Religious Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
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Author: Dr. Karimullah Zirvi
Description: Excellent book on Islam with the best introduction ever on Ahmadiyyat. It explains what Ahmadiyyat is, it's aims and objects, differences between Ahmadi and non-Ahmadi Muslims, our chanda system, Nizam-e-Jama'at, etc. (read it online)
US$15.00 [Order]
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]

Home Media Reports 2011 Pakistan’s persecuted minorities: For Ahmadi…
Pakistan’s persecuted minorities: For Ahmadi refugees in Thailand, problems double back home
Express Tribune, Pakistan
Pakistan’s persecuted minorities: For Ahmadi refugees in Thailand, problems double back home
By Abdul Manan
Published: July 5, 2011
A Pakistani refugee who is a member of the Ahmadiyya, an Islamic minority sect, carries his daughter as he is released from a detention centre in Bangkok June 6, 2011. PHOTO: REUTERS/ FILE
A Pakistani refugee who is a member of the Ahmadiyya, an Islamic minority sect, carries his daughter as he is released from a detention centre in Bangkok June 6, 2011. PHOTO: REUTERS/ FILE

BANGKOK: Irfanul Mulk may have been able to find temporary shelter in Thailand, but those who forced him out of Pakistan are now flexing their muscles to bring him back.

Irfan, 27, left his village Taban in Punjab’s Sheikhupura district after he and his two brothers Furqanul Mulk, 21, and Umer Sultan, 31, were held under Pakistan Penal Code’s Section 298-C which prohibits Ahmadis from calling themselves Muslim or “in any manner whatsoever outrages the religious feelings of Muslims”. A police case was lodged against them but residents refused to calm down, and the three men decided to leave the country.

“When people of the village learnt about our detention and asylum applications, they approached the Sheikhupura District police chief and submitted an application seeking our repatriation to Pakistan calling us traitors who had maligned the country abroad,” Irfan told The Express Tribune.

Since then, the police have raided their home several times and their elder brother Haider Sultan, who stayed back in Pakistan, is facing constant threats.

Representatives of the Tehrik-i-Khatm-i-Nubuwat, an organisation that has repeatedly attacked the Ahmadiyya community for its religious beliefs, have even written to the US Embassy in Pakistan, warning them against giving American nationality to Irfan and his brothers.

But while Irfan and his brothers had to suffer at the hands of their neighbours, there are others who have been persecuted by their own families.

Syed Altaf Hussain Bukhari, the grandson of a renowned pir* whose shrine is located on the outskirts of Islamabad, moved to Thailand in November 2010 with his wife Sadia and their two children. They were forced to flee after his family cut off ties with them for having converted in 1996 to the Ahmadi faith and even subjected him to physical torture.

“When I announced that I was becoming an Ahmadi, my brothers and a cousin, who was the caretaker of the shrine at that point, immediately denounced their relationship with me,” he said. His brothers started telling followers that he was not their real brother as their father had adopted him. Pamphlets bearing his photograph were distributed in Sheikhupura, calling him liable to be murdered.

To protect his wife and children, Altaf, who survived the deadly attacks on Ahmadiyya worship places in Lahore in May 2010, left his ancestral village to move to Sheikhupura and eventually, in 2003, he moved to Lahore where they went into hiding.

Once his people back home learnt that he was seeking asylum in Thailand, they started threatening his father-in-law as well.

Shahid Mehmood, who fled from Multan where he had an established business, said that he had witnessed the beheading of two Ahmadi doctors in March 2009 and insisted on registering an FIR against a pir for instigating his followers to murder Ahmadis. “His followers would visit my shop daily and try to persuade me to withdraw the case,” says Mehmood. “I went to three senior police officers who threw the file in my face and told me that they were followers of [the pir] and could not dare to proceed against him.”

But after another Ahmadi man Rana Ataul Kareem was murdered in August 2009 and the case was traced back to the pir, Mehmood started to receive threats. In September 2010, Mehmood, his wife and four children, arrived in Bangkok.

Back home, Mehmood’s shops have been closed and his house has been sealed.

Many families decided to send younger members abroad while parents stayed back. Aamir Ali, 22, left his village Pasrur in Punjab’s Sialkot district along with his three sisters. But after news of them seeking asylum spread, villagers started to taunt their mother, who has had to regularly switch homes.

* The name of the pir is being withheld on the request of Bukhari.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2011.

Copyrighted © 2011 The Express Tribune News Network
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