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Monday, July 2, 2012


In a civilized society, when someone commits a murder, you call the police -- expecting them to uphold the law and arrest whoever committed the crime. But who do you call when the criminals are the police themselves? In the town of Rabwah, Pakistan, several senior police officers are accused of detaining for 46 days without charges 43-year-old Abdul Qudoos Ahmad, a well-known and respected Ahmadi Muslim schoolteacher. The police are also accused of brutally torturing Mr. Qudoos for at least 10 straight days in an apparent attempt to force him to confess to a murder he did not commit, or else implicate high-ranking officials of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Rabwah. All for the purpose of discrediting the avowedly peace-loving and non-violent Ahmadi Muslims, who founded and built Rabwah in the early 1950s as the headquarters for their Islamic organization in Pakistan.

Mr. Qudoos was the President of the Nusratabad chapter of the Ahmadiyya Community in Rabwah. He is survived by his wife, four children and his parents. His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Khalifa (Caliph) of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, devoted his entire April 6th Friday sermon from London to the martyrdom of Abdul Qudoos, citing his steadfastness, love and devotion to God and to the Community. His Holiness said that it is the fruit of all such sacrifices by the community members that today our community is known as the most peace loving, representing the true face of Islam. He said, “the strength, the spread and the success of our Community can never be stopped by our opponents. But our opponents should remember that when the Divine Power is forced to take action then they will not be able to escape His Wrath.”

During the illegal police detention, Mr. Qudoos was not allowed to meet his family, nor he was provided medical treatment or a lawyer, nor was he officially charged with any crime. According to information received from inside sources, cruel and merciless tortures led to multiple organ failure, internal bleeding and other traumatic injuries. When the condition of Mr. Qudoos deteriorated to a near death state, the police released him to his family on March 26th so he wouldn’t die in police custody. His family rushed him to a hospital, but despite the best efforts of doctors who applied emergency treatment, Mr. Qudoos could not recover from his injuries and died March 30th. But before he passed away, he was able to detail the excruciating tortures he was subjected to and why.

The “why” of course is the reason Abdul Qudoos was unlawfully detained and tortured by the police in the first place: he was an Ahmadi Muslim -- a “Qadiani” in the parlance of the policemen accused of causing his death. “Qadiani” is the derogatory term used throughout Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh and the Middle East where Ahmadis are the most persecuted by other Muslims. The name comes from the town of Qadian in Northern India where the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was born in 1835.

Reports of persecution and atrocities against Ahmadis seldom receive any condemnation from the media, and you can forget about any serious investigation by the authorities into criminal acts if Ahmadis are the victims. When the government, via its Constitution and penal codes, mandates the marginalization and second-class citizenship of Ahmadis, allowing banners openly calling for their murder as apostates in Islam, the last thing you are going to see in Pakistan is justice for Ahmadis.

It is a well-known fact that the provincial Punjab government and in particular its law minister have connections with extremist groups and banned organizations who are very much against the Ahmadis and who have been involved in the killings of Ahmadis and Shias, both frequent targets of sectarian hate speech and violence at the hands of Sunnis.

But only Ahmadis are singled-out by name in Pakistan’s Constitution and penal codes, declared “non-Muslims” and forbidden from publicly practicing or preaching Islam. They can be fined and jailed for “posing” as Muslims if they say “Salaam Alaikum,” the standard Islamic greeting of peace, or if they refer to themselves as Muslims, or call their places of worship “mosques.” In fact, if an Ahmadi says or writes anything regarding Islam and especially the Holy Prophet Muhammad that any other Muslim deems objectionable, the Ahmadi can have a case filed against them at any police station charging them with blasphemy. And the accuser never has to provide any evidence, as this would mean repeating the supposedly blasphemous statement and thus being liable for a blasphemy charge as well.

The common result is imprisonment (often indefinitely) where the ultimate punishment can be a judicial sentence of death or an actual sentence of death at the hands of jailers, other prisoners or incensed vigilante mobs. The most famous blasphemy case in Pakistan to date is that of Aasia Bibi, a Christian mother of five who was charged with blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad and sentenced to death in November 2010, She denies ever doing this and there is no evidence against her -- only the accusations themselves -- yet still she waits in jail for her death sentence to be carried out, despite international pleas for mercy and a governmental pardon from human rights groups, religious leaders and politicians.

          So who do you turn to for help when the people charged with upholding justice are the ones responsible for injustice, torture and murder? In the case of Abdul Qudoos, where the police, courts, politicians and media in Pakistan either ally themselves with or tremble before the extremist Mullahs, the push for justice will have to come from the conscience and press of the International community. But the deliverance of justice will, ultimately, come from one source: the Court of God. Ahmadi Muslims petition this court with patience and prayer, and await God’s just verdict which we have firm faith will be in the favor of Abdul Qudoos.   

[ Ghosted with Imam Shamshad A. Nasir -- ran May 14th, 2012 in the San Bernardino Sun and Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, and at AhmadiyyaTimes: ]

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