Persecution

Press Report – Bigoted Pakistani Mullahs

34 PRESS REPORT BIGOTED PAKISTANI MULLAHS On 7th January 1990, when an Ahmadi woman died, her body was taken for burial to her ancestral village, Sarwala, two miles from the city of Attack, Pakistan. A large number of.her kith and kin, who are ‘non-Ahmadis, live there. They decided to bury her in the village cemetery where Ahmadis as well as non-Ahmadis lay buried side by side. Ahmadis from Attack city went there for the funeral. As they were getting ready to offer the Funeral Prayer, some miscreants from the city, believed to be mullahs in training, appeared on the scene. They objected to the Funeral Prayer saying that being non-Muslims, Ahmadis have no right to offer Funeral Prayer like Muslims and bury their dead in the cemetery where Muslims were buried. The villagers tried to reason with the mullahs saying that that was the matter for the local people to decide and that they did not have any objection to Ahmadis being buried there but this had no effect on ,the miscreants. Instead they started disrupting the funeral ceremony. The villagers got very angry at the interference. Tempers rose but before any real damage occurred, the police, who were present there, separated both groups and ordered the trouble-makers to go away. When the maulvis of Attack came to know of their failure, they formed a procession and marched on the roads. They attacked and damaged the shop belonging to Doctor’ Mirza Abdul Rauf, the Ameer of the local Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Then they went to the police station and demanded that a case be registered against the Ahmadis who offered the funeral prayer and buried the dead body in the village graveyard. In their application to the police they stated that according to the Anti-Ahmadi- yya Ordinance 1984, Ahmadis cannot offer funeral prayer for their dead like Muslims do, nor can they bury their dead in a Muslim cemetery. They also disclosed that when they came to know the intention of Ahmadis, they approached qari Saeed-ur-Rehmari, Minister for Zakat, and appraised him of the situation. He, then apparently, sent a message to the police authorities to stop the funeral proceedings. They further stated that inspite of having received the message, the police allowed the Ahmadis to conduct the funeral. They complained that instead of stoping Ahmadis from contravening the constitution of Pakistan, the mullahs had been asked to go away. They also stated that the sheet which covered the coffin had Kalima Tayyaba and Ayat-ul-Kursi inscribed on it. It looked exactly like the sheet used by Muslims for the coffins of their dead bodies. They REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 35 declared that that was another contravention of the Ordinance. The police therefore registered a case against nine Ahmadis under section 295 /A, their crime being ‘Hurting the religious feelings of Muslims’. When-the mullahs stepped up their campaign for the exhumation of the dead body, the headman of the village, members of the Union Council and some elders, made an application to the’police saying that the deceased was a close relative of the headman of the village, and that the villagers themselves had no objection to an Ahmadi lady being buried there, as the graves of the ancestors and a brother of the deceased were already in the cemetery. The villagers requested that the outsiders should not be allowed to disturb the village peace. The mullahs held protest meetings in mosques, formed processions, pasted posters throughout the city, made threatening statements in the press and issued warnings to the administration. Thereupon three Ahmadi youths, namely Abdul Samad s/o Doctor Mirza Abdul Rauf, Malik Saeed Ahmad b / o the deceased and Malik Zaheer Ahmad, a nephew of the deceased were arrested. Moreover, the Deputy Commissioner issued an order to the Ahmadis that they should remove the dead body from the- grave by 6 p.m. of the 24th January at the latest. Mr. Mujeebur Rehman, an Ahmadi advocate of Rawalpindi, applied to the Rawalpindi Bench of the High Court and managed to get a Stay Order. The villagers approached some religious authorities to obtain a Fatwa in their favour. The authorities at Madrissa Taleem-ul-Quran issued a written verdict that the exhumation of the dead body under such circumstances was not in compliance with Islamic Shariah. The mullahs belonging to Khatme Nubuwwat Majlis, however continued to press for the removal of the body from the graveyard. One of their leaders, was MauM Muhammad Ramzan AM, member of the central shoora c’ommittee Majlis Tahuffaz Khatme Nubuwwat, and a close friend of Raja Zafarul Haq, Ex-minister of Religious Affairs. When Aslam Qureshi attacked Mirza Muzaffar Ahmad in 1969, Raja Zafarul Haq was asked by Majlis Tahuffaz Kkatme Nubuwwat, to defend Aslam Qureshi. Maulvi AM worked along with Raja Zafarul Haq on this case. According to an article published in the Daily Jang, Rawalpindi, dated 15th February 1990, MauM AM was also responsible for instituting several cases against Ahmadis, specially opposing the building of Ahmadiyya mosques in Islamabad area. It is also known that the Ahrari leader Late Ataullah 3 6 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS Shah Bokhari had once declared Maulvi Muhammad Ramzan Alvi as his ‘Son’. This notorious mullah was actively involved in the Attock case and was doing his utmost to incite the public against the Ahmadis. On T6th of January, after sunset, when Maulvi Muhammad Ramzan Alvi, along with another mullah of Majlis Tahujfaz Khatme Nubuwwat, was going to Kohati Bazar Rawalpindi to attend a special meeting called for reviewing the situation and to step up the action for the removal of the dead body, he was run over by a car while crossing Murree Road. He was admitted in the local hospital. Though the injuries were not very severe, yet his face swelled and he died the next day. According to the teachings of Islam, great respect should be shown to dead bodies irrespective of creed, colour or race. The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has taught us the same. It is said that once he stood up when he saw a funeral procession of a Jew, as a mark of respect. Perhaps in light of these teachings, the authorities of Madrissa Taleem-ul-Quran Rawalpindi issued afatwa against the exhumation of the Ahmadi dead. It is most unfortunate that some Muslim clergy in Pakistan do not heed to this teaching and are demanding the exhumation of Ahmadi ‘dead bodies from the graveyard where other Muslims are buried. The sudden death of Maulvi Muhammad Ramzan ought to be an eye opener for such mischief mongers. (from page 33) for attending physicians who were being directed by courts to remove feeding tubes against their strongly felt medical and conscientious positions to the contrary. In the Jobes case, the Brophy case, the Conroy case and the Bouvia case, physicians and nursing personnel were being threatened by courts with punitive action if they discontinuedfeedings which they felt should be continued. Recently a judge in New York ruled that, if a hospital refused to deny a patient nutrition, the family should not be responsible for the patient’s bills from that day forward. Even though a person may be in a persistent vegetative state, he or she nevertheless possesses intrinsic moral worth and dignity. Providing him or her with food and water is ordinary medical care. Denying him or her food and water would me morally and medically wrong: It would be tantamount to killing the person.