Religious Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
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Author: Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmadra, 4th Caliph of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Description: The doctrine of Christianity has acquired its present shape through a process of change that is spread nearly over it's entire history. Rather than venture into the endless debate on the course of this evolutionary process, the author has chosen to examine the current Christian beliefs primarily on the basis of logic and reason. Among others, the subject of 'Sonship' of Jesus Christ, Atonement, Trinity and the second coming of the Messiah have been discussed at length in this book. (read it online)
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Author: Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmadra, 4th Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
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Home Critical Analysis/Archives Plight of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan
Plight of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan

The Burial Problem of Ahmadis in Pakistan

Over a period of the last 25 years, Muslim clerics (Mullas) have successfully carried out a relentless campaign against the Ahmadiyya Community. In Pakistan, they have prevailed upon the State to declare them Non-Muslims, while in many other Islamic countries they have pressurized compliant governments to adopt anti-Ahmadiyya attitudes and policies. They have spread the evil of sectarianism to the non-Muslim world as well, where although the governments pay them little heed, the majority of local Muslim populations unwittingly fall in line with Mulla's anti-Ahmadiyya stance.

In the comprehensive plan of Mulla's anti-Ahmadiyya drive, segregation of Ahmadi dead is an important item on his action list. In Pakistan, these fundamentalists have maintained a steady pressure on the society and the government to enforce segregation of Ahmadi and non-Ahmadi graveyards. Although disinterment is a grave offence in Pakistani law, the Mulla precipitated, over the years, many situations all over the country, in which this sacrilege was undertaken under State protection or by the State itself. The Mulla's argument, although false, is very simple and the Muslim masses normally dare not contest it. He tells them that Ahmadis, being infidels and unclean, if buried in their graveyards, pollute and desecrate them; as such they cause great torture and suffering to the Muslim dead, who feel afflicted as if they were in hell. He makes it an emotional issue and agitates his flock to become violent if necessary, to ensure that Ahmadi dead is disinterred from their graveyards. If and when the authorities resist, he calls his narrow-minded followers to rise in Jihad. Usually, the authorities, even though unwilling, give in to such a pressure and comply with his wishes in the name of law and order. Burial of the dead is a favorite issue with the Mulla and he considers it a God-sent opportunity to wield his social and communal influence.

Instances of resistance to Ahmadi burials and disinterment have occurred in South Asia since early 20th century, but their frequency has increased manifold in Pakistan since early 1980s. In 1985, Ms. Zubaida Begum, wife of a retired Ahmadi police officer died at Steel Town, Karachi. Her funeral was attended by many non-Ahmadi Muslims, and she was buried in the common graveyard with due respect in the presence of a large body of local Muslims. A few days later, Mullas came to know about it, and they started a very active campaign to exhume her dead body. They threatened that if the authorities did not arrange her disinterment; they would undertake it themselves regardless of the consequences. The bereaved family was shocked and greatly disturbed at the prospects and underwent intense emotional anguish. The local administration was not in favor of exhumation but in the face of Mulla's agitation authorities yielded and ordered Ahmadis to dig up their dead and bury it elsewhere. Ahmadis declined to undertake the sacrilege themselves, but conceded not to resist the authorities in doing what they wanted. It was an ugly and shameful situation, highly traumatic for Ahmadis, and very embarrassing for the government. A large police contingent was called up to be present at the site. Two weeks after the burial, the dead body of Ms. Zubaida was exhumed during the dark hours of 29 December 1985 and shifted to a location 10 kilometers away where the authorities hurriedly allocated approximately two acres of land to Ahmadis for their exclusive graveyard. This scenario was repeated time and again all over the country during the following years. Now the situation has stabilized to some extent, as many Ahmadi communities have been able to secure graveyard land to spare everybody unnecessary embarrassment and hostile agitation.

During the past few years, 15 cases of disinterment were reported to Ahmadiyya headquarters, while on 23 other occasions on record, the clerics mounted an agitation to resist Ahmadi burials in common graveyards. The actual number of such occasions is certainly more.Miscreants disinterred this dead body of Khalil Hussain, Ahmadi at Bhari, District Sialkot: 23 Nov 98 It is appropriate to mention that on almost all occasions when disinterment had to take place, the initial burial had taken place with consent and approval of the majority of the local non-Ahmadi Muslims. In addition, almost always, the authorities were initially against the disinterment but then found it expedient and convenient to yield to the Mulla later. Sometimes they bent backward to appease the Mulla and undertook disgraceful actions. In October 1994, when Mr. Qadeer Jat of Kot Momin, Sargodha died, the authorities not only exhumed his body but also leveled four other Ahmadi graves in the common graveyard at the instance of agitators. In April 1993, a four days old infant of Ahmadi parentage died at D.G. Khan. The mullas demanded his exhumation and threatened that if it were not done, they would desecrate 18 other Ahmadi graves there. The authorities complied as demanded. In January 1986, an Ahmadi tribal chief, Sardar Amir Muhammad Qaisrani, died and was buried at Shergarh, District Muzaffarbad. Mullas manipulated to transform this routine event into a major political issue. The Ahmadis were also determined to resist the clerics' shameful agitation. Eventually the authorities assembled a force of approximately 3000 police and paramilitary, and undertook the exhumation operation, again yielding to the fanaticism of the fundamentalists. In October 1995, Ms. Sardaran Bibi, Ahmadi, of Chak 356/GB, district Toba, died and was buried in the common graveyard where already 40 Ahmadis had been buried. Still the extremists, although only a few in number, had their way and compelled the authorities to dig up the dead and bury her elsewhere.

It is indeed difficult to fully describe on paper the agony and mental torture generated by this type of occasion where a dead body has to be exhumed under the threat of agitation of religious violence. The victimized family suffers great emotional stress and mental torture. The whole community shares their grief. The authorities are put in a very embarrassing and difficult position. Such problems arise normally all of a sudden and demand a quick administrative solution. Often, the concerned authorities have to choose between upholding a principle and facing an ugly law and order situation. Ahmadis have leamt their lesson from experience over a period of 25 years, and have reconciled to the idea that separate graveyards from other Muslims are the only answer. Not only in Pakistan, but even in some European countries, Ahmadis now have separate areas to bury their dead. This way, everyone is happy, including the mulla, although he loses the opportunities to make mischief and assert his unworthy social and religious power.

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