The sad plight of the Ahmadiyya in Pakistan

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There is no better illustration of the plight of the Ahmadiyya people in Pakistan than a recent video put out in the public domain by the London-based NGO, International Human Rights Committee (IHRC).

In the video, with English subtitles and uploaded on Twitter, an Imam in Rawalpindi is seen threatening to break the legs of a school headmaster, finding it inconceivable that an Ahmadiyya could be appointed to such a professional position, his qualifications and experience notwithstanding.

Sadly, police in Pakistan often let violence against the Ahmadiyya go unpunished, and Mullahs incite mobsters through incendiary propaganda speeches on social media and otherwise to create social disturbance with the objective of killing an innocent citizen of Pakistan. Headmaster Masood Bhatti has become the target of Qari Idrees, Imam
of the Ahl-e-Hadees Mosque in Eidgah Chowk, Rahmatabad, Rawalpindi, according to the IHRC.

The English translation, provided by IHRC of Imam Idrees’s speech in Urdu makes for shocking reading.

He says, “We praise the Lord and invoke blessings on His esteemed Prophet, peace be upon him. I seek refuge in Allah from Satan the accursed. In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, ever Merciful. Mohammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Prophet of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets. And surely Allah has full knowledge of things. I’m (now) talking to the residents of Rahmatabad, Chaklala, Dhok Munshi Khan. I’ve just received news about Rahmatabad High School, in which (many of) our Muslim children are taking education. Their numbers vary from 1,500 to 2,000. There, a Mirzai/Qadiani, Masood Bhatti, has been appointed as headmaster. I strongly condemn this decision and appeal to the officials of the school, Commissioner and Management that his cursed person should be sacked immediately. Under nocondition, will we accept Masood Bhatti as headmaster. We will not allow him to come to school whatsoever. If he tries to come, he will not go back on his legs.”

After having openly challenged the appointment of Bhatti as Headmaster and threatening to break his legs, if he dared to come to the school, Imam Idrees goes on to say that if there is bloodshedor damage, the education officials and management would be responsible.
He, therefore, appeals to the school management to sack the headmaster with immediate effect. Idrees is also seen in the video appealing to “the clergy of that area, and I say to the residents of Rahmatabad, that you have a history. You have always stood firm against Mirzais and Qadianis. We will defy this cursed man”. Unfortunately, authorities in Pakistan have supported discrimination and persecution through the Second Amendment to the Pakistani Constitution, passed on 7 September 1974, which declared that Ahmadiyyas are not Muslims, and Ordinance XX, promulgated on 26 April 1984, that forbids references to Islam and even the use of Islamic terms and titles for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at.

The truth is that the Ahmadiyya in Pakistan do not even have the right to be called Muslims. They are indicated with derogatory terms like “Mirzai,” from the name of the founder of their movement, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908), or “Qadiani,” from the fact that Qadian is their holy city in the Indian Punjab, the birth and burial place of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

Recently, on 26 April 2023, large numbers of people belonging to minority communities gathered outside the Lahore Press Club to protest the increased false cases of blasphemy allegations and forced conversions of minor girls.

The protesters demanded the government enact an effective law to stop the misuse of the Blasphemy Law. Minority leaders addressed the gathering and said that Hindu temples and Churches are being burnt in the country and people were killed on false allegations of

blasphemy. He further said that in recent months there has been a surge in such cases where 3-4 members of the minority community have been deliberately killed and Ahmadiyya mosques have been demolished. While Ahmadiyyas are the primary targets, other minorities like Hindus and Christians have also been targeted.

More recently, even a Sri Lankan was lynched and burnt alive over allegations of blasphemy. In its Annual Report on the state of human rights in 2022, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, released on 26 April this year, said members of the Ahmadiyya community were targeted and several of their places of worship and over 90 graves desecrated, primarily in Punjab.
In a separate incident, an Ahmaddiya community Mosque was demolished in the Mirpur Khas in Sindh province.

The Shias in Pakistan are also continuously being targeted. On 4 May 2023, gunmen stormed a school in the Kurram district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and killed seven Shia teachers. The tribal district has a majority Shi'ite population often attacked by Sunni terrorist groups from the local Taliban movement. Sunni militants regard Shi'ites as heretics. In Pakistan, there are many of these “criminals,” and members of their community are constantly harassed and attacked, beaten, or even killed, by criminals who think it is their duty to punish them publicly.

“There are many cases like Masood Bhatti’s,” says Nasim Malik, Secretary General of IHRC, speaking to Bitter Winter. “We just reported his case, singling him out, to alert the world and lit a light on a situation that became unbearable in Pakistan. There are many Masood Bhattis who are discriminated and threatened in their daily life and job just for the ’crime’ of being Ahmadi. How long will this continue?” This is the million-dollar question, in a nation soon to be overtaken by turmoil.

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