Dispossession: Ahmedis banished from place of worship

Published: July 31, 2013

Hameed said that his father had donated the four-marla property to the Jamat-i-Ahmadiya to build a place of worship, which they named Baitul Zikr.

LAHORE: 

Ahmedis in Fatehpur, Gujrat district, have been banished from their own place of worship in Ramazan and fear that they will be deprived of the property by the local government and clerics.

On July 11, the first day of Ramazan, a group of Sunnis beat up the Ahmedis and kicked them out of the place of worship, telling them not to return, according to members of the Ahmedi community.

The Ahmedis filed a complaint with the police for the registration of an FIR against the assailants. The police did not register a case, nor heeded their request for protection. Instead, they sealed the place of worship, which is located on a four-marla plot, “because of concerns of a clash,” Dolatnagar SHO Riaz Qadir told The Express Tribune. He said that previously, both Sunnis and Ahmedis had prayed there.

In fact, the members of the two communities are related. The place of worship is located on four marlas within an eight-kanal property owned by an Ahmedi family which they were allotted when the Revenue Department conducted a consolidation exercise, known as ‘ishtimal’, some 20 years ago. Such land consolidation exercises are carried out every so often when inheritance laws result in the non-contiguous division of land holdings between heirs.

Police and revenue

The SHO said that according to the Revenue Department record, the building had been a Sunni mosque, but had been transferred to Ahmedis around 20 years ago. He said that the Sunnis were now claiming ownership of the place as a Sunni mosque.

The SHO said that he had seen the Jamat-i-Ahmadiya’s ownership document for a four-marla property within that eight-kanal parcel, but the document did not specify where exactly within that eight kanals the four-marla property was located.

He said that the question of ownership had been referred to the National Interfaith Peace and Harmony Committee and the property sealed in the meantime, with the approval of the district coordination officer. He said that the Sunnis had agreed to this, but the Ahmedis had not.

Asked why no assault case had been registered on the Ahmedis’ complaint after members of the community were beaten up and thrown out of the place of worship on the first day of Ramazan, the SHO said that since no blood had been spilt, there could be no FIR.

Land record

The eight kanals within which the four-marla property is located is owned by Tahir Hameed, who inherited the land from his father. Hameed, 18, said that his father had donated the four-marla property to the Jamat-i-Ahmadiya to build a place of worship, which they named Baitul Zikr. “Ahmedis have been praying there since before I was born,” he said.

He said that on the first of Ramazan, Munir Shah, Ahmed Raza, Maulvi Shabbir and others had attacked his brother Qamar Hameed and his cousin Adnan Ahmed and forced them out of the worship place. He said his brother and cousin had been beaten up. He said they were under severe threat from locals and had been told to disown the property. “Some extremist clerics have turned the locals against us and are trying to dislodge us,” he said.

Hameed said that the community had no faith in the Interfaith Peace and Harmony Committee, which is why they did not accept its role in arbitration.

When contacted by The Express Tribune, Asim Imtiaz, the vice president of the committee, said that he was at the patwari’s office and trying to establish the ownership of the disputed land.

He said that the four-marla property appeared to have been transferred to the Jamat-i-Ahmadiya by the patwari “by mistake”. He added that he was hopeful the dispute would be resolved and the property “would be given to Muslims”.

Tanveer Ahmed, another member of the Ahmedi community in Fatehpur, said that local clerics had been making worrying announcements in the mosques of nearby villages and he feared that there would be mob attacks on Ahmedis. He said that Ahmedis did not trust the committee to remain impartial on the matter.

“The Jamat-i-Ahmadiya has ownership documents for the property,” he said. “It is the responsibility of the police and the state to follow the law in settling the matter.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2013. 

Reader Comments (43)

  • csmann
    Jul 31, 2013 - 12:26AM

    the SHO said that since no blood had been spilt, there could be no FIR.
    so you can break somebody;s bones or even kill them,but as long as no blood is spilled,there cant be no FIR.Already a good start in Ahmediya’s favor!!!!!!!And the so called peace and harmony committee has already ruled that property was transferred to Ahmediya’s by mistake. So all is set up to ususrp the property in the good name of Islam.

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  • expaki
    Jul 31, 2013 - 12:28AM

    To Pakistanis, who feel pain for Rohinga of Burma, and fall fainted for Palestinian !! for their HUMAN RIGHT, But how you justify of DEPRIVING HUMAN RIGHTS TO Ahmadis? Myself , as A KAFFIR BY CHOICE AND CONSCIOUS, feel AHMADI today and ask YOU Pakistanio to respect rights of others too.

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  • Ironic
    Jul 31, 2013 - 12:36AM

    The Ahmedi community played a major role in polarizing the people of Punjab along religious lines in the 1940′s. The likes of Sir Zafarulla Khan were proponents of the two-nation theory and campaigned for a separate country for Muslims. As the fables warn us: be careful what you wish for; you might just get it.

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  • Babloo
    Jul 31, 2013 - 1:07AM

    “SHO said that since no blood had been spilt, there could be no FIR.”

    What ? So broken bones, internal damage , death okay. Unless the police can see some blood, no FIR ?

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  • Ammar
    Jul 31, 2013 - 1:30AM

    Treatment of Ahmadis is epic in our county we call Islamic Repblic of Pakistan! The Ahmadis are the litimus test. The day they are treated well in this country will be on the road to progress. At the moment, no one have the guts to stand for them except few English newspaper like ET

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  • SRahman
    Jul 31, 2013 - 2:21AM

    As it’s not enough to deprive Ahmadis from the basic human and religious rights but to do it in the holy month of Ramadan has made it more deplorable and disgusting. Either no fear of Allah has left in Pakistani society or majority has become so immune to injustice and discrimination that they hardly notice these atrocities.

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  • AnisAqeel
    Jul 31, 2013 - 3:33AM

    So called ‘Islamic’ country where other sects and religions live and worship in fear. What an interpretation of “there is no compulsion in religion”!

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  • Ahmed
    Jul 31, 2013 - 3:43AM

    This issue needs to be sorted out in a proper way i.e. legally. People taking the law into their own hands is wrong. I believe that Ahmadis are non-Muslims and I also believe that they need to be protected by the State and it MUST be ensured that they are treated as equal citizens.

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  • Rashid Mehmood
    Jul 31, 2013 - 5:16AM

    Such a shameful act was not seen first time. In this so called ”Islamic Country” lot of perspns were killed on daily basis in the name of ‘Islam’. Evry Mulah, who still degrading such a wholly country, considered himself as an Owner of Islam, so we expect that they will show themselves as a False Owner of other’s worhip places. The thing to remember is that Allah is still Living in our Hearts. You & your supporters (SHO) will never own it.

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  • Mj
    Jul 31, 2013 - 7:51AM

    @AnisAqeel:

    “What an interpretation of “there is no compulsion in religion”!”

    As usual the followers often neglect to read the fine print. Terms, conditions, and exceptions often apply.

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  • Mahmood
    Jul 31, 2013 - 8:19AM

    Any sane person having any logical reasoning left must ask himself the following – God Almighty promised that he would take care of his religion and destroy anyone who would be an imposter and a threat to islam. Knowing this – please have a look on the internet how much success and recognition the ahmadiyya community has become worldwide. And no – ahmadies are not stooges of the west. Look up what the head of the community did in his recent visit to the US – does anyone have the guts in pakistan what he did – confronting them with questions regarding to biased world policies?
    To imply that the community is a threat to islam – is a disgrace to God Almighty and the holy book itself in light of the above!!!

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  • Weird
    Jul 31, 2013 - 8:27AM

    “The SHO said that since no blood had been spilt, there could be no FIR”

    Who knew Pakistan followed the constitution of Vaes Dothrak? (Game of Thrones fans will understand).

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  • Hardliner
    Jul 31, 2013 - 8:39AM

    And why am I to believe that everything happened exactly the way ET has projected it? I mean, this is impossible! u can’t just enter some property and beat people out of there UNLESS there is really a problem behind it. Ahmedis’ claims and their descriptions clearly suggest that the whole episode is based on the dispute of property’s ownership which according to someone in the harmony committee was transferred mistakenly to them! Grow up people. Don’t just start commenting rubbish on reading the word “Ahmedi” or “Shia”

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  • Aysha M
    Jul 31, 2013 - 10:31AM

    @Ahmed:
    I believe that Ahmadis are non-Muslims
    Very unfortunate, whoever professes to be of a faith should be considered so.
    It is between Allah and the individual. Religion cannot be in public domain, it is not meant for others to judge and identify another person’s faith

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  • mokh
    Jul 31, 2013 - 11:19AM

    well said Aysha -my sentiments exactly!

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  • ZR
    Jul 31, 2013 - 11:48AM

    @ Ayesha M

    You are going against the Constitution of Pakistan! What Ahmed said is as per the Constitution.

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  • kanwal
    Jul 31, 2013 - 12:38PM

    Leave pakistan now dear minorities. Time to go forever. This country is dead.

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  • Ahmed
    Jul 31, 2013 - 1:56PM

    @Ayesha M
    Religion is the basis of many legal issues in an Islamic State. Such as taxes(Zakat,Jizya). It is supposed to be a public thing otherwise these issues cannot be resolved. If they think they are Muslims and Allah is the judge then wait for Allah to judge. Which will most probably be in the hereafter. However till then legally they have to be treated as non-Muslims as decided by the ‘State’.

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  • Jai Sivaramakrishna
    Jul 31, 2013 - 2:22PM

    Is ET following a cowardly system of self censorship and deliberately using the term “place of worship” rather than the correct Islamic / Muslim term of “Masjid” or its English counterpart “Mosque” in a craven bid to prevent being accused of the stupid crime on Pakistan’s statute book that prevents Ahmedi’s from being referred to as Muslim / Islamic?

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  • Jai Sivaramakrishna
    Jul 31, 2013 - 2:23PM

    Is ET following a cowardly system of self censorship and deliberately using the term “place of worship” rather than the correct Islamic / Muslim term of “Masjid” or its English counterpart “Mosque” in a craven bid to prevent being accused of the stupid crime on Pakistan’s statute book that prevents Ahmedi’s from being referred to as Muslim / Islamic?

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  • Naeem
    Jul 31, 2013 - 4:11PM

    @Ahmed, do you know Ahamadis apply fiqah Hanafi on all matters legal.

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  • thathamusa
    Jul 31, 2013 - 5:29PM

    shame on all of us. shame on the state.

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  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    Jul 31, 2013 - 5:47PM

    A senior from Rawalpindi recently explained to me that his family got rich in 1947, during partition, by changing the locks of property vacated by the Hindus. I think this is a new face for land mafia (includes politician, police and clerics) who targets minority for their property.

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  • Xulfjan
    Jul 31, 2013 - 6:06PM

    @Ahmed:
    would you like to be treated like that in a non muslim society??

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  • Xulfjan
    Jul 31, 2013 - 6:08PM

    @kanwal:
    and its not just the minorities who are leaving….any god fearing muslim who has the means, has left this cesspool!!

    Recommend

  • Weirdity
    Jul 31, 2013 - 6:21PM

    @Ironic:

    “The likes of Sir Zafarulla Khan were proponents of the two-nation theory and campaigned for a separate country for Muslims. As the fables warn us: be careful what you wish for; you might just get it.”

    You are absolutely right. There is a huge lesson to be learnt here.

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  • csmann
    Jul 31, 2013 - 6:28PM

    @Ahmed:
    nobody is stopping you and the ilk from believing Ahmediyas to be non-muslims.But that does not give you a right to hound and harass them,and go on killing sprees against them,and keep usurping their properties.They have a right to their belief,as you have.Don’t push people away from Allah’s community.You are behaving like an authority higher than God .

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  • Naveen
    Jul 31, 2013 - 8:01PM

    @Ahmed:
    You’re correct on legal grounds. I am no Islamic scholar (not even a Muslim) but I think the law (as it exists) must be respected and Pakistan being an Islamic State can & will make laws as per the religion of Islam (including Jizya, Zakat). This is a reality that must be acknowledged.

    @csmann:
    I don’t think Ahmed has anywhere called for attacking Ahmedis. All he is saying is respect the law as it is. You are putting words into his mouth. Pakistan is set up as an Islamic State, so religion is indeed part of State’s business and public sphere.

    @Jai Sivaramakrishna:
    Pakistan state has declared Ahmedis as non-Muslims, so ET being a Pakistani newspaper, has correctly called them ‘places of worship’. If it calls them Masjid, that would mean violating law of the land.

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  • Jaffar
    Jul 31, 2013 - 8:57PM

    It’s a deplorable n sick incident. No one has right to close anyone’s religious n praying place let alone ignorant, illiterate, mentally retarded mullah’s who are bend upon distorting Islam, it’s name n it’s basic principles. This SHO should be dismissed, his statement speaks his sick mental health. PM Punjab should take Suo Moto notice n arrest those who attacked n forcefully close this worship place. My Pakistani brothers/sisters wakeup n ask Allah’s forgiveness (not only for this incident) see around you Allah’s curse could be seen in every corner of our land. Today our condition is not far from than lost tribes of Jews (in past). Do not add further sinful acts. Go after these Munafik Mullah’s who’s habits are worse than wolfs, they are destroying the name n practice of our beloved religion Islam.Recommend

  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    Jul 31, 2013 - 9:16PM

    Waiting for a Islamic leader with spine and integrity to stand up and say Shia, Ahmadi, Hazaras are part of Islam and gods creature. Till than vote and note bank politics will continue. On the other hand it took Roman Catholic Pope 2000 years to say “Whom am I to judge gay people (another minority)”.

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  • expaki
    Jul 31, 2013 - 9:18PM

    @Jaffar Sahib, I am not anymore a Muslim, but what I read, Islam says, do not pray after an ESTABLISHED MUNAFIQ. as you said rightfully, and I add, that Allah punished Pakistanis for unknown sins and imposed MUNAFIQ Mullahs to torture the nation 24/7

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  • Ahmed
    Jul 31, 2013 - 10:51PM

    Please read my comments ! I said THEy must be treated with equally.

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  • Noor ul Amin
    Aug 1, 2013 - 12:46AM

    Another incident of inhumanity and injustice towards the peaceful Ahmadiyya Muslims in Pakistan by the criminal nexus of Politicians and Clerics. May Allah be with them. Aameen!

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  • Aysha M
    Aug 1, 2013 - 8:14AM

    ET, I posted this comment yesterday, not sure if it is in anyway violating the standards

    @Ahmed:
    On 5 May, 1944, in response to demands of the orthodox vis a vis Ahmadis, Jinnah made it absolutely clear that anyone who professes to be a Muslim should be considered a Muslim

    Please give this a fair reading

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  • Aysha M
    Aug 1, 2013 - 4:29PM
  • Darbullah
    Aug 1, 2013 - 5:20PM

    A nation created on hate for others will start hating itself.

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  • Vikram
    Aug 1, 2013 - 6:17PM

    Lets not talk about Hindus, Sikhs or Christens in Pakistan. Founding fathers of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah(Shia), Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan(Ahamadi) never in their dream had thought that the country they are fighting for will became most unsafe place for their next generations.

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  • Samia
    Aug 4, 2013 - 12:24AM

    Being banished from your place of worship is like a right that is being taken away from you. Its like having your shelter taken away from you or having someone you can confide in snatched away from you. A place of worship is somewhere where people go worship and snatching this away from someone is wrong. The matter should be taken seriously and something should be done so that everyone has the option of going to pray in their place of worship.

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  • Fatima Bajwa
    Aug 4, 2013 - 5:46AM

    This is yet another incident of inhumanity and injustice towards the peaceful Ahmadiyya Muslims in Pakistan by the criminal nexus of politicians and clerics. These incidents are repeatedly happening even though no one, let alone misinformed mullahs, has the right to close anyone’s place of worship. The PM of Punjab should take Suo Moto notice and arrest those who attacked and forcefully closed the Ahmadiyya place of worship.
    My Pakistani brothers/sisters wake up and ask Allah for forgiveness not only for this incident, but for the wrath of Allah that is visible in every corner of our land. May Allah be with the Ahmadis who are facing hardships and may the people led astray be led to the right path. Ameen!

    Recommend

  • Shah
    Aug 4, 2013 - 6:46AM

    @Ahmed:
    What is this state you speak of? The very state that beat two innocent Hafiz children without any knowledge of the situation to death? The very same “state” that treats those suffering financially and physical like trash? Have you seen the state of that very “state” who declared Ahmadi Muslims as non-Muslims? This “state” you speak of doesn’t even have the right to be called a state. I think the correct term you are looking for is “Distopia in the making”. ^^ Oh and also, Ahmadi Muslims will be JUDGED as Muslims, not concluded. What you are doing is concluding them as non-Muslims, which you do not have any authority over. I suggest you reflect on that phrase.

    Recommend

  • fsta
    Aug 6, 2013 - 1:08AM

    Places of Worshipping One God !

    It is time for the ministries of power and justice to wake up in Pakistan. While Pakistan was created for a special cause by Muslims, it has

    not yet recovered from a curious rollercoaster ride between powers of the left and the right ; and therefore has not arrived anywhere. When all should have been done hand in hand for the good of the country; precious time and energy is spent to promote the faith and the right of extremists who cannot bear the presence of any community other than their own in Pakistan.

    It is only natural for a democratic or even a theological state to make peace between

    communities who have a distinct background .As one is free today to express his/her affiliation with a political party and can exercise

    his right to stand by his political opinions,similarly any person from the minorities should have the right to live in peace with his

    neighbors . The right to practise one’s faith is the fundamental right of all humans ;it becomes an even greater offense to surrender

    before the usurpers who wish to steal places of worship?

    Recommend

  • Aug 6, 2013 - 4:45PM

    “the SHO said that since no blood had been spilt, there could be no FIR.”

    Great news . You can beat any one but make sure that no blood is spilt . As per the SHO’s interpretation of Pakistani Penal code, No FIR can be lodged with police if no blood spills in beating. SHO of many other police stations can follow suit

    Recommend

  • Aug 24, 2013 - 8:59PM

    This is the appropriate blog if you wants to learn about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to fight with you (not that I actually would certainly want…HaHa). You definitely convey a new whirl on a topic thats been written about for years. Great goods, just wonderful!Recommend

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