Burewala, District Vehari; November 18, 2008: Unknown pillion riders murdered Mr. Muhammad Ghazanfar Chattha, Ahmadi, in Burewala on November 18, 2008.
Mr. Chattha was an Inspector Finance in the community organization. He was visiting the district president of the Ahmadiyya community when unknown assailants fired at him. He died on the spot. The assassins fled after the attack.
He is survived by his wife, one teen-aged son and three daughters. Two of the daughters are college students, while the third suffers from a mental illness.
This is the sixth Ahmadi death for their faith this year. Since the promulgation of anti-Ahmadi Ordinance XX in 1984 Mr. Chattha has become the 96th Ahmadi to die at the hands of violent extremists and criminals.
Rawalpindi; November 8, 2008: The police of R.A. Bazaar, Rawalpindi registered a case under law PPC 298-C that is specific to Ahmadis, on November 8, 2008 against two Ahmadis with FIR 691/2008. They arrested Mr. Abdul Hameed Ghani and Mr. Habib Ahmad. The former is the president of the local Ahmadi community, while the latter attends to Ahmadis’ moral and religious education.
The two Ahmadis were accused of using a house for community worship; this allegedly hurt the sentiments of Muslims. The accusation is mala fide as the building is used for various community functions including worship. This is because no mosque is available to Ahmadis to offer regular prayers; also, it is not true that the practice hurt the sentiments of Muslims. No Muslim came forward to have his complaint registered; the police registered the case on its own initiative. It was their own undertaking. It is noteworthy that in the same week Mr. Zardari the President of Pakistan was at the United Nations to participate in the High-Level meeting where it was declared inter alia: “The meeting further recalled that all States have pledged themselves under the Charter to promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all including freedoms of belief and expression without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.” Mr. Ban Ki-moon rightly advised: “The challenge now is to go beyond the powerful, positive words we have heard these past two days.”
The Government of Pakistan should take note that the authorities have not formally allowed Ahmadis to build a single mosque in Pakistan for years. In June this year the authorities tore down an under-construction Ahmadiyya mosque in Bhabhra Heelan in Kotli, Azad Kashmir. They also registered a police case against the Ahmadis of Kotli city for undertaking repairs and improvements to their place of worship. At Barali, in the same district, the authorities forcibly stopped construction of an Ahmadiyya mosque. These were enormous crimes committed by the law-enforcing body. If Ahmadis do not have a proper place to worship, and they are not allowed to build one, they have to pray somewhere – so why not in their own house? The Rawalpindi police is not even 20 kilometers away from the capital from where those that govern announce routinely ‘powerful, positive words’ in support of freedom of religion and faith.
The two arrested Ahmadi men, who otherwise are law-abiding citizens, were locked up by the police. Two days later when they applied to the magistrate for release on bail, he rejected their plea. The police, administration and judiciary in the twin city, that is faced with the mega-problem of terrorism, are farcical (Marriott Hotel, Lal Masjid etc), and waste their time and energy in detaining peaceful citizens who pray in their private property.
Ten days later, the Session Court heard the bail applications. The judge decided to release them against surety. They will however face the unnecessary and futile trial, where, if declared guilty (for offering prayers at home) they could be sent to prison for three years. Would Quaid-i-Azam recognize the present-day Pakistan as his legacy? The politicians and authorities pay no attention to what the great man told the Assembly on 11th August 1947 in his speech, that is on record.
Rabwah: The daily Dawn of November 26, 2008 published a letter to the editor. It is self-explanatory and is reproduced below:
Kunri, Sindh; November 19, 2008: It should be recalled that in the month of September 2008, two Ahmadi presidents of district communities in Sindh were murdered, one after the other, in broad daylight. While Ahmadis were facing such attacks from religious thugs, the Sindh Police, rather than protecting them, was busy in supporting the mulla. On September 14, 2008 they accused Rana Khalil Ahmad, Ahmadi of writing a ‘blasphemous’ letter to the Khatib of Jame Masjid, Kunri. Mr. Rashid Iqbal was accused of writing something religious on the road with chalk.
Both these gentlemen were charged under the blasphemy clauses 295A and 295C, under the cover of the anti-terrorism law. Rana Khalil Ahmad was arrested. Since then he has been in prison. He applied for release on bail. On November 19, the judge rejected his plea. He remains in prison.
Rana Khalil Ahmad is an old man and earns his living from a small retail store. He lost a leg in an accident, and walks with the help of crutches.
This is the response of the administration, police and judiciary to terrorism in Pakistan!
Chakral, District Chakwal: Mr. Mansur Ahmad’s family is the only Ahmadi family in Chakral. On October 12, 2008 extremist elements set fire to his house.
Mansur had gone away earlier with his family, but on the day of the incident, he alone had come back home. At the time they set his house on fire he was sleeping inside. It was approximately 2 A.M. One of the rooms was destroyed while the other was partially damaged.
Mr. Mansur escaped unhurt, fortunately. The perpetrators of the crime collected his religious literature including the Holy Quran and set it on fire along with other combustible household items. The damage amounted to approximately Rs. 100,000. They also took his computer and printer.
It is noteworthy that the local mulla recently initiated a vilification campaign against Mr. Mansur.
Mr. Mansur reported the incident to the police. No arrests have since been made, as yet.
Since the promulgation of Amendment No. II to the Constitution in 1974, the authorities have implemented the policy of reducing to the minimum the availability of state jobs to Ahmadis. Prior to 1974, Ahmadis joined government service in great numbers, as the literacy rate in their community was among the highest. However, with the passing of Amendment No. II to the Constitution, that declared Ahmadis as non-Muslims, a message was sent to one and all that Ahmadis could be discriminated against with impunity. As a result, the intake of Ahmadis in the military and the civil service, as officers, was reduced to a trickle.
Prior to 1974, there were many Ahmadis who served as pilots in the Pakistan Air Force. One of them, Zafar Chaudhry, an ace pilot, rose to the rank of Air Marshal and was appointed Chief of the Air Staff. However, after that, the intake of Ahmadi pilots was reduced significantly.
One exception occurred two years ago when one, Saeed Ahmad Nazir, an Ahmadi youth was selected in the GD Pilot branch of the PAF. He was doing well in his training. In the aircraft technical tests (ATTs) he scored 96% marks. In flying he did 17 missions, of which four were solo. At that stage, his instructor turned sectarian and failed him in flying missions. When Nazir protested, he said: “(Do not forget) Air Force is very small and I’ll always be your senior.” Later, in one of the gatherings when asked by other trainees, he replied that nothing was wrong with Nazir’s flying but because of “reasons that could not be stated,” they had to suspend him.
Thus only a few days before the graduation, Nazir was rejected. He left the PAF with a heavy heart. They offered him a post in a secondary branch of the air force. However, his friends advised him that there was no point in staying in an organization where he would face discrimination throughout his career.
District Sargodha: Dr Shafqatullah, an Ahmadi in government service was forced by scheming and violent extremists to shift his home to another town recently.
Dr Shafqatullah has been Incharge of the government hospital at Sobagha, district Sargodha for the last 15 years. He is a conscientious, hard working professional and his hospital is doing well. He also has good reputation. His superiors have often praised his work.
Permitted by his department, he has a house and a clinic inside the hospital. The public also finds this arrangement useful. The doctor is a practicing Ahmadi, and in his off-time he undertakes community service. He shares a farm with his uncle at Chak 152 North in the same district.
Anti-Ahmadiyya activists do not like Dr Shafqatullah’s good reputation and standing in the society. Over the past 5-6 years they opposed him in public, and fomented agitation against him. They threatened both his person and property. They even mentioned murder and abduction of his children. They sent applications and made frivolous complaints against him with the district authorities.
In the month of September this year, these miscreants added poison to the drinking water tank meant for the doctor’s farm buffalos kept for milk. Eight of those died within 2 to 3 hours. This was a heavy financial loss to him.
The doctor, sensing that threats were now turning into material harm, consulted his friends. They advised him that to remain relatively safe, he should shift residence. He has moved as advised.
Rabwah; November 29, 2008: The daily Jang, Lahore published a story on the civic situation of Rabwah in its issue of November 29, 2008. Its translation is produced below:
South African Sunni mullas have a fairly long history of hostility towards Ahmadis. They went to the courts in 1986 to seek a verdict in a case regarding one burial of a (Lahori) Ahmadi in a Muslim graveyard. The court verdict was not to the satisfaction of these mullas, although they were provided legal and theological help from as far as Pakistan. Pakistani government and clerics (including Dr Ghazi, later a member of General Musharraf’s National Security Council) went out of their way to oppose Ahmadis in South Africa.
Recently, the so-called Muslim Judicial Council of South Africa published a Fatwa against “Ahmadis Qadianis”. It is interesting to note that immediately prior to the issue of this Fatwa, mulla Ilyas Chinioti (a resident of Chiniot in Punjab, Pakistan) had gone all the way to South Africa to participate in various functions and meetings of the Khatme Nabuwwat organization there. It is obvious from this that Pakistan mullas fly oversees to spread their mischief in distant lands. A story titled Disinformation campaign appears elsewhere in this News Report, regarding Chinioti.
The fatwa carries the stamp of Majlis Ifta and is signed by its acting-president and the head of the fatwa department. Its contents and tone display extreme of religious bigotry and intolerance. It is a model of what a tolerant religious dispensation should not do. A few excerpts from the fatwa are reproduced below (sic):
Note the use of capitals and bold letters. The wording and scope of the fatwa are amazing. It is this kind of thinking and action that brings disrepute to religion in general and Islam in particular.
Mitha Tiwana, District Khushab: The activists of Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat have targeted District Khushab for years. The notorious mulla Athar Shah who precipitated the Takht Hazara massacre in November 2000, was later appointed in District Khushab where he continued to spread hatred and unrest against Ahmadis.
Activists of the Aalami Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat have recently been very active in Mitha Tiwana. They distributed hate literature against Ahmadis. They agitated against an Ahmadi teacher in the local Government High School, and distributed pamphlets and write-ups among the staff and school children.
One of these pamphlets is titled: “Qadiani masnuat ka boycott — Ek jazbati Naara ya Imani taqaza” (قادیانی مصنوعات کا بائیکاٹ - ایک جذباتی نعرہ یا ایمانی حقیقت) i.e. Boycott of Ahmadiyya products — a mere agitational slogan or a genuine demand of faith? The pamphlet describes the case of some political rebels in the early days of Islam as apostates and reminds the reader that they were put to death for their claims to Prophethood. The founder of Ahmadiyyat is included in the pamphlet in the same tradition. The pamphlet is scandalous and provocative and is written in foul language. It mentions all the well-known Ahmadiyya houses of business in the country and urges the reader to boycott their products.
It calls all Ahmadis ‘robbers’, and urges termination of all interaction and social relations with them. In turn, the pamphlet offers the glad tidings that, “Allah will grant you the bliss of the holy drink from the fountain of Kauther in the paradise from the blessed hand of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and you will also receive his recommendation to be saved.” It reminds the reader that: “The first sign of one’s love for the Holy Prophet (pbuh) of Allah is to hate his enemies.”
The publishers have boldly printed their address on the pamphlet as below:
Is the state prepared to act against these agents of ill-will and hatred, or will it suffice that its President attend the high level meeting at the UN, where finally the Secretary General had to say: “The challenge now is to go beyond the powerful, words…”.
Ahmad Nagar, September 28, 2008: Ahmad Nagar is a large village on the north-western outskirts of Rabwah. It has a mixed population, Ahmadis and non-Ahmadis.
Ramadan is a lunar month of fasting, and Muslim are expected to be more mild, tolerant and good in this holy month. The twenty-seventh of Ramadan has a special significance with most Muslims, and they tend to be more charitable and pious on this date. However, the anti-Ahmadi mullas of Ahmad Nagar, Chenab Nagar and Chiniot have a different perception and set of priorities.
On 27th Ramadan this year, these mullas organized a big anti-Ahmadiyya event at Masjid Bilal in Ahmad Nagar. They indulged in slander and badmouthing against Ahmadis throughout the night. Their language was highly provocative and hurtful.
In addition, these mullas declared that members of the Ahmadiyya Community were apostates and deserved to be put to death (Wajab-ul-Qatl واجب القتل). One of them said that this kind of murder was a pious duty (Muqaddas freezah مقدس فریضہ). This exhortation could lead some of their flock to commit heinous crime. It is this kind of ‘preaching’ that led to the assassination of three Ahmadis in Sindh in the month of September.
Ahmadiyya headquarters informed the authorities of this. We do not know if they took any concrete action.
Chiniot; November 16, 2008: Mulla Ilyas Chinioti is the son of the late Mulla Manzur Ahmad Chinioti who spent his entire life in opposition to Ahmadiyyat. The senior Chinioti claimed all the credit for success in persuading Mian Brothers of Lahore to change the name of Rabwah to Chenab Nagar. He used to boast that this change was the fruit of 30 years of efforts. Not all his efforts were, of course, bloodless. He died a few years ago, and now mulla Ilyas Chinioti has inherited his father’s mission which he performs in the same manner and style. Disinformation is an important element of this. We quote below only the headlines of his statement that was published by the daily ‘Amn’ of Faisalabad on 16 November, 2008:
We are not in a position to comment on the authenticity of Chinioti’s statement, but it can be firmly asserted that ‘Qadiani monsters’ have played no part in it. His accusation is another one of his numerous lies.
The Amn reported that ‘Member of the Punjab Assembly, Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Chinioti disclosed all this to our correspondent on telephone, on return from his successful moralizing tour (Tablighee Daurah تبلیغی دورہ) of South Africa.”
United Nations: According to a press report in the Daily Times of November 13, 2008 King Abdullah, the initiator of the global dialogue on interfaith, told the gathering of over 60 representatives from around the world that roots of all global crises could be found in human denial of eternal principles of justice. The paper reported the event under the following headline:
The king is right. But one is immediately reminded of the sad state of religious intolerance in his own country that became manifest in an incident two years ago when the Saudi religious police raided the Ahmadiyya center at Jeddah at about 2.00 P.M. on December 29, 2006. The police detained all the Ahmadis present there including women, children and an 8 month old infant. Some of the arrested were handcuffed and even shackled. All these innocent prisoners were maltreated for reasons not stated. They were then put on expulsion notice, although Amnesty International appealed to the Saudi Arabian authorities to halt the expulsion of all those targeted solely for their actual or suspected connection with the Ahmadiyya religious community. The Daily Times made an editorial comment on the incident in its issue of January 11, 2007 and gave it the title: Islamic cleansing. The Saudi authorities however persisted in their persecution drive and expelled almost all these Ahmadis. All of these had been legally working in the kingdom for years. None has been allowed to come back.
In these circumstances, all concerned, but more than others the good Saudi monarch should think over the advice of the UN Secretary general Ban ki-moon offered at the same forum: “The challenge now is to go beyond the powerful, positive words we have heard these past two days”, and proceed with the implementation of his own advice.