Religious intolerance: Ahmadi graves vandalised in posh Lahore neighbourhood

Published: December 4, 2012
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The vandals told the caretakers that Ahmadis, being non-Muslims, were not allowed to write the Kalima or Bismillah on their tombstones. PHOTO: SHAMSUL ISLAM

The vandals told the caretakers that Ahmadis, being non-Muslims, were not allowed to write the Kalima or Bismillah on their tombstones. PHOTO: SHAMSUL ISLAM

LAHORE: 

Over 100 tombstones were vandalised by masked men at a graveyard of the Ahmadiyya community in an upscale neighbourhood of the city Monday morning.

Twelve to 15 men, carrying arms and digging tolls, entered the graveyard in Model Town, Q Block, between 1:30am and 1:45am and smashed tombstones of the graves, according to witnesses.

The vandals told the caretakers that Ahmadis, being non-Muslims, were not allowed to write the Kalima or Bismillah on their tombstones.

“I was about to take a nap when I heard someone jumping into the graveyard. As I stepped out to inquire, armed men pounced on me. They snatched my gun and roughed me up,” Muhammad Younis, a guard at the graveyard, told The Express Tribune.

The armed men tied around 20 people – including visitors and families of the caretakers and the guard – with ropes and locked them up in the living quarters of the graveyard before starting vandalism.

They were speaking Punjabi and Urdu. However, their “leader”, a long-haired and bearded man, had traces of Pashto in his accent, witnesses said. They told the caretakers and guards that they belonged to a banned organisation and the Taliban.

According to witnesses, the whole vandalism episode lasted for about 35 minutes. The vandals ran away when a policeman from the Ahmadiyya community and a guard at one of their worship places arrived and fired gunshots into the air. The community members said they would file a case.

Saleemuddin

Police, community versions

Surprisingly, the SHO of Liaquatabad police station said he was not aware of any such incident. “I will send someone to look into this, when I get a call,” SHO Idrees Qureshi told The Express Tribune.

Ahmadiyya community spokesperson Saleemuddin said, “This is not some obscure village in Hafizabad, this is Lahore and the neighbourhood where the Sharif family lives. How is such an incident allowed to take place here?”

Background

In July, 2012, Tufail Raza of the Khatme Nabuwwat Lawyers Forum had approached the Liaquatabad police station seeking removal of Islamic inscriptions from tombstones at the Ahmadi graveyard, which was established in 1980. The police did not follow up on the application, but allegedly began pressuring the community to remove the text.

In October, the additional district and sessions judge had  disposed of Raza’s petition, asking the police to act in accordance with the law.

HRCP condemns vandalism

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), meanwhile, condemned the incident and demanded the alleged vandals to be brought to book.

“Last night’s attack is shocking because it did not occur in a remote village but in the heart of the country’s second largest city. The attackers’ success in overpowering several persons at the graveyard and completing the destruction in half an hour shows that the incident was well-planned,” it said in a statement.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 4th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (36)

  • Abdul
    Dec 4, 2012 - 8:03AM

    It’s sad n pathetic incident

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  • numbersnumbers
    Dec 4, 2012 - 8:04AM

    More news to polish the “good name” of Pakistan in the eyes of the world !

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  • AnisAqeel
    Dec 4, 2012 - 8:42AM

    These fanatics have taken themselves before the era of Islam when ignorance was at its peak and civility was considered as a laughing stock. Such ignorant people try to harm as much as they can and become frustrated when Ahmadis follow the command of their head not to retaliate. This patience of Ahmadis will never be wasted and the pain of the victims will surely be rewarded in the court of ‘real justice’.

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  • hasan
    Dec 4, 2012 - 9:24AM

    not a single comment.. shameful to be a pakistani once again.. every day.

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  • Imran Khan
    Dec 4, 2012 - 10:15AM

    Except for Altaf Hussain no one has even condemned it. Taliban and their cohorts roam cities and terrify minorities in the misrepresented name of Islam. God may deal with them.

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  • Imran Ahsan Mirza
    Dec 4, 2012 - 10:18AM

    It is shameful that not a single politician except Altaf Hussain has condemned it. Taliban roam the streets of even our major cities and terrify minorties in the name of misreprsented Islam. God may eal with them.

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  • Manząŗ
    Dec 4, 2012 - 10:23AM

    If you burry me in #Pakistan, please don’t put a gravestone on my grave otherwise they will have to come with guns to save Islam. ~ An Ahmadi Muslim

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  • islam
    Dec 4, 2012 - 10:28AM

    Where is khadim-e-aala. oh…he was just in the neighbor hood when this happened. geo khadim sb.

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  • asdf
    Dec 4, 2012 - 2:54PM

    i think they did right thing.

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  • Ayesha
    Dec 4, 2012 - 4:32PM

    @ asdf :
    please explain why do you think they did the right thing? while the rest of us are thinking this is wrong. please convince us.

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  • Umair Ahmad
    Dec 4, 2012 - 5:53PM

    Truly sad. What good is a judiciary or a police force that willfully looks the other way when such acts of vanadalism occur. Where is the government in all of this? Pakistan is rapidly heading into a darkness from which it may never re-appear. Why is it, that of all the muslim countries, it is one, if not the most least developed, most economically deprived and most maligned. Until it rids itself of the extremism and intolerence that prevails in all echelons of society, there is no hope for Pakistan.

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  • Umair Ahmad
    Dec 4, 2012 - 5:58PM

    @asdf I think they did right thing

    Mashallah. With people like you there is still hope for Pakistan….

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  • Waseem
    Dec 4, 2012 - 8:18PM

    In Pakistan one doesnt have a right to practice ones religion even after death. So sad that the constitution of Pakistan encourages this. And this leads to Muslims turning into terrorists.

    On the day of judgement Allah will not ask the president of Pakistan or any other so called Maulvi or Mullah of their opinion on who is a Muslim or who is not. Instead he will punish those who try to be GOD in this world. something to ponder upon.

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  • vikkkitakesaleak
    Dec 4, 2012 - 9:00PM

    @asdf: so is asdf an abbreviation for arseholeduffer?

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  • Anjum Khaleeq
    Dec 4, 2012 - 10:44PM

    If qadianis are asked not to use our religion’s name, our religion’s holy book’s verses, and the name of our beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wassalam, so they should stop teasing us with using all the above.

    If they don’t stop doing this then, they shouldn’t complain what happens to them, and shouldn’t behave like they’re victims.

    Call your religion qadianism or mirzaism not Islam, bring your own book and use its words.

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  • Waseem
    Dec 4, 2012 - 11:04PM

    In Pakistan one doesnt have a right to practice ones religion even after death. So sad that the constitution of Pakistan encourages this. And this leads to Muslims turning into international terrorists.

    On the day of judgement Allah will not ask the president of Pakistan or any other so called Maulvi or Mullah of their opinion on who is a Muslim or who is not. Instead he will punish those who try to be GOD in this world. something to ponder upon.

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  • Waseem
    Dec 4, 2012 - 11:17PM

    @Anjum If Ahmadis dont interfere into your religion so shouldnt you. Its that simple only if you understand.

    The Holy founder of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa never killed kuffar for their religion. If someone beacame a Muslim he was welcome and not killed for saying Kalima. And if someone insulted him or his religion then too nothing was said to him because the Holy founder of Islam had those moral qualifites to demonstrate what freedom of religion was. Infact it was due to his this high standard fo moral qaulity that automaticaly attracted the Khuffar to become Mulsims.

    Unfortunatey the Muslims of today think they are GODs and Allah will inshallah show to them who Allah is.

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  • Rana Khalil Ahmed
    Dec 5, 2012 - 2:15AM

    Anjum Sahib,
    Do not forget that Mohammad SallAllah Alaihe wa Aalehi Wasalam is the prophat for whole mankind.Do not say that he is only your prophet.He is RAHMATO AL AALAMIN and you do according to your desires.Islam does not permit anyone to do like this?????

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  • H2A
    Dec 5, 2012 - 5:28AM

    @Anjum Khaleeq – Your religion? Give me a break!!!

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  • Umair Ahmad
    Dec 5, 2012 - 5:29AM

    @Anjum

    Who is teasing you? An ahmadi who believes in the kalima? Or reads the quran? Or believes in Muhammad saw. The last time I checked Allah does not require your permission for people to submit to him nauzibillah. The quran is for mankind. And you would stop people reciting it? I think that says more about your lack of knowledge about Islam or humanity then anything else.

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  • nadya
    Dec 5, 2012 - 10:18AM

    shameful act. no religion in the world subscribes to vandalising and desecration of graves. this move is run by mischievous elements who don’t want peace in Pakistan. I reply feel the pain of those who had buried their loved ones in these graves. no heavens can be achieved with this attitude.

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  • Muhammad
    Dec 5, 2012 - 12:18PM

    I am sad, my grandmother, grandfather and uncle are burried in this graveyard, so are many other dear ones…

    Its insane….doesnt it remind you the acts of Abu Jahal….are these mullah following Sunnah of Rehmat-unlil Aalameen (S.A.E) ??? or are a mirror image of Abu Jahal and his clan…

    And not only Mullah even the ordinary Pakistani openly or in their silence supporting them against Ahmadiis…..and you don’t take learn from the Azzab-e-ilahi that is effecting all of you 150 miilion people….lawlessness, boms, killings, poverty, disease, floods, earthquakes….and you still dont learn lesson…just think is Allah happy with you?

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  • Anjum Khaleeq
    Dec 5, 2012 - 12:30PM

    @Rana Khalil Ahmed:
    Rana Sahib,
    I agree, he was Khatim un Nabeeyee Sallalaho Alaihe Wasallam. and his ummat will come till the day morning of Qayamat, and kuffar are also included in his ummat, as maybe ALLAH Subhanaho Wa Taala bless them with the light of Iman sometime.

    I would suggest you have a look at http://khatm-e-nubuwwat.com/ and read some online books available at this website and you would learn a lot.

    Thanks.
    Anjum

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  • Anjum Khaleeq
    Dec 5, 2012 - 12:32PM

    @H2A:
    Yes our Religion Alhumdulillah, and we wont permit anyone using It for their interest.

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  • ahmadi muslim
    Dec 5, 2012 - 7:25PM

    @anjum sahib……….. wait a second can you explain the word “RAHMATO AL AALAMIN”……….
    its not only your religion at all………eveyone has the right to choose a religion for himself…….so please do not act like an owner of islam…..

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  • Ammar
    Dec 6, 2012 - 12:22PM

    @Muhammad:
    I firmly believe Ahmadis have a right to live as equal citizens like all minorities and majority should..and part of that equality is tolerance towards each other. On that ground, i would say yes these fanatics shouldn’t have done that…afterall it was just our Kalima and a verse of Quran written over there which we always show to the world as Divine message. However, when Ahmadis suddenly start claiming that all the hardships that we are facing as Ummah in general and Pakistani nation in particular are just because we commit “atrocious attitude” towards Ahmadis, i believe thats a far cry. Dishonesty in general, hypocrisy in general, sheer lack of respect for core Islamic values inclusing respect for others’ lives and so many other evils can rightly be mentioned as a cause BUT presenting muslims in Pakistan as sufferers of calamities just because of their attitude towards Ahmadis is just like using a bigger fact for a vested smaller interest.

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  • Anjum
    Dec 6, 2012 - 4:34PM

    @Anjum Khaleeq: I will second you for this. Obviously it’s wrong to use others religion and claiming that it’s their. I read in news that firstly they sign a petition to remove the verses. If it was the case they should remove it earlier. Muslims are not responsible for all this. Even they call them to do it.

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  • Matin
    Dec 8, 2012 - 1:44AM

    Removing the kalima — and they call themselves Muslims.instaed of spreading the love of Kalima and love of Holy Prophet (peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him), these so called Muslims themselves remove the name of Allah and the Holy Prophet (PBUH) with their own hands……. it doesn’t matter they did it cuz of stopping others or jealousy or whatever reason ……but the irony is in the end you are stopping from kalima not spreading it….there’s no justification in saying it was qadians or any others……you removed kalima not the Ahmadis……sad

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  • Nasir Mahmood
    Dec 8, 2012 - 2:42AM

    Another incident against the Ahamdiyyas, surely this is a planned act going across punjab under the guidance of some prominent leaders in this region.

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  • Matin
    Dec 8, 2012 - 6:39AM

    @ both Anjums.
    This is nobody’s religion but Allah’s.
    Ahmadis are another sect of Muslims like sunnis,shias and many others.They are following the same basic teachings of Islam claiming a few differance of interpretations of Quran and Ahadith like all other sects do..How can u say they are using ur religion? You are not God.Allah is .everyone should learn to respect everyone’s religion and every sect of Islam’s opinions to live in peace.

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  • Amtul Humayun
    Dec 9, 2012 - 3:49AM

    Pakistanis some of u rose up when a gutsy girl was shot, why don’t u when this happens to so many of your citizens……don’t be docile. Akila Humayun

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  • Amtul Humayun
    Dec 9, 2012 - 4:00AM

    Try this in canada and the ignoramus immigrant is shipped back to the country they came from. We call it a hate crime. Akila Humayun

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  • Anjum Khaleeq
    Dec 10, 2012 - 1:03PM

    @Ammar:
    Brother, I agree to the 2nd part of your text which is towards qadianis but the first one I am sorry I wont agree to, why? please see the following example:

    I own a business, and illegally write your company’s name on it and also tell people that its Ammar’s office, your customers get misguided and come to my place. I started earning business from them, what will you do? The modus operandi should be this way, You’ll first ask me to please shut this, I wont, you’d go for a legal action against me and even when the law enforcement agencies don’t help you shutting my illegal business down, what will you do?
    You’ll use force.

    Now, actually they can live here peacefully like other minorities Hindu, Christians, Sikhs do, (exceptional mishaps with hindus and christian are definitely there, but don’t these mishaps take place with Muslims here? i can quote 1000 examples if required.)
    But for that they will have to stop what they’ve been claiming.
    For details, please refer to khatm-e-nubuwwat.com.
    Regards,
    Anjum.

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  • AnisAqeel
    Dec 10, 2012 - 6:28PM

    @Anjum Khaleeq:
    So you compare your (dirty) business to clean, tolerant and inviting peaceful religion of Islam as a trade mark and use as promotion. Shame on you as Hazrat Mohammed (SAW) converted and wanted to convert their worst enemies. Some people are so shameless that they can sell their loved ones for promotion of their business like you do and seems exploiting Islam is your business.
    Islam is not a property that can be force-ably occupied like a piece of plot in Pakistan by any ‘gunda’ but a religion of peace that invite any and all in this universe. Cleaning up ones mentality is also a part of Islam and some fanatic mullah minded are so dirty that they need to dip themselves in disinfectants before they use the word of Islam, they are worst than Namrud who claimed to be a God.

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  • shirjeel
    Dec 10, 2012 - 10:22PM

    “Won”t let the living live, and won”t let the dead rest in peace”

    Act as humans, TALKING is a way to act on things, violence solves NOTHING

    let ALLAH be the judge and let there be peace..

    Love for All hatred for none

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  • Anjum Khaleeq
    Dec 12, 2012 - 11:02AM

    @AnisAqeel:
    you did not read my post thoroughly, otherwise you wouldn’t have written such a childish post.
    I mentioned an example and did not promote my business and did not compare Deen with any dirty business, don’t get confused and misled, kindly kindly open this link and you will find the light inshaALLAH, http://www.khatm-e-nubuwwat.org/ahmadies/bhatkahowa-rahi/P/1.htm
    may ALLAH give you hidaya.

    By the way you mentioned “dirty” business? You know what! “ALLAH subhanahu wa ta’aala has made things very easy for a Muslim, I will quote an example here, one day a yahoodi came to Hazrat Ali Razi ALLAHo Anhu, and asked him, what time do you people worship (ibadat) your GOD, Hazrat Ali Razi ALLAH o Anho replied, the summary is as follows, we worship all the time – day and night, the yahoodi was astonished and asked how is it possible? Don’t you sleep? Don’t you work? Don’t you go to your wives? Hazrat Ali Razi ALLAH o Anho gave a great reply by saying, we sleep as per Sunnah of Rasul ullah SAW and that becomes ibadat/worship for us., we do business as per sunnah of Rasulullah SAW and that becomes ibadat/worship for us. We go to our wives as per sunnah of Rasulullah SAW and that becomes ibadat/worship for us.
    So, doing business as per sunnah is ibadat. Please find the light. May ALLAH help you.

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