It is with great regret and concern that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat notes the increased number of hate filled conferences being held throughout Pakistan by various extreme organisations who claim to be acting in accordance with the teachings of Islam. These conferences are being held solely for the purpose of igniting and spreading anti-Ahmadiyya sentiment far and wide.
One recent example was the Khatme Nabuwwat Conference held in Rabwah (Ahmadiyya Headquarters in Pakistan) on 28 February 2010. This two day conference was widely publicised in the Pakistani Press.
The Daily Ausaf of 1 March 2010 reported that throughout the conference all the speakers utilised the platform to abuse the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and to incite the mass population into targeting Ahmadis. It is of the utmost concern that at such conferences and rallies Ahmadis are being declared ‘Wajibul Qatl’ which translates as ‘Liable to Death’. Thus those attending the rallies, many of whom are uneducated and living impoverished lives, are being coerced into killing or violently attacking Ahmadis with the promise that they will be rewarded by God for their evil acts.
The hate filled organisations are continually producing literature to complement the vitriolic tone of their conferences. The literature is spread far and wide and even though it clearly transcends all levels of decency the authors are not subjected to any sanction whatsoever. One example is the recently published ‘World Tahaffuz-e-Khatme Nabuwwat Council Calendar 2010’ which states that the only ‘cure for Qadianis’ is a violent Jihad. Furthermore it asserts that Ahmadis have no right to live in Pakistan and that the ‘streets should be cleansed of Ahmadis’. The rhetoric is particularly concerning given that the recent history of Pakistan shows that ordinary Pakistanis are being influenced to such an extent that they act upon these orders. Earlier this month three Ahmadis were brutally killed in Faisalabad which has become a centre for anti-Ahmadiyya violence.
Due to the imposition of anti-Ahmadiyya laws in 1974 and 1984 the targeting of Ahmadi Muslims has gained a form of legitimacy which is being continually taken advantage of by extremist factions. This despite the fact that Article 20 of Pakistan’s Constitution guarantees each citizen’s freedom to ‘profess religion and to manage religious institutions’. Article 33 of the same document furnishes the State with a responsibility to ‘discourage parochial, racial, tribal, sectarian and provincial prejudices among the citizens.’ Further, Article 36 furnishes the State with the responsibility to ‘safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of minorities.’
It is high time that the State took responsibility for safeguarding the rights of Ahmadis and indeed all other minority groups within Pakistan in line with the responsibilities imposed by the nation’s own Constitution. This can only be done when it is made clear to extremist factions that their hate filled, barbaric activities will no longer be tolerated.