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 Report on The Situation of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan 

What is unusual about the present status of Ahmadis in Pakistan is that not only are they excoriated as non-Muslims but they are not permitted to practice what they are...When they do so, however, they are accused of posing as Muslims - a crime punishable by up to three years' imprisonment under military Ordinance XX which has now been integrated into the Pakistan Penal Code.

Antonio Gaultieri


REPORTS OF HUMAN RIGHTS AGENCIES: C

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL dozens arrested

As in previous years, dozens of members of the Ahmadiyya community were arrested...They were released on bail while awaiting trial or while appealing against prison sentences, usually of between one and three years. One Ahmadi awaiting trial, who was reportedly involved only in practicing and explaining his religious beliefs, was charged under Section 295-C of the penal code prohibiting remarks derogatory to the prophet Mohammad. This section was amended in 1986 to provide for the death penalty.

Amnesty International Report 1988

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL Quranic verses inscribed

Members of the Ahmadiyya community..continued to be arrested... According to a newspaper report in September, 3,113 Ahmadis have been charged under this amendment. In December an Ahmadi traveling by bus to Faisalabad was reportedly confronted by two young men who demanded that he hand over his ring, which had Quranic verses inscribed on it. He refused and they demanded that the police register a case against him. He was reportedly charged with preaching his faith on the bus and sent to Chiniot Prison to await trial.

Amnesty International Report 1989

"CONSCIENCE AND COERCION:
AHMADI MUSLIMS AND ORTHODOXY IN PAKISTAN"

...maltreatment of Ahmadis at the hands of mullah-inspired mobs in collusion with government officials, for no other reason than professing and practicing their personal faith as Muslims, was worse than I had imagined. (p13)

It is of course possible that my Ahmadi informants have misled me; however, anyone who knows Ahmadis knows this construction would be so out of character as to strain credulity. (p21)

The cases of persecution to which I refer in the narrative that follows, by no means exhaust the record. They should be regarded as specimens of a widespread campaign against Ahmadis. (p23)

trials not ended with accession to power of Benazir Bhutto

It is depressing to note that the trials of the Ahmadis under General Zia have not ended with the accession to power of Benazir Bhutto. (p23)

What is unusual about the present status of Ahmadis in Pakistan is that not only are they excoriated as non-Muslims but they are not permitted to practice what they are...When they do so, however, they are accused of posing as Muslims - a crime punishable by up to three years' imprisonment under military Ordinance XX which has now been integrated into the Pakistan Penal Code. (p28)

The concept of posing as a Muslim presupposes the competency of government functionaries to ascertain inward motives and intentions, for the notion of "posing" implies doing something hypocritically,...But this scrutiny of the heart is patently impossible.... (p28)

refused right to define themselves

The Ahmadis seem quite resigned that...they will be characterized as non-Muslims; what they find impossible to tolerate is that they are refused the right to define themselves as Muslims and to practice that divinely commanded way of life which is - apart perhaps from the intensity of its devotion - indistinguishable from that of orthodox Muslims. (p28)

Ahmadis, of course, deny they are feigning an identity by performing x or y Islamic acts. Through these acts they are expressing their essential selfhood. Moreover, in the absence of a confession, feigning or impersonating is nearly impossible to prove. Therefore the charge is, if not nearly illogical, one which could never be proven: short of the confession that, "I was pretending to be a Muslim when I called my faith Islam but, in truth, I am not." (p31)

... how does the state justify the suppression of a group's or an individuals right to self-definition when no overt anti-social act which might be defined as a criminal offense has been committed? (p32)

... a Sunni Muslim gives the azan, the call to prayer, and so does the Ahmadi Muslim. In the first case, the azan is judged to be legally appropriate and socially correct; in the second case, the azan is judged to be inauthentic, condemning the perpetrator to the charge of posing. (p33)

Orwellian attempt at thought control

... Section 298C... amounts to a kind of Orwellian attempt at thought control...one is to be tried on the basis of one's inner state of mind or intentions... (p33)

Prosecuting such a charge is, in effect, to claim that one has access to the minds of others by means of some kind of ideological electronic brain electrodes. (p33)

This amounts, in effect, to enforced apostasy, to the denial of their self-identity... (p34)

The Ahmadis cannot deny their Muslim identity because they live under God's revelation in the the Qu'ran which explicitly calls the name of their revealed religion, Islam. To repudiate their self-designation as Muslims is denying, in effect, their loyalty to the divine author of the Qur'an. This they are not prepared to do on pain of suffering and death. (p34)

"CONSCIENCE AND COERCION:
AHMADI MUSLIMS AND ORTHODOXY IN PAKISTAN"

Antonio Gaultieri,Guernica, Montreal, 1989
ISBN 0-920717-41-1

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF PAKISTAN

LAHORE
DATED: JUNE 7, 1989.

PRESS RELEASE

THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF PAKISTAN HAS NOTED WITH CONCERN THE STATEMENT MADE BY A SPOKESMAN OF THE GOVERNMENT OF PUNJAB DENYING THE REPORT OF HRCP ON THE ANTI-AHMADI RIOTS AT NANKANA SAHIB. THE STATEMENT PUBLISHED ON 6.6.89 NOT ONLY DENIED ALLEGATIONS MADE BY HRCP REGARDING ADMINISTRATIVE INACTION BUT ALSO JUSTIFIED THE RIOT ON THE GROUNDS THAT THE AHMADIA COMMUNITY DESERVED SUCH VIOLENCE AS THEY REFUSED TO ACCEPT A MINORITY STATUS. HRCP BELIEVES THAT REGARDLESS OF THE SOCIAL, ECONOMIC, RELIGIOUS, OR POLITICAL STATUS OF CITIZENS, THE STATE IS BOUND TO PROTECT ITS CITIZENS. THE CONSTITUTION OF PAKISTAN GUARANTEES EQUAL TREATMENT IN LAW, PROTECTION OF LIFE, PROPERTY AND LIBERTY OF EACH CITIZEN. THE STATE CANNOT BE PERMITTED TO DISCRIMINATE AMONGST CITIZENS ON THE BASIS OF BELIEF. GOVERNMENTS ARE DUTY BOUND TO PROTECT EVERY CITIZEN PARTICULARLY THOSE WHO ARE VICTIMIZED BECAUSE OF THEIR BELIEF, SEX OR CREED.

THE COMMISSION HAS DEMANDED THAT THE GOVERNMENT SET UP A JUDICIAL ENQUIRY INTO THE HAPPENINGS AT NANKANA SAHIB. ALL MEASURES SHOULD BE TAKEN TO DISCOURAGE CRIMINAL ACTION RATHER THAN ENCOURAGE IT AND JUSTIFY IT.

(ASMA JAHANGIR)
SECRETARY GENERAL
THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF PAKISTAN


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