After factory, mob torches Ahmadi place of worship in Jhelum over blasphemy allegations

Published: November 21, 2015
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: An Ahmadi place of worship was set ablaze  in Jhelum on Saturday, a day after an unbridled mob burnt down a factory owned by members of the Ahmadiyya community in the same area after one of its employees was accused of committing blasphemy.

According to reports, hundreds of people surrounded a chipboard factory and set the facility ablaze after reports surfaced that one employee had allegedly desecrated the Holy Quran.

Local clerics made provocative speeches against Ahmadis, causing the enraged mob to resort to violence.

Mob torches factory in Jhelum

Police officials claimed to have arrested a member of the Ahmadiyya community Friday night, after which he was put under judicial remand.

According to sources, an FIR was registered against the accused under blasphemy charges after locals of the area accused him of burning pages of the Holy Quran.

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“About 80% of the factory, Pakistan Chipboard Factory, has been destroyed along with six residences in the factory,” spokesperson of Jamat-e-Ahmadia Saleemudin told The Express Tribune. He added that all workers and residents were safe.

“Ahmadi families have fled the area to save their lives, leaving their houses at the mercy of the unbridled mob.”

Further, the spokesperson added that the incident occurred in the presence of the police, which was unable to control the enraged mob.

Saleemudin further added that a wave of fear has gripped the community. “If the police does not take stern action against the perpetrators, there are chances of them burning down the houses of the Ahmadis too,” he said, while pointing out that none of the attackers have been arrested so far.

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Meanwhile, Mujahid Akbar Khan, District Police Officer Jehlum, told The Express Tribune, “Last night, the police used the most amount of force it has to control the mob.” The DPO also said that the news of the place of worship being burnt down can only be confirmed once he reaches the sight where the place of worship is located.

The mob managed to set the factory on fire despite the presence of heavy contingents of police and Rangers being present at the site.

Nabbed: Ahmadi worship place attackers in detention

Police were unable to disperse the protesters despite using tear gas and Rangers had to be called in for support.

The police did, however, arrest three members of the community.

Talking to The Express Tribune, a Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya spokesperson said three Ahmadis were arrested without reason. The spokesman added that he wasn’t sure as to whether those trapped inside the factory had been rescued.

Jhelum DPO Mujahid Akbar Khan was unavailable for comment despite several attempts to reach him.

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Reader Comments (39)

  • troll
    Nov 21, 2015 - 4:38PM

    intolerance in India……Recommend

  • indian
    Nov 21, 2015 - 5:57PM

    pakis you will always be an intolerant society , so stop preaching tolerance to Indians.Recommend

  • EK Ahmedi
    Nov 21, 2015 - 6:02PM

    Thank you Quaid E Azam for giving us a separate place called India…….at least there are some who can raise their voice and register their protest…Recommend

  • InthenameofGod
    Nov 21, 2015 - 6:06PM

    I am convinced that the mob was hired by the indians and jews to spread hatred. Recommend

  • Alien1
    Nov 21, 2015 - 6:21PM

    forget minorities even muslims are not safe in pakistan.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Nov 21, 2015 - 7:23PM

    @EK Ahmedi: Ahemdis were at forefront in creation of Pakistan. Sir Zafra-ullah Khan was first foreign minister of Pakistan and one of the founding fathers of Pakistan. Their wisdom must had gone to grass grazing at that time. Recommend

  • ranjan
    Nov 21, 2015 - 7:51PM

    rising intolerance in pakistan.Recommend

  • Vectra
    Nov 21, 2015 - 7:55PM

    Intolerance in pakistan,now shall the pakistan film stars,media guys and nuclear scientists and others return their award in protest.No way they will never so i just want to say pakistan has a lot to learn from India not rejoice when India was facing similar issue and Indian had to defend themselves that Intolerance is by bunch of mobs only and not the general mindset of entire nation but pakistanis here were not ready to understand and rejoicing.Now let me ask what you guys have to say now????Recommend

  • Nov 21, 2015 - 8:00PM

    100s of comments on intolerance in India. Silence now?Recommend

  • Rao
    Nov 21, 2015 - 8:33PM

    @Alien1:
    But Ahmedis are not Muslims, so has declared Pak. Parliament long time ago during great leader Z. A. Bhutto.Recommend

  • Skywalker
    Nov 21, 2015 - 8:44PM

    Sorry to see act of intolerance.

    Ahmedis who were on the forefront of asking for a separate nation in 1947 are now themselves treated as 2nd class citizens.

    I am disappointed to hear that the place of worship is not called as a Masjid.Recommend

  • Skywalker
    Nov 21, 2015 - 8:52PM

    @Vectra:
    That is so true.
    I hope the Faisal Qureshi and ilks stand strong against such acts. Further, everyone who got Nishan-e-haider or similar awards should return it back.
    Let us build some solidarity to protests against such acts, let us not give excuse that “since Pakistan is NOT a secular nation, like India, such things are bound to happen”.
    Let us not again wait to hear from UN Rights expert about our records.
    Let us be proactive in fighting this sectarian menace.Recommend

  • sabi
    Nov 21, 2015 - 8:57PM

    Not a single statement of condemnation from any high up very very sad and disappointing.
    Where is prime minister of all communities,Nawaz Sharif. Where is chief minister SS.Where is interior minister?. Shame on you. I thought you were serious but I was mistaken Alas!. Recommend

  • Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
    Nov 21, 2015 - 9:18PM

    Assalam o alaikum.
    Ahmadies r totally innocent in this incident.The mullahs have enraged local ppl and they have done this cruel act.Recommend

  • Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
    Nov 21, 2015 - 9:22PM

    Assalam o alaikum.
    I want to inform everyone that we ahmadies are totally innocent in this incident.This all was an act to demonish our community.Recommend

  • John B
    Nov 21, 2015 - 9:31PM

    I fail to understand this mindset. Blasphemy must be a drug, an excellent mind control weapon. Would like to know which region of the brain it stimulates.

    Now, the poor women who went to work in the factory to feed their family and their useless husbands, have to scavenge for another job. Recommend

  • Shaukat ali
    Nov 21, 2015 - 9:41PM

    Stopping crazy uneducated clerics from hate speeches and propaganda was part of national action plan to curb terrorism. Whereare the enforcers now. You are under the world’s microscope, let’s see if you can arrest and punish that imam and show the world minorities have some protection in this country.Recommend

  • Last Word
    Nov 21, 2015 - 10:22PM

    This is no intolerance but way of life in Pakistan which is acceptable to majority who have never protested so far on atrocities against minority communities.Recommend

  • An Indian
    Nov 21, 2015 - 11:13PM

    Muslims in India must be thankful that they are living in a Hindu majority country. However, if they are still unhappy, they are free to migrate to a peaceful heaven called Pakistan.Recommend

  • Rafiq A. Tschannen
    Nov 22, 2015 - 12:52AM

    I am patiently waiting for the Pakistani Press to call an Ahmadiyya Mosque a Mosque.Recommend

  • Haroon
    Nov 22, 2015 - 1:06AM

    No Muslim can do this act. Terrorism has no Religion. Islam is a religion of peace. Recommend

  • Abdul
    Nov 22, 2015 - 1:07AM

    What a disaster this government is that it cannot resist a mob!!Recommend

  • Ahmadi lover
    Nov 22, 2015 - 1:07AM

    Thank you quaid e azam for separating Pakistan from India. Recommend

  • ZKKhan
    Nov 22, 2015 - 1:15AM

    And where is basic freedom of religion, human values anf tolerance for each other which Islam teaches.Recommend

  • Rafiq A. Tschannen
    Nov 22, 2015 - 1:28AM

    “The Police however did arrest three members of the Ahmadiyya Community” ? Is this a joke? Is it usual for the Pakistani police to arrest the victims?Recommend

  • Insan
    Nov 22, 2015 - 2:34AM

    It’s disgraceful and we should all be ashamed of these heinous acts. It’s shameful that the leaders and authorities become impotent to do anything because of the fear that the label of blasphemy-defender will be attached to them. Ahmadi’s and anyone else must have equality backed not by just laws but a just people of any nation.

    As for intolerance, in IOK Muslims are having a ball. And we all know how the RSS, which controls Modi-ji et al, oozes tolerance for non-Hindus in India – as it recently demonstrated to the world.Recommend

  • Zain
    Nov 22, 2015 - 2:37AM

    This intolerance non-sense is getting out of hands in Pakistan. Something must be done immediately. These intolerance idiots must be jailed, they are the ones who are enemies of Islam, just like these ISIS fools who themselves drink beer and do everything un-Islamic and go to western countries to commit crimes in the name of Islam. Same thing is true about these intolerant mobs in Pakistan who do everything un-Islamic in their daily lives but when it comes to burning places of worship of Shias, Hazaras, Ahmedis, Christians, etc. they pretend to become good Muslims, and do things which Islam does not even allow them to do, like burning places of worship of minorities. What a shame, we need to Jail and execute these enemies of Muslims who pretend to be Muslims and harming the whole world.Recommend

  • ajeet
    Nov 22, 2015 - 3:29AM

    No award returning by the few intellectuals who are still in Pakistan?Recommend

  • salman
    Nov 22, 2015 - 3:33AM

    @indian:

    We never claimed we are a tolerant society neither we ever considered ourselves as secular unlike hypocrite Indians.

    Anyways such deplorable events in Punjab only occurs under PMLN where their senior ministers have linked with extremists and LeJ type groups.Recommend

  • Kolsat
    Nov 22, 2015 - 3:51AM

    @InthenameofGod: A typical idiotic comment from a hater of Jews and Hindus. Did those who burnt the factory down stopped to think that the Koran is also holy to Ahmadis and would they have gained by insulting it. The Mullas who stirred up the trouble should all be caught and hung upside down for their role. Such clerics who [preach violence are a disgrace. Recommend

  • Panipuri
    Nov 22, 2015 - 5:01AM

    Muslims need to reconsider the concepts of Jihad, Infidels, Kafir, Jiziya, Apostasy (riddah) and many other like fitna, etc. Or else, be relegated to primitive barbaric times as world moves in the 21st century.Recommend

  • Uday
    Nov 22, 2015 - 6:07AM

    Saviors of human rights in action. Now they want Kashmir also to practice their Blasphemy laws. Inside Pakistan Ahmedis are infidels but Sufis become Muslims when they are in India. What a muslim love and Islamic brotherhood!Recommend

  • Malik
    Nov 22, 2015 - 6:10AM

    It is a sad incident. I wonder the complete blackout in Pak-Press & famous TV Channels of this horrific incident. However, any tax payer resident should have the independence to do any business. This is, in my opinion, the instigation flared by the illiterate Moulvis.Recommend

  • Ravi
    Nov 22, 2015 - 8:11AM

    @salman:
    Right, so Pakistan never claims to be a tolerant state, so you are entitled to kill your minorities!! Excellent logic. Recommend

  • Nov 22, 2015 - 11:05AM

    Pakistan should regulate all mullahs like how Turkey does.Recommend

  • B. Sivaramakrishna
    Nov 22, 2015 - 11:34AM

    Followers of minority Muslim sects in Pakistan like the Shia, Ahmadiyya, Ismaili and Bohra continue to reap the deadly harvest of their own and/or their ancestor’s lack of judgment in falling for the Two Nation Theory.Recommend

  • Shakil Chaudhary
    Nov 22, 2015 - 12:45PM

    If there were a Nobel prize for self-righteousness, Pakistanis would win it hands down. They find fault with the entire world, but don’t display a modicum of self-criticism. Everything bad that happens in Pakistan is the fault of outsiders who have nothing better to do than plot sinister conspiracies against Pakistan.

    There was a time when an Ahmadi, Sir Zafrullah Khan, was the foreign minister of Pakistan. He had also served as the president of the All India Muslim League. Today if you send an Ahmadi stationmaster to Chichawatni, the entire city shuts to protest the appointment. Today Pakistan is an apartheid state and very proud of it. Recommend

  • B. Sivaramakrishna
    Nov 22, 2015 - 5:40PM

    Followers of minority Muslim sects in Pakistan like the Shia, Ahmadiyya, Ismaili and Bohra continue to reap the deadly harvest of their own and/or their ancestor’s lack of judgement in falling for the Two Nation Theory.Recommend

  • IndianDude
    Nov 22, 2015 - 10:40PM

    At least they are able to to eat beef. Shame on India! Eating beef is fundamental right that all Pakistanis have, being able to live, breath, think and believe freely is not granted.Recommend

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