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Home Media Reports 2010 Protect Ahmadis
Protect Ahmadis
Daily Times, Pakistan
Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Second Editorial: Protect Ahmadis

The recent incident of murder of an Ahmadi leader in Ferozewala, a city of Sheikhupura district situated near Lahore, is a sad reflection of how society chooses to treat a section of the minorities, variously known as Mirzais or Qadianis in Pakistan. What is more disconcerting though, is the apathy — rather collusion — of the state, which not only allows such incidents to take place under its very nose, it tends to protect the perpetrators. According to a series of reports published in this paper, Professor Mohammad Yousaf, leader of the Ahmadi community in Ferozewala, had sought police protection against sectarian zealots in his locality who had been threatening him. Allegedly, in response to this, two unidentified assailants shot him dead while he was at his general store. It was with some effort the family managed to lodge the FIR against the two murderers and four abettors known to the victim, who live in the same area. Instead of arresting the accused and investigating further, it is reported that the police let the four abettors go when they visited the police station with PML-N’s member of the Punjab Assembly Pir Ashraf Rasool. Meanwhile, both the police and the nominees in the FIR have been pressurising the family to withdraw the murder case. Alarmingly, even after the ghastly retribution visited upon Mohammad Yousaf, Khatam-e-Nabuwat Youth Wing’s signboard on the main roundabout of the town, which urges believers to kill and maim Islam’s enemies and to socially boycott Ahmadis, has not been removed.

While we are witnessing the gruesome consequences of promoting extremist Islam in the form of suicide attacks, this incident shows another dimension of the free rein given to hate-mongering mullahs. Most often the paranoia and hatred against Ahmadis inspired by self-styled Islamic leaders has taken a murderous turn. Not long ago, a TV presenter incited the wholesale murder of Ahmadis by declaring it an obligation for Muslims, as a result of which two targeted killings took place in Sindh. This continues unabated because of the failure of the concerned authorities to take action against the culprits. Apparently, it is due to a deep bias that runs through the entire system. There is a visible nexus of protection as demonstrated in this case. Whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim, the state is responsible to protect all citizens of Pakistan against oppression. It is these kinds of cases that really require judicial activism, as the legislature and executive have both been found siding with the perpetrators rather than the victims. *

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