Religious Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
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Author: Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmadra, 4th Caliph of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
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Enforced Apostasy: Zaheeruddin v. State and the Official Persecution of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan

II. History of Ahmadis in Pakistan

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan was founded in 1947 by Quaid-Azam (Great Leader) Muhammad Ali Jinnah. *21 It was created to meet the demands and concerns of the Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent. *22 Pakistan was formed as a Muslim State but not as an Islamic theocracy per se. *23 Pakistan was intended to function as a secular state accommodating other faiths but existing primarily to allow the free practice of Islam. *24 The current constitution was adopted in April 1973, following the secession of East Pakistan into Bangladesh in 1971. *25 In 1977, a military coup made General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq the President of Pakistan. *26 General Zia instituted a martial law regime. *27 Following Zia's death in 1988, Benazir Bhutto was elected Prime Minister and presently Pakistan exists as a democracy under her Prime Ministership. *28 Pakistan has a population of about 130 million, *29 of which approximately 3.5 to 4 million are Ahmadis. *30 Despite Pakistan's inception as a secular state, Muslim fundamentalist groups mounted increasing pressure to make it an Islamic theocracy. *31 The leading proponent of this pressure was Maulana Maududi, the then-Head of the Jamaat-i-Islami (Party of Islam). *32 Maududi amplified negative religious sentiment against Ahmadi beliefs to unify various religious parties. *33 Maududi felt that by creating anti-Ahmadi sentiment in Pakistan, the nation would be unified under a common cause, namely, the excommunication of the Ahmadis. *34

The ruling Muslim League Party, believing that Pakistan should not become a theocracy, refused to comply with Maududi's demand to have Ahmadis constitutionally declared non-Muslim. *35 The Jamaat-i-Islami in 1953 then took to the streets, killing the Ahmadiyyahs and looting and burning their property; riots broke out in many places; many lives were lost and much damage was done to property. The authorities came down with a heavy hand on the rioters and jailed the ulama [religious clerics] who had instigated these riots. *36

Before 1953, Ahmadis were safe in Pakistan. Because there was no agreement amongst the ulama *37 on fundamental questions of what a Muslim or an Islamic State was, “[the] government [in 1953] used this lack of unanimity to curb the activities of the fundamentalists.” *38 Anti-Ahmadi sentiment, however, would linger in the hearts of many of Pakistan's ulama. *39

The ulama or mullahs (clerics) of Pakistan continued to instigate anti-Ahmadi sentiment throughout the next twenty years. *40 For example, mullahs would put up posters all over the cities that insulted Ahmadis and exhorted faithful Sunni Muslims to ostracize Ahmadis. *41 The posters boldly pronounced “Don't buy from or sell to Ahmadis.” *42 At the direction of Khalifa-tul-Masih, the Head of the Ahmadiyya Community, the Ahmadi response remained non-retaliatory. *43

This persistent victimization of Ahmadis by mullahs led to the events of 1974. According to Professor Gualtieri, “during 1974, some non-Ahmadi young men had exposed themselves to Ahmadi girls. In protection of the girls' honour, Ahmadi youth had retaliated *44 against the perpetrators of this indecency. The result was the 1974 anti-Ahmadi disturbances that spread throughout Pakistan with such calamitous consequences for Ahmadis.” *45 Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto yielded to ulama pressure, altered the Pakistan Constitution, and pronounced the Ahmadis a non-Muslim minority. *46

President Zia-ul-Haq made life much worse for Ahmadis. Beginning in 1978, Ahmadis were excluded from participating in political activity. *47 Ahmadis became effectively disenfranchised and deprived of their right to partake in public life. *48 “Pakistan's Zia ul-Haqq regime, which fostered Islamic revivalism and the Islamization of Pakistani society, cracked down on Ahmadis through Martial Law Ordinance XX, *49 issued on April 26, 1984, in an effort to regain Islamic ‘purity’.” *50

After this ordinance took effect, Ahmadis no longer possessed the right to profess, practice, or propagate their beliefs either verbally or in writing for fear of being subject to fines or imprisonment. *51 Ahmadi publications were banned and copies of Ahmadi translations of the Holy Quran were destroyed. *52 The Ahmadis were “considered a germ in the body of the Islamicumma [community].” *53 Ahmadis were accused of “masquerading as Muslims” and thus deceiving the general public. *54 In order to safeguard the public from subversion, the government policy was to stop Ahmadis from identifying themselves as Muslims. *55

Under Ordinance XX, Ahmadis “pose as Muslims” and are punished. *56 Ahmadis cannot use the greeting Asalaam-o-Alaikum (peace be unto you); write any Islamic terminology on invitation cards for ceremonies; use the term Bismillah (In the name of God) on their stationery; display a Quranic verse on a sign or a calendar; recite the Quran aloud; offer Janaza (Funeral Prayers); or in any way display the Kalima (declaration that “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”) on their persons or on gravestones. *57 Moreover, according to Ordinance XX, Ahmadis praying, using the call to prayer (Azan), calling their places of worship mosques (Masjid), or practicing any other tenet of Muslim faith is offensive to the religious sentiments of Pakistan's Sunni Muslims and is therefore a criminal offense. *58 Ahmadi mosques have been desecrated and destroyed “without the prosecution of those … responsible for such acts.” *59 Ahmadis have been harassed and had their homes burned. *60 More seriously, Ahmadis have been murdered *61 because they are considered “apostates and as such deserv[ing of] the death penalty.” *62

The Pakistan Government considers the Ahmadi belief in the prophethood of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad blasphemous because this belief allegedly defiles the name of the Prophet Muhammad. *63 In light of such blasphemy, the Pakistan Government introduced the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of 1986, known as the “Blasphemy Law” of Section 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code. *64 Section 295C makes blasphemy punishable by death alone. *65 Ahmadis allegedly blaspheme by professing to be Muslims and have thus been repeatedly charged pursuant to Section 295C. *66 Furthermore, Ahmadi civilians are tried in military courts for violations under both Ordinance XX and Section 295C. *67 The democratically elected government of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has not changed the plight of Ahmadis. *68 Government officials continuously deny that Ahmadis are persecuted for their beliefs, leaving Ahmadi lives and property in danger. *69 The Pakistan Government declares that Ahmadi lives and property are protected in Pakistan. *70 Pakistani authorities allow trespasses against Ahmadis to go uninvestigated, unprosecuted, and unpunished. *71 Pakistani officials' denial of the violations against Ahmadis condones the persecution since there are no sanctions against the torment if the government refuses to recognize its existence. In fact, this willful blindness to the plight of Ahmadis turns the persecution into an official stance of the Pakistan government. *72

See generally Stanley Wolpert, Jinnah of Pakistan (1984). Ahmadis were instrumental in the creation of Pakistan. Id.; see also Iain Adamson, A Man of God: The Life of Khalifatul Masih IV 71-73, 76 (1990).
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Judge Gustaf Petren et al., Pakistan: Human Rights After Martial Law 10 (1987). Prior to 1947, what is now Pakistan was part of India and under British rule. Richard Belder & Makdoom Ali Khan, Legal Aspects of Doing Business in Pakistan, 20 Int'l L. 535, 536 (1986).
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David F. Forte, Apostasy and Blasphemy in Pakistan, 10 Conn. J. Int'l L. 27, 30 (1994).
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Petren et al., supra note 22, at 10. See also Forte, supra note 23, at 30 (citing Norman Anderson, Law Reform in the Muslim World 174 (1976) (stating Islam was “the very raison d'etre of Pakistan”)).

At the creation of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah stated:

… You are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed - that has nothing to do with the business of the State (Hear, hear) … We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State (Loud applause) … Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal, and you will find that in the course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.

Report of the Court of Inquiry Constituted Under Punjab Act II of 1954 to Enquire into the Punjab Disturbances of 1953 202 [hereinafter Report of the Court of Inquiry] (quoting Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Address at the Karachi Club, Karachi, Pakistan (Aug. 11, 1947) in Speeches of Quaid-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah as Governor-General of Pakistan 10 (1948)).

Muhammad Ali Jinnah's objective was to found a State based on nationalism with the embryo of an Islamic State. Report of the Court of Inquiry, at 203.
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Petren et al., supra note 22, at 10.
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Id. at 13.
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In 1990 Nawaz Sharif became Prime Minister by appointment of then-President Ghulam Ishaq Khan. In April 1993, President Khan dismissed Sharif. The Pakistan Supreme Court reinstated Sharif a month later. In July 1993, both President Khan and Prime Minister Sharif resigned and Sharif called for elections. In October 1993, Benazir Bhutto was re-elected. See Edward Gargan, Pakistan Government Collapses; Elections are Called, N.Y. Times, July 19, 1993, at A1; Edward Gargan, After a Year of Tumult, Pakistanis Will Vote, N.Y. Times, Oct. 6, 1993, at A1; Benazir Bhutto's Long Road Back, N.Y. Times, Oct. 9, 1993, at A1.
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Charles M. Sennott, Bhutto's Pakistan: A Nation in Despair, The Boston Globe, Apr. 10, 1995, at National/Foreign.
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See supra note 14 and accompanying text. Ahmadis emphasize education as part of their faith and thus are nearly 100 percent literate in a country which has a high illiteracy rate. Gualtieri, supra note 19, at 89. Reports of the illiteracy rate range between 70 percent to 90 percent. Feuding, violence in Pakistan create sense of Chaos, Minn. Daily, Feb. 14, 1995, at 2 (citing the Associated Press in stating Pakistan's adult literacy rate to be 30 percent). Telephone Interview with Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, Pakistan Supreme Court Advocate (Sept. 12, 1994). The high rate of literacy among Ahmadis may be cited as one of the motives for Sunni hostility toward Ahmadis. Id.

An estimated fifteen to twenty percent of Pakistan's literate population is Ahmadi. Rahman Interview, supra note 4. Ahmadis, therefore, are more likely to obtain employment and come to public office. Id. Further, Ahmadis are viewed as honest people by those who know them and would probably receive public support and confidence but for the government propoganda against them. Id. Corrupt government officials see Ahmadis as a threat to the status quo and so suppress them. Id. Corruption pervades Pakistan's governmental institutions. Paula Newberg, The Two Benazir Bhuttos, N.Y. Times, Feb. 11, 1995, at L19.

To illustrate the high opinion of Ahmadis by Pakistanis, when General Zia-ul-Haq, the military dictator who passed the oppressive Ordinance XX, was to have eye surgery, he insisted his Ahmadi surgeon perform it. General Zia felt he would be free of an assassination risk while under an Ahmadi's care. Gualtieri, supra note 19, at 38; Rahman Interview, supra note 4.
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Rafiz Zakaria, The Struggle within Islam: The Conflict Between Religion and Politics 229 (1988). The word “fundamentalist” is largely used to describe one who holds inflexible conservative views of Islamic doctrine. The word “fundamentalism” comes from the name given to the school of thought emanating from Protestant religious movements that believed in the literal truth of the Bible. The word characterizes a rigid adherence to fundamental or basic religious principles. See The American Heritage Dictionary 539 (2d. Co. ed. 1982); Webster's II New Riverside Dictionary 512 (1988). In this article, the word “fundamentalist,” when attributed to Islamic fundamentalists or mullahs, will refer to those who place primary importance on the “letter” or literal meaning of the Holy Quran as opposed to the “spirit” or contextual and purposivist interpretation of religious text. Mullahs seek to enforce Islamic law in its most rigid and strict form, as proposed by the Hanbali school of Islamic legal thought. Zakaria, at 305. Ahmad ibn Hanbal's (780-855) school of thought is described as follows: “This school stresses the puritanical aspects of Islam and is uncompromising in its adherence to orthodoxy. Its followers go by the letter of the [Quran] and assert that theological truths cannot be reached by aql or reasoning….” Id.
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Maududi originally opposed the creation of the State of Pakistan. Zakaria, supra note 31, at 229; Gualtieri, supra note 19, at 35; Report of the Court of Inquiry, supra note 24, at 243. The Jamaat-i-Islami is an Islamic revivalist fundamentalist movement. Netton, supra note 17, at 134. Once Pakistan was created, Maududi wanted it to become the model Islamic state. Zakaria, supra note 31, at 229. For more information on Maududi and his Jamaat-i-Islami see Report of the Court of Inquiry, supra note 24, at 243-54; Adam Muhammad Ajiri, Some Aspects of Maududi's Contributions to Modern Islamic Thought, 12 Muslim Educ. Q. 52 (1995).
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See Report of the Court of Inquiry, supra note 24.
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Maududi unleashed a wave of religious frenzy throughout his Jama'at-i-Islami and attacked the framers of the [Pakistan] Constitution … [Soon his followers] found an explosive issue in the matter of the Amadiyyahs… who revered their founder … as a prophet. The Jama'at and their collaborators demanded that the Amadiyyahs be declared non-Muslims as they did not accept Muhammad as the last [chronological] Prophet.

Zakaria, supra note 31, at 229.

Anti-Amadiyya sentiment was not a new phenomena at the time of Maududi, but dates back to the lifetime of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, and thus resulted in Ahmadis organizing themselves as a distinct community. Memon, supra note 17, at 326-29. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and the Ahmadis were aggressively excommunicated from the rest of the Muslim Community. Id. Muslims were told not to buy from or sell to Ahmadis. Id. Ahmadi marriages were declared void and instructions were given by religious intellectuals not to acknowledge Ahmadis in the streets. Id.

As a result of these edicts by the anti-Amadiyya mullahs [clerics] and the subsequent course of action adopted by the average masses, Ahmadi Muslims found themselves isolated through no fault of their own. And hence, they had no other option but to organize themselves as a distinct entity within the broader spectrum of Islam, which they did quite successfully.

Id. at 329. See infra note 206 and accompanying text for a refutation of the Pakistan Court's criticism of Ahmadis for organizing themselves as a separate group.
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Zakaria, supra note 31, at 228-29.
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Id. at 229.

An enquiry commission under the chairmanship of Muhammad Munir, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, was appointed. After months of labour and investigation, the commission presented its report. The document, which is [a] classic exposition of the conflict between religion and politics in Islam, points out that even on the fundamental question of who is a Muslim, there was no agreement among the ulama.

Id. (citing Report of the Court of Inquiry, supra note 24).
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The ulama composes the intellectual Islamic elite and a class of mullahs or Muslim clerics. See Forte, supra note 23, at 31-32.
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Zakaria, supra note 31, at 229; see also John L. Esposito, Islam and Politics 112-13 (1984).

Keeping in view the several definitions of a Muslim given by the ulama, need we make any comment except that no two learned divines are agreed on this fundamental [question] … If we adopt the definition given by any one of the ulama, we remain Muslims according to the view of [one] alim (religious scholar) and kafirs (unbelievers) according to the definition of [the others].

Report of the Court of Inquiry, supra note 24, at 218.
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See infra notes 40-46 and accompanying text.
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See Gualtieri, supra note 19, at 47.
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“In the face of this victimization, the Ahmadi policy remains - on explicit direction from Khalifatul Masih IV [the Head of the Amadiyya Community and the fourth Caliph or Successor to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad] - nonretaliation… [as t]he Ahmadi political philosophy is typically conservative and quietistic.” Gualtieri, supra note 19, at 47, 69.

One of the non-theological factors that generated hostility towards the Ahmadis, even in the lifetime of the founder, was precisely this respect for and submission to the political powers that be … The Ahmadis … may be doctrinally and socially radical [but] they have never been political revolutionaries and, from the beginning, have [disliked] a violent interpretation of jihad or holy warfare. Id. at 69.

The Ahmadi principle of nonretaliation comes from the Movement's nonviolent interpretation of jihad (holy war) “and partly on prudential calculations.” Id. at 47.
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Professor Gualtieri does not give detail as to the form of the retaliation. Gualtieri, supra note 19.
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Id. at 47.
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Esposito, supra note 38, at 163. See infra note 84 and accompanying text for the full text of Article 260(3) of the Pakistan Constitution. "In 1974 there was renewed anti-Ahmadiyya violence, and under … Zulfikar Ali Bhutto the legislature for the first time declared Ahmadis "not Muslims for the sake of Law and Constitution.' " Haddad & Smith, supra note 17, at 66-67.

When Ahmadis were declared non-Muslims in 1974, the then-Head of the Ahmadiyya Community, Mirza Nasir Ahmad decided not to challenge the constitutional amendment in the courts. Rahman Interview, supra note 4. Ahmadis take their faith as a personal matter and so, despite the emotional trauma, they did not care how they were characterized by the law and Constitution. Id. Although Ahmadis do not like the label of non-Muslim they would not react publicly provided they could worship Allah and practice their faith as Islam without restriction.
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In 1978, a further amendment to the Pakistan Constitution provided for separate electorates for non-Muslims in the National and Provincial Assemblies. Petren et al., supra note 22, at 105. Non-Muslims, in order to participate in elections as candidates or voters, have to register on the electoral rolls as non-Muslims and for non-Muslims only. Id. Ahmadis, pursuant to Article 260(3) of the Pakistan Constitution, are therefore required to register as non-Muslims in order to vote or run for public office. Id. Such registration by Ahmadis amounts to a denial of their faith and compromises their religious and ethical beliefs. Id.; see also Barbara Crosette, Pakistan's Minorities Face Voting Restrictions, N.Y. Times, Oct. 23, 1990, at A5.
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Petren et al., supra note 22, at 105; see also Crosette, supra note 47, at A5.
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See infra Appendix I for the text of Ordinance XX of 1984. Ordinance XX comprises Pakistan Penal Code Sections 298B and C. Ordinance XXI changed the punishment for Ahmadis from “up to three years” to up to ten for anyone who outrages “the religious feelings of any citizens of Pakistan.” Ordinance XXI of 1991, in Amnesty International, Pakistan: Violations of Human Rights of Ahmadis, at 5, ASA/33/15/91 (1991), cited in Forte, supra note 23, at 42.

In Ordinance XX, Ahmadis are pejoratively referred to as Qadianis. See Hazrat Haji Mirza Bashir-Ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, Invitation to Ahmadiyyat, 3-4 (1980). To name people after their town or city of origin is customary in the Muslim world. For example, al-Razi, al-Kindi and al-Rumi is not pejorative. Id. To refer to the founder of the Ahmadiyya Community as Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani is not pejorative as he was from Qadian. Id. However, city names are given to the individuals who actually hail from those cities and not to their followers, who may be diverse in origin. Id. To deny a group their chosen name is to deny them their self-definition. Id. Ahmadis refer to their interpretation of Islam as Ahmadiyyat, derived from “Ahmad” (one of the Prophet Muhammad's names), to distinguish their interpretation from others and to signify the arrival of the age of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi which would take the same name. Id. The period prior to the advent of the Prophet Muhammad's Promised Messiah is referred to as the Muhammadiyyat period and the period of his advent is the Ahmadiyyat period. Id. To refer to Ahmadis, who are of diverse origin, as Qadianis denies them their self-definition and its Islamic significance.

Lahori Ahmadis are a dissident, much smaller, group of Ahmadis, who deny the prophethood of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Lahoris believe Ahmad was merely a Mujaddid or Reformer. They derive their name from the city of their headquarters, Lahore, Pakistan, by choice. See Caesar E. Farah, Islam 243-44 (5th ed. 1994) (providing some information about a minority break-away group amongst Ahmadis); Hazrat Mirza Bashir-Ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad of Qadian, The Truth About the Split: A Reply to a Pamphlet Entitled "The Split' by M. Muhammad Ali M.A., of Lahore (1924) (providing an explanation of the Second Caliph's view of the reasons Lahoris formed their own group in defiance of his leadership).
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Haddad & Smith, supra note 17, at 67.

"We will … persevere in our effort to ensure that the cancer of Qadianism is exterminated." Message from General M. Zia-ul-Haq, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, to International Khatm-E-Nabuwwat Conference, London, 4-6 August 1985, reported in Question of the Violations of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in Any Part of the World, With Particular Reference to Colonial and Other Dependent Countries and Territories, U.N. ESCOR, 42d Sess., Agenda Item 12 at 2, U.N. Doc.E/CN.4/1986/NGO/30 (1986)[hereinafter Question of the Violations of Human Rights (1986)].

S. N. Ahmad, [in] The Anti-Ahmadiyya Stance, quotes a 1984 sermon by the Imam [leader] of the Shaki Mosque in Lahore [Pakistan] in which the Imam supported the martial law ordinance: "1. The domes of all the Ahmadi places of worship should be demolished forthwith. 2. The direction of their places of worship should be so changed that they no longer face Mecca. 3. Ahmadis should be prevented from offering their prayers in congregation. 4. They should be stoned to death one and all." Ahmad wonders what logic there is in the remaining demands if the demand of stoning to death is implemented.

Haddad & Smith, supra note 17, at 190 (n. 81) (quoting S. N. Ahmad, The Anti-Ahmadiyya Stance 19 (published by the author, n.d.)).

Mullahs are obeyed when it comes to enacting anti-Ahmadi legislation because mullahs hold a sort of excommunicatory power. Gualtieri, supra note 19, at 37. Mullahs can also threaten to annul people's marriages. Id. In addition, General Zia's father was a mullah and so Zia's compliance with mullah demands necessarily raised his social status as well as the social status of the mullahs. Id. at 36. General Zia's cooperation with mullahs allowed them to directly affect and aid in the "Islamization" of Pakistan. Id. at 37.

After the restoration of democracy in Pakistan subsequent to General Zia's death in 1989, subsequent governments have existed either by slim majorities or by coalition with other political parties. Rahman Interview, supra note 4. The religious clergy, although they do not hold many seats in the Legislative Assembly because of their political unpopularity, tend to hold the seven or eight seats that are vital to government power. Id. Mullahs therefore exert great influence on Pakistan public policy. Id. The government retains power by appeasing the mullahs. Id.
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Ordinance XX, infra Appendix I.
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Haddad & Smith, supra note 17, at 67.
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Id. (quoting the Muslim World League).
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Message from General Zia-ul-Haq to International Khatmi-Nabuwwat [Finality of Prophethood] Conference, reported in Question of the Violations of Human Rights (1986), supra note 50, at 2; H. R. Con. Res. 370, supra note 14.
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Haddad & Smith, supra note 17, at 67.
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Ordinance XX, infra Appendix I.
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Implementation of the Declaration, supra note 14.
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Id. at 81, 83. Ahmadis of various income levels have been prosecuted pursuant to Ordinance XX. Rahman Interview, supra note 4. Over 2,300 Ahmadis face prosecution. Id. The authorities, however, point a "loaded gun" at the remaining four million Ahmadis. Id.
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Implementation of the Declaration, supra note 14, at 82.
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See Pakistan: Attacks Against Members of the Ahmadiyya Community in Lahore, Amnesty International, Index: ASA 33/01/94 Distr: UA/SC, Mar. 11, 1994. See infra note 164 (discussing the murder of Dr. Naseem Babar).
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Implementation of the Declaration, supra note 14, at 82.
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Id. at 81.
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See Question of the Violation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms In Any Part of the World, With Particular Reference to Colonial and Other Dependant Countries and Territories, U.N. ESCOR, 43rd Sess., Agenda Item 12 at 2, U.N.Doc.E/CN.4/1987/NGO/63 (1987) (illustrating the Pakistan Government's intent to target Ahmadis pursuant to the “Blasphemy Law.”) [hereinafter Question of the Violation of Human Rights (1987)]. For information on the enactment of 295C see Forte, supra note 23. See infra note 65 (providing the text of Pakistan Penal Code 295C.)
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“Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death.” Pakistan Penal Code 295C, quoted in Question of the Violation of Human Rights (1987), supra note 64, at 2; see also Mujeebur Rahman, Persecution of Ahmadis in Pakistan: An Objective Study 1 (1993) (providing notification of the amendment to Section 295C which provides the death sentence as the sole punishment for blasphemy). Amnesty International has expressed concern regarding 295C's mandatory death sentence. See Ordinance XXI of 1991, in Amnesty International, Pakistan: Violations of Human Rights of Ahmadis, at 5, ASA/33/15/91 (1991), cited in Forte, supra note 23 at 42.
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Pakistan Human Rights Practices, 1993: 1993 Human Rights Report 61-62 (U.S. Dept. of State Dec. 27, 1993). “One report states that 107 Ahmadis have been charged with blasphemy, but the informal persecution let loose by the law has been much greater.” Forte, supra note 23, at 57 (citing Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 1993, 1377-78 (1994)). Another report indicates over 2,000 Ahmadis were charged pursuant to 295C. Id. (citing Nafiza Shah, Victims of Zealotry, Newsline (Karachi), Nov./Dec. 1993 at 33, 36 & 36b). Blasphemy is technically a non-bailable offense. Id. at 58.
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H. R. Con. Res. 370, supra note 14. Prosecuting civilians in military courts violates international standards of human rights. Id.
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It is depressing to note that the trials of Ahmadis under General Zia have not ended with the accession to power of [present Prime Minister] Benazir Bhutto. The process of persecution seems to have a life of its own independent of changes in the political leadership of Pakistan. This … need not be marvelled at inasmuch as the anti-Ahmadi policy is now entrenched in law.

Gualtieri, supra note 19, at 23. Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is not likely to change the laws targeting Ahmadis because her father's government was responsible for declaring Ahmadis non-Muslims. She stated: "Qadianis were declared non-Muslim in my father's rule. How could I undo the great service my father did for Islam? My Government will not give any concession to Qadianis. They will remain as non-Muslims." The Situation of Ahmadis After the Dawn of Democracy in Pakistan 16 (n.d.) (quoting statement made by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto reported in Daily Jasarat (Karachi) Jan. 9, 1989).

[The] Government is well aware of the activities of Qadianis outside Pakistan and will do everything in its power to negate its propaganda. The Federal Minister for Religious and Minority Affairs, Khan Bahadur Khan told [the Daily] Jang the Government will send deputations of Ulema to Africa, East and West Europe and America to neutralize their influence.

Id. (quoting Daily Jang (Lahore) Jan. 18, 1989).
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Report of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/5 at 102 (1986) (indicating initial recognition by the U.N. Sub-Commission of the dangers Ahmadis face).
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Zuhair Kashmeri, Banished for Blasphemy, NOW, Mar. 17-23, 1994, at 15 (quoting Pakistani High Commission in Ottawa, Canada, Vice-Counsel Shazia Jaffery, “there is no persecution of Ahmadis;” indicating that the present Bhutto Government persists in denying the persecution of Ahmadis and therefore perpetuating the danger to Ahmadis).
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The murdering and torturing of Ahmadis and the looting and destruction of Ahmadi property are implicitly approved of by the Pakistan Government because perpetrators go unprosecuted and unpunished. Gualtieri, supra note 19, at 37-42, 44-72. See also Petren et. al, supra note 22, at 112.
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Implementation of the Declaration, supra note 14, at 81-85 (illustrating that violations against Ahmadis indeed exist and are officially sanctioned).
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