Lahore: Religious hardliners have launched
a fresh tirade against Pakistan`s Ahmedi sect, just days after
a terrorist attack on mosques of the religious minority left
95 people dead and over 100 injured.
Leaders of the Tahfuz-e-Namoos Risalat Mahaz demanded
that the government should take "strict action" against Ahmedi
community director Mirza Ghulam Ahmad for committing
"blasphemy" by saying that with a stroke of a pen the
community had been declared non-Muslims.
Addressing a press conference yesterday, TNRM leaders
Allama Razai Mustafa, Allama Abdus Star Saeedi, Qazi Muzafar
Iqbal, Qari Zawar Buhadar, Allama Gul Muhammad Aqiqi, Allama
Khadim Hussain and Ashraf Jilali did not condemn Friday`s
attacks on the Ahmedi mosques.
Instead, they demanded that the Ahmedi leaders should
be penalised for statements they had issued after the carnage.
Jilali claimed the feelings of Pakistani Muslims were
hurt by such statements.
"Qaidianis (Ahmedis) are non-Muslims. Not only
Pakistan, but a number of other countries have also declared
them so," he said.
"Qaaidians are a threat to our religion and they want
to highjack our Quran and Prophet," Jilali said.
He demanded that the government must "come down hard"
on the Ahmedis.
Jilali said that 600 Ahmedis were in the Israeli army
but did not offer any proof to back up his claim.
The TNRM leaders also spoke at length about the sins
allegedly committed by Ahmedis against Islam and Muslims.
To the surprise of liberal segments of society, the
comments made by the TNRM leaders were published in almost all
However, the electronic media and English newspaper
did not cover the press conference.
Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Pakistan spokesman Saleemuddin
said: "Such propaganda against Ahmedis is not new. Religious
extremists have been injecting venom against us even in
children studying in seminaries for a long time. They want us
to leave Pakistan."
While Ahmedis consider themselves Muslim, they were
declared non-Muslims in Pakistan in 1974, and in 1984 they
were legally barred from proselytising or identifying
themselves as Muslims.
Some 1.5 million Ahmedis live across Pakistan.