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In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Ever Merciful
International Press and Media Desk
Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat International
22 Deer Park, London, SW19 3TL
Tel / Fax (44) 020 8544 7613 Mobile (44) 077954 90682
21 February 2009
AHMADIS TARGETED IN INDIA
It is with great regret that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat confirms that members of its community in parts of India are facing increasingly dangerous living conditions due to the presence of local Mullahs (extreme Muslim clerics).
In the town of Atar Akhand, near the larger cities of Dioband and Braily, local opponents are threatening Ahmadis by stating that they must leave the town or they will be murdered. Those behind the threats are sending local Mullahs to all areas inhabited by Ahmadis. Thereafter the Mullahs are subjecting the Ahmadi population to various forms of severe harassment.
The situation is particularly tense because tomorrow, the anti-Ahmadiyya groups are planning to hold a large scale rally at Ajabpur in opposition to the Jamaat. Mullahs and their followers are travelling from great distance to partake in this event. Reports suggest that the rally will be used as a call to arms to create an atmosphere of hatred and cruelty similar to that seen in Saharanpur last August when Ahmadis had their properties destroyed; were attacked and forced to flee the town.
As a further means of concern, in the State of Karnataka persecution of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat is also increasing at a disturbing rate. Local Missionaries have been attacked and some have even been kidnapped and taken to the mosques and madrassas of the opponents where they have been issued with various threats.
Many new Ahmadis and those who are financially weak are being targeted and told that unless they remove all Ahmadi missionaries from the area they will be killed.
The persecution in Karnataka is not limited to the pursuit and harassment of individuals; in fact many false reports have been submitted to the local police claiming that Ahmadis are ‘terrorists’. This is leading to Ahmadis being falsely arrested and imprisoned, causing great worry for their families, friends and for the Jamaat at large. Further, the Mullahs are using their power to order a social boycott of Ahmadis at every opportunity.
The current situation is similar to persecution that occurred in the same region two years ago, however all reports suggest that the level of hatred and cruelty has increased markedly and that particularly the situation has deteriorated a great deal in the last three weeks. The opponents are known to be currently making further, more severe, plans.
Abid Khan, Spokesperson of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat said:
“What is happening in parts of India is of great concern to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. Ahmadis are routinely facing death threats and violence. Many Ahmadis here in the UK and elsewhere have family back in India and so the current situation is of great concern.
It should be pointed out that unlike in Pakistan where Ahmadis are subjected to persecution throughout the country, in India incidents are much rarer. However there seems to be a pattern emerging whereby now even the Mullahs in India are feeling greater licence to threaten and persecute whole Ahmadi communities.”
The International Community and Media is urged to take serious note of the continued persecution of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. In an era where the name of Islam is continually being tarnished due to horrific acts falsely justified in its name, those in positions of influence ought to take this opportunity to help the one Muslim organisation that has continuously strived for peace throughout the world.
End of Release
Further info: Abid Khan, (44) 07795490682 / firstname.lastname@example.org