During his weekly Friday Sermon, the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad confirmed the sad news that yet another Ahmadi Muslim had been martyred for his faith in Pakistan. Furthermore, two other Ahmadi Muslims were the victims of a terrorist bombing in the city of Peshawar.
Muhammad Azim Tahir of Uch Sharif in Pakistan was martyred on 26 September 2009 in the presence of his wife and daughter. Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.
Mr Tahir was returning from a family wedding on his motorbike at 8.30pm when two unknown persons brandishing a firearm forced him to stop his vehicle. In the confusion, Mr Tahir, his wife and daughter, fell from the motorbike. As Mr Tahir went to help his family the assailants stopped him and pointed a gun towards him. Mr Tahir pleaded with them to take whatever they wanted and to leave him and his family alone but as he said this one of the assailants shot him in the temple and he died on the spot in sight of his wife and daughter. The assailants fled the scene. Muhammad Azim Tahir was killed simply because he was an Ahmadi Muslim. He is survived by his wife, two sons and daughter.
Also on 26 September 2009 two Ahmadi brothers, Riaz Ahmad (40) and Imtiaz Ahmad (20) were the victims of a huge car bomb blast in a commercial district of Peshawar. Both brothers died as a result of the bombing.
Speaking about the continued atrocities faced by Ahmadis, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“The opponents of our Jamaat can murder a few of our members; they can loot Ahmadis of their wealth; they can destroy our buildings; they can stop us constructing mosques. But they can never weaken our faith.”
His Holiness counselled members of the Jamaat to bear all persecution with fortitude as the Holy Qur’an had taught that ‘surely, Allah is with those who patiently persevere.’ He said the sacrifices made by Ahmadis would never be in vain. Every drop of blood shed by an Ahmadi would become a source of the community’s success.
He continued that even Ahmadi children were now a target for cruelty and violence. School children were often taunted in the hope that they would leave their education in fear; in Faisalabad Ahmadi medical students were suspended in 2008 having been subjected to physical and mental violence from anti-Ahmadi extremists; and most recently in District Layyah four Ahmadi children were imprisoned for months on end in the most inhospitable conditions on baseless charges. His Holiness said:
“If the parents of these children at any point denied the truth of Ahmadiyyat, then immediately all charges would be dropped. It is the vain hope of the opponents that Ahmadis leave their religion as a result of their intimidation and cruelty.”
His Holiness concluded his sermon by warning Ahmadis worldwide that this persecution of the Jamaat could escalate. He said:
“The members of the Jamaat worldwide need to focus on prayer. Because the way the situation is developing it seems that Ahmadis, particularly in Pakistan, are going to face increased cruelty and hardship. The ignorant opponents do not realise that their deeds are not harming our community but in fact are harming the country and society at large.”