'Blasphemous newspaper': Court denies bail to Ahmadi distributors

Published: June 19, 2013
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The accused were charged with the printing and distribution of Al Fazal, a Jamaat-i-Ahmadia community newspaper. PHOTO: FILE

The accused were charged with the printing and distribution of Al Fazal, a Jamaat-i-Ahmadia community newspaper. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: A division bench of the Lahore High Court dismissed bail applications on Wednesday of two Ahmadi men with blasphemy cases registered against them at Islampur police station.

Presided by Justice Tariq Masood, the bench dismissed bail applications of Khalid Asfhaq and Tahir Mahmood after listening to cases presented by both the prosecution and the defendant.

Police officials had registered an FIR on the complaint of Muhammad Hassan Muavia under Pakistan Penal Code and Anti Terrorist Act.

The complainant had accused them of printing and distributing Jamaat-i-Ahmadia’s community newspaper, Al Fazal.

It was alleged that the newspaper had blasphemous content.

Editor of the newspaper Abdul Sami and printer, Tahir Mehdi were also nominated in the FIR but they were not arrested till the filing of the report.

Earlier an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) had also dismissed bail applications of Ashfaq and Mahmood but alleged accomplices, Faisal Tahir and Azhar Zarif were granted bail.

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Reader Comments (41)

  • ashar
    Jun 19, 2013 - 5:21PM

    A routine court matter becomes a breaking news for ET if an ahmedi is involved. Ahmedis are living in our society quite peacefully and moves like that will do nothing but develop distance between the two communities. Is this the motive of continuously breaking these sort of news?

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  • Mae
    Jun 19, 2013 - 5:22PM

    Now without having any knowledge people will jump to the conclusion that Ahmadis are persecuted even by Courts…Brace urselves for it people….

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  • amit (India)
    Jun 19, 2013 - 5:23PM

    strong step by the court in defence of the faith. Nobody will now dare commit blasphemy in Pakistan.

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  • Shaami
    Jun 19, 2013 - 5:25PM

    Yesterday Sunni Extremists distributed Anti Shia stuff in our region of Lahore in which it was clearly mentioned that Shias will be eliminated from Pakistan in future and to support LEJ. All of this is happening in Lahore right under the nose of Shahbaz Sharif, So i have a question to the PMLN and Shahbaz Sharif and Self Righteous courts that is it alright if LEJ openly get funds from all of Lahore and openly call for Murder of Shias. Is it alright if allies of PMLN call for murder of Minorities.?? In Punjab courts are being used to reign Christians and Ahmedis while Shias are being slaughtered by the policies of PMLN by supporting Extremists in Punjab.

    I was the fan of PMLN but now I have seen if you want to see Taliban Supporters, LEJ Supporters, Minority Abusers or anyone who talk about Religious Violence then the name of PMLN , their supporters and their regions come at the forefront and it is a sheer shame and nothing else.

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  • Mehreen Awan
    Jun 19, 2013 - 5:28PM

    Oh now i see that Anti Terrorism courts are so busy in Persecuting Minorities that they dont have any time to bring Real Religious Extremists to courts. Anti Terrorism courts failed miserably in prosecuting Taliban, SSP etc but they have ample time to listen to the case pertaining to Christians and Qadianis.Recommend

  • jibran
    Jun 19, 2013 - 5:30PM

    No freedom of practicing their religion, as the “most peaceful” and the “fastest growing” religion feels threatened by a smaller and very well vulnerable religion. The entire state machinery is bent upon ensuring that the religious beliefs of this religion fall under blasphemy. What’s now happening with ahmadis is worse than the nazi Germany.

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  • Shaami
    Jun 19, 2013 - 5:31PM

    @ashar: It is not a routine court matter,. Do you know with what crime they are being charged.?. The only crime is that they were producing magazine for their own people and every religious group do that all over the world but in Pakistan other than Islam all other Magazine production is prohibited because everything else other than Islam fall under Blasphemy.

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  • Fareed
    Jun 19, 2013 - 5:32PM

    @ashar:
    Define and prove: “Ahmedis are living in our society quite peacefully”

    People have to understand first, that humanity is much more important as compared to religion !!

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  • jibran
    Jun 19, 2013 - 5:33PM

    The greatest disservice that Chaudhry Iftikhar did to pakistan was the induction a battalion of extremists within the superior judiciary. There is now no justice for the minorities. Sad, painful, regretful, but outrageously true.

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  • Mae
    Jun 19, 2013 - 5:40PM

    @Fareed,
    What U know of humanity today is because of existence of religion…Please talk sense…its very easy to exonerate oneself from responsibilities and start bashing religion….PleaseRecommend

  • Mae
    Jun 19, 2013 - 5:44PM

    @Fareed
    What you know of Humanity today is because of the existence of religion…Please dont exonerate oneself from ones responsibility and start bashing religion…

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  • jibran
    Jun 19, 2013 - 6:02PM

    @Mae:
    And who filed the FIR… the name explains it all.

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  • Np
    Jun 19, 2013 - 6:05PM

    @ashar: The motive is to highlight the injustice in our society towards a minority. Not talking about it and pretending that bigotry doesn’t exist will not make it better. The first step to solving a problem is acknowledging it exists. A point sadly lost on most Pakistanis, who seem to prefer living in a make-believe reality.

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  • Waseem
    Jun 19, 2013 - 6:10PM

    @ashar:
    Ade you kidding me? Just yesterday ahmadinwas killed at his home in front of his door step just because henis an ahmadi. But wait killing an innocent person might be oknwith you because you guys are used to kill people anywhere and its a peaceful society. Flyers sre distributed in markets to kill all ahmadis. Students are expelled, employees are getting fired and or not promoted but to you that is in all fairness. Shame on you snd people like you. This is the sole reason for destruction of Pakistan and the rise of terrorist activities in Pakistsn. May Allah keep Pakistan away from people like that.

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  • suhaib
    Jun 19, 2013 - 6:11PM

    ‘anti-terrorism act’ ?? Hilarious!

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  • Bilal Bajwa
    Jun 19, 2013 - 6:23PM

    By the way, what was the blasphemous material? I read Al Fazal daily, it is next to impossible to find any blasphemous contents in Al Fazal because Ahmadis would not commit any such act as true believers of Islam; require no certification for the same. I would say, “Ahmadiyya Persecution” at its best. I condemn it in strongest conceivable terms. Why don’t you live and let live?

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  • Rameez
    Jun 19, 2013 - 6:38PM

    Blasphemous material would have caused the kind of unrest that can claim lives. So the decision taken by the court is right.

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  • Javed Latef
    Jun 19, 2013 - 6:47PM

    Al Fazal has been printed and distributed for a very long time. Trying to shut it down is deplorable. I am not an Ahmadi, but feel offended when these people along with other minorities are denied their basic human rights. These are the same rights that we demand for Muslims in Burma. Of course, we will never be ashamed of our double standard, we are Muslims.

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  • Jun 19, 2013 - 6:48PM

    @ashar:

    It is a routine matter of Ahmadis being discriminated on charges for blasphemy. There is already a great divide due to such bigoted hatred from the majority, in society and institutional, against the minority, and the extremists do not let them live in peace. These dishonest delusional comments of harmony carries little weight, with all the documented prejudices as well as yourself already admitting elsewhere you are ‘afraid’ of Ahmedis.

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  • Acorn Guts
    Jun 19, 2013 - 6:53PM

    Funny how even the courts will jump on Ahmadis for publishing ‘blasphemous’ material while the rest of population including the ex-interioir minister will rally to unblock YouTube where mass publication of ‘blasphemous’ material doesn’t matterto anyone. So clearly, it is not blasphemy that bothers us .. it is just Ahmedis.

    Therefore can you please nab us Ahmedis and destroy our businesses – if you desire that so much – without burdening us with the grave allegation of blasphemy please?

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  • Cyrus
    Jun 19, 2013 - 6:54PM

    what was the blasphmous content??????

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  • Ammar
    Jun 19, 2013 - 7:12PM

    To Ashar and all those who do not understand why do ET publishes news related to Ahmadis. Read this story about civil rights movement in US and the role of media and you will understand.
    Good job ET, you are making history.
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/06/18/193128475/how-the-civil-rights-movement-was-covered-in-birmingham

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  • Jun 19, 2013 - 7:18PM

    @Shaami:

    Unless there are Sunni moderates (who are becoming fewer) who step up, question and combat such ideological bigotry and violence in society and our laws, it’ll get worse. I see little hope of it being rectified, as there are many Sunni conservatives, if not extremists, who are openly prominent in Pak society and hold power in its institutions, and this includes the courts. I stopped believing it was ‘just a few extremists’ in Pak or a silent majority that’s moderate. Unfortunately, I do not believe the PTI will address such religious and sectarian extremism and prejudice either.

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  • Insaan
    Jun 19, 2013 - 7:32PM

    @Fareed: If a person can’t be a good human being that means he does not know what is the purpose of following a religion.

    I am not a muslim, but I used to watch an Ahmadi TV program in USA. Ahmadi Muslims seem to be most peaceful type and project a good image of Islam.

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  • Sandra (UK)
    Jun 19, 2013 - 7:35PM

    @Cyrus:
    in Pakistan, definition of blasphemy has changed…
    if a community publishes a simple newspaper for its own use then it is blasphemy…
    if majority can not intellectually reply to faith of minority then the minority is committing blasphemy….
    if a community is living peacefully even then it is blasphemy….
    these laws are being used to commit pure zulm on minorities be it hindu, ahmadi, chrisitian or shia………
    islam is all about love for all hatred for none…
    remember a sizeable number of Jews lived right next to Muslims in Medina in earliest days of Islam, but they were never persecuted by Muslims even though Jews were notably always involved in mischiefs and nefarious tasks….Today’s Islam practised is not real Islam …it is militant version of original…..May God guide the Muslims of Pakistan to act in true of spirit of Islam…..
    3…2….1….and the comment is deleted…..

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  • Prof. Shahid Mobeen
    Jun 19, 2013 - 8:28PM

    It seems the publishers are safer in the police station than at their homes because they might get killed by some people instigated by hate.

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  • Kal
    Jun 19, 2013 - 8:34PM

    @ashar: why are you so enraged when truth is revealed? Injustice against Ahmadies is prevelant in throught out Pakistan. Justice system has been corrupted so much that nothing positive against a minority can be accepted any longer. I thank ET for its courage to bring truth out in the open.

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  • Aq
    Jun 19, 2013 - 9:01PM

    Khadim e alaa and Nawaz sharif should act and give ahmadis their citizenship rights. Otherwise injustices will lead to Shareefs end. Where is PTI IK and their supportes who talks about bringing justice to people. PTI is in oppostion in both punjab and national assembly. They should stand up for ahmadis and minorities.

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  • Mae
    Jun 19, 2013 - 9:47PM

    @jibran….Seriously if You judge People by their names…Then GOD BLESS US…

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  • nirmal s maunder
    Jun 20, 2013 - 7:24AM

    Pakistan has no right to discriminate against own citizens.This is a serious violationn of human rights & must stop.all refereces to Ahmedias in the laws & constitution must go & they should have full right to practice their faith,call their religious places whatever they like.Forcing citizens to condemn ahmedias even for getting a passport is laughable & tragic both.

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  • Zavia
    Jun 20, 2013 - 8:53AM

    @Bilal Bajwa: … true believers of Islam. Nonsense. !!

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  • Observer
    Jun 20, 2013 - 12:00PM

    ET moderators, please allow my post. I am raising some very fundamental and deep philosophical questions in my answer to the post you allowed. @mae made a very sweeping declaration that needs to be challenged.

    @Mae:

    “What U know of humanity today is because of existence of religion”

    First, can you prove this statement?

    Hmmm…let’s think about this one. Why do you say that what we know of humanity today is all due religion? What about our thinking brain, logic, reason, natural feelings of compassion, kindness etc.. are all due to religion? Religion was a creation of man and a very fallible one at that. Why should religion, a creation of man, be the precursor of humanity that created it?
    Carrying this logic further, do you mean to say all religions shaped humanity or is it only Islam that did it? How about Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism etc.? Did these religions also shaped humanity that practices these faiths? How about the atheists, animists, pagans etc.. are they devoid of humanity?

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  • SJ
    Jun 20, 2013 - 12:32PM

    @Zavia: Who gives you the right to form opinion on anyone’s belief?

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  • Zavia
    Jun 20, 2013 - 3:35PM

    @SJ: you do not need a permission from your neighborhood to protect your family when under-siege

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  • HUM
    Jun 20, 2013 - 4:55PM

    @ashar:
    When people from a minority group are not granted bail because they published the newspaper for their own community, then yes the impartiality of the court will be brought into question. Seems like in the land of the pure you can get bail if you commit murder but God forbid if you belong to a minority sect, then even courts will try to make an example out of you.

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  • AllahRukha
    Jun 20, 2013 - 6:47PM

    The registration of a police report and the subsequent denial of bail by the high court judge is a clear picture of how much religious fanaticism has penetrated in the society.

    It was the Kufaar of Mecca who imposed strict punishment upon Muslims to practice their faith.

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  • Acorn Guts
    Jun 20, 2013 - 6:52PM

    @Observer:
    Well done, you’ve just countered a sweeping statement with a couple of your own.

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  • Observer
    Jun 21, 2013 - 9:11AM

    ET mods, please allow me to reply @Acorn Guts who has addressed me directly and expressed some disagreement.

    @Acorn Guts:

    “@Observer:
    Well done, you’ve just countered a sweeping statement with a couple of your own.”

    If you mean my calling religions being creation of man, I am in the correct if you believe in logic, reason and scientific inquiry/analysis. You see, the burden of proof is upon those who want us to believe that god personally spoke to humans in blood and flesh and that supernatural events are real. If that “logic” (illogic) is true, then we also have to believe that god spoke to the likes of Jim Jones, David Quraish, David Applegate and scores of other “agents” of god.

    I mean disrespect to one’s right to believe in their faiths. But where I disagree is when they claim their beliefs (with no scientific facts) as the only truth that others should respect and accept.

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  • Observer
    Jun 21, 2013 - 11:36AM

    Oops… A type in my previous post:

    I mean disrespect to one’s right to believe in their faiths. But where I disagree is when they claim their beliefs (with no scientific facts) as the only truth that others should respect and accept.”

    I meant “I don’t mean disrespect” in my sentence above.

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  • Acorn Guts
    Jun 21, 2013 - 3:19PM

    @Observer:
    No need to elaborate my friend. I was merely amused by the pot-kettle-black situation you had just gotten yourself into.

    i.e. Religious people argue that their belief is the absolute truth and you on the other hand deny their absolute truth and raise them an absolute truth of your own using ‘logic’ and ‘scientific enquiry’. Your argument is no different to religious people’s in principle, just from a completely other end of the spectrum .. just as assertive, intolerant and obstinate as the other.

    The truth is neither of you two at the extreme ends of intolerance can definitely prove one or the other wrong. So let it be .. each to one’s own, what ever one needs to go through this life is one’s own business .. let their be harmony and understanding .. this world will be a much better place.

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  • Observer
    Jun 21, 2013 - 11:27PM

    @Acorn Guts:

    ” Your argument is no different to religious people’s in principle, just from a completely other end of the spectrum .. just as assertive, intolerant and obstinate as the other.”

    You are committing a huge fallacy by putting blind faith and scientific inquiry on the same spectrum. Blind faith is blind, it can never change, as it is not based on facts. But, scientific inquiry is based on facts and allows the possibility of change of theory based on new facts as they emerge.

    Challenging supernatural beliefs is not necessarily intolerant. What intolerant is imposing ones blind faith on others as the absolute truth.

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