Worship site row: Large protest against Ahmedis in Rawalpindi

Published: January 30, 2012

Religious parties & trader unions hold a protest against Ahmedis. PHOTO: INP

RAWALPINDI: 

A large number of local activists from different religious parties gathered near a local hospital to urge the government to stop what they called the ‘unconstitutional activities’ of Ahmedis in Rawalpindi.

Arranged by trading associations, the protest was attended by activists from Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Jamat-e-Islami, Sipah-e-Sahaba and Ahl-e-Sunnat Jammat. The protest was headed by Sharjeel Mir and Shahid Gafoor Paracha. Over 5,000 people attended the rally.

Those who spoke at the gathering urged Ahmedis to stop their religious activities, which include preaching and worshipping in the area.

The participants, carrying flags of different religious parties – including banned outfits – and also portraits of Mumtaz Qadri, the convicted killer of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, chanted slogans against Ahmedis.

The protestors, in no uncertain terms, urged the city administration to stop the activities of the minority community. “The Ahmedis, a few years ago, purchased the building E-69 in Satellite Town and set up a place of worship besides carrying out preaching in residential areas, creating problems for their neighbours”, said Sharjeel Mir.

Mir added that they did not object to any community living in the area, but would not tolerate the place of worship in the locality. Ahmedis have erected barriers and posted private guards on the main road adjoining the hospital for their safety, Mir said.

The businessman said that Ahmedis had raised high walls around their building and installed security cameras, in addition to posting snipers at the rooftop. The building does not even look like a religious place, according to Mir, who says it is more like a fortress, creating problems for the neighbours.

On the other hand, Ahmedis say the building was built after Jamat-e-Ahmedia purchased the land, being a registered organisation, and under the relevant rules they could continue worshipping in the building.

Members of the community, asking not to be identified, said that, following attacks on their places of worship in Lahore, they erected movable barriers and deputed some young men to patrol every Friday after getting due permission from the district administration.

The community removed the security measures following the protests, he said. The superintendent of police of Rawal Town, Malik Matloob Ahmed, said that adequate security measures had been made for the protest rally.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 30th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • Fahad Karam
    Jan 30, 2012 - 10:03AM

    Why are we so afraid if Ahmadi’s protect themselves? Is such a constitutional right only reserved for the constitutionally approved Muslims?

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  • Masood Nasir
    Jan 30, 2012 - 10:15AM

    Which Prophet do Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Jamat-e-Islami, Sipah-e-Sahaba and Ahl-e-Sunnat Jammat follow? Which Quran do they follow? The Holy Prophet Muhammad(s.a.w) was mercy for all. When a delegate of Christians came from Najaran, Holy Prophet allowed them to pray inside his mosque.

    Holy Quran orders Muslims to protect the Churches and Synagogues. It establishes freedom of religion for all. Which religion do these people represent? It cannot be the one that was brought by Holy Prophet Muhammad(s.a.w). It is not Islam.

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  • Masood Nasir
    Jan 30, 2012 - 10:32AM

    Which Prophet do Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Jamat-e-Islami, Sipah-e-Sahaba and Ahl-e-Sunnat Jammat follow? Which Quran do they follow? The Holy Prophet Muhammad(s.a.w) was mercy for all. When a delegate of Christians came from Najaran, Holy Prophet allowed them to pray inside his mosque.

    Holy Quran orders Muslims to protect the Churches and Synagogues. It establishes freedom of religion for all. Which religion do these people represent? It cannot be the one that was brought by Holy Prophet Muhammad(s.a.w). It is not Islam.

    Recommend

  • Hamaad Haider
    Jan 30, 2012 - 10:37AM

    By treating Ahmedis in this manner we are negating the very principle upon which Pakistan was born – tolerance and peace for people to practise their religion freely, whatever religion it may be. We are treating all beliefs other than non-mainstream Islam like third grade citizens. These barbarians are not practising organised religion, they are committing organised crime.

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  • not an ahmedi
    Jan 30, 2012 - 10:49AM

    How ironic is it that the religious community was angered because the Ahmadi’s erected security fence with surveillance and snipers; they don’t consider why it was needed in the first place?

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  • omerulz
    Jan 30, 2012 - 11:50AM

    Why would you hold a rally against ‘Ahmadis’? It’s their right to practise their religion especially after being declared as “Non-Muslims”,

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  • Jan 30, 2012 - 11:51AM

    Do Ahmadis have the right to live their life according to their religious beliefs? Why cannot they have their own places of worship? Worshipping according to their own belief is against the constitution of Pakistan? Am I living in a land of sane people?

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  • Jan 30, 2012 - 11:56AM

    Alas! My beautiful country hijacked by extremists in the name of religion. :(

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  • Dr.waqar
    Jan 30, 2012 - 11:57AM

    i feel sympathy with the ahmediya community.these mullas know nothing about islam.they only know protests.Recommend

  • M M Malik
    Jan 30, 2012 - 12:07PM

    The Ahmadies have the right to protect themselves. The authorities have failed to protect and provide adequate security to Ahmadies and other minorities.
    Why do we stop Ahmadies from worshipping and preaching their form of religion?

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  • Pir Ali Raza
    Jan 30, 2012 - 12:31PM

    these people who are protesting should be brought up to the podium and shot, one by one.

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  • Samir.
    Jan 30, 2012 - 12:46PM

    Of course these very same zealots won’t realise the irony in admonishing the Ahmadis for having security at their mosques yet condoning the Lal Masjid terrorists who had enough weapons to hold off the Pakistan army for days!!!

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  • Pakistani Agnostic
    Jan 30, 2012 - 12:50PM

    How good it would be if i convert to being a Ahmedi Muslim and show my religion to all the Mullahs

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  • Sadia Mahmood
    Jan 30, 2012 - 1:31PM

    What is the matter with businessman leading the rally?

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  • Eldorado
    Jan 30, 2012 - 2:22PM

    Very shameful and sad..

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  • education
    Jan 30, 2012 - 2:37PM

    i am an ahmedi.. i have loved pakistan all my life.. was taught to love this place by my parents.. i would ask the protestors to please let me and my children live freely in my country …to stop harrassing us and christians and hindus and sikhs and all other minorities.. to show me a kind face of islam , a tolerant peaceful and beautiful religion that it truly is. please.

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  • education
    Jan 30, 2012 - 2:51PM

    Article 20 of the constitution states “every citizen shall have the right to profess, practise and propagate his religion.”

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  • athar mahmood
    Jan 30, 2012 - 3:19PM

    I really don’t know the purpose for posting traders in front.

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  • Abu
    Jan 30, 2012 - 4:05PM

    This incident shows we us a nation are screwed and our people mind set is such that we can’t digest other community living along with us…if people in US, UK or Europe think like the religious parties of Pakistan then I believe Pakistanis have to come back to live with us in miserable condition..I am 110% sure the people on the road who came for this protest will leave all their dignity if given an opportunity to settle in US or in any green pastures…It’s such a same to say we can’t digest the minority community raising a wall to protect them even after many deadly attacks on them…only time can tell where we are going and how we us a nation going to end up….

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  • Pakistani
    Jan 30, 2012 - 4:32PM

    In my opinion that we are not following our Sunnah, that’s why we are facing such kind of issue in our beloved Pakistan. Minorities have equal rights to live and follow their beliefs.

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  • Sayyed Safi Peezrada
    Jan 31, 2012 - 12:29AM

    The protesters do not seem to be having any concrete reason for their protest. We see many masjids being protected like this. I just don’t know what point do they want to prove here, apparently they are defaming Islam.

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  • Jan 31, 2012 - 9:00AM

    @education:
    Dear.. only thing I can do for you is Pray. May God help you.

    Recommend

  • Ahmadi Muslim living in Pakistan
    Feb 14, 2012 - 4:14PM

    Mullahs are terrorists, pakistani goverment is corrupted! the only place in pakistan where is peace, is where ahmdis live!!”

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