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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Ahmadi man stabbed to death by Barelvi extremist: Pakistan

An elderly Ahmadi man waiting at a bus stand was brutally stabbed to death by a Barelvi Sunni madrasa-educated extremist in Pakistan’s Punjab province on Friday.

As per a report in Voicepk.net, the attack took place around 8 am in Chenab Nagar (Rabwah) of Chiniot district. Naseer Ahmad (60) was at Rabwah’s bus stop when religious fanatic Shehzad Hasan Rizvi s/o Ahmad Hasan told him to raise the slogans of “Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah” and “Khadim Rizvi Zindabad”. While reciting “Whosoever Abuses the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) should be Killed” the killer attacked Naseer Ahmad with a dagger and killed him on the spot. The killer was overpowered and arrested.

Khadim Hussain Rizvi was a radical Barelvi preacher who passed away in 2020. He was the founder of Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP), a political-religious organization founded in 2015 with the goal of blocking any change to Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy law. Rizvi considered Barelvi movement (Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat) founder Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi and Muhammad Iqbal as his main influences.

The killer Shahzad Hasan Rizvi belonged to a village near Silanwali, district Sargodha. He got admission in Madrassa Anwar-ul-Quran in 2005 and graduated in 2010. The deceased has left behind three daughters and a widow.

Ahmadi community organization Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya (JA) said the deceased man had no personal rivalry with anybody. He was simply killed for being Ahmadi, the JA said.

Expressing grief over the incident, JA spokesperson Saleemuddin said Ahmadis were not even safe in Chenab Nagar — an Ahmadi-majority town where 95% population is Ahmadi. He said the proliferation of anti-Ahmadi sentiment was to be blamed for the community’s sense of insecurity.  Saleemuddin questioned how the government did not nab purveyors of hate despite being cognisant of who they were.

Ahmadis (aka Ahmadiyyas, pejoratively also called Qadianis) and minorities like Hindus are severely persecuted in Muslim-majority Pakistan where such discrimination enjoys legal and constitutional sanction. Ahmadi Muslims face similar hate from mainstream Muslims clerics and leaders like Asaduddin Owaisi in Bharat as well.

Another report on this murder informs us of other recent attacks faced by this community, “An Ahmadi was earlier killed in a targeted attack on May 17. The burial of two Ahmadis was impeded separately over the year. An Ahmadi worship place was sealed in Mirpur Khas. The graves of 173 Ahmadis have been desecrated. Thirty-one confession-based cases have been lodged.”

However, the persecution of Pakistani Hindus is far more organized and of a higher order of magnitude. It takes the form of abduction/rape/forced conversion and murder of Hindu girls including minors; bonded labor; mob attacks and house burnings; lynchings and induced suicides; false blasphemy cases and so on.

Ahmadis are regarded as kafir (non-Muslims) by many mainstream Muslims since they consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the movement, to be the promised Mahdi (messiah) awaited by Muslims and a sub-ordinate prophet after Muhammad. Unfortunately, even Ahmadis consider Hindus as ‘kafir’ and the community played a major role in the Pakistan movement leading to partition.

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had been a staunch critic of Hindu Dharma and Arya Samaj, the organization founded by Swami Dayanand Saraswati which strongly rebutted the slander and propaganda against Hindu Dharma that was being spread by Islamic and Christian proselytizers in the late 19th century.

Unable to counter the academic arguments given by Arya Samaji scholar Pandit Lekh Ram, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad ‘foretold’ his murder and Lekh Ram was duly murdered the day after Eid of 1897 in Lahore by a man who came to him pretending to become his disciple.

By a cruel irony, this murder incited by the founder of the Ahmadi movement can be said to have provided the template of the ‘sar tan se juda’ blasphemy violence that has plagued the subcontinent ever since, claiming Ahmadi lives too.

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