Terrorists attack Ahmadiyya mosques in Pakistan

Terrorists attack Ahmadiyya mosques in Pakistan


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

As Friday prayers came to a close on May 28, 2010 in Lahore, Pakistan, seven terrorists wielding guns, grenades and suicide vests stormed into two crowded Ahmadi Muslim mosques and opened fire, killing 94 victims and injuring more than 120. The coordinated attacks took place just minutes apart.

At the Bait-ul-Noor Mosque in Model Town—an upscale neighborhood in Lahore—people ran for their lives as three gunmen entered with AK-47 assault rifles and grenades, opening fire on security personnel and worshippers alike. The attack lasted more than one hour as the attackers shot into the horrified crowd. Twenty-seven people were killed.

Several miles away, near Lahore’s main railway station, another three attackers barged into the Dar-ul-Zakir mosque with the same destructive intentions. They sprayed bullets into the congregation and took several hundred people hostage. A three-hour standoff ensued, as police and terrorists exchanged gunfire. Two of the attackers then detonated their suicide vests, killing 67.

The nightmare didn’t end for survivors the day of the mosque attacks. A few days later, gunmen attacked the intensive-care Unit of Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital, where victims and one of the alleged attackers were recovering. Twelve more people, including police officers and hospital staff, were killed. The attackers escaped.

A Punjab provincial chapter of the Taliban took responsibility for all the attacks.

Although the incidents came as a horrifying surprise, a leader at the Model Town mosque expressed that they had been receiving threatening phone calls in the weeks prior to the attacks. When Mosque leaders reached out to the police for more security, they received no response.

Unfortunately, threats and violence are nothing new for the Ahmadi, who are always met with discrimination from majority Muslim sects. Though the Ahmadi consider themselves Muslim, Pakistani law does not. Even an act as simple as declaring themselves Muslim is considered blasphemy under the law, and can be punished with fines, prison time or death. Sunni Muslim conservatives have led a recent campaign to ostracize the Ahmadis, and Sunni extremists have made them the targets of violence.

The victims of the attacks were buried in Rabwah—the home to the Ahmadi’s religious headquarters. Although Pakistani ministers, politicians and other prominent figures issued statements of condemnation toward the attackers and their actions, none of them attended the services—likely due to fear of political and religious backlash for publicly supporting the much-maligned sect.


Pakistan mosque attacks in Lahore kill scores

The attackers fired guns and threw grenades at worshippers during Friday prayers. Three militants later blew themselves up with suicide vests.

Pakistani forces have secured both buildings, but are still searching for militants who fled the scene.

Lahore has been the scene of a string of brazen attacks.

It is unclear who carried out the attacks, but suspicion has fallen on the Pakistani Taliban, Ali Dayan Hassan of Human Rights Watch told the BBC.

Mr Hassan said the worshippers were "easy targets" for militant Sunni groups who consider the Ahmadis to be infidels.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Terrorist attacks on Lahore mosques

Pakistan is such a country where things are moving from bad to worse. Terrors have engulfed the entire nation. At present it is suffering from social, political and economic conflicts. The ordinary Pakistanis, the middle and the lower class in particular, are facing a long list of serious crises.

On 28th May 2010, terrorist attacks took place on Ahmadiyya mosques in Lahore by gunmen armed with grenades and automatic weapons killing around 86 people. It was a Friday, a day regarded as holy and sacred by all Muslims. The terrorists opened fire on the worshipers when the latter gathered at Baitul Noor Mosque in Model Town and Darul Zikr Mosque in Garhi Shahu. More than 2500 worshipers were attending the Friday prayers in these two mosques when the terrible attack occurred. It was the cruellest and the most barbaric attack on Ahmadiyya Muslims in Pakistan where more than 109 have been killed since 1984. Luqman Ahmad, a survivor describes the attack situation: ‘It was like a war going on around me. The cries I heard sent chill down my spine’. The Ahmadiyya security guards, who were discharging their duties voluntarily in front of these two mosques, were first to have been killed.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said that it had been warned of threats against the Ahmadiyya community in Lahore for more than a year and demanded ‘foolproof security and protection’ from the government. Ahmadiyya leaders had approached the police to register the threats which had been published in a local newspaper against the community, but no action was taken by the police.

The United States condemned what it called ‘brutal violence against innocent people’. ‘We also condemn the targeting and violence against any religious group, in this case the Ahmadiyya Community,’ State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told the reporters in Washington.

The Canadians and the international community condemned these unprovoked attacks on people, who assembled to practise their faith. The people responsible for these grievous acts must be brought to justice. People should be allowed to worship freely and in peace so the extremists, who perpetrate these terrible acts, do not win.

A legislation declaring Ahmadiyya Muslims to be ‘non-Muslim’ was passed in 1974 and further legislation prohibiting Ahmadiyya Muslims to practise their faith was passed in 1984. With this law in Pakistan the innocent members of the Ahmadiyya community are experiencing constant threats, discrimination and violent attacks. Despite their claim to be Muslim, the Ahmadiyya community members have been subjected to perennial persecution, especially since the passing of an Ordinance in 1984 by General Ziaul Haque which said no member of the community could declare himself or herself as a Muslim (Section 298C, Act XLV of 1860). This meant that the community members could not recite the holy Quran, or call the Azan before prayer times. They could not display the Kalima Tayyaba or offer the Islamic greeting ‘Assalamo Alaikum’ to any one. The contravention of these regulations carried heavy fines, or imprisonment or both. Thousands of the community members were thrown behind bars under these draconian laws, and some are still incarcerated in the Pakistani jails.

Islam recognises the rights of freedom of conscience and freedom of belief and as far as one’s religious belief is concerned, one is answerable to God alone. No man has the right to punish another for his choice of belief. There is absolutely no compulsion whatsoever in Islam and no punishment of any kind permitted in the Holy Quran for apostasy.

There is no mention in the Holy Quran or anywhere else of any punishment for an apostate. Allah says in the Holy Quran : ‘There is no compulsion in religion (2:257).

The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) of Islam was the ‘Champion of Human Rights’. Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) not only emphasised the desirability of tolerance in religious matters but set a very high standard in this respect. A deputation from the Christian tribe of Najran visited him in Medina to exchange views on religious matters which included several Church dignitaries. The conversation took place in the mosque and it extended over several hours. At one stage the leaders of the deputation asked permission to depart from the mosque and to hold their religious service at some convenient spot. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘There is no need for you to go out of the mosque, because the mosque is the place to worship one God, if you want to do so, you have every freedom of worship, and holding the services in it. (Zurqani)‘.

According to Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 19): ‘ Every one has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance’.

The Father of the Nation of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah had the foresight to see the problems a State would face if it moves away from a secular state. The vision of Pakistan that Mohammad Ali Jinnah saw was summarised by him in a speech delivered on 11th August 1947: ‘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 business of State… We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination, no distinction between the community and another… with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one state.

‘Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.’

The present democratic government in Pakistan came to power in 2008. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani declared ‘Pakistan believes in religious freedom. In a high-level meeting chaired by the Prime Minister and attended by the chief of the Army Staff among others, ‘the participants were unanimous in concluding that terrorism and extremism are the greatest challenge to Pakistan’s national security’ (The Daily Dawn, Lahore, June 28, 2008). Despite this awareness, the actions of the government have totally failed to match the words.

Pakistan cannot become a modern, progressive, prosperous state while these laws remain in the statute book and continue to nourish dubious and deeply flawed policies. Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments should take immediate legal action against Islamist extremist groups responsible for threats and violence against the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. In order to save Pakistan and free its people from the stain of terrorism and extremism, the Government of Pakistan must immediately repeal the laws against the Ahamadiyya community so that the extremists have no backing of the State while discriminating against the community and attacking the members of the community.


Ahmadi Muslims And The Islamic Pakistan

On August 13, 2020, a 61-year-old Ahmadi man, Meraj Ahmed, was shot dead near his medical store in the Dabgari Gardens area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

On July 29, 2020, Tahir Naseem, a US citizen and an Ahmadi, accused of blasphemy, was shot dead inside a District Court in Peshawar, in the presence of security and the presiding judge. Though he was killed as an Ahmadi, Saleem ud Din, spokesman of the Jamaat Ahmadiyya Pakistan, later claimed, “He was born Ahmadi but left the community many years ago. Therefore, to avoid any misinformation, I would like to clarify that the deceased was not part of Jamaat Ahmadiyya.”

Jamaat Ahmadiyya Pakistan is an organisation that, among other things, watches over the religious, economic and political interests of Ahmadis in Pakistan.

On July 15, 2020, graves of members of the Ahmadi community were desecrated in Tirigiri village of Gujranwala District in Punjab Province, as Quranic verses were written on these graves. Pakistani law prohibits Ahmadis from calling themselves or “posing as” Muslims.

On July 1, 2020, local clerics allegedly vandalised graves of members of the Ahmadi community in the Nawa Kot area of Sheikhupura District in Punjab Province. Saleem ud Din, the spokesman of the Jamaat Ahmadiyya Pakistan, condemning the attack, Tweeted:

“How long the state apparatus will act as enabler in the hands of extremists? How long our dead will be persecuted in their graves? How long the state & others will turn a blind eye to this?”

On February 29, 2020, three graves belonging to Ahmadis were allegedly desecrated by the Police in the Khushab District of Punjab Province.

According to partial data collated by South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), these were the five reported incidents in 2020 in which the Ahmadi community was targeted (data till August 23, 2020). Two of these incidents resulted in one fatality each.

Since March 6, 2000, at least 128 Ahmadis have been killed and 113 injured in 28 incidents of killing.

The worst-ever attack targeting the Ahmadis took place on May 28, 2010. 94 people were killed when two Ahmadi mosques were targeted in Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab, in attacks that included grenades, small arms fire and two suicide bombers. 27 people were killed at the Baitul Nur Mosque in Lahore’s Model Town area and 67 people died at the Darul Zikr Mosque in the suburb of Garhi Shahu. The Punjabi Taliban, a local affiliate of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), had claimed responsibility.

Britain’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in its Report titled, “Suffocating the Faithful: The Persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan and the Rise of International Extremism”, published in July 2020, stated that between 1984 and July 2020, at least 269 Ahmadi Muslims have been killed on grounds of faith. The report also explains the abuse that Ahmadis experience in educational institutions:

“Young Ahmadi Muslims face a constant risk of being denied access to education and those who secure a place are routinely targeted and stigmatised through physical and emotional abuse at the hands of teachers and fellow pupils.”

Indeed, apart from death and desecration, the Ahmadi community faces constant oppression and discrimination in eligibility to hold government positions, in contesting elections, in their businesses, and in the destruction of their homes and places of worship. Ahmadi Muslims are prevented by law from publishing and possessing their core religious texts, crucially including the Holy Quran.

As reported on January 10, 2020, the Punjab Assembly’s Special Committee decided to ban the Ahmadi newspaper, Al-Fazl. This, in a state and a country where dozens of terrorist organisations openly publish multiple magazines.

The oppression and suppression faced by Ahmadis are at the behest of the Pakistani establishment. Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Religious and Inter-faith Harmony Affairs, declared in May 2020 that any form of “soft-heartedness” toward the Ahmadis was both un-Islamic and un-patriotic:

“Whoever shows sympathy or compassion towards [Ahmadis] is neither loyal to Islam nor the state of Pakistan.”

Unsurprisingly, the National Commission for Minorities (NCM), constituted in May 2020 has no member from the Ahmadi community. Initially, it was suggested that Ahmadis should get a representation in the Commission, but, as reported on May 18, 2020, Prime Minister Imran Khan rejected that idea after it sparked severe criticism from orthodox Sunnis who consider the Ahmadi belief an insult to Islam.

Moreover, under the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), fundamental religious rights are denied to Ahmadis in Pakistan. Ordinance XX prohibits Ahmadis from self-declaration as a Muslim, to make azaan (prayer call), from paying zakat (alms), from observing fast during Ramzaan, and from making a pilgrimage to Mecca. PPC 298 C , thus states:

Person of Qadiani group, etc., calling himself a Muslim or preaching or propagating his faith:-

Any person of the Qadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves ‘Ahmadis’ or by any other name), who directly or indirectly, poses himself as a Muslim, or calls, or refers to, his faith as Islam, or preaches or propagates his faith, or invites others to accept his faith, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations, or in any manner whatsoever outrages the religious feelings of Muslims shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.

The Ahmadi community, accepted as a minority sect of Islam at the time of the country’s independence in 1947, became the first minority group to be targeted for sectarian violence when anti-Ahmadi riots broke out in 1953 in Lahore, leading to the first imposition of Martial Law in the country’s history, limited to Lahore. 2,000 Ahmadis were killed in violent protests.

Later, in 1974, under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s Administration, the Parliament brought the Second Amendment to the 1973 Constitution and declared the Ahmadis non-Muslims.

Unlike all other Muslims in the country, Ahmadis were prohibited from calling their place of worship a mosque and saying the common Islamic greeting of Assalamo Alaikum (Peace be upon you ) or reading the Kalima (the testimony of faith).

Further, in 1985, the then President Zia ul Haq pushed through the Eighth Amendment to the 1973 Constitution in Parliament, which was accompanied by a series of laws effectively creating a separate electorate system for non-Muslims, including Ahmadi Muslims.

Moreover, according to the Amendment, they cannot hold government office without publicly denouncing Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadi community.

The status of the Ahmadis has become precarious. Several reports have highlighted the pathetic conditions of the sect, including the International Human Rights Committee report, Ahmadis in Pakistan Face an Existential Threat, published in 2017, which demonstrates that Ahmadis in Pakistan are violently targeted, intimidated, harassed and persecuted at all levels of society. It also testifies to the grave injustices that are meted out to minority religious groups such as Ahmadi Muslims.

Likewise, South Asia Democratic Forum’s report, Persecution against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan: A multi-dimensional perspective, published on May 10, 2019, underlined the multifaceted and multidimensional persecution of Ahmadis in Pakistan in all spheres of public and private life.

More recently, the US States Commission on International Religious Freedom in its Annual Report 2020, released in April 2020, explaining the situation of Ahmadi community of Pakistan, noted:

“Ahmadi Muslims, with their faith essentially criminalized, continued to face severe persecution from authorities as well as societal harassment due to their beliefs, with both the authorities and mobs targeting their houses of worship.”

In February 2020, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, declaring that minorities are equal citizens of his country, had issued a warning that anyone targeting the non-Muslim population of Pakistan would be strictly dealt with.

Regrettably, Khan has failed to back words with convincing action, as evident in the failure to include an Ahmadi representative in the NCM, and also to ensure effective legal action in any of the continuous stream of cases of atrocity and discrimination targeting Ahmadis.

Ahmadis, like other religious minorities in Pakistan, continue to face violence and discrimination, targeted by acts of vandalism and violence, forced to declare themselves as “non-Muslims” and prohibited by law from professing or practising their faith.

Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed in this article are strictly the personal opinions of the author. League of India does not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article.

Published with permission from South Asia Intelligence Review of the South Asia Terrorism Portal.


Top Posts

Posted by jagoindia on December 29, 2008

Dr. Abdul Mannan Siddiqui is seen at Jalsa Salana Qadian 2005. the regional president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Mirpurkhas, Sindh, Pakistan was killed on Sept. 12, 2008 at around 2.30pm Pakistani time. Dr. Siddiqi was both a most eminent member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and also a renowned physician.

In the land of Pakistan hatred continues to grow in many parts of this nation. This hatred, inspired and ignited by Sunni Islamic extremists, is directed against all moderates and all faiths. To make matters worse the institutions inside Pakistan, notably the government, judiciary, and police, is also part of the problem and internal security services are divided. Therefore, Pakistan is either unwilling or unable to stop the flow of radical Sunni Islam and nations like Afghanistan and India are bearing the brunt of this failed nation state. Also, the internal situation in Pakistan is out of control in parts of this nation. So how can this nation be trusted when so many failures are taking place?

After all, within Pakistan you have many minorities who reside in fear because of the ongoing violence directed against them. This applies to radical Sunni Islamic extremists who are killing and persecuting Ahmadiyya Muslims, Shia Muslims, Christians, and other minorities. Even moderates within the Sunni Muslim community face persecution because the madness of radical Sunni Islam appears to be out of control. If this hatred is not challenged, then Pakistan faces a bleak future and regional nations will suffer via terrorism, indoctrination, and agitation.

If we focus on Ahmadiyya Muslims, then it is clear that these Muslims only want liberty, freedom, and the right to live in peace. However, even Ahmadi doctors face persecution despite these doctors loving humanity. After all, Ahmadi doctors merely want to help all people, irrespective if Sunni Muslim, Christian, Shia Muslim, or a member of another faith or a person of no faith. Yet to extremists, mainly in the Sunni Islamic camp, they are deemed to be “infidels” and worthy of killing.

This is clearly happening because since 1982 you have had 15 brutal murders of Ahmadi doctors in Pakistan. The most recent murder happened on September 8, 2008, when Dr Abdul Mannan Siddiqi was killed. Therefore, a man of peace and a highly respected individual who helped the poor and all people who needed help, was killed in the name of radical Islam. This hatred is sadly growing and all minorities reside in fear and more alarmingly, to the haters of humanity, their list of so-called infidels appears to be growing.

Abid Khan, a representative of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, stated that “The murder of Dr Abdul Mannan Siddiqi is a grave tragedy. He was a true servant of mankind and lived his life according to the Ahmadiyya motto, ‘Love for All, Hatred for None.’ His death was simply due to his being a peace loving member of the Ahmadiyya Community.” Yet this man of humanity was deemed to be an infidel and “the forces of evil,” the very same forces of evil who massacred hundreds in Mumbai, India, in 2008 appear to be growing in power and influence in Pakistan.

Also, it is not only radical Islamists that minorities fear, but the Pakistan government itself and the judicial system which is openly biased. This applies to the blasphemy law, and other laws which infringe on the rights of equality. Yet of major concern is the blasphemy law because all non-Sunni Muslim minorities fear this law and the same applies to liberal Sunni Muslims who face the same consequences. For blasphemy in Pakistan is punishable by death and Sunni Muslims can use this law in order to persecute minorities and liberals within the Sunni community.

Overall, in modern day Pakistan you have frequent cases of Sunni Muslims raping Christian women and then converting these Christian women to Islam. For Christian parents, it is one long nightmare because regional police forces and the judiciary are obviously biased. All too often these Christian girls are denied equal rights and the courts deem their conversion to Islam to be final, despite the seriousness of their respective ordeals. Therefore, rape and liberty is “thrown out of the window” and instead Islamization is the winner.

I remember writing about the same issue many years ago after the brutal death of a brave Muslim cleric called Mohammed Yousaf Ali. For in 2002 this brave Muslim cleric spoke out against discrimination and he condemned religious Islamic extremism. This brave cleric called Mohammed Yousaf Ali was therefore a threat to Islamic militants, for he happened to care for people from all faiths and in the eyes of Islamic extremists he was no longer a Muslim. Therefore, Mohammed Yousaf Ali made many enemies and for this he was murdered.

To make matters worse, this brave Muslim cleric was not only killed by an Islamic zealot, but he was also condemned by the judiciary of Pakistan and, more worryingly, by the government of Pakistan which allows people to be put in prison on the grounds of blasphemy. This means that Mohammed Yousaf Ali was murdered collectively by the judiciary who put him in prison, by the Islamic zealot who killed him, and by the government of Pakistan which allows blasphemy to be a criminal offence.

The gunman who murdered Mohammed Yousaf Ali showed no remorse, on the contrary, he believed that this was legal and part and parcel of the teachings of Islam. For the alleged killer, Tariq Mota, stated that “I now feel spiritually satisfied. It is the responsibility of every Muslim to kill these infidels.” Therefore, this hatred is not only deep but it is based on the Hadiths and Islamic Sharia Law which clearly supports the theory of killing apostates. This fact can be seen clearly in Saudi Arabia where leaving Islam equals the death penalty. So this issue is not just about Islamic extremists, but it is about aspects of Islam itself.

Yet six years later, moving from 2002 to 2008, and we still see the same hatred. Therefore, Pakistan must be sternly rebuked and the international community needs to wake-up! Also, militancy within this nation is being exported to Afghanistan and India, and much further. After all, the terrorist attack in London was done via the behest of radical Sunni Muslims within the Pakistani community in the United Kingdom.

Therefore, how much longer do Ahmadiyya Muslims have to wait before they have equality? Also, why should Christians, women, Shia Muslims, liberal Sunni Muslims, Hindus, and others, reside in fear? Surely this nation needs to be challenged verbally and these crimes should not be hidden from readers. Instead people like Mohammed Yousaf Ali should be remembered for speaking out against hatred, if not, the only winners in modern day Pakistan will be Islamic zealots and criminals who are abusing women. Surely this situation needs to be changed and quickly, but does the international community care?


Pakistan: Massacre of Minority Ahmadis

Members of the Ahmadi Muslim community hold the names of victims as they stand over their graves in Chenab Nagar, in Punjab's Chiniot District, on May 29, 2010. © 2010 Reuters

(New York) – Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments should take immediate legal action against Islamist extremist groups responsible for threats and violence against the minority Ahmadiyya religious community, Human Rights Watch said today.

On May 28, 2010, extremist Islamist militants attacked two Ahmadiyya mosques in the central Pakistani city of Lahore with guns, grenades, and suicide bombs, killing 94 people and injuring well over a hundred. Twenty-seven people were killed at the Baitul Nur Mosque in the Model Town area of Lahore 67 were killed at the Darul Zikr mosque in the suburb of Garhi Shahu. The Punjabi Taliban, a local affiliate of the Pakistani Taliban, called the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility.

On the night of May 31, unidentified gunmen attacked the Intensive Care Unit of Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital, where victims and one of the alleged attackers in Friday's attacks were under treatment, sparking a shootout in which at least a further 12 people, mostly police officers and hospital staff, were killed. The assailants succeeded in escaping.

“The mosque attacks and the subsequent attack on the hospital, amid rising sectarian violence, underscore the vulnerability of the Ahmadi community,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, senior South Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The government’s failure to address religious persecution by Islamist groups effectively enables such atrocities.”

The US Department of State annual report on human rights recorded the killing of 11 Ahmadis for their faith in 2009.

Human Rights Watch called on Pakistan's government to immediately introduce legislation in parliament to repeal laws discriminating against religious minorities such as the Ahmadis, including the penal statute that makes capital punishment mandatory for “blasphemy.”

Human Rights Watch also urged the government of Punjab province, controlled by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) party, to investigate and prosecute as appropriate campaigns of intimidation, threats, and violence against the Ahmadiyya community by Islamist groups such as the Sunni Tehrik, Tehrik-e-Tahafaz-e-Naomoos-e-Risalat, Khatm-e-Nabuwat and other groups acting under the Taliban’s umbrella. Leaders of these groups have frequently threatened to kill Ahmadis and attack the mosques where the killings took place. The anti-Ahmadiyya campaign has intensified in the past year, exemplified by the government allowing groups to place banners seeking the death of “Qadianis” (a derogatory term for Ahmadis) on the main thoroughfares of Lahore.

The independent, non-governmental Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and Ahmadi community leaders told Human Rights Watch that they had repeatedly brought these threats to the notice of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the provincial government, and the police controlled by the provincial authorities, and that they had asked for enhanced security for Ahmadiyya mosques given their vulnerability to attack. However, Human Rights Watch research found that the provincial government failed to act on the evidence or to ensure meaningful security to the mosques.

On May 30, Zaeem Qadri, advisor to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, said in an interview on Dunya TV that the provincial government had failed to remove the threatening banners from the city’s thoroughfares in order to prevent “adverse reaction against the government” by the groups responsible. On the same day, a Taliban statement “congratulated” Pakistanis for the attacks, calling people from the Ahmadiyya and Shia communities “the enemies of Islam and common people” and urging Pakistanis to take the “initiative” and kill every such person “in range.

“The Punjab government is either in denial about threats to Ahmadis and other minorities or is following a policy of willful discrimination,” said Hasan. “The Punjab government’s law enforcement authorities need to dispense with traditional prejudices and proactively protect heterodox communities like the Ahmadis, who now are in clear and serious danger from both the Taliban and sectarian militant groups historically supported by the state. ”

Founded in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Ahmadiyya community is a religious group that identifies itself as Muslim. Estimates suggest at least two million Ahmadis live in Pakistan. Ahmadis differ with other Muslims over the exact definition of Prophet Mohammad being the “final” monotheist prophet. Many Muslims consider the Ahmadiyya to be non-Muslims.

The persecution of the Ahmadiyya community is wholly legalized, even encouraged, by the Pakistani government. Pakistan’s penal code explicitly discriminates against religious minorities and targets Ahmadis in particular by prohibiting them from “indirectly or directly posing as a Muslim.” Ahmadis are prohibited from declaring or propagating their faith publicly, building mosques or even referring to them as such, or making the call for Muslim prayer.

Pakistan’s “Blasphemy Law,” as section 295-C of the Penal Code is known, makes the death penalty mandatory for blasphemy. Under this law, the Ahmadiyya belief in the prophethood of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is considered blasphemous insofar as it “defiles the name of Prophet Muhammad.” In 2009, at least 50 Ahmadis were charged under various provisions of the blasphemy law across Pakistan. Many of these individuals remain imprisoned.

Since the military government of Gen. Zia-ul-Haq unleashed a wave of persecution in the 1980s, violence against the Ahmadiyya community has never really ceased. Ahmadis continue to be killed and injured, and have their homes and businesses burned down in anti-Ahmadi attacks. The authorities continue to arrest, jail and charge Ahmadis for blasphemy and other offenses because of their religious beliefs. In several instances, the police have been complicit in harassment and the framing of false charges against Ahmadis, or stood by in the face of anti-Ahmadi violence.

“Ahmadis unfortunately become easy targets in times of religious and political insecurity,” said Hasan. “The Pakistani government has emboldened the extremists by failing to take action. It needs to repeal the laws used to persecute Ahmadis, and it must prosecute those responsible for anti-Ahmadi intimidation and violence.”

However, the government seldom brings charges against perpetrators of anti-Ahmadi violence and discrimination. Research by Human Rights Watch indicates that the police have failed to apprehend anyone implicated in such activity in the last several years.

Since 2000, an estimated 400 Ahmadis have been formally charged in criminal cases, including blasphemy. Several have been convicted and face life imprisonment or death sentences pending appeal. The offenses charged included wearing an Islamic slogan on a shirt, planning to build an Ahmadi mosque in Lahore, and distributing Ahmadi literature in a public square. As a result, thousands of Ahmadis have fled Pakistan to seek asylum in countries including Canada and the United States.

Human Rights Watch said that the Pakistani government continues to actively encourage legal and procedural discrimination against Ahmadis. For example, all Pakistani Muslim citizens applying for passports are obliged to sign a statement explicitly stating that they consider the founder of the Ahmadi community an “imposter” and consider Ahmadis to be non-Muslims.

“Under Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law, virtually any public act of worship or devotion by an Ahmadi can be treated as a criminal offense,” said Hasan “Ahmadis could be sentenced to death for simply professing their faith.”

Human Rights Watch urged concerned governments and inter-governmental bodies to press the Pakistani government to:

  • Repeal the Blasphemy Law
  • Prosecute those responsible for harassing, and planning and executing attacks against the Ahmadiyya and other minorities and
  • Take steps to encourage religious tolerance within Pakistani society.

“Pakistan’s continued use of its blasphemy law against Ahamdis and other religious minorities is despicable,” said Hasan. “As long as such laws remain on the books, Pakistan will remain a laboratory for abuse in the name of religion.”

Background on the Ahmadiyya community

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the official name of the community, is a contemporary messianic movement founded in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1839–1908), who was born in the Punjabi village of Qadian, now in India. The relevant discriminatory laws in the Pakistani constitution and extremist Islamist groups derogatorily refer to the Ahmadiyya community as the “Qadiani” community, a term derived from the birthplace of the founder of the movement. In 1889, Ahmad declared that he had received divine revelation authorizing him to accept the baya’ah, or allegiance of the faithful. In 1891, he claimed to be the expected mahdi or messiah of the latter days, the “Awaited One” of the monotheist community of religions, and the messiah foretold by the Prophet Mohammed. Ahmad described his teachings, incorporating both Sufi and orthodox Islamic and Christian elements, as an attempt to revitalize Islam in the face of the British Raj, proselytizing Protestant Christianity, and resurgent Hinduism. Thus, the Ahmadiyya community believes that Ahmad conceived the community as a revivalist movement within Islam and not as a new religion.

Members of the Ahmadiyya community (“Ahmadis”) profess to be Muslims. They contend that Ahmad meant to revive the true spirit and message of Islam that the Prophet Mohammed introduced and preached. Virtually all mainstream Muslim sects believe that Ahmad proclaimed himself as a prophet, thereby rejecting a fundamental tenet of Islam: Khatme Nabuwat (literally, the belief in the “finality of prophethood” – that the Prophet Mohammed was the last of the line of prophets leading back through Jesus, Moses, and Abraham). Ahmadis respond that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a non-law-bearing prophet subordinate in status to Prophet Mohammed he came to illuminate and reform Islam, as predicted by Prophet Mohammed. For Ahmad and his followers, the Arabic Khatme Nabuwat does not refer to the finality of prophethood in a literal sense – that is, to prophethood’s chronological cessation – but rather to its culmination and exemplification in the Prophet Mohammed. Ahmadis believe that “finality” in a chronological sense is a worldly concept, whereas “finality” in a metaphoric sense carries much more spiritual significance.

The exact size of the Ahmadiyya community worldwide is unclear, but estimates suggest they number under 10 million, mostly concentrated in India and Pakistan but also present in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Europe, and North America.

Background on persecution of the Ahmadiyya in Pakistan

The Ahmadiyya community has long been persecuted in Pakistan. Since 1953, when the first post-independence anti-Ahmadiyya riots broke out, the relatively small Ahmadi community in Pakistan has lived under threat. Between 1953 and 1973, this persecution was sporadic but, in 1974, a new wave of anti-Ahmadi disturbances spread across Pakistan. In response, Pakistan’s parliament introduced amendments to the constitution which defined the term “Muslim” in the Pakistani context and listed groups that were deemed to be non-Muslim under Pakistani law. Put into effect on September 6, 1974, the amendment explicitly deprived Ahmadis of their identity as Muslims.

In 1984, Pakistan’s penal code was amended yet again. As a result of these amendments, five ordinances that explicitly targeted religious minorities acquired legal status: a law against blasphemy a law punishing the defiling of the Quran a prohibition against insulting the wives, family, or companions of the Prophet of Islam and two laws specifically restricting the activities of Ahmadis. On April 26, 1984, Gen. Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq issued these last two laws as part of Martial Law Ordinance XX, which amended Pakistan’s Penal Code, sections 298-B and 298-C.

Ordinance XX undercut the activities of religious minorities generally, but struck at Ahmadis in particular by prohibiting them from “indirectly or directly posing as a Muslim.” Ahmadis thus could no longer profess their faith, either orally or in writing. Pakistani police destroyed Ahmadi translations of and commentaries on the Quran and banned Ahmadi publications, the use of any Islamic terminology on Ahmadi wedding invitations, the offering of Ahmadi funeral prayers, and the displaying of the Kalima (the statement that “there is no god but Allah, Mohammed is Allah’s prophet,” the principal creed of Muslims) on Ahmadi gravestones. In addition, Ordinance XX prohibited Ahmadis from declaring their faith publicly, propagating their faith, building mosques, or making the call for Muslim prayer. In short, virtually any public act of worship or devotion by an Ahmadi could be treated as a criminal offense.

With the passage of the Criminal Law Act of 1986, parliament added section 295-C to the Pakistan Penal Code. The “Blasphemy Law,” as it came to be known, made the death penalty mandatory for blasphemy. General Zia-ul-Haq and his military government institutionalized the persecution of Ahmadis as well as other minorities in Pakistan with section 295-C. The Ahmadi belief in the prophethood of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was now considered blasphemous insofar as it “defiled the name of Prophet Muhammad.” Therefore, theoretically, Ahmadis could be sentenced to death for simply professing their faith. Though the numbers vary from year to year, Ahmadis have been charged every year under the Blasphemy laws since their introduction.

In 2009, at least 37 Ahmadis were charged under the general provisions of the Blasphemy Law and over 50 were charged under Ahmadi-specific provisions of the law. For example, in January 2009, five Ahmadis, including four children, were charged with blasphemy in Layyah district of Punjab province. The children were released after being jailed for six months. In July 2009, activists of the Sunni Tehreek, a militant group, staged protests until the local police in Faisalabad district of Punjab province agreed to register blasphemy cases against 32 Ahmadis for writing Quranic verses on the outer walls of their houses. The police registered cases against them under sections 295-A and 295-C. Throughout 2009, Ahmadi graveyards were threatened with desecration, and Ahmadi mosques continued to receive threats. In 2008, at least 15 Ahmadis were charged under various provisions of the Blasphemy Law. In addition to blasphemy charges, Ahmadis have sporadically come under physical attack. For example, in June 2006, a mob burned down Ahmadi shops and homes in Jhando Sahi village near the town of Daska in Punjab province, forcing more than 100 Ahmadis to flee. The police, though present at the scene, failed to intervene or arrest any of the culprits. However, the authorities charged seven Ahmadis under the blasphemy law. The Ahmadis subsequently returned to their homes. In October 2005, masked gunmen attacked Ahmadi worshippers in a mosque in the near the town of Mandi Bahauddin in Punjab province. Eight Ahmadis were killed and 18 injured in the attack. The perpetrators remain at large.


Terrorists attack Ahmadiyya mosques in Pakistan - HISTORY


Mardan November 8, 2010: Sheikh Mahmud Ahmad was shot dead in Mardan by unknown assailants at approximately 7:45 p.m. on November 8, 2010 as he returned home from work with his son, Mr. Arif Mahmud. Sheikh Ahmad was shot three times and died on the spot. Mr. Arif Mahmud received a single wound and was grievously injured. He was rushed to a hospital in Peshawar where he was successfully operated and has since survived.

Sheikh Ahmad was 58, a graduate, and a philanthropist. He had installed electric water coolers for public use at various locations in Mardan.

Several weeks ago, his nephew Mr. Aamir Raza was killed in a terrorist attack on the local Ahmadiyya mosque in Mardan on September 3, 2010. Sheikh Ahmad’s family and close relations live in the vicinity of the mosque.

Mr. Sheikh was a businessman. He encountered jealousy and opposition from other traders who used his religion to harass him and his Ahmadi relatives. He had previously also spent some time in jail because of religious accusations against him. Two of his brothers were sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in a religious case while the law allowed a maximum of three years’ imprisonment. The High Court, acquitted them on appeal.

In 1974, the administration ordered the expulsion of his brother, Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad, from the district.

Sheikh Ahmad was kidnapped in 2008 for ransom, and was released weeks later only after a significant amount of money was handed over.

Three months after the kidnapping, a bomb exploded in his store causing a great deal of material damage. His brother’s business was targeted likewise on March 5, 2010.

The entire family has suffered a great deal for their faith, at the hands of the state and society.

Sheikh Ahmad is survived by his widow, two sons and two daughters.

Mr. Saleem uddin, the spokesman of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat stated that a campaign to vilify Ahmadis is being carried out in the country through hateful propaganda, which leads to such woeful and condemnable incidents. The authorities should take serious notice of this murder and bring the culprits to justice. According to the spokesman, the murder of Ahmadi leaders and activists is the result of a conspiracy hatched by prejudiced and anti-social elements who consider it licit to indulge in murder and violence in the name of religion. They play a leading role in fanning the fire of religious hatred and sectarianism by inciting the people under cover of sanctity of faith. Mardan is specifically targeted, he said.

The next appearance before the court, for the confirmation of the bail was on November 4, 2010. Their opponents appeared in court in large numbers to influence the judge. However, on this date, the lawyers were on strike for their own reasons. The police investigation was still in progress. Therefore the judge gave a new date of November 15 for the hearing of the bail application.

On November 15, the police recommended that there was no evidence to support the accusation of blasphemy. Accordingly, the judge struck the PPC 295-C, but cancelled the temporary bail for the charge under the anti-Ahmadiyya law PPC 298-C. The police thereby arrested the accused and sent them to prison. It is noteworthy that the state attorney ADPP opposed the grant of bail.

A request was made by the accused to obtain bail. On the date of the hearing, dozens of fanatics entered the court room to harass the judge. Twice they were expelled from the court room. At this the agitators shouted slogans against the judge.

Later the judge granted bail.

This case is one of numerous others which show how the state, the mulla and the wicked use the blasphemy law and other laws to target innocent people.

Sargodha: An overview of the persecution of Ahmadis in Pakistan shows that mullas have achieved all their anti-Ahmadiyya objectives that were decided in the 1950s. Ordinance XX promulgated in 1984 provided an opportunity to religious bigots to widen the net and curtail the religious freedom of Ahmadis in many ways, yet despite this, their thirst to persecute Ahmadis has not yet been quenched. Recently, the mullas of district Sargodha (in the Punjab) made new demands and the spineless Punjab Police and the administration readily yielded – thanks to policy guidelines from Lahore.

The Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat , district Sargodha applied to the District Police Officer (DPO) that “ Qadianis slaughter sacrificial animals on the festival of Eid, for which they have no right, as this practice is Islamic, and Qadianis being non-Muslims cannot pose as Muslims as such they should be forbidden from this. ”

Ahmadis in the district were careful not to give the police an excuse to move against them.

Only a few days earlier the President had declared, “We shall not allow the targeting of minorities in the name of faith or belief.” ( The Lahore Post , November 5, 2010)

Gulshan Park, Lahore November 16, 2010: Mr. Maqbul Ahmad Dogar arrived home at about 8:30 p.m. after work. While he was about to enter, an unknown person put a pistol’s muzzle on his temple. At this, Mr. Dogar grabbed him. One of his two accomplices opened fire at Mr. Dogar who was shot in the leg but he did not let go the attacker he was holding. Hearing the shots, the inmates rushed out to inquire. The two accomplices fled, while the captured man was handed over to the police.

Mr. Dogar had a fracture in the leg due to the gun shot he had to be admitted in a hospital for operation and treatment.

Mr. Dogar is a well-known, practicing Ahmadi.

Faisalabad: Miss Hina Akram, a student of the National Textile University, Faisalabad recently had to leave her studies on account of intense faith-based harassment at the hands of some members of the faculty. It reflects very poorly on the academic environment in a professional state-owned university in the Punjab.

Some months ago, Hina’s father met Mr. Rao Arshad , a teacher at this university. Mr. Arshad told the father that he considered Hina to be an ideal student.

Later Mr. Arshad came to know from an Islamist colleague that Hina was an Ahmadi. He was very upset to hear this, and reacted furiously. He sent for Hina and openly conveyed his anger and displeasure. He said that he was most concerned about her Afterlife (Aakhrat). He advised her firmly to convert to Islam. He even offered her refuge and care with a Muslim family, and gave her some anti-Ahmadiyya literature to read. Hina was disturbed by this and told him plainly that she was an Ahmadi by choice and had no intention of joining their variation of Islam.

Roa Arshad didn’t take the refusal lightly and warned her of the consequences. He told her that she was a Kafir (infidel), and will suffer the consequences. “ You will face such a fire of animosity in the campus that not even the Vice Chancellor will be able to help you ”, he told her.

True to his word, Mr. Arshad and his colleague started a hate-campaign against Hina among the students and the faculty of the university. An effective social boycott was implemented against her. Insulting and hateful literature was distributed in the university. When pushed to the wall, Hina was promised relief in return for accepting ‘Islam’.

Hina’s father called on the Rector and complained. The Rector offered a few words of sympathy but did not follow them up with action. The situation remained very tense and hostile against Hina. Unable to fight through the prevailing hostility, Hina had to terminate her studies and stopped attending the university. She was in the 6th semester of her B. Sc. course but that is the end of her professional education — years gone waste. The Islamist teachers seem to care more for their students’ Afterlife than for their education, for which they receive their salary.

Moghalpura, Lahore November 18, 2010: A few unidentified persons randomly fired at the Ahmadiyya mosque in Ganj Bazar in Moghalpura Lahore at about 10:00 p.m. Some Ahmadi guards and youth were on duty inside the mosque. One of them fired back in the air. At this the attackers retreated and fled.

The police were informed and arrived on the scene. They were provided CCTV footage. The police recognized one of the men, Zaheer Fauji who is a local. They arrested him and an FIR was registered.

The electronic media and the press reported the story the next day. Some of them presented it as a fire-fight between two private rival groups. The police initially supported the same version but are investigating further.

The Moghalpura Ahmadiyya community has faced opposition and aggression from the local mullas in the past. They perhaps want to convey that Ahmadis remain their targets.

The police took special note of the incident and directed all units in various districts of the Punjab to remain vigilant and alert.

Goth Ch. Sultan, district Hyderabad: November 21, 2010: Another recent incident further highlights now clearly that unscrupulous elements misuse the blasphemy laws against their adversaries in personal vendettas.

Someone, reportedly, tore pages of the Holy Qur’an and threw these inside the local mosque on November 21, 2010. A few Ahmadi families also live in the village. The police were approached and requested that a case under the blasphemy law PPC 295-B be registered against the Ahmadis. The police started an investigation.

The next day at about 11 p.m. the opposition took to firing in the air in the vicinity of Ahmadis’ homes. Ahmadis informed the police who came over and told everyone to calm down. After the police departure, the miscreants started firing again. The police came back and the miscreants fled. Fortunately, no one was hit.

Ahmadis own a large tract of agricultural land in the village. Adjacent to this land, is a farm owned by a tribal chief who has strong links to certain politicians. He has asked Ahmadis to sell their land to him. They are reluctant. Perhaps this is what best explains the motives behind this incident.

Islam Nagar, District Sialkot November 2010: An Ahmadi principal of a school has been removed for his faith, and a junior non-Ahmadi teacher has been promoted to his post. The new principal has promoted anti-Ahmadiyya propaganda in the school. The two Ahmadi teachers, at the school, are greatly disturbed by this.

Kotli AJK November 2010: The following story in Azad Kashmir is based on reports in the daily Nawa-e-Waqt , November 16, 2010 and the daily Jammu wa Kashmir , November 16, 2010.

Qari Abdul Waheed Qasmi , the president of the Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat (safeguarding the end of prophethood) said in a press conference that the collective sacrifice of animals would be offered by them on Eid in areas where Qadianis (Ahmadis) are active. As Qadianis deny the end of prophethood and are a non-Muslim minority, they are not allowed to sacrifice animals on Eid-ul-Adha as this is Sha‘ar-e-Islam (an Islamic practice), nor can the meat of their sacrificial animals be distributed among Muslims, for it is haram (forbidden by Sharia) for them. If Qadianis (Ahmadis) sacrifice animals and distribute meat among Muslims, the Tahrik Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat would invoke the law against them on the charge of blaspheming against a Sha‘ar-e-Islam .

This shows how the law is maliciously appropriated to deny freedom of religion to Ahmadis. Ahmadis had to act with caution on Eid day and be very discreet while offering their animal sacrifices.

Mubarakpura, District Sheikhupura: Mr. Naseer Ahmad is the only Ahmadi family in the village. Although he has faced faith-based opposition for sometime, it seems it has now reached an almost unbearable level. In a recent letter to the community headquarters he reported that his family is being treated like Shudras (Dalits) by the people of the village.

“Almost a dozen mullas stormed my village on 20th of May this year, and subjected me to great harassment”, he wrote. Thereafter his maltreatment persisted and the villagers insisted that he must recant and rejoin mainstream Islam. Some students who attend a madrassah in Batti Chowk, Lahore have taken the lead in this campaign to harry the family. On October 19, 2010 the madrassah students brought along some of their teachers from Lahore who attempted to kidnap Mr. Ahmad’s 15-years old son. They did not succeed but the incident has left a telling effect on the family.

Mr. Ahmad has appealed for prayers in his letter. He is greatly upset.

Basti Shadi, District Rahim Yar Khan October 22, 2010: A mulla, Rashid Madni is quite active against Ahmadis in this area. He delivered a Friday sermon against Ahmadis provoking the people against them, and distributed hateful anti-Ahmadiyya literature. The police were informed in time. They came before the Friday sermon, and did not allow the mulla to switch on the sound-amplifiers, and instructed him after the sermon to refrain from provocation in the future. The Numberdar (local revenue chief) and people of the village also told the Assistant Superintendent of Police that they had long been living with Ahmadis in harmony and had not faced any problem? They promised the ASP that they would not invite the mulla to their village again.

When the mulla found no encouragement, he collected 70 or 80 men at a place outside the village and held a conference. He threatened, that if the administration did not co-operate with him, he would demolish the minarets of Qadiani mosques. Some of the participants indulged in firing shots in the air.

Nobody from the village attended the conference. Although the SHO is maintaining a semblance of law and order, the mulla needs a firm hand to deter him from disturbing the sectarian peace of the local community.

Rabwah: Rabwah has always been a prime target of mullas. Its land was purchased by Ahmadis from the government in 1948 on a lease of 99 years. It was barren land at the time. After 1974, a sizable part of this land was confiscated by the Punjab government to implant mullas there. Twenty-two Ahmadi families were living on the confiscated land. The Lahore High Court accepted the ownership of Ahmadis on their plots and houses in 1976, however the provincial government dragged its feet in implementing the court order. Most of the Ahmadis sold their plots and houses while others were forced to flee from their homes. One such case is that of Mr. Bashir Ahmad. He is the owner of H. No. 15/23 Darul Nasr East. He was harassed into renting out his home in 2005.

During the last five years Mr. Bashir Ahmad has been targeted by the mullas of the so-called Muslim Colony, who enjoy support from the police. Mr. Bashir has been attacked, his tenants thrown out of his house, and the house finally occupied by miscreants.

When the police inspector was asked to help, he plainly excused himself for fear of the mullas and advised the complainant to approach higher officials.

Now the owner is living on rent.

Bhimbar, Azad Kashmir October 2010: Azad Kashmir has been mentioned previously in these dispatches. Ahmadis are persecuted there, and the politicians do not conceal the fact that they are involved in the harassment. This encourages extremist elements, which include banned outfits, to openly harm and harass Ahmadis.

On October 8, 2010, opponents held an End of Prophethood conference in Dheri Wattan near Bhimbar. The event was organized by members of the outlawed Jaish Muhammad . The speaker urged that those who had joined the Ahmadiyya Jamaat should be made to recant. They passed a resolution to implement a boycott of all Ahmadi businesses. Accordingly Mr. Khurshid Ahmad who runs a clinic is experiencing a complete boycott. A fresh convert to Ahmadiyyat has been turned out of his home and separated from his family.

Jaish Muhammad have distributed anti-Ahmadiyya hate literature in bazaars and offices. This drive is backed by Pir Atiqur Rehman , a minister who finds it politically advantageous to support religious thugs and immoderates.

The hate literature carries the following UK address:

Mardan November, 2010: Sheikh Javed Ahmad, an Ahmadi of Mardan has received numerous threats. His nephew Mr. Aamir Raza and his brother Mr. Mahmud Ahmad have been killed by anti-Ahmadi extremists in the past two months. Now, it seems he is the target of opponents. He receives threatening phone calls almost daily. His family and children are living in great fear. Authorities have not been able to apprehend the murderers of his nephew and brother.

It is a very difficult situation for Sheikh Javed Ahmad to find himself in.

Mullas generated agitation in several parts of district Khanewal. They distributed anti-Ahmadiyya hate literature in the area and urged shopkeepers not to sell goods to Ahmadis. A social boycott was attempted against Ahmadis in the district. In special meetings mullas declared Ahmadis to be Wajib-ul-Qatl (liable to death).

Banned religious organizations are active in district Khushab against Ahmadis. They sent anti-Ahmadiyya SMS to mobile phones. Athar Hussain group , in collaboration with different organizations, held a Na‘at Conference (to glorify the Prophetsa) from the platform of Majlis Raza . This was convened in the main market by blocking the roads. This conference was also held last year and its purpose was to provoke the audience against Ahmadis. They published an anti-Ahmadiyya calendar with the following inscription: “The only cure for Qadianis – Al Jihad, Al-Jihad”. Hateful literature, stickers and pamphlets were distributed in the area and people were urged to boycott Ahmadis socially.

A mulla delivered a Friday sermon against Ahmadis on October 23, 2010 and declared them apostates. He said that apostates were liable to punishment in the sight of God and the Holy Prophetsa. They should recant otherwise God will cast them in hell. He urged people to socially boycott Ahmadis.

A mulla Qari M. Afzal is active against Ahmadis. He obstructed the construction of an Ahmadiyya mosque in Chowk Data Zaid and urged Ahmadis to recant. He is building a madrassa in Islam Nagar and remains busy in provoking people against Ahmadis.

London, 13 November 2010: In the context of human rights and freedom of religion, it is appropriate to place on record excerpts from a Press Release issued by the central office of the Ahmadiyya … Jama’at. The occasion was an incident of poppy-burning in London on Remembrance Day and a report of attacks on Christian Community in Iraq.

New York November 23, 2010: The Pakistan government should immediately introduce legislation to repeal the country’s blasphemy law and other discriminatory legislation, Human Rights Watch said today. A few extracts from the statement are quoted below:

Islamabad: Mr. Babar Sattar who is a lawyer based in Islamabad wrote an article in The News International of November 20, 2010, titled: Our intolerant ways . He wrote this after a recent court verdict of death on charge of blasphemy against Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman from Nankana Sahib (Punjab). His is a penetrating, scholarly, and sagacious opinion not only on the blasphemy laws but all religious laws in Pakistan. Excerpts:


Pakistan: The Multifaceted Persecution of the Ahmadiyya Community

A "place of worship" for Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan cannot be called a mosque under Pakistani Law, which prohibits Ahmadis from "posing as Muslim." Ahmadis are a persecuted Islamic group who are referred to as non-believers (kafirs), or heretics, for their doctrinal apostasy on the finality of prophethood. Mainstream Muslims believe that Muhammad is the "final" prophet, so the point of contention lies in the Ahmadiyya belief that their founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is the prophesized Messiah.

A distinguishing feature of an Ahmadi "place of worship" is the silence. There is no call to prayer, no Islamic scripture on its outside, and no conversational congregation before or after prayers. Five times a day, Ahmadi Muslims discreetly go to pray and anxiously leave once they finish. This implicit and multifaceted persecution experienced by Ahmadis not only happens during every prayer time, but in nearly all facets of their lives.

Since the automatic recourse of legal and self-declaration as an Ahmadi is not imprisonment, Ahmadis face harassment, threats, employment termination, and social ostracizing. More severely, Ahmadis are frequent victims of terrorism and incarceration most notably evidenced by the 1953 Lahore riots, 1974 Anti-Ahmadiyya riots and May 2010 attacks on Ahmadi mosques in Lahore.

Over 250 members of the community have been killed in Pakistan by anti-Ahmadi terrorist groups, while others relocate to an Ahmadi-majority town called Rabwah, where the community was originally headquartered. The community shifted its official headquarters in 1984 after Pakistan's enforcement of Ordinance XX, a law which prohibits Ahmadis from practicing Islam or "posing as" Muslims.

Ahmadis experience a rare strength in numbers within Rabwah's isolated radius, although they are imperiled in nearly all remaining areas of Pakistan. The town's semblance of refuge is at odds with the remaining parts of Pakistan, yet Ahmadis are still proscribed from the elementary human justice to worship without bigotry, congregate without violent disruption, and raise their children without fear. Rabwah presents a unique picture of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan— it encompasses the external threats Rabwah faces, the maltreatment that led people there, and the dynamics of the Ahmadiyya community whose persecution in Pakistan is worsening day by day.


Security was tight at the two mosques on Saturday.

A day earlier, several attackers, armed with AK-47 rifles, shotguns and grenades, held people hostage briefly inside a mosque in the heavily built-up Garhi Shahu area.

Some took up positions on top of the minarets, and fired at police engaged in gunfights with militants below.

Police took control of the other mosque in the nearby Model Town area after a two-hour gunfight.

Pakistan's Geo TV channel said the Pakistani Taliban had claimed responsibility for the assaults.

Members of the community have often been mobbed, or gunned down in targeted attacks, says the BBC's M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad.

But this is the first time their places of worship have suffered daring and well co-ordinated attacks that bear the mark of Taliban militants, our correspondent adds.

Ali Dayan Hassan of Human Rights Watch told the BBC the worshippers were "easy targets" for militant Sunni groups who consider the Ahmadis to be infidels.

While the Ahmadis consider themselves Muslim and follow all Islamic rituals, they were declared non-Muslim in Pakistan in 1973, and in 1984 they were legally barred from proselytising or identifying themselves as Muslims.


Pakistan: Prosecute Ahmadi Massacre Suspects

Temporary headstones of victims at an Ahmadi Muslim graveyard in Chenab Nagar, northwest of Lahore on May 29, 2010. © 2010 Reuters

(New York) – Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments should bring to justice those responsible for the May 2010 attacks on Ahmadiyya mosques that killed 94 worshipers, Human Rights Watch said today.

On May 28, 2010, Islamist militants attacked two Ahmadiyya mosques in the city of Lahore with guns, grenades, and suicide bombs, killing 94 people and wounding well over 100. The Punjabi Taliban, a local affiliate of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (the Pakistani Taliban or TTP), claimed responsibility. Two men were captured during the attack, but the government has failed to make progress on their trial, seeking repeated adjournments from the court as has the defense.

“It’s obscene that two years after the worst massacre in Lahore since the partition of India, the government has still not brought the suspects apprehended at the scene to trial,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “By pandering to extremists who foment violence against the Ahmadis, the government emboldens militants who target the beleaguered community, and reinforces fear and insecurity for all religious minorities.”

The May 2010 attacks killed 27 people at the Baitul Nur Mosque in Lahore’s Model Town area and 67 people at the Darul Zikr mosque in the suburb of Garhi Shahu. Worshipers overpowered two attackers, Asmatullah, alias Muaaz and Abdullah Muhammad, and turned them over to police. Each was charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act and remains in custody, but there has been no progress in the case and proceedings have been repeatedly adjourned.

Since the May 2010 attacks, there has been an intensification of the hate campaign against Ahmadis, Human Rights Watch said. In June 2011, a pamphlet named some 50 prominent Ahmadis in the city of Faisalabad in Punjab province and declared them “liable to be killed” under Islamic law, along with all members of the community. No action has been taken by the government against those who disseminated the pamphlet. In September 2011, one of those named in the pamphlet, Naseem Butt, was shot dead. At least another five Ahmadis were killed during 2011, apparently because of their religious beliefs. In December, unknown assailants vandalized 29 graves in an Ahmadiyya graveyard in the Punjab town of Lodhran.

During 2012, extremist groups in Lahore have used discriminatory provisions of Pakistani law that target Ahmadis and prevent them from “posing as Muslims” to force the demolition of sections of an Ahmadiyya mosque on the grounds that its dome made it look like a mosque. In the garrison city of Rawalpindi, the authorities barred Ahmadis from using their mosque at the insistence of local extremist groups. In both instances, Punjab provincial administration and police officials supported the extremists’ demands instead of protecting the Ahmadis and their mosques.

“The Punjab provincial government should be providing extra security to Ahmadiyya mosques instead of siding with those terrorizing worshipers and attacking their places of worship,” Adams said. “Pakistan’s anti-Ahmadi laws need to be repealed, not enforced.”

Human Rights Watch urged the government of Punjab province, controlled by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) party, to investigate and prosecute those responsible for intimidation, threats, and violence against the Ahmadiyya community. Militant groups that have publicly been involved in such efforts include the Sunni Tehrik, Tehrik-e-Tahafaz-e-Naomoos-e-Risalat, Khatm-e-Nabuwat, Difa-e-Pakistan Council, and others acting under the Pakistani Taliban’s umbrella. Leaders of these groups have frequently threatened to kill Ahmadis and attack the mosques where killings have taken place as well as other Ahmadi mosques.

Ahmadi community leaders told Human Rights Watch that they had repeatedly brought threats against them to the notice of the Punjab chief minister, Shahbaz Sharif, the provincial government, and the police controlled by the provincial authorities, and that they had asked for enhanced security for vulnerable Ahmadiyya mosques. However, the provincial government failed to act on the evidence or to ensure meaningful security for the mosques.

Human Rights Watch called on Pakistan’s government to introduce legislation in parliament without delay to repeal laws that discriminate against Ahmadis and other religious minorities, including sections 295 (blasphemy) and 298 (Ahmadi specific law that prevents them from “posing” as Muslims) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Human Rights Watch also urged concerned governments and inter-governmental bodies to press the Pakistani government to:

o Repeal sections 295 and 298 of the Pakistan Penal Code
o Prosecute those responsible for planning and executing attacks and committing other offenses against the Ahmadiyya and other religious minorities and
o Take steps to encourage religious tolerance within Pakistani society.

“The government’s continued use of discriminatory criminal laws against Ahmadis and other religious minorities is indefensible,” Adams said. “As long as such laws remain on the books, the Pakistani state will be seen as a persecutor of minorities and an enabler of abuses.”

Background on the Ahmadiyya Community
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, its official name, is a contemporary messianic movement founded in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1839–1908), who was born in the Punjabi village of Qadian, now in India. Discriminatory laws in Pakistan’s constitution derogatorily refer to the Ahmadiyya community as the “Qadiani” community, a term derived from the birthplace of the founder of the movement. In 1889, Ahmad declared that he had received divine revelation authorizing him to accept the baya’ah, or allegiance of the faithful. In 1891, he claimed to be the expected mahdi or messiah of the latter days, the “Awaited One” of the monotheist community of religions, and the messiah foretold by the Prophet Mohammed. Ahmad described his teachings, incorporating both Sufi and orthodox Islamic and Christian elements, as an attempt to revitalize Islam in the face of the British Raj, proselytizing Protestant Christianity, and resurgent Hinduism. Thus, the Ahmadiyya community believes that Ahmad conceived the community as a revivalist movement within Islam and not as a new religion.

Members of the Ahmadiyya community (“Ahmadis”) profess to be Muslims. They contend that Ahmad meant to revive the true spirit and message of Islam that the Prophet Mohammed introduced and preached. Virtually all mainstream Muslim sects believe that Ahmad proclaimed himself a prophet, thereby rejecting a fundamental tenet of Islam: Khatme Nabuwat (literally, the belief in the “finality of prophethood” – that the Prophet Mohammed was the last of the line of prophets leading back through Jesus, Moses, and Abraham). Ahmadis respond that Ahmad was a non-law-bearing prophet subordinate in status to Prophet Mohammed that he came to illuminate and reform Islam, as predicted by the Prophet Mohammed. For Ahmad and his followers, the Arabic Khatme Nabuwat does not refer to the finality of prophethood in a literal sense – that is, to prophethood’s chronological cessation – but rather to its culmination and exemplification in the Prophet Mohammed. Ahmadis believe that “finality” in a chronological sense is a worldly concept, whereas “finality” in a metaphoric sense carries much more spiritual significance.

The exact size of the Ahmadiyya community worldwide is unclear, but estimates suggest they number nearly 10 million, mostly concentrated in India and Pakistan but also present in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Europe, and North America.

Background on Persecution of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan
The persecution of the Ahmadiyya community is wholly legalized, even encouraged, by the Pakistani government. Pakistan’s penal code explicitly discriminates against religious minorities and targets Ahmadis in particular by prohibiting them from “indirectly or directly posing as a Muslim.” Ahmadis are prohibited from declaring or propagating their faith publicly, building mosques or even referring to them as such, or making the call for Muslim prayer.

Pakistan’s “blasphemy law,” as section 295-C of the Penal Code is known, makes the death penalty effectively mandatory for blasphemy. Under this law, the Ahmadiyya belief in the prophethood of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is considered blasphemous insofar as it “defiles the name of Prophet Muhammad.” In 2009, at least 50 Ahmadis were charged under various provisions of the blasphemy law across Pakistan. Many of them remain imprisoned.

Since the military government of Gen. Zia-ul-Haq unleashed a wave of persecution in the 1980s, violence against the Ahmadiyya community has never really ceased. Ahmadis are killed and injured, and their homes and businesses burned down, in anti-Ahmadi attacks. The authorities arrest, jail, and charge Ahmadis for blasphemy and other offenses because of their religious beliefs. In several instances, the police have been complicit in harassment and in framing false charges against Ahmadis, or have stood by in the face of anti-Ahmadi violence.

However, the government seldom brings charges against perpetrators of anti-Ahmadi violence and discrimination. Research by Human Rights Watch indicates that the police have failed to apprehend anyone implicated in such activity in the last several years.

Since 2000, well over 400 Ahmadis have been formally charged in criminal cases, including blasphemy. Several have been convicted and face life in prison or death sentences pending appeal. The offenses for which they faced charges included wearing an Islamic slogan on a shirt, planning to build an Ahmadi mosque in Lahore, and distributing Ahmadi literature in a public square. As a result, thousands of Ahmadis have fled Pakistan to seek asylum in countries including Canada and the United States.

The Pakistani government actively encourages legal and procedural discrimination against Ahmadis. For example, all Pakistani Muslim citizens applying for passports are obliged to sign a statement explicitly stating that they consider the founder of the Ahmadi community an “imposter” and consider Ahmadis to be non-Muslims. Under Pakistan’s blasphemy law, virtually any public act of worship or devotion by an Ahmadi can be treated as a criminal offense.

Since 1953, when the first post-independence anti-Ahmadiyya riots broke out, the relatively small Ahmadi community in Pakistan has lived under threat. Between 1953 and 1973, this persecution was sporadic but, in 1974, a new wave of anti-Ahmadi disturbances spread across Pakistan. In response, Pakistan’s parliament introduced amendments to the constitution that defined the term “Muslim” in the Pakistani context and listed groups that were deemed to be non-Muslim under Pakistani law. Put into effect on September 6, 1974, the amendment explicitly deprived Ahmadis of their identity as Muslims.

In 1984, Pakistan’s penal code was amended yet again. As a result of these amendments, five ordinances that explicitly targeted religious minorities acquired legal status: a law against blasphemy a law punishing the defiling of the Quran a prohibition against insulting the wives, family, or companions of the Prophet of Islam and two laws specifically restricting the activities of Ahmadis. On April 26, 1984, Gen. Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq issued these last two laws as part of Martial Law Ordinance XX, which amended Pakistan’s Penal Code, sections 298-B and 298-C.

Ordinance XX undercut the activities of religious minorities generally, but struck at Ahmadis in particular by prohibiting them from “indirectly or directly posing as a Muslim.” Ahmadis thus could no longer profess their faith, either orally or in writing. Pakistani police destroyed Ahmadi translations of and commentaries on the Quran and banned Ahmadi publications, the use of any Islamic terminology on Ahmadi wedding invitations, offering Ahmadi funeral prayers, and displaying the Kalima (the statement that “there is no god but Allah, Mohammed is Allah’s prophet,” the principal creed of Muslims) on Ahmadi gravestones. In addition, Ordinance XX prohibited Ahmadis from declaring their faith publicly, propagating their faith, building mosques, or making the call for Muslim prayer. In short, virtually any public act of worship or devotion by an Ahmadi could be treated as a criminal offense.

With the passage of the Criminal Law Act of 1986, the parliament added section 295-C to the Pakistan Penal Code. The “blasphemy law,” as it came to be known, made the death penalty mandatory for blasphemy. Gen. Zia-ul-Haq and his military government institutionalized the persecution of Ahmadis as well as other minorities in Pakistan with section 295-C. The Ahmadi belief in the prophethood of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was considered blasphemous insofar as it “defiled the name of Prophet Muhammad.” Therefore, theoretically, Ahmadis could be sentenced to death for simply professing their faith. Though the numbers vary from year to year, Ahmadis have been charged every year under the blasphemy laws since their introduction.

In 2008, at least 15 Ahmadis were charged under various provisions of the blasphemy law. In addition to blasphemy charges, Ahmadis have sporadically come under physical attack. For example, in June 2006, a mob burned down Ahmadi shops and homes in Jhando Sahi village near the town of Daska in Punjab province, forcing more than 100 Ahmadis to flee. The police, though present at the scene, failed to intervene or arrest any of the culprits. However, the authorities charged seven Ahmadis under the Blasphemy Law.

In 2009, at least 37 Ahmadis were charged under the general provisions of the blasphemy law and over 50 were charged under Ahmadi-specific provisions of the law. For example, in January 2009, five Ahmadis, including four children, were charged with blasphemy in Layyah district of Punjab province. The children were released after being jailed for six months. In July 2009, Sunni Tehreek militants staged protests until the local police in Faisalabad district of Punjab province agreed to register blasphemy cases against 32 Ahmadis for writing Quranic verses on the outer walls of their houses. Throughout 2009, Ahmadi graveyards were threatened with desecration, and Ahmadi mosques received threats.

In 2010, at least 70 Ahmadis were charged under various provisions of sections 295 and 298 on account of their faith.

On May 30, 2010, two days after Islamist militants attacked two Ahmadiyya mosques in Lahore, killing 94 people, a Taliban statement “congratulated” Pakistanis for the attacks. It called people from the Ahmadiyya and Shia communities “the enemies of Islam and common people” and urged Pakistanis to take the “initiative” and kill every such person “in range.”

On the night of May 31, 2010 unidentified gunmen attacked the Intensive Care Unit of Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital, where victims and one of the alleged attackers in the May 28 attack were under treatment, sparking a shootout in which at least another 12 people, mostly police officers and hospital staff, were killed. The assailants escaped.

The anti-Ahmadiyya campaign intensified in 2010, exemplified by the government allowing groups to place banners seeking the death of “Qadianis” (a derogatory term for Ahmadis) on the main thoroughfares of Lahore.

Punjab provincial authorities have pointedly ignored pleas for enhanced security for Ahmadiyya mosques given their vulnerability to attack and instead sought to appease the groups posing the threat. For example, on May 30, 2010, Zaeem Qadri, adviser to the Punjab chief minister, Shahbaz Sharif, said in an interview on Dunya TV that the provincial government had not removed the threatening banners from the city’s thoroughfares to prevent “adverse reaction against the government” by the groups responsible.


Watch the video: An Ahmadi woman refusing Rehman Malik! take these flowers back to president