, two hundred and six Ahmadis have been killed through religious hatred. The serial killing goes on in 2011. A number of Ahmadis have been attacked this year.
Publication of this provocative literature (copies attached) despite the official ban calls for special attention of the authorities and corrective action by them.
Director Public Affairs
Rabwah (Chenab Nagar) District Chiniot

Invitation in the capital to kill Ahmadis

Islamabad; August 16, 2011: Some unknown men wrote with spray-paint on the outer walls of two Ahmadis’ houses, “Wajib-ul-Qatl (must be killed) – Qadiani (Ahmadis) Wajib-ul-Qatl”. One house is owned by the district president of the Ahmadiyya community and other house belongs to the late Chaudhry Abdul Wahid Virk. They also wrote “Hadi Qadiani, Wajib-ul-Qatl” outside the shop, “Galaxy Photo” owned by Mr. Abdul Hadi, an Ahmadi.

This has caused great concern to Ahmadis. The police has been informed about this display of hate and hostility against Ahmadis in the capital.

Another provocative conference to be held by clerics at Rabwah

Rabwah: The Director of Public Affairs, Ahmadiyya headquarters wrote the following letter to federal and provincial authorities on August 18, 2011 (translation):

Nazarat Umoor-e-Aama
Sadar Anjuman Ahmadiyya Rabwah (Pakistan)
Ph: 047-6212459
Fax: 047-66215459

Subject: Appropriate action regarding Khatme Nabuwwat Conference to be held on September 07, 2011 in Muslim Colony Chenab Nagar/Rabwah
I wish to draw your attention to an important and sensitive issue. According to press reports, anti-Ahmadi elements have announced a program to hold a Khatme Nabuwwat conference in Chenab Nagar/Rabwah on September 07, 2011.
Ahmadis in Rabwah, where 95% of the population is Ahmadi, are not allowed to hold their annual conferences and other programs, but their opponents are regularly facilitated to transport vigilantes from outside to Rabwah, hold conferences, take out processions, abuse Ahmadi leaders on loudspeakers, indulge in insulting acts, make mischief and create a threat to law and order.
Such a conference is again planned this year for September 07, 2011 which raises a threat to law and order in this town. As in the past, it is most likely that many incoming participants will be from organizations that are otherwise banned by the government of Pakistan. These bands emerge from the Muslim Colony, loiter through the residential areas, and attempt provocation near Ahmadiyya places of worship. All this can lead to some nasty incident. This conference also provides an opportunity for this kind of undesired happening.
In view of the grave situation prevailing in the country, it would be appropriate to disallow this conference, and provide no official support to its sponsors. However, if decided otherwise, the participants should be made to use only main roads, refrain from eve-teasing, slogan-raising, improper use of sound amplifiers and posing a threat to the town’s law and order through hateful sectarian speeches.
God forbid, if there is a disturbing incident, the responsibility will be that of the participants of the conference and the authorities. Last year also, you were requested likewise to disallow the conference but unfortunately we received no positive response.
We hope that you will take appropriate action to maintain peace in the town. This delicate issue deserves your priority attention and action.
Director Public Affairs
Rabwah (Chenab Nagar) District Chiniot
PS. The authorization was not revoked.

Ahmadi businessman harassed by mullas

Quetta; June 22, 2011: Mr. Muzaffar Ahmad, a well-known Ahmadi businessman here, is in the crosshairs of local Khatme Nabuwwat mullas. He has been threatened in many ways. Some mullas took him forcibly to their office and made him sign a statement on oath to deny Ahmadiyyat. “Your business will be set on fire and you will be killed if you maintain relations with Ahmadis or go to their place of worship”, they threatened him.

Mr. Ahmad is at great risk at the hand of these religious gangsters.

An Ahmadi educator under threat

Township, Lahore; July, 2011: Syed Farrukh Ahmad is an Ahmadi educator in Township, Lahore. He has been harassed by mullas for the last two years. The bigots of the Pasban Khatme Nabuwwat wing are on his trail. “Your case has reached a high level. A plan is ready to take care of you. Pamphlets will be distributed to every student and in every home against you and your school after the summer vacations”, a mulla told him. Mullas are known to have discussed his case in a meeting.

Mr. Ahmad is very upset in the face of all this.

Social boycott of those who offered funeral prayers of their father

Sial Sharif, Sargodha: An elderly Ahmadi died in village Kot Easa Shah. His funeral prayers were offered by a large number of Ahmadis who came over from other locations. His three sons, who were rather lax in their religious commitment to Ahmadiyyat, also joined the prayers. Later, when they went to offer their daily prayers at the local non-Ahmadiyya mosque, as was their practice, some people expressed their doubts on their status as Muslims. A group among them thereafter referred the issue to a religious center in Siyal Sharif and asked for a fatwa about such people.

The Mufti responded with a severe edict. He declared, (extracts):

Anyone who doubts that Mirzais/Qadianis are Kafir (infidel) is himself a Kafir…. Anyone who offers funeral prayers for a Kafir gets expelled from Islam…. These people (who offered prayers for the Ahmadi) are no longer Muslim; their total boycott is ordained by the Quran…. Have nothing to do with these people who transgressed, otherwise you will be counted among them, and you will have no Helper.
Signature and stamp of the Mufti

The three sons of the deceased are now facing social boycott in the village, however they are boldly weathering the storm, and are understanding the merit of their father’s confession.

Harassment of an Ahmadi family in Nawab Shah

Nawab Shah, Sindh; July 2011: Mr Samar Ahmad Dhari is an Ahmadi notable settled here since long. Recently a family of Jamali clan took up residence on rent close to their house. The new comers are a well-to-do family who employ men as house-hold staff. Some of these are aggressive bigots who started taking undue interest in the religious life of Dhari family and their servants.

Soon there were incidents of interventions, threats and false accusations, against the Ahmadis. Mr. Dhari tried to report to the police but could not contact the Superintendent. So a local landlord was requested to intervene. He heard both the sides and decided that the new-comers owed an apology to the Dharis. He also told the former to dismiss some of their staff who had fomented the mischief.

Anti-Ahmadiyya rally

Goth Yar Muhammad, district Nawab Shah; July 19, 2011: Deobandi mullas led an anti-Ahmadiyya rally in Goth Yar Muhammad in which they abused the Ahmadiyya community and raised anti-Ahmadiyya slogans. Later they gathered in the Madina mosque, Sakrand and held a meeting. They targeted some local Ahmadis and made plans to get rid of them. Dr. Khalid Mahmood Somro, the head of Deobandi mullas, was also there. The mullas are very active in this area and remain busy inciting people against Ahmadis.

An intruder with suspect intentions

Township, Lahore; August 9, 2011: A man, approximately 30 years old, tried to enter the Ahmadiyya mosque in Township, Lahore. The Ahmadi youths on duty intercepted him. The unwelcome visitor gave his name as Imtiaz Babar Ali from 22 Block no. 6-BI. He was handed over to the police.

The situation in Lahore remains worrisome after last year’s attacks on the two Ahmadiyya mosques that resulted in 86 Ahmadi worshipers dead. Authorities have taken no firm steps to check anti-Ahmadiyya extremist elements in the province.

Brief reports


Mullas held a Khatme Nabuwwat conference here on August 15, 2011. They availed of the occasion to jointly approach the police against an Ahmadi educator and have a criminal case registered against him in an FIR. The Ahmadi, Mr. Yusuf Ayaz owns a school in the Ahmadiyya Mohallah. The children are taught the Quran and Hadith in addition to the normal syllabus. Mullas made it the basis of their complaint. The formal complainant is Ghazi Saqib Shakil who has remained behind bars for his involvement in the murder of a Christian. Since his release, he has become an activist of the Majlis Khatme Nabuwwat.


Mr. Yasir Saleem, Ahmadi, owns a hair-dressing shop in the Canal Park. Not far from his shop is the main center of the banned Lashkre Taiba. A few days ago, an activist of this banned organization approached Saleem, gave him some anti-Ahmadiyya literature and told him to read it carefully. A few days later, on 16th August, he visited Saleem again, and told him that he was Wajib ul Qatl (must be killed).

Mr. Saleem informed his community elders of the incident. They have advised him to shift his business elsewhere and remain on guard.

Do Gaij Town, District Lahore

A mulla has taken to making in provocative anti-Ahmadiyya propaganda on loudspeaker in Dars after the Morning Prayer in Shah Madina mosque, Bismilla Block, Zarrar Shaheed Rd. He has also urged the worshippers to implement a social boycott of Ahmadis.

Rabwah suffers criminal neglect from those in authority

The daily Pakistan, Lahore published the following story in its issue of August 4, 2011.

Chenab Nagar: Electric and gas outages in Ramadan commence
Chenab Nagar: (Correspondant) At the commencement of the holy month of Ramadan, electricity, drinking water and gas are no longer available to the people who thereby face tremendous hardship. The minister responsible for water and power had announced that electricity will remain available at the times of Sehri and Aftaar (closing and opening of the fast), however WAPDA follow-up has made the people yell in protest. On the second day of Ramadan WAPDA ‘improved’ the load-shedding record in that in some neighborhoods there was no gas and no drinking water at the time of Sehri and Aftaar. People had to pick up buckets and look for water from door to door. There was no water in mosques for ablution; the worshippers protested vehemently. Residents screamed on account of electric load-shedding that lasted two to three hours at a stretch. Those who were fasting sought refuge from heat, under shade of roadside trees. They cursed the rulers and expressed the view that rulers who torture the people in the holy month of Ramadan will not be forgiven by Allah.

Ahmadis behind bars

Four Ahmadis, Mr. Naseer Ahmad, Mr. Ameer Ahmad, Mr. Ameen Ahmad and Mr. Shahid Ahmad of Lathianwala have been wrongfully charged of murder in district Faisalabad with FIR no. 682/2010. A passerby was killed during an exchange of fire between Ahmadis and non-Ahmadis. The fire-fight broke out because Ahmadis had to defend themselves against perpetual harassment and aggression. The police could not specify whose bullet had caused the casualty; they arrested four Ahmadis, nevertheless. They have not been granted bail, yet; they are in prison since October 2010.

From the Media

Qadianis’ place of worship demolished in Lodhran. Muslims rejoice.
The daily Lahore Post, Lahore; August 22, 2011
Chenab Nagar: 24th Annual Khatme Nabuwwat Conference on September 7
The daily Khabrain, Lahore; August 12, 2011
Mirzai impressed by Islamic teachings turns Muslim
The daily Al-Sharaq, Lahore; August 13, 2011
Human Rights Watch slams Indonesian ruling on Ahmadi attack
The daily Alertnet, Lahore; July 28, 2011
Injured Ahmadi Faces Jail Time
Adding insult to injury, prosecutors at the Serang District Court on Tuesday recommended nine months in jail for an Ahmadi man critically injured in the deadly attack on members of the Community in Cikerisik, Banten.
The Jakarta Globle, Indonesia; August 3, 2011
(Washington) Report reveals increase in restrictions on religion
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 10, 2011
No water in Chenab Nagar for days; life intolerable due to heat. The council staff fails to repair water supply pipelines. Citizens search for water from door to door.
The daily Samaa, Lahore; August 2, 2011
Chenab Nagar: Lack of cleanliness, heaps of rubbish, overflowing gutters: Citizens angry protest. Cleanship staff in Chenab Nagar acts blind. Officials should take notice.
The daily Din, Lahore; August 1, 2011
Qadianis are agents of anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan elements
The daily Din, Lahore; August 5, 2011
Sharia penalty (of death) for apostasy should be imposed at the earliest. — Maulvi Faqir Muhammad
The daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore; August 10, 2011
At least 47 killed in Jamrud. Suicide blast in mosque during Friday prayers.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 19, 2011
Eid day suicide attack in Quetta claims 12 lives
The daily Dawn, Lahore; September 3, 2011
Hotel bomb kills nine in Nowshehra
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 25, 2011
SHO among three policemen killed (in Quetta)
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 8, 2011
Militants kill three policemen, free prisoners
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August, 2011
Terrorists use girl for suicide attack in Peshawar
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 12, 2011
If you wish to see Muslims, see the Taliban. — Sirajul Haq (of JI)
The daily Al Sharq, Lahore; August 20, 2011
Girls school blown up in Mardan
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 25, 2011
Security concerns. Eid day saw many mosques closed in Peshawar.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; September 3, 2011
Banned organization in Jhang forbidden to collect donations. These persist in doing the same by change of name.
The daily Pakistan, Lahore; August 4, 2011
Somalia, Paksitan most at risk from terror attacks.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 4, 2011
Rehman Malik’s statement regarding Tablighi Jamaat is highly irresponsible — Shahbaz Sharif
The daily Ausaf, Lahore; August 1, 2011
164 Qadianis convert to Islam in Indonesia
The daily Ausaf, Lahore; August 4, 2011
Bonds of fraternity renewed with S. Arabia, Gilani tells cabinet.
The daily New International, Lahore; August 11, 2011
Tajik teenagers face mosque ban
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 4, 2011
JI referendum on US policies on September 16
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 17, 2011
Veil is banned in Italy: Human Rights are torn to pieces in Europe. — Ulama karam and religious leaders
The daily Ausaf, Lahore; August 7, 2011
French businessman pays Belgium face veil fines
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 18, 2011
40 troops dead as Afghan militants storm Pak Posts
The daily Nation, Lahore; August 28, 2011
Three Pakistani men lose lives. Birmingham burns; UK premier vows fight back.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 11, 2011
Riots are a cry for help, says former London gang leader.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 13, 2011
23 lives lost as Karachi bleeds again; 90 vehicles torched. July death toll 318
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 2, 2011
City in a daze after another 30 killed
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 19, 2011
Four policemen among 21 dead in Karachi. Killers rake police bus with bullets.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 19, 2011
Gang war claims 13 lives in Karachi. Former MNA (PPP) Karimdad killed.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 18, 2011
800 killed in Karachi this year, says HRCP
The daily Nation, Lahore; August 8, 2011
For peace in Karachi, we need a ‘Minus MQM’ solution. — Munawar Hasan
The daily Aman, Lahore; August 25, 2011
14 Killed as blast flattens eatery (in Baluchistan). The Baloch Liberation Tigers, a new outfit, claimed responsibility for the bombing.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 15, 2011
Fata people get political rights. Major changes made in FCR.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 18, 2011
Gilani in search of ‘govt-friendly, trustworthy’ officers
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 18, 2011
De-radicalisation plan under study
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 18, 2011
Salman Taseer’s son abducted
The daily The News, Lahore; August 27, 2011
Police raid (in Lahore) on art gallery flayed
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 9, 2011
Ranger sentenced to death (for shooting in Karachi Park)
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 13, 2011
SC rejects (former minister) Kazmi’s bail in Haj case
The daily Nation, Lahore; August 3, 2011
Third FIA chief quits in a year
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 18, 2011
Rape and mutilation country’s tribal justice for women
The daily Dawn, Lahore; August 10, 2011


Terrorism and extremism
Pakistanis must understand that they cannot defeat terrorism without defeating extremism.
Touqir Hussain in the Dawn, August 4, 2011
Why a secular Pakistan is closer to Islam?
Bhutto’s and Zia’s ‘Islamising’ of Pakistan has yielded bitter fruits and a dark legacy.
Ironically, before such attempt of Islamisation, history suggests that Pakistani society was more peaceful, had less crime and citizens generally felt secure in the practice of their faith.
Amaar Ahmad in Pak Tea House on 04 August, 2011
Why not Allah’s blessings?
We had neutralized the Qadiani menace (in 1974), so we should have surely received God’s pleasure and blessing, but what happened? Other denominations were also accused of Kufr. The author of the 1973 constitution himself faced a campaign in the name of religion as if he had violated religion by sponsoring an Islamic constitution. Consequently he was dispatched by God’s warriors.
Dr Khalid Jan in Al-Sharq, August 28, 2011
The Courage to Redefine Pakistan
In a few years, my Pakistani passport will expire and I will choose whether to renew it. For years, I have skimmed over the fact that I have to sign declaration depriving Ahmadis of their identity as Muslims. But in a small act of resistance, granted by a great amount of privilege, I will question this declaration and refuse a passport if I have to sign it. I won’t be alone. At least one Pakistani activist, a friend refused to sign the declaration and still got a passport. If millions of Pakistanis around the world join us, we might together shake the foundation of intolerance that this declaration imbues in our identity. It will not take just the US, or the brave activists and leaders of Pakistan to make this change. It will take us all to say that we no longer accept intolerance as part of our national character.
Samia Khan Bambrah in the Huffpost World, posted: July 26, 2011
Provinces for religious minorities?
…. Pakistan might well have developed this consolidated rainbow identity had misfortune not struck us in the form of General Zia. The narrow minded and outrageous interpretations of an otherwise rational and progressive faith, interpreted by the very people who had once opposed the creation of Pakistan, were imposed on Pakistan. Pakistan was transformed under General Zia from a tolerant multi-religious multi-cultural – albeit Muslim majority state – to a theocratic Deobandi-only dystopia.
Yasser L Hamdani in the Daily Times, Site Edition on August 22, 2011
London riots
Many charities and government sponsored organizations conclude a lack of role models, the break up of the family home and a lack of sense of worth and identity has pushed young people into joining gangs.
A Reuters report by Stefano Ambrogi published in the Dawn of August 13, 2011

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