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Author: Mirza Tahir Ahmad ra, 4th Caliph of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Description: Any divide between revelation and rationality, religion and logic has to be irrational. If religion and rationality cannot proceed hand in hand, there has to be something deeply wrong with either of the two. Does revelation play any vital role in human affairs? Is not rationality sufficient to guide man in all the problems which confront him? Numerous questions such as these are examined with minute attention.
No. of Pages: 756 (read it online)
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Home Critical Analysis/Archives Enforced Apostasy: …
Enforced Apostasy: Zaheeruddin v. State and the Official Persecution of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan

III. The Decision in Zaheeruddin v. State
G. The Zaheeruddin Decision Incites Violence.

In Zaheeruddin, the Pakistan Court indirectly incited the murder of Ahmadis. *227 After misquoting and presenting false statements allegedly made by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Pakistan Court legitimized violent action against Ahmadis when it asked, “can anyone blame a Muslim if he loses control of himself on hearing, reading or seeing such blasphemous material as has been produced by Mirza [Ghulam Ahmad] Sahib?” *228 The Pakistan Court, after portraying a false picture of Ahmadi beliefs, gave license to perpetrators of violence against Ahmadis. Furthermore, the Court declared that allowing an Ahmadi to display his Islamic identity “is like creating a [Salman] Rushdie out of him. Can the administration in that case guarantee [the Ahmadis'] life, liberty and property and if so at what cost?” *229 The Pakistan Court “further denigrated Ahmadi Muslims by referring to them as ‘hyper-sensitive’.” *230 By restricting Ahmadi rights in the name of public order, the Pakistan Court gave license to the opponents of Ahmadis to create more disorder and violence in the name of defending their faith and the Prophet Muhammad's honor. Further, the Court emboldened the authorities and the general public to abuse, molest and kill Ahmadis in the name of Islam. *231


227
See Zaheeruddin, 1993 S.C.M.R. at 1777-78. See also supra notes 205-06 and accompanying text; H.R. Con. Res. 370, supra note 14.
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228
Zaheeruddin, 1993 S.C.M.R. at 1777 (emphasis added). By making this statement, the Pakistan Court constructed a direct relation between Ordinance XX and the Blasphemy Law of the Pakistan Penal Code 295C.

When an Ahmadi or Ahmadis display in public on a placard, a badge or a poster or write on walls or ceremonial gates or buntings, the “Kalima”, or chant other “Shaee're Islam” it would amount to publicly defiling the name of Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) [peace be upon him] and also other Prophets...

Id. at 1778. Ahmadi beliefs were therefore judicially declared blasphemous. Ahmadis are now subject to charges pursuant to 295C which carries a mandatory death sentence. See supra note 65. The State now pursues prosecutions of Ahmadis via 295C instead of Ordinance XX because of the severity of the punishment under the former. See Pakistan's Blasphemy Laws Are Abused - Amnesty, Reuter Newswire, July 27, 1994.

The International Commission of Jurists reported on the ramifications of the addition of 295C to the Pakistan Penal Code.

This new offence of blasphemy, with its extremely severe penalty, is likely to make it even more difficult for Ahmadis to pursue their faith as the application of the previous legislation has already established the way in which their teachings are viewed. There can be little doubt that the specific claim to prophethood for Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, whatever the qualifications applied to it, will inevitably be regarded as defilement by “imputation, innuendo, or insinuation.”

Petren et al., supra note 22, at 113. The Pakistan Supreme Court's yielding to the will of ex parte mullahs is no surprise considering the Court's historical label of timidity. See Mahmud, supra note 209, at 1230.
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229
Zaheeruddin, 1993 S.C.M.R. at 1778. “By stating that allowing an Ahmadi to display Islamic symbols in public is like creating a Salman Rushdie out of him, the Court had made a direct incitement to kill Ahmadis.” Robert F. Drinan, Pakistan Falls Short On Religious Freedom, Christian Sci. Mon., Jan. 5, 1994, at 23. Rushdie was publicly sentenced to death by Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran for the offense of blasphemy. See Yousef M. Ibrahim, Muslim Edicts Take on New Force, N.Y. Times, Feb. 12, 1995, at A14; Forte, supra note 23, at 57-58 (showing that the mere public expression of Ahmadi religious belief “is seen by militants as blasphemous”).
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230
Parker, supra note 99, at 10, citing Zaheeruddin, 1993 S.C.M.R. at 1779.
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231
Whenever any Islamic state has sought to enforce the law of apostasy, it has inevitably set loose private acts of terror and execution against the one who [allegedly] forsook Islam. It re-establishes tribal and clan vengeance within Islam. If an Islamic state, such as Pakistan, is created over tribal cultures, the result is predictable.

Forte, supra note 23, at 56.
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