Newspaper Articles

Stand up for Ahmadis, Shias, other oppressed groups and be counted – by Mehmal Sarfraz

In Satellite Town Rawalpindi, ‘Ewan-e-Tawheed’ is in place for the last 17 years. It is the property of Jama’at Ahmadiyya and is used as a place for prayers ever since. Some adventurists have decided to make it an issue and have started a false, baseless campaign of hatred to create problems. There are no concrete issues as such as the miscreants keep coming with new allegations one after another.

The bottom line is that miscreants want to deprive the Ahmadis of their right to pray and congregate. The miscreants gave an open warning to demolish the ‘Ewan-e-Tawheed’ on January 29, 2012, also they will not allow this Friday prayers at ‘Ewan-e-Tawheed’.

Resurgence: In order to save our country from the military's follies, Pakistan nation must stand up to the military and its bigoted proxies, even if it means putting our lives at risk..

The [Ahmadiyya] community is under attack and there are known security threats to community members from these miscreants. Yet innocent and peaceful Ahmadis are not even allowed to defend or protect themselves,” read a press release from the Ahmadiyya community.

January 29 is also the date of birth of Pakistan’s only Nobel Laureate, Dr Abdus Salam, who was also an Ahmadi. It was tragic to see that on his birthday, a huge rally was organised to terrorise the Ahmadiyya community. We, in Pakistan, really do not know how to honour our heroes and we are not known for protecting our minorities either.

In 1974, Ahmadis were declared non-Muslims in Pakistan through the Second Amendment under the Bhutto regime. When General Zia came to power, he brought about even more draconian anti-Ahmadi laws. For decades now, their persecution at the hands of bigots has largely been ignored because of these laws. Defending the rights of the Ahmadiyya community is considered an anathema in our society.

On 28 May 2010, two Ahmadi mosques were attacked by terrorists in Lahore and 86 Ahmadis were martyred. Apart from a few politicians, nobody was willing to condemn the attacks in unequivocal terms. (Late) Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer was the only politician who condoled with the Ahmadiyya community. Such is the state of affairs in Pakistan. Even after the 2010 attacks, many Ahmadis have been threatened and killed because of their faith. The seeds of religious extremism sown over the years now run deep in our polity. It is horrifying to see the way the peaceful Ahmadiyya community is targeted every single day.

Amir Liaquat, a televangelist, spouted so much venom against the Ahmadiyya community in one of his programmes a few years ago that it led to the killings of Ahmadis; yet he was not held accountable. Anti-Ahmadi banners can be seen in many cities at the busiest of squares and yet no government official has ever dared to take them off despite the fact that hate speech is a criminal offence. It, of course, goes without saying that the state has no business to declare anyone a Muslim or a non-Muslim. Over the years, many Ahmadi families have been forced to flee the country.

On the one hand, we see the Ahmadiyya community being targeted while on the other there is a Shia genocide going on in Pakistan. Banned terrorist outfits like the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) operate freely inside the country with impunity. Shia intellectuals are being killed systematically all over the country.

The people of the peaceful Hazara Shia community in Balochistan are being killed in throngs while our law enforcement agencies have turned a blind eye to the activities of these groups. The reason is simple: these groups are the proxies of the Pakistan Army. They were created and nurtured by the army for its own vested interests and this is why they are never indicted for their crimes. This is the same military that is carrying out a military operation in Balochistan — thousands of Baloch are missing and hundreds of them have been found dead. The policies adopted by the Pakistan Army cost us half of our country back in 1971. Once again, due to its policies, we are on the brink of another disaster.

The international community treats us like a pariah state due to state-sponsored terrorism. The biggest victims of this terrorism are Pakistanis themselves. It is high time that we put an end to the military’s highhandedness. The military must go back to the barracks and never interfere in politics. In order to save our country from the military’s follies, the Pakistani nation must stand up to the military and its bigoted proxies even if it means putting our lives at risk.

The writer is Op-Ed editor, Daily Times, Pakistan. Reach her at mehmal.s@gmail.com

Source: Mid Day

About the author

Zeeba

4 Comments

Click here to post a comment
  • Asian Human Rights Commission bravely names & shames ISI as behind the TKN-JuD-SSP’s harassment of Ahmadi Muslims:

    PAKISTAN: The Ahmadiyya community has once again been targeted by banned terrorist organisations
    February 3, 2012

    The Ahamadiyya community, a minority religious community, is again facing systematic genocide from the militant religious groups in coming days particularly from the banned terrorist organizations that have made a joint strategy to force them to leave Pakistan. This campaign has been started from the garrison city of Rawalpindi, Punjab province, in the presence of heavy contingent of police, rangers and, of course, plain clothed men from notorious intelligence agency, the ISI.

    On January 29, a big gathering of more than 5000 persons, mainly from Madressas (Islamic seminaries) was held outside the place where members of Ahmadiyya community have their Mosque and other places like a hospital and library. The place of the protest gathering was not far away from the General Head Quarters of Pakistan and was addressed by none other than the leaders of the banned religious organizations who were declared as terrorist organizations by law. The leaders from Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Sipahe Sahaba addressed the rally. These organizations had also been declared terrorist organizations by the international community. One main stream religious-cum-political party, the Jamaat-e-Islami was the main organizer of the rally which has close links with the ISI and Pakistan military.

    The protest rally was organised by an Action Committee, a forum comprising of representatives from banned terrorist organizations, local traders, Aalmi Majlis Tahaffuz Khatm-e-Nubuwwat, the local organization working against the Ahmadiyya community, local Ulemas and so-called social activists, was constituted a few months ago to achieve a one-point agenda that is the closure of “Ewane Tauheed”, the sole place of worship of the Ahmadiyya community located in Satellite Town, a residential area in Rawalpindi.

    The rally was held to protest alleged land ‘encroachment’, the speakers used the occasion to demand that Ahmadis must stop religious activities such as proselytizing and worshipping. It was announced that an intersection close to the worship place will be named the Khatm-e-Nubuwat Chowk. Participants carried flags of different religious parties, including some banned ones, and portraits of the self-confessed assassin Mumtaz Qadri who killed former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer. They also chanted slogans against Ahmadis and their ‘uncalled for’ activities in Rawalpindi.

    The protestants were holding banners and posters containing the words of hatred and threats for the Ahmadis community and demanding that they stop their religious practices. One banner was conveying the message that the Qadianis must be forced to stop their ‘unconstitutional’ activities. The speakers announced that they will they will not let Ahmadis pray from the next Friday. Closing down Ewan-e-Tauheed will be a huge victory for them and will be another step closer to forcing them out of Pakistan. They also directed their workers that the activities of the Ahmadiyya community should be restricted through whatever means available. They said that the Ahmadiyya community is like a snake which must be killed otherwise the snake will kill others. They have also announced that members of the Ahmadiyya community would not be allowed to observe their Friday prayers otherwise they would face dire consequences.

    The hate mongering miscreants extensively displayed anti-Ahmadiyya posters, signs and banners all over the town area. The local police and government authorities took no action whatsoever to stop this explosive charade and actually provided protection to the militants when they inundated the streets of Satellite town shouting abuse and life threatening slogans against Ahmadiyyas. The authorities even shamelessly advised the Ahmadis to stop praying as commanded by Allah in congregation in the Ahmadiyya centre hall. This infuriating demand by the Pakistan Government authorities is indeed shocking and deplorable.

    The spokesperson of the Ahmadiyya community says that in the Satellite Town Rawalpindi ”Ewan e Tawheed” has been is in place for the last 17 years. It is the property of Jama’at Ahmadiyya and is used as a place for prayers ever since. Some adventurists have decided to make it an issue and have started a false, baseless campaign of hatred to create problems. There are no concrete issues as such and the miscreants keep coming up with new allegations one after the other. The bottom line is that miscreants want to deprive the Ahmadis of their right to pray and congregate.

    The Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan has been facing a systematic genocide for many decades. The community has lost hundreds of community members — 86 members in a single day on 28 May 2010 in Lahore city, Punjab province when their mosques were attacked by the same terrorist organizations who were the organizers of the protest rally. The community has been abandoned by the state and the very government that is sworn to protect it. After the incident on 28 May the community decided to take up security measures upon the advice of law enforcement agencies, which is now becoming an issue. The community’s right to pray and congregate is in grave danger today.

    The campaign against the Ahmadis is very much in contravention of the Constitution which provides for the right to establish places of worship and train clergy, but in practice these rights were restricted for Ahmadis. The authorities continued to conduct surveillance on Ahmadis, and several Ahmadiyya mosques were reportedly closed or confiscated; others reportedly were desecrated or their construction stopped. They were also banned from preaching and from traveling to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj or other religious pilgrimages. The government also banned Ahmadiyya publications from public sale, but the organization continues to publish religious literature which is circulated only within Ahmadi communities.
    The Ahmadiyy Muslims in Rawalpindi are also in a seriously deteriorating situation of safety and security. The anti-Ahmadiyya forces in Pakistan plan to extend the campaign to obliterate the freedom of worship of Ahmadi Muslims throughout Pakistan.

    The government has rarely investigated or prosecuted perpetrators of the ever increasing extremist attacks on minorities and indeed, anyone promoting religious tolerance which has deepened the climate of impunity. Despite the government’s steps to ban 25 militant religious groups across the country they continue to operate with the connivance of the local administration.

    The government should immediately stop the violent campaign against the Ahmadiyya community. The killings of Ahmadis and the attacks on their places of worships are being done with the tacit approval of the government. The world community is once again urged to raise its voice against such barbaric and flagrant violations of the fundamental human rights in a country which claims to be counted amongst the democratic and civilized nations of the world.

    Document Type :Statement
    Document ID :AHRC-STM-025-2012

    http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-025-2012

  • from Twitter

    Laibaah1
    TKN-JuD-SSP protest against Ahmadi mosque Rawalpindi is a warning to Shias: First they will ban your Muharram processions then your mosques!

  • Ahmadi are not Muslim but the Kafir it is right they are just the devil worshiper but if any person is killing them due to there faith is also not right . Yes if any Ahmadi harm any innocent people then yes it is right to harm that Ahmadi also . Means the law of justice in Islam is equal for non muslims and also the muslim as will but it is correct that Ahmadi is not the Muslim . And for the Shia and you are blaming our Army it is 1001% wrong idea . baseless, actually you are trying to create the panic in the Pakistan the Shia sunni fasad in Pakistan you the Zeeba ji but you will fail to doing that because we know that Drama already . So think before you decide that who is right and who is wrong and say Pakistan zindabad which peoples like you will never say that

  • Sorry writer is the Mehmal Sarfraz it is not the good think for the Muslim but the Ahmadi are not muslim then how they can think on it . Thank you