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Green Town Police to remove Quranic verses from Ahmadis’ shops
By Rana Tanveer
LAHORE: The Green Town Police is set to launch an operation to remove verses of the holy Quran from more than 20 shops of the Ahmadiya community on College Road, Township, on the complaint of local traders, sources told Daily Times.
The community owns shops of electronics, hardware and home appliances on the road as well as over 200 houses in C-Block of nearby Township. Some of the people have written verses from the Quran (like the kalima) on the front of their shops and houses.
According to local Ahmadiya residents, the traders of the locality were seeking action against them over business rivalries. They said they had written the verses to receive God’s blessings. They said the verses had been written on their houses and shops for many years, and some extremists were now seeking action against them for their own gains.
Members of the Ahmadiya community claimed that their opponents had distributed pamphlets on many occasions, urging the locals to boycott the community, not talk to them, shake hands with them, or shop at their stores.
Waseem Amjad Mahmood, a community leader, said on the complaint of the owners of a local shop Al-Makkah Electronics, the Green Town Police had warned the community to remove all Islamic writing from their houses and shops, or the police would do it.
Sayyed Farrukh Hafeez, another member of the community, told Daily Times that the police had told him to remove a plaque from his front door, which carried a Quranic verse. He said he had removed the plaque. He said local shopkeepers often passed derogatory remarks against the Ahmadiya community.
Hafeez claimed some young men had made videos of the Ahmadiya houses on some occasions. He said some Taliban elements might be behind this.
Abdul Qayyum Mughal, another member of the community, said he had also filed an application with the Green Town Police, seeking action against some locals for hurling stones at his house, which had broken some windowpanes. He said the police did not take any action.
Green Town Police Station House Officer (SHO) Inspector Ghulam Abbas told Daily Times that after receiving an application against the Ahmadiya community, he had called them to the police station, and had told them to remove the verses of the holy Quran. He said he would make the community remove the verses from their shops in the next couple of days.
Tauseef, the proprietor of Al-Makkah Electronics, told Daily Times that the application against the Ahmadiya community had been moved from the platform of the International Majlis Khatam-e-Nabuwat. He denied that bricks were thrown at the houses of the community. He said there were laws against the community.
Human Rights activist Hina Jillani said no one had the right to impose his will on anyone else. She said there were some restrictions on the Ahmadiya community by law, but no one had the right to harass others.
Jamia Naeemia patron Dr Raghib Naeemi told Daily Times that the Ahmadiya community could not do the things barred to them by the Prohibition of Qadianiat Ordinance, 1984. According to Section 298-B of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), the community cannot call its places of worship a ‘masjid’ and cannot give the call to prayer (azan). According to Section 298-C of the PPC, they cannot pose themselves as Muslims, directly or indirectly.