Religious Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
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Home Critical Analysis/Archives Plight of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan
Plight of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan


The Ahmadiyya Community in Islam was established in 1889 at Qadian, India. As it was essentially a movement for reform, it faced great opposition from the forces of status quo. The religious establishment, considered it, all along, a threat to its privileges and position, so it opposed Ahmadiyyat consistently, powerfully and often violently. With the establishment of Pakistan, the Muslim priesthood i.e. Mullas became more acrimonious and violent in their opposition, and they periodically mounted waves of severe agitation to destroy this community. The 1953 agitation against Ahmadis resulted in the fall of the provincial government in the Punjab, imposition of Martial Law in Lahore and the fall of the Central Government. In 1974, Mr. Bhutto imposed ‘Not Muslim’ status on Ahmadis after triggering countrywide riots against them.

In April 1984, the President of Pakistan, General Zia decided to raise the level of tyranny against Ahmadis to an unprecedented level. In this, he had full support of obscure Mullas. He promulgated Ordinance XX whereby Ahmadis were denied freedom of faith, and imprisonment and fines were prescribed for any violation of the Ordinance. The Ordinance gave green signal to all the opponents of Ahmadiyyat to step-up their agitation, and encouraged them to undertake all kinds of persecution against the beleaguered community.

Although General Zia died in 1988, his legacy continues. No government has made any attempt to deviate from the course charted by him. If at all, the successor governments have further built upon the edifice of tyranny and persecution of Ahmadis. It is now fifteen years since the Ordinance was promulgated. The Community has suffered a great deal during this time, and the suffering continues unabated. It is a touching story and this Souvenir tells only a part of it, as it is impossible to do full justice to such a wide-ranging drama of pain and suffering. In 1989, the year of Ahmadiyya Centenary, a souvenir, titled “Persecution of Ahmadi Muslims and Their Response” was published by us. We have ensured that, with rare exceptions, the material contained in that Souvenir is not repeated in this one. The present volume can be considered, in a way, Volume II of the 1989 Publication.

May 1999

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