Silence resonates after Ahmadi graves’ vandalised

Published: December 10, 2012

A tombstone desecrated by unidentified men at the graveyard. PHOTO: RABIA MEHMOOD/FILE

LAHORE: 

Walls of the recently desecrated Model Town Ahmadi graveyard stand high, while an armed guard patrols the gate. On the very same road stands a Muslim graveyard with an open gate, low boundary walls and no armed guard on duty.

The beefed up security follows in the wake of fifteen masked men’s attack on the Ahmadi cemetery on December 3, when they razed tombstones of over a hundred graves.

Those whose loved ones were buried there are bewildered. The desecration of his mother’s grave has shaken Abid*. Her tombstone lay completely demolished. Abid’s question, “How can anyone even think that shattering a tombstone with Kalima engraved on it, is a service to Islam?” has been met with silence by the authorities.

Cycle of hatred

This is not the first time the Ahmadi community in Pakistan has been left with a sense of alienation. Nawaz Hashmi* has paid a price for his faith for three consecutive years: in 2010, he survived an attack at an Ahmadi place of worship in Lahore. In 2011, Hashmi, along with six other men, lost his job because he was an Ahmadi. And in 2012, his late father’s grave in the Model Town graveyard was razed.

“We are conditioned to live in fear,” says Hashmi. His sick mother had shed many tears after her husband’s last remains were violated.

the incident of trhe

“The chief justice is seen to take suo motu notices of the most trivial issues, then why the silence on the desecration of our graves?” asked   Imran Ali*, whose father’s grave was also demolished. “Even our neighbours did not hear of the assault owing to lack of coverage by the media.”

The authorities’ cold shoulder was a haunting déjà vu: no senior politician or government official had turned up at the site of the 2010 attack on an Ahmadi place of worship in Lahore.

On the contrary, the Punjab police itself removed Quranic texts from an Ahmadi graveyard in Faislabad, which they said was to avert clashes in the face of threats from extremist organisations.

The Ahmadi community administration in Lahore says that the absence of a violent reaction from its side should not be taken as a sign of defeat. The DIG Investigation of Lahore, Shafiq Gujjar, assures that the desecration of graves is a high priority case for them.

History of hatred

Shahid Ataullah, a senior administrator of the community in Lahore, says that violation of the rights of the community in urban Punjab could be traced back to 1974. Narrating an incident, Ataullah says, “In 1974, the then chief minister of Punjab Muhammad Hanif Ramay, called the head of Ahmadi community in Lahore and asked him to tell the community to not retaliate in the face of any violent attacks.”

No hope against hatred

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) condemned the incident of Lahore grave desecration, as did other human rights bodies. IA Rehman, Secretary General of HRCP, added to the commission’s official condemnation by saying that widespread incidents of intolerance towards religious minorities and different sects of Islam suggest that Pakistan does not do justice to its membership of the Human Rights Council.

*Names have been changed to protect identities

Published in The Express Tribune, December 10th, 2012.

Reader Comments (42)

  • rz
    Dec 10, 2012 - 11:40AM

    this is very sad…

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  • sabi
    Dec 10, 2012 - 11:42AM

    Shame or curse is a very small word for those responsible for the protection of citizens.
    This nation is provoking shaddad malaik (angels of death) to come and take control.How horrible would be the scenario!

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  • just_someone
    Dec 10, 2012 - 11:46AM

    I cant believe people who do this think that they will go to Heaven.
    Anyone who can do this is bound to Hell for a long time!

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  • Junaid Naseer Faroqui
    Dec 10, 2012 - 11:56AM

    I have my deepest sympathies with Ahmadi sect. State should not have a religion it should be absolutely secular. Whatever we are creeping are fruits of the seeds sowed by ‘objective resolution’ in the beginning and by ‘Zia Ul Haq’ lately and the major stakeholders then and now have been religious political parties and establishment.

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  • Dec 10, 2012 - 11:59AM

    No hope against hatred

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  • Samir
    Dec 10, 2012 - 12:46PM

    Salmaan Taseer was the only politician to visit the Ahmadi’s after the 2010 shooting. We need more people like him.

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  • Saim Baig
    Dec 10, 2012 - 12:48PM

    Very sad!!

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  • Indian Muslim
    Dec 10, 2012 - 12:49PM

    This is what happened to us as well.

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  • Beena Naqvi
    Dec 10, 2012 - 1:17PM

    Just when you think the intolerance has hit a record low you read something like this. My deepest sympathies to the Ahmedi community in Lahore. I hope the majority of tolerant Pakistanis wake up and vocally support our Ahmedi community. The fanatics are dominating the narrative of Pakistan as represented in the media overseas. Where exactly is the government and the security agencies as the assault on minorities living and dead continues?

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  • SheeshaDude
    Dec 10, 2012 - 1:18PM

    How sick and how brainwashed u have to be in order to do something like this. I am not against the fundamentals of Pakistan, but anything that is built on religion is bound to attract and nurture people who could go to any distance to prove a point. It is high time that govt. bans all religio-political parties whose loyalties lie with none not even to their Master !!!

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  • kanwal
    Dec 10, 2012 - 1:20PM

    Where is CJ and where is Bilawal Zardari? Where in the world is Imran Khan?Recommend

  • SheeshaDude
    Dec 10, 2012 - 1:55PM

    @ kanwal: CJ is busy taking sou moto actions on the highly irrelevant politically motivated issues to boost his own popularity.

    Bilawal Zardari: Well he doesn’t care what goes around since Pakistanis are his ancestral slaves.

    Imran Khan: Well he can’t say anything lest he annoys his friends up north.

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  • Nasir
    Dec 10, 2012 - 1:55PM

    Shameful act by shameful people who have no idea of the real and true character of our beloved prophet

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  • SK
    Dec 10, 2012 - 2:10PM

    so long as culprits know that there is no rule of law, crimes of all types will keep poping up. Either its rule of law or complete deterioration of our society, there is no other option.

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  • Muhammad Yaqub
    Dec 10, 2012 - 2:20PM

    The reason there is deafening silence around the country is not because they are ashamed, it is because they are all fanatics at heart. All those who are otherwise, are those who do not know anything about religion.

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  • Zahra
    Dec 10, 2012 - 2:30PM

    @SheeshaDude:
    @kanwal:
    what about the people who have been in power for 5 years – where are they? You should target your criticism towards them rather than those who are not even in power. What has the present government done to curb extremism? What has the present government done for anything, for that matter?!

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  • Shahid Pirzada
    Dec 10, 2012 - 2:33PM

    These hate mongers need to be identified and punished according to the law. Such sick human beings need to be isolated and treated. A civilized society cannot accept this sheer madness.

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  • Umer
    Dec 10, 2012 - 3:00PM

    Ahmadis are peacful people and the thought of retaliating does not even cross their mind. This would make them same as rest of the barbarians shedding blood in the name of God.

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  • Ahmadi Muslim
    Dec 10, 2012 - 3:20PM

    Yet Despite all this we stand with our slogan ” Love For All, Hatred For None”

    We leave the fate of the transgressors on Allah. Surely he’s the best judge!

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  • Enlightened
    Dec 10, 2012 - 3:29PM

    @Indian Muslim:
    I have never read any news like this in India but if are sure then please quote the date and place where it happened. If you are an Indian, then you must be aware that there has been no confrontation amongst the Muslim communities on any religion related issue in India so far.

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  • athar mahmood
    Dec 10, 2012 - 3:31PM

    authorities and majorities silence will never hurt us because we are used to now.what regrets worry me the most is that these blaze of extremism are going to lighten you!!

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  • Zavia
    Dec 10, 2012 - 4:25PM

    We don’t need them in this country.

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  • Bill Maher (SFO)
    Dec 10, 2012 - 5:11PM

    I am going to write something unpopular. I don’t think ET will publish it.

    @Junaid Naseer Faroqui and @All of us:
    “Whatever we are creeping are fruits of the seeds sowed by ‘objective resolution’ in the beginning and by ‘Zia Ul Haq’” – Wrong.

    It starts the day a religion endorses the idea that non-believers are not equal.

    Lets see, if it makes the cut.
    ..Peace

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  • Haji Rafiq A. Tschannen
    Dec 10, 2012 - 5:21PM

    I feel sorry for those who did this. Allah’s punishment is certain.

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  • Iqbal
    Dec 10, 2012 - 5:37PM

    All of the above comments must come out from Ahmadis…… if not please tell me …
    Hindu … burns their dead bodies
    some one … gives dead body to crows or eagles …

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  • Rahman
    Dec 10, 2012 - 5:50PM

    It’s a sad situation – not only that society has such extremist elements but most of the others are morally, ethically and spiritually incapable bunch of people who have no issue with social injustice, corruption, discrimination, and other social evils. The main cause of our infertile mindset is religious, ethnical and linguistic insensitivities toward others. Our claims are high, our slogans are loud but our actions are disgusting. No wonder Allah’s wrath is increasing day by day in the form of corrupt political leadership, crooked clergy, unethical establishment, biased media, selective justice and insensitive masses. All ingredients of deteriorating worldly and spiritually.

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  • Uza Syed
    Dec 10, 2012 - 6:02PM

    @sabi: O’come on! Let’s rephrase what you said——-Shame or curse is a very small word for us all who TOLERATE such acts of hatred and profanity. We the nation is working hard to transform ourselves into “shaddad malaik (angels of death)” to inflict death and destruction for our own society and ourselves. Yes, the scenario is horrible and hurting us enormously!Recommend

  • Much Amused
    Dec 10, 2012 - 6:19PM

    @Iqbal:
    Please crawl back under the item you infest.

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  • A Sunni Muslim
    Dec 10, 2012 - 6:21PM

    The first thing that should be done is remove the ludicrous clause in the constitution making Ahmadis as Non Muslims. A community that thinks it is Muslim, is Muslim and no other criteria is required.

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  • A Sunni Muslim
    Dec 10, 2012 - 6:28PM

    @Muhammad Yaqub:
    Absolutely right, Just take a survey in Pakistan whether it is right to kill Ahmedis (and Shias for that matter). The number of positive answers will be staggering. The ‘silent moderate majority’ of Pakistan is a myth. Every one of us is a Taliban now. It wont take much for these ‘moderate Pakistanis’ now to storm the homes of Ahmadis and kill them in cold blood.

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  • Zarshan
    Dec 10, 2012 - 6:50PM

    The act of these handheld and sponsored miscreants is making Pakistan look like a hostile state. Some are really mistaken and feel that these acts against the minorities is a better and shortcut of getting a popular vote. Pakistan has ignored the affects of illiteracy and poverty since inception. The affect has multiplied to many folds due to bad governance, family centric politics, percentage of voters in general election I.e. illiterate population as compared to literate population.

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  • sabi
    Dec 10, 2012 - 7:26PM

    @Uza Syed:
    @sabi: O’come on! Let’s rephrase what you said——-Shame or curse is a very small word for us all who …
    You are right in a way.but what one should expect from a society, a big part of which is nothing more than awam-kal’anam (humans-like animal as refferd to in quran).

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  • Mirza Mahmood
    Dec 10, 2012 - 7:52PM

    Religion has become a mockery in Pakistan owing largely to the acts and words of so called custodians of Islam ie Mullahs. There may be belief in God but no where to be seen is the faith in God and His attributes otherwise no God fearing human being would have dreamt this cruel act let alone doing it.

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  • amber sami
    Dec 10, 2012 - 8:02PM

    The illiterate jaahil monsters who have done this will not have any shame. To go an exercise these sick ideas have become a norm….and they call themselves Muslims? The State is to blame for this. The Punjab Government owes its people an explanation. What is to be achieved by allowing this? A cheap popularity and a few votes from the fundos …….Will there be any limit to these atrocities. I am deeply saddened for the Ahmedi community.

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  • Wowemkay
    Dec 10, 2012 - 8:32PM

    Shame on all of us specially the crazed Chief Justice who’s too busy desecrating the Army Shaheeds of Terrorist Lal Masjid to worry about such stuff. He should resign or be forever damned by history!

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  • shirjeel
    Dec 10, 2012 - 10:07PM

    What would come off by doing this, i really do not understand, why can’t Allah be the judge of everything, let minorities live in peace! everyone should live in peace! there are other NON VIOLENT ways of dealing with minorities, TALKING is one of them…

    such a disgrace are the people who think these kind of acts are good..

    May ALLAH have mercy on everyone..

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  • Mirza
    Dec 10, 2012 - 10:20PM

    My initial comments were not included. Just want to say that when I think we have touched the bottom we go further down. Now even dead are not safe from the terror. The worst of all is there is not much outrage on these shameful acts.Recommend

  • R.A
    Dec 10, 2012 - 10:23PM

    @Kanwal
    C J , Bilawal , Imran Khan ( and co.)
    All are busy in protecting the culprits
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  • R.A
    Dec 10, 2012 - 11:39PM

    @Iqbal
    ' all the above comments must come from Ahmadis'
    Perhapse you want to say that deep in their hearts
    most Pakistanis are Ahmadi Muslims.
    Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Dec 11, 2012 - 4:27AM

    @Zarshan:
    You say: “Pakistan has ignored the affects of illiteracy and poverty since inception.”

    Is it illiteracy or the teachings in school text books? Hatred for all has been taught for several decades and still continues to be taught in both government and private school text books. These school text books probably teach more hatred than that is taught in the madrassas. Many generations have grown up in this diet of hate theachings. Recent reports have disclosed that the hatred taught in school text books has only increased in the recent years. No one in Pakistan shall dare to change these hate literatures.

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  • Beena Naqvi
    Dec 11, 2012 - 12:11PM

    @Zavia:

    Why do you think this is your country? Pakistan belongs to all its citizens. I would even support your right as a Pakistani citizen despite your intolerant and racist world view. What is more horrifying is your relative comfort in sharing it with others. SAD!!

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  • Zarshan
    Dec 11, 2012 - 4:28PM

    @Raj – USA:
    Very rightly elaborated.

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