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In this book, the author deals with an issue that has lamentably marked humankind's religious history. Relying on a wide range of interviews he conducted throughtout Pakistan, Antonio R. Gualtieri relates the tragic experience of members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. Their right to define themselves as Muslims has been denied by the Govt. of Pakistan acting in collusion with orthodox Islamic teachers. Ahmadis have been beaten and murdered. They have been jailed, hounded from jobs and schools, their mosques sealed or vandalized, for professing to be Muslims and following Islamic practices. This book records their testimony of Harassment and persecution resulting from their loyalty to their understanding of God and HIS revelation.
US$4.99 [Order]
Author: Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmadra, 4th Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Description: This is a compiled lecture delivered at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre (London) by the 4th Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. It contains comprehensive discussion on interest; financial aid; international relations; and the role of Israel, America and the United Kingdom in a new world order. Message of this great lecture is timeless and relates to the future propects for peace. If the speaker is proved right in most of his predictions, as he has already been proved right in some of them, no one can afford to ignore this message.
US$10.00 [Order]
Author: Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, The Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi
Description: Fully cross-referenced English translation of the Universally acclaimed exegesis, delivered at the conference of Great Religions held in Lahore in December 1896. Subjects include the physical, moral and spiritual states of man; proofs of existence of God; the state of man after death; sources of Divine knowledge; others. An excellent introduction to the study of Islam. (read it online)
US$4.99 [Order]

Home Critical Analysis/Archives Plight of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan
Plight of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan
(1989-1999)

Persecution of Ahmadis in the Field of Education in Pakistan

When Pakistan's Constitution was amended in 1974 to impose a minority and non-Muslim status upon the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, the State gave a clear indication of its policy on suppression of this religious community. In 1984, the dictator, General Zia, promulgated the notorious anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance XX and thereby made it legal and a state obligation to persecute Ahmadis and usurp their basic human rights.

In addition to the promulgation of the Ordinance, the government took a number of steps in consultation with extremist Mullas (Islamic clerics) to stifle this peace-loving community. These measures were harsh and pervasive. They covered many areas like Ahmadis' economic position, employment, education, registration, travel, electoral representation, freedom of press etc.

Ahmadis, as a group, are among the most educated people in Pakistan. Therefore, the govemment-mulla team hatched and implemented a plan to actively damage Ahmadiyya position in the field of education. Professor Dr Abdus Salam - an Ahmadi Muslim Nobel Laureate in Physics, 1979Ahmadiyya schools and colleges, which had already been nationalized, were staffed with incompetent and fundamentalist faculty, and thus allowed to deteriorate through bad management. Virulent anti-Ahmadiyya religious propaganda was encouraged in classrooms all over the country to injure the feelings of Ahmadi students and thus discourage them. Ahmadi teachers and lecturers were maltreated and denied positions of influence when they deserved them on merit. Violence against Ahmadi student was not only tolerated but also occasionally encouraged. Admissions to professional institutions were barred on many occasions to Ahmadi candidates. Even stay in college hostels was made impossible for many of them through discrimination, social boycott and violence. Murders took place and the authorities did not care.

Successive governments have done little to improve the anti-Ahmadiyya environments in the field of education. It is not possible in this brief to mention in any great detail the suffering that has been inflicted in the field of education upon Ahmadi youth. A few instances are mentioned only to illustrate and give an idea of the nature of the persecution drive against this budding section of the beleaguered Ahmadiyya community.

Violence against Ahmadi Students
Ahmadi students faced discrimination, maltreatment and even manhandling in most areas of the country. Often it resulted in violence, as the tormentors knew that they would get away with it. Maqbool Nasir, a student of class VII of Government High School Rabwah was beaten up merciless on Feb 19, 1992 by his teacher, Malik Aslam who is a non-Ahmadi disciple of Maulvi Manzoor Chinioti, a rabid anti-Ahmadiyya priest and politician. The victim had to be rushed to the hospital for saving his life. Abdus Saboor, an Ahmadi student at the A. Iqbal Medical College where he faced violenceAnother student, Qamar-ul-Zaman, a resident of the Islamia College Hostel, Lahore was attacked and wounded by some hooligans on the night of 18/19 August 1990. He and his brother, Masih-uz-Zaman decided to leave the hostel to avoid more harm. In another case during July 1990, two Ahmadi students, Muzaffar Ahmad and Abdul Saboor of Allama Iqbal Medical College were falsely accused of burning a copy of the Holy Quran. Muzffar was beaten mercilessly. Both the students left the hostel in search of security. The Ahmadi-bashers set their books on fire and stole some precious belongings. Another student lost his motor bike; still another lost cash. Through posters, the opposition demanded expulsion of all Ahmadi students from the hostel as well as the college. At the King Edward Medical College, Lahore, there was an ugly scene on September 19, 1994. Ahmadi students were threatened and manhandled. Aziz Ahmad was beaten up.

Ahmadi students were not safe even at home. Fifteen non-Ahmadi students visited Saad Gondal, a student of Engineering University, at his home at 1.30 p.m. on October 8, 1993. They dragged him out and beat him up. When his father came out, they grabbed him and beat him up as well. Then they pushed the victims to the police station where 30 others who were more hooligans than students joined them. The police were told to book the victims under the notorious Blasphemy Law and the Anti Ahmadiyya Ordinance. Both the victims had to be hospitalized. Even there, an attempt was made upon their person. The hospital received threats not to treat them. Accordingly, they were told to go home. At another occasion, Khalid Majoka, an Ahmadi student of the Punjab University was abducted on October 21, 1993, interrogated and beaten up. He was told to migrate from Lahore. Only ten days later, Shafqat Rahman another student was abducted and beaten up. Dr. Wasim Ahmad, an Ahmadi professor at Allama Iqbal Medical College was insulted and assaulted at his clinic in those very days. It was like a reign of terror.

Murders
Violence against Ahmadi students sometimes encouraged the extremists to commit even murder. There was little risk involved in this venture; they correctly assessed. For instance, Nasir-ud-Din Ahmad son of Bashir ud Din Ahmad, a student at the Engineering University, Lahore was murdered by students of Islami Jamiat Tulaba on 20 March 1990. Although initially they planned to kill four students of the Quaide Azam Federation, but eventually they zeroed on only one- the Ahmadi. Nasir ud Din was sitting in the hostel lawn at about 10 a.m. when they fired shots at him simultaneously from different hostel blocks. Three bullets hit him. He breathed his last before the ambulance left the hostel. When his dead body arrived at Taxila, his hometown, the Islami Jamiat students of the Taxila University danced with joy and distributed sweets to celebrate the murder. As expected, the murderers were not punished. This was not the first murder in that University - earlier, another Ahmadi student, Anas Chaudhry, was murdered there on 3 December 1980.

Admission Problems
Education authorities, encouraged by the government, created many obstacles in the way of Ahmadi students to get admission in professional colleges and institutes of higher learning. They were denied admission on merit and told to seek admission on minorities' quota, which is very limited. Some students had to appeal to the High Courts to seek redress. This cost them money and time, and earned them the displeasure of heads of the institutions they wanted to join. Just five instances out of many are mentioned below to illustrate the multifarious difficulties faced by Ahmadi candidates for admission.

1.
One of the columns of the admission form at Government College of Education, Faisalabad requires the applicants to declare themselves Muslims or non-Muslims. It does not require them to declare their religion. The question is cunningly designed to trap Ahmadi candidates. Consequently, many Ahmadi students are deprived of admission.
2.
Similar declaration has to be made by female Ahmadi students while seeking admission in Master's course at the Government College of Physical Education for Women, Township, Lahore. This also causes a lot of embarrassment and difficulties.
3.
Admission Form of the Government College of Education, Faisalabad requires that every applicant must declare on oath that:
a.
Muslim students do believe unconditionally in the finality of the Holy Prophet of Islam and they do not believe in any one who claims to be a prophet or religious reformer in whatsoever sense; neither do they belong to Qadiani/Lahori sect of Ahmadis
b.
Non-Muslim students are to declare that they are non-Muslim and do not claim to be a part of Islam.
4.
A teachers training school (for Primary Teacher Certificate-PTC) was opened at Chak No.99 and admissions were to be on open merit. Seven Ahmadi female candidates from Chak 98 and three from Chak 99 secured admission in the school on open merit. Some people from the village, along with a few fanatic mullas raised hue and cry at this, and opposed the admission of Ahmadi women to the school. Under the circumstances, all of the ten Ahmadi women were informed on 26 August 1989 that their admissions had been cancelled. Deputy Director of Education was subjected to politico-religious pressure to issue such an order.
5.
Seven Ahmadi candidates were refused admission in the National Institute of Modem Languages at the QA University after the promulgation of Ordinance XX.

Hostel Problems
In a country like Pakistan, where specialist and professional schools are few, students come and join from far off, and have to put up in the hostel of the school. If hostel facility is denied, he or she may have to discontinue the education. Because of the anti-Ahmadiyya drive in the country, most hostels became very hostile towards Ahmadis. A few instances are mentioned below:

1.
Admission Form for the Government College Hostel, Jhang included unabashedly a column (No. 9) requiring every applicant to declare that he does not belong to the Qadiani Jamaat (i.e. Ahmadiyya Community).
2.
According to a report received in January 1995, mess incharge (who is often a student) of the Ghazali Hall (Hostel of the Quad-i-Azam Medical College, Lahore) was forced by mischief makers not to allow Ahmadi students to have their meals at the Hostel’s mess. The message was delivered to the Ahmadi students, and they started having their food in their rooms to avoid mischief and agitation.

In 1989, Shafqat and Ijaz Qureshi, Ahmadis had been boarders at the Allama Iqbal Medical College for years. Imtiaz, an Islami Jamiat student discussed religion with them and decided to get angry for no reason other than arrogance. He and his colleagues started an agitation and urged the authorities to act against the Ahmadis. Next day, the Mess Manager told Ahmadis not have their meals in the dinning hall. The day after, the agitators decided to become violent. Having got the wind, six Ahmadi students left the hostel and spent the night at an Ahmadiyya sanctuary. During their absence, Jamiat students set all their belongings on fire. The agitation continued and Ahmadi students suffered in many ways. Two students missed their exams. Three Ahmadis were expelled from the college for one year. Their only fault was their faith.

Expulsions
A story regarding expulsion and hostel life of Ahmadi students has been given above. Expulsion is another tool to severely harass and harm a student, and the authorities know it.

In May 1995, at Jauharabad, district Khushab, an Ahmadi student of class X at a private school was expelled from the school by the principal. The reason was that the principal himself started a religious debate with the student and then flew into rage when the student defended his faith in Ahmadiyyat.

In district Rajanpur, a boy, Shahid Mahmood, and his sister were expelled from the high school when their father decided to join the Ahmadiyya Community. Even school-leaving certificates were denied to them. This cost them an academic year of their life. At Kakul, authorities withdrew nine Ahmadi cadets, who were under training at the Pakistan Military Academy, after the promulgation of the Ordinance XX. Another youth, Mr. Rafiq Ahmad was removed from the Police Training Academy, and was transferred to the Ministry of Interior. The Ministry refused to accept him. He was sent on forced leave.

Criminal Litigation
As the notorious anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance has been made a part of the criminal law in Pakistan, Ahmadi students and teachers have also faced the brunt of the legal fire.

Mr. Rafi Ahmad Shahzad and Malik Rashid Ahmad of Khushab were school teachers. After a report by a mischief monger, they had to face charges under PPC 298C and defend themselves against three years in prison. In another case, as a village teacher of the school at Chak 648-GB, District Faisalabad used to behave wickedly with Ahmadi students, a Secretary of the local Jamaat Ahmadiyya met him and asked him not to be unkind to the children. At this, a police case was registered against five Ahmadis of the village. Although the eventual victims were not students in this case, but the trouble arose because Ahmadis students were subjected to unfair and highly prejudicial treatment. Ms. Sughra Begum who had served as a teacher for 10 long years at Santpura, District Gujrat faced the same problem. Everyone was happy with her work until the anti-Ahmadiyya riots erupted at Chak Sikandar in 1989. Maulvi Amir, the main instigator and agent-provocateur of the riot, turned his attention to the job and security of this woman and conspired to make life unbearable for her. He got registered a false criminal case against her that she had been guilty of blasphemy against the Islamic creed. The police harassed her at the school. She received many threats from extremists. She was assured of security only if she recanted; she refused the offer. She was therefore arrested and transported to Kharian police station where Mulla Amir was sitting in company with the inspector-incharge. The inspector told her to reconcile with the Mulla otherwise face imprisonment. She remained defiant. Despite all protestations, the inspector formalized the false accusation and sent her to a lock-up in Gujrat. She remained there for days. The lady faced prosecution for the next eight months. She could have been jailed for years. However, she was cleared of the bogus charges.

Ahmadi Teachers, Lecturers and Professors
Ahmadiyya high school at Rabwah taken over by state authoritiesThis section of the Ahmadiyya Community has greatly suffered during the last two decades. Their careers were indeed demolished and they suffered hardships of unfair postings, transfers and lay off. The situation remains very bad. Many have quit while others have learnt to live under the circumstances imposed upon them.

  1. Professor Munawar Shamim Khalid, of Talim-ul-Islam College, Rabwah was promoted to the post of Principal at Chiniot College. When he went there to take over the charge of the college, the agitators did not allow him to take over his charge. Therefore, he was transferred back to Rabwah.

  2. Talim-ul-Islam High School Rabwah was nationalized in 1972. When the anti-Ahmadiyya agitation picked up its tempo, most of the very competent Ahmadi teachers of the school were transferred to other schools, one by one, on various malicious grounds. They suffered a great deal and so did the school and its Ahmadi students. There, a false case was filed against four Ahmadi teachers who then had to seek transfer from the school to save their skin. Although between 1972 and 1987 approximately seventy non-Ahmadi teachers were transferred to this school, still great clamor was raised against the presence there of these four Ahmadi teachers. Majority of the non-Ahmadi teachers belongs to Chiniot, and most of them are under the influence of Maulvi Manzoor Chinioti, a die-hard Ahmadi-hater. Mirza Muhammad Aslam, the Arabic teacher, has been given the special task of dealing with Ahmadis. He often addressed the morning assembly and spoke against Ahmadiyyat. He arranged to impose heavy financial contributions on students. He even planned and encouraged the habit of loitering and roaming about aimlessly among the students.

  3. Front of the Ahmadiyya college at Rabwah. The college has been taken over by the government.Mr. Basharat Ahmad Bhatti, an Ahmadi lecturer in physics at T.I. College, Rabwah was reported against to the Director Colleges Faisalabad, by an opponent in the college, Taj-ud-Din. Consequently, his tenure was made very problematic at the Rabwah College.

  4. Assistant Commissioner Chiniot, relying upon a letter from the Resident Magistrate (No. 946 of 7 September 1988) recommended to the Deputy Commissioner, Jhang under Ref No: 3607 dated 12-9-1988, that Qadianis were mostly settled in Ahmad Nagar and Rabwah; most of them were employed in Education Department and Health Department; that they preached against Islam; hence they should be transferred to different places to scatter them. This malicious recommendation was followed up by action.

  5. An Ahmadi teacher, who was transferred to a high school at Chak No-209/RB Akaal Garh, District Faisalabad, was boycotted and his utensils were separated from those of the rest, out of hatred. Efforts were also made to remove him from the school. The case of Professor Sultan Akbar, Ahmadi, a professor in Arabic language at the T.I. College Rabwah is also noteworthy. The local mulla approached a VVIP in the Federal Capital and got the professor posted far away to the southeastern border of the Punjab, Bahawalnagar. This very competent and senior professor was posted to that remote area in a college where Arabic was not even taught as a subject. There was no Arabic class, no student. It is almost unbelievable how the authorities can waste limited financial and academic resources of this poor country.

  6. In 1993, Mr. Naseer A. Nasir was serving as Headmaster for the previous five years at the Government High School Thathi Bala Raja of District Jhang. On 25 Nov 93, at the morning assembly, a student was instigated by two Wahabi teachers to read from the anti-Ahmadiyya material supplied to him. Then one of the teachers, Sikandar Hayat, started addressing the assembly himself and used foul language in condemnation of Ahmadiyyat and its holy founder. This was in gross violation of the school tradition and rules. After the “assembly”, the students proceeded to their classrooms and Mr. Nasir went to his office. A few minutes later, Sikandar Hayat accompanied by a few other teachers came over to the headmaster's office, abused him and called him an infidel and an apostate. The other Wahabi teacher Muhammad Khan, who happens to be his brother as well, pulled the headmaster by his collar and finally took away from him the keys of the school and the office, and pushed him out of the school. The two miscreants organized the students to encircle his office to deny him re-entry. The headmaster went home.

The Hate Campaign
The anti-Ahmadiyya think-tank has figured out that schools, colleges and universities are best suited to cultivate long-term anti-Ahmadiyya hatred and ill feelings. They have therefore been active on this front. At the T.I. High School, Rabwah it became a norm that in the name of Dars-ul-Quran, anti-Ahmadiyya talks were often delivered during the 'morning assembly' by one, Muhammad Siddique, a confessed Ahmadi-hater. Professor Taj-ud-Din, a teacher of Physics at Government T.I. College Rabwah was in the bad habit of talking against the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement and his Successors, in the classroom. He sometimes spent the entire period in religious talk, using foul language against respected personages of the Ahmadiyya Community.

A female Ahmadi student, Farrah Naz D/o Chaudhry Muhammad Iqbal, resident of Hassan Pura, Tehsil Kabirwala, was a student of class X at Government Girls High School, Kabirwala. She was a regular student of the school until 10 October 1984. In the month of September, a schoolteacher started talking against Ahmadiyyat in her Islamic Studies class. She laid false accusations against the Community. Farrah Naz could not bear these false allegations and propaganda against Ahmadiyyat and told the teacher that she (Farrah) was an Ahmadi and what the teacher had said about her beliefs was not correct. The teacher got angry. At the time, admission forms were about to be sent for the matriculation examination. Farrah asked for a school-leaving certificate, which was issued with a back date of June 1984, whereas she had attended the school until 10 October. Farrah's father, Chaudhry Muhammad Iqbal filed a case at a Civil Court in Kabirwala and sued for a penalty of Rs. 24,000/- because of the fraud done to his daughter and the loss of her academic year. On 29 January 1985, the Headmistress who had issued the certificate and others were summoned to the court. A message was later received from the Headmistress to settle the matter out of the court and admit the girl back in the school.

Miscellaneous
A few instances that are available on record deserve to be mentioned to give an idea of the Ahmadis' life at school and college.

Education authorities issued a letter on 21 May 1990 to DEO Faisalabad that non-Muslim students be forbidden to pursue the Holy Quran and Islamic Studies as part of the curriculum. Ahmadi students and teachers in government high school at Rabwah were banned from addressing the Assembly, recite the Holy Quran and to offer prayers at the school mosque. At various other educational institutions, social boycott was enforced, for example at Groat and Chak 107 school, district Sargodha in 1993. Ahmadi teachers had to seek transfer to avoid the situation. At Mansehra, the word ‘Qadiani’ was added by the school staff to the name of an Ahmadi student, Raheel Ahmad. The aim was to harm his future in education and future employment. At the same high school, they arranged an anti-Ahmadiyya Quiz program and distributed prizes to winners.

Conclusion
The state policy to suppress the Ahmadi Community in Pakistan was implemented vigorously in the field of education as well. Ahmadi students as well as teachers and professors were targeted. A multifarious drive was launched by the anti-Ahmadiyya lobby to permanently harm education among Ahmadi youth.

Ahmadi students have been made to face discrimination, isolation, violence and even murder. Efforts are made to deny them admission in professional colleges and institutes of higher learning and specialization. On petty pretexts, Ahmadi students have been expelled from colleges. A powerful hate campaign was launched against Ahmadiyyat and carried out to the extent that identity as an Ahmadi student is now a risk factor. Hostel facilities are denied to them for their faith. A humiliating social boycott is imposed against them in messes when they are told not to use the general mess crockery. On occasions, they faced loot, arson and violence in hostels. Their academic careers have been targeted at times. In a number of cases, brilliant Ahmadi students were declared ‘Fail’ in science practicals, as the examiners were free to exercise their discretion, and could not be subjected to accountability, as in written tests. After leaving the school or university, Ahmadi youth find it very hard to get employment. The government has almost closed its doors to recruitment of Ahmadis in military and civil service academies. This has disheartened at least a section of Ahmadi youth who now show a lack of adequate interest in the pursuit of higher education.

Rabwah, the Community's headquarters town, was particularly hit. It had excellent schools and colleges for men and women. Youth from other towns of the country, including non-Ahmadis, used to come here to study. However, since 1974, after these schools and colleges were taken over by the State, they were allowed to rot and deteriorate. The authorities took deliberate steps to mar the education at Rabwah and succeeded largely. It was arranged by the non-Ahmadi Principal at the T.I. College that a Khatam-e-Nabuwwat (Finality of Prophethood) Students Union was formed that undertook active sectarian student politics. This gave rise to tension and helped in damaging the academic environment. Most of the capable and experienced Ahmadi professors were transferred away from here and replaced by uninterested lecturers. The women's college at Rabwah, which was earlier renowned for its excellence, is now an ordinary college like most others in the Punjab. The post-graduate section building is now in a dilapidated state and the section is no longer proud of its results. Ahmadi students are discouraged from residing at the college hostel and almost all the boarders are non-Ahmadis. When Ahmadi students pass out from here, they face difficulties in getting a job as their diplomas and degrees show that they are from Rabwah, the Ahmadiyya town.

Ahmadi teachers and professors have had their share of persecution. Their parent offices maltreated most of them. They suffered remote postings, sometimes repeatedly, to multiply their difficulties. Senior professors were denied the posts of Principal. A few who were given the post faced protest from the powerful religious lobby, to the extent that they were either not allowed to take charge or forced to relinquish it. Ahmadis are denied administration and management posts both at the campuses as in the Head Office. Sometimes, even routine and ordinary postings are opposed by the religious lobby. Their favorite trick is to write letters of protest to the Department and to make press statements, which the yellow press readily prints. Often the situation is made impossible for the Ahmadi victims and he/she is tucked away at some remote location.

On the whole, Ahmadis have had a very rough ride in the field of education during the past 25 years in Pakistan. Almost a whole generation has suffered, and damage has been done. The persecution continues unabated and Ahmadis try to live with it. However, they have not lost hope and faith- their main assets.

From the Archives
Guess, Who is at the Helm? The Daily Pakistan in its issue of 7 March 1998, reported the meeting of the President with the delegation of the International Khatme Nabuwwat Movement (Finality of Prophethood) led by Maulana Abdul Hafeez Makkee. The delegation presented him a 10-point plan. The President appreciated the efforts of the Movement and urged them to work for the unity of Muslims from the Khatame Nabuwwat Movement's platform. The Movement's Secretary General, Maulana Manzoor Chinioti, was also present at the occasion alongwith some delegates from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

During those very days, Maulvi Chinioti addressed a meeting at Masjid Omar Farooq in Metroville area of Korangi Town, Karachi and spoke venomously against the Ahmadiyya Community. He referred to Mr. Tarar and said: “He is from Harakat-ul-Ansar (a well known religious organization involved in violence and terror- Ed.); we have expectations from him.”

On 11 August 1998, the Daily Nawa-i-Waqt reported in some detail the proceedings of the (Anti-Ahmadiyya) Khatame Nabuwwat seminar held at London. It was also reported that Maulana Chinioti represented there the President of Pakistan, Mr. Rafiq Tarar, and read out the President's message in the seminar.

Deputy Commissioner made to Explain his Faith The Daily Sadaqat of 18 October 1997 printed the following clarification and explanation :

I am Not a Qadiani — D.C. Bahawalnagar

BAHA WALNAGAR (MLI) I shall not become a Qadiani, if dubbed as one, said Mr. Suhail A Sheikh, Deputy Commissioner Bahawalnagar while talking to newsmen. He said: I am a Muslim and consider Hadrat Muhammad to be the last prophet; in my family there are Shias, Sunnis as also some Qadianis, while I am ‘alhamdolillah’ a Muslim and believe in one God, one Prophet and one Book.

A vain, unbecoming and unnecessary statement from a district manager.

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