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Home U.S. Department of State Annual Report (IRF) 2004: Pakistan
Int’l Religious Freedom Report - 2004: Pakistan

Excerpts from
U.S. Department of State
International Religious Freedom Report 2004 : Pakistan
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
September 15, 2004
Pakistan

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion and states that adequate provisions are to be made for minorities to profess and practice their religions freely; however, in practice the Government imposes limits on freedom of religion. The country is an Islamic republic; Islam is the state religion. Islam also is a core element of the national ideology; the country was created to be a homeland for Muslims, although its founders did not envisage it as an Islamic state. Religious freedom is “subject to law, public order, and morality;” accordingly, actions or speech deemed derogatory to Islam or to its Prophet are not protected. In addition the Constitution requires that laws be consistent with Islam and imposes some elements of Koranic law on both Muslims and religious minorities. [ Para # 1 ]

There were no significant changes in the Government’s treatment of religious minorities during the period covered by this report. The Government fails in many respects to protect the rights of religious minorities. This is due both to public policy and to the Government’s unwillingness to take action against societal forces hostile to those who practice a different faith. The accretion of discriminatory religious legislation has fostered an atmosphere of religious intolerance, which contributes to acts of violence directed against non-Muslims and members of minority Muslim groups. There were instances in which the Government failed to intervene in cases of societal violence directed at minority religious groups. The lack of an adequate government response contributed to an atmosphere of impunity for acts of violence and intimidation against religious minorities. However, the Government promotes religious tolerance, does not encourage sectarian violence, and, at the highest levels, specifically condemned sectarian extremism during the period covered by this report. It has banned all significant sectarian extremist groups and arrested hundreds of members of these groups suspected of violent attacks. Parties and groups with religious affiliations have been known to target minority groups. [ Para # 2 ]

The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), an alliance of religious parties that includes both Sunni and Shi’a groups, leads the opposition in the federal Parliament, holds a majority in the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) Provincial Assembly, and is part of the ruling coalition in Baluchistan. The MMA has called for strict adherence to Shari’a law. Minority groups claim the MMA’s outspoken calls for Islamic laws and morals have made the social climate more hostile to persons of minority Muslim sects and other religions. [ Para # 3 ]

Specific government policies that discriminate against religious minorities include the use of the “Hudood” Ordinances, which apply different standards of evidence to Muslims and non-Muslims and to men and women for alleged violations of Islamic law; list specific legal prohibitions against Ahmadis practicing their religion; and incorporate blasphemy laws that have been used to target reformist Muslims, Ahmadis, Christians, and Hindus. Both the Hudood Ordinances and the blasphemy laws have been abused, in that they are often used against persons to settle personal scores. Approximately 1,600 to 2,100 persons were imprisoned under the Hudood Ordinances as of the end of the reporting period. [ Para # 4 ]

More than 100 persons were detained for blasphemy offenses as of the end of the reporting period. Resolving cases is very slow; there is generally a long period between filing the case and the first court appearance. Lower courts are frequently intimidated, delay decisions, and refuse bail for fear of reprisal from extremist elements. According to the Center for Legal Aid, Assistance, and Settlement (CLAAS), 14 new blasphemy cases were registered during the period covered by this report. Several high profile blasphemy cases remained unresolved because the courts repeatedly postponed hearings, and the Government did not press the courts to proceed. However, during the period covered by this report, the Lahore High Court overturned a few lower court convictions and acquitted several blasphemy defendants. [ Para # 5 ]

Section I. Religious Demography

The country has a total area of 310,527 square miles, and its population is approximately 150 million. According to the most recent census, taken in 1998, an estimated 96 percent of the population are Muslim; 2.02 percent are Hindu; 1.69 percent are Christian; and 0.35 percent are “other” (including Ahmadis). The majority of Muslims in the country are Sunni. An estimated 10 percent of the Muslim population is Shi’a, including some 550,000 to 600,000 Ismailis. Most Ismailis in the country are followers of the Aga Khan; however, an estimated 50,000 Ismailis, known as Bohras, are not. [ Para # 8 ]

Religious minority groups believe that they are underrepresented in government census counts and claim that they represent 10 percent of the population, rather than the census figure of 4 to 5 percent. Official and private estimates of their numbers can differ significantly. The most recent official census estimates place the number of Hindus at 2.44 million, Christians at 2.09 million, and the Ahmadi population at 286,000. The figure for the Ahmadis is inherently inaccurate because they have been boycotting census and registration for electoral rolls since 1974 when they were declared non-Muslims. The Hindu and Christian communities each claim memberships of approximately 4 million. Estimates for the remaining communities are less contested and place the total number of Parsis (Zoroastrians), Buddhists, and Sikhs as high as 20,000 each; and Baha’is at 30,000. The “other” category includes tribes whose members practice traditional indigenous religions, those who normally do not declare themselves to be adherents of a specific religion, and those who do not practice any religion but remain silent about that fact. Social pressure is such that few persons would admit to being unaffiliated with any religion. [ Para # 9 ]

Ahmadis, who consider themselves Muslims but do not accept that Muhammad was the last prophet, *** are concentrated in Punjab and Sindh. The spiritual center of the Ahmadi community is in Punjab in the large, predominantly Ahmadi town of Rabwah. In 1998, during Shahbaz Sharif’s government, Rabwah was renamed when the Punjab Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution to change the name to Chenab Nagar; this change was against the wishes of the Ahmadi community. [ Para # 12 ]

Section II. Status of Religious Freedom

Legal/Policy Framework

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion and states that adequate provisions shall be made for minorities to profess and practice their religions freely; however, in practice the Government imposes limits on freedom of religion, particularly on Ahmadi. The Constitution provides that there shall be no taxation for propagation of a religion that is not one’s own, no obligation to receive instruction in a religion that is not one’s own, and no denial of admission to public schools on the basis of religion. However, according to the Constitution, the country is an Islamic republic, and Islam is the state religion. Islam is a core element of the country’s national ideology; the country’s founders created it to be a homeland for Muslims, although they did not envisage it as a purely Islamic state. Under the Constitution, both the President and the Prime Minister must be Muslims, and all senior officials are required to swear an oath to preserve the country’s “Islamic ideology.” Freedom of speech is provided for; however, this right is subject to “reasonable restrictions” that can be imposed “in the interest of the glory of Islam.” Actions or speech deemed derogatory to Islam or to its prophets are punishable by death. [ Para # 19 ]

Under the Second Constitutional Amendment Act of 1974, the Ahmadi community is defined as non-Muslim because Ahmadis do not believe that Mohammed was the last prophet of Islam; however, all Ahmadis consider themselves Muslims. [ Para # 20 ]

The Constitution specifically prohibits discriminatory admission to any governmental educational institution solely on the basis of religion. Government officials state that the only factors affecting admission to governmental educational institutions are students’ grades and home provinces. However, students must declare their religion on application forms. Muslim students must declare in writing that they believe in the unqualified finality of the Prophethood of Mohammed, a measure designed to single out Ahmadis, who do not adhere to this tenet of Sunni and Shi’a Islam. Non-Muslims must have their religion verified by the head of their local religious community. Many Ahmadis and Christians reported discrimination in applying to government educational institutions due to their religious affiliation. Christians and Ahmadis reportedly have been denied access to medical schools, and societal discrimination against Ahmadis persists at many universities. For example, at the Agricultural University in Faisalabad, students of other religions reportedly refuse to eat with Ahmadis. [ Para # 28 ]

In May 2002, under increasing pressure from fundamentalist leaders, the Government reinstated a column on the voter registration form that required Muslims to take an oath accepting the finality of the Prophethood of Mohammed. When joint electorates were restored in January 2002, this oath was removed from voter registration forms, but religious leaders protested because voter lists no longer identified Ahmadis. In June 2002, the Election Commission announced that it would accept challenges from members of the public to the voting status of Ahmadis who registered to vote as Muslims. Voters with objections filed against them are required either to sign an oath swearing to the finality of the Prophethood of Mohammed or be registered as non-Muslims on the voter list. In protest the Ahmadi community notified the President in September 2002, that it would boycott the October 2002 elections. No Ahmadis are known to have voted, but there has been no change in the Government’s policy. [ Para # 34 ]

The Government designates religion on citizens’ passports. To obtain a passport, citizens must declare whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim; Muslims also must affirm that they accept the unqualified finality of the Prophethood of Mohammed, declare that Ahmadis are non-Muslims, and specifically denounce the founder of the Ahmadi movement. [ Para # 35 ]

Restrictions on Religious Freedom

The Government does not ban formally the public practice of the Ahmadi faith, but the practice is restricted severely by law. A 1974 constitutional amendment declared Ahmadis to be non-Muslims because they do not accept Mohammed as the last prophet of Islam. However, Ahmadis consider themselves to be Muslims and observe Islamic practices. In 1984 the Government added Section 298(c) into the Penal Code, prohibiting Ahmadis from calling themselves Muslims or posing as Muslims; from referring to their faith as Islam; from preaching or propagating their faith; from inviting others to accept the Ahmadi faith; and from insulting the religious feelings of Muslims. This section of the Penal Code, commonly referred to as the “anti-Ahmadi law,” has caused problems for Ahmadis, particularly the provision that forbids them from “directly or indirectly” posing as Muslims. This vague wording has enabled mainstream Muslim religious leaders to bring charges against Ahmadis for using the standard Muslim greeting form and for naming their children Mohammed. The constitutionality of Section 298(c) was upheld in a split-decision Supreme Court case in 1996. The punishment for violation of this section is imprisonment for up to 3 years and a fine. This provision has been used by the government and anti-Ahmadi religious groups to target and harass Ahmadis. Ahmadis also are prohibited from holding any public conferences or gatherings, and since 1983 they have been denied permission to hold their annual Ahmadi conference. Ahmadis are banned from preaching or adopting social practices that make them appear to be Muslims. Their publications also are banned from public sale; however, they publish religious literature in large quantities for a limited circulation. [ Para # 36 ]

The Constitution provides for the “freedom to manage religious institutions.” In principle the Government does not restrict organized religions from establishing places of worship and training members of the clergy. However, in practice Ahmadis suffer from restrictions on this right. Several Ahmadi mosques reportedly have been closed; others reportedly have been desecrated or had their construction stopped. For example, the police stopped construction of an Ahmadi mosque in a village in Sargodha in January. An Ahmadi mosque was seized at Ahmadnagar in October 2003, and a mosque in Sayedwala was attacked and destroyed in 2001 by a large group of persons led by the village mullahs. The Government has not given the Ahmadis permission to rebuild it. Ahmadis also are prohibited from being buried in Muslim cemeteries. According to press reports, the authorities continued to conduct surveillance on the Ahmadis and their institutions. [ Para # 37 ]

The Federal Ministry of Religious Affairs issues registration documents to pilgrims for their pilgrimage to Mecca. In July 2003, it added a new section to the documents in which the applicant has to certify on a printed oath that the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, was a “cunning person and an imposter.” [ Para # 38 ]

The “blasphemy laws” are contained in Sections 295, 296, 297, and 298 of the Penal Code and address offenses relating to religion. Section 295(a), a colonial-era provision, originally stipulated a maximum 2-year sentence for insulting the religion of any class of citizens. In 1991 this sentence was increased to 10 years. In 1982 Section 295(b) was added, which stipulated a sentence of life imprisonment for “whoever willfully defiles, damages, or desecrates a copy of the holy Koran.” [ Para # 39 ]

In 1986 another amendment, Section 295(c), established the death penalty or life imprisonment for directly or indirectly defiling “the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Mohammed.” In 1991 a court ruled invalid the option of life imprisonment for this offense. Section 296 outlaws voluntary disturbances of religious assemblies, and Section 297 outlaws trespassing on burial grounds. Section 298(a), another colonial-era provision, forbids the use of derogatory remarks about holy personages. Personal rivals and the authorities have used these blasphemy laws, especially Section 295(c), to threaten, punish, or intimidate Ahmadis, Christians, and Muslims. No person has been executed by the Government under any of these provisions; however, some persons have been sentenced to death, or have died while in official custody. [ Para # 40 ]

Bail in blasphemy cases is almost always denied by original trial courts on the logic that since defendants are facing the death penalty, they are likely to flee. Defendants can appeal the denial of bail (and many do), but bail rarely is granted by the High Court or the Supreme Court in advance of the trial. [ Para # 41 ]

The blasphemy laws also reportedly have been used to “settle scores” unrelated to religious activity, such as intra family or property disputes. Information related to blasphemy cases is difficult to obtain because records often are not maintained properly in prisons and courts; however, according to CLAAS, 14 new blasphemy cases were registered during the period covered by this report; 12 of the accused are Muslims, and 2 are Christians. According to CLAAS, there are almost 100 cases pending against Muslims and 11 against Christians. The National Commission on Justice and Peace (NCJP) reports there were 16 new cases during the period covered by this report, and the total number of ongoing cases was not less than 46. The discrepancy in statistics provided by CLAAS and NCJP is due to the difficulty in monitoring new cases. [ Para # 42 ]

President Musharraf attempted to modify the blasphemy laws in April 2000. In an attempt to reduce the number of persons who are accused wrongly under the laws, the reform would have required complainants to register new blasphemy cases with the local deputy commissioners instead of with police officials. However, religious and sectarian groups mounted protests against the proposed change, and some religious leaders stated that if the laws were changed, even procedurally, persons would be justified in killing blasphemers. In May 2000, in response to increasing pressure and threats, Musharraf abandoned the proposed reforms to the blasphemy laws. [ Para # 44 ]

When blasphemy and other religious cases are brought to court, extremists often pack the courtroom and make public threats against an acquittal. Judges and magistrates, seeking to avoid a confrontation with or violence from extremists, often continue trials indefinitely. As a result, those accused of blasphemy often face lengthy periods in jail and are burdened with increased legal costs and repeated court appearances. [ Para # 45 ]

Under the Anti-Terrorist Act, any action, including speech, intended to stir up religious hatred is punishable by up to 7 years of rigorous imprisonment. Under the act, bail is not to be granted if the judge has reasonable grounds to believe that the accused is guilty; however, the law is applied selectively. [ Para # 46 ]

The Government does not restrict religious publishing; however, the Government restricts the right to freedom of speech with regard to religion. Speaking in opposition to Islam and publishing any criticism of Islam or its prophets are prohibited. The penal code mandates the death sentence for anyone defiling the name of the Prophet Mohammed, life imprisonment for desecrating the Koran, and up to 10 years’ imprisonment for insulting another’s religious beliefs with intent to outrage religious feelings. Ahmadis frequently are prosecuted under this law, but Muslims rarely are prosecuted for this offense. ……… [ Para # 47 ]

Ahmadis charge that they suffer from restrictions on their press. On July 19, 2003, Tanvir Ahmed Asif and Abdul Qadir were charged with blasphemy, as well as violating the anti-Ahmadi law, for writing a book called “Religious Dalits of Pakistan,” which explained the situation of Ahmadis around the country. [ Para # 49 ]

In May 2002, under increasing pressure from fundamentalist leaders, the Government reinstated a column on the voter registration form that required Muslims to take an oath accepting the finality of the Prophethood of Mohammed. After joint electorates were restored in January 2002, this oath initially was removed from voter registration forms, but religious leaders protested because voter lists no longer identified Ahmadis. In June 2002, the Election Commission also announced that it would accept objections from members of the public to Ahmadis who registered to vote as Muslims. Voters with objections filed against them are required either to sign an oath swearing to the finality of the Prophethood of Mohammed or to be registered as non-Muslims on the voter list. In protest the Ahmadi community notified the President in September 2002 that it would boycott the October 2002 elections. No Ahmadis are known to have voted, but the Government’s policy has not changed. [ Para # 53 ]

The Government designates religion on citizens’ passports. To obtain a passport, citizens must declare whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim; Muslims also must affirm that they accept the unqualified finality of the Prophethood of Mohammed, declare that Ahmadis are non-Muslims, and specifically denounce the founder of the Ahmadi movement as a false prophet. [ Para # 55 ]

Missionaries are allowed to operate in the country, and proselytizing is permitted (except by Ahmadis) as long as there is no preaching against Islam and the missionaries acknowledge that they are not Muslim. ……… [ Para # 56 ]

While there is no law instituting the death penalty for apostates (those who convert from Islam), social pressure against conversion is so powerful that most conversions reportedly take place in secret. [ Para # 56 ]

Members of minority religions volunteer for military service in small numbers, and there are no official obstacles to their advancement. However, in practice non-Muslims rarely, if ever, rise above the rank of colonel and are not assigned to politically sensitive positions. Ahmadis report severe discrimination in the civil service. They contend that a “glass ceiling” prevents them from being promoted to senior positions and that certain government departments have refused to hire or retain qualified Ahmadis. [ Para # 59 ]

Abuses of Religious Freedom

There have been instances in which police have used excessive force against individuals because of their religious beliefs and practices; however, sometimes it was difficult to determine whether religious affiliation was a factor in police brutality. The police also have failed to act against persons who use force against others because of their religious beliefs. The Government admits that police brutality against all citizens is a problem. However, both the Christian and Ahmadi communities have documented instances of the use of excessive force by the police and police inaction to prevent violent and often lethal attacks on members of their communities. [ Para # 72 ]

Prison conditions, except for the “class A” facilities provided to wealthy and politically high profile prisoners, are extremely poor and constitute a threat to the life and health of prisoners. According to the NCJP and CLAAS, non-Muslim prisoners generally are accorded poorer facilities than Muslim inmates. [ Para # 73 ]

There are reports that more than 100 persons were being held on blasphemy charges. The Ahmadi leadership claims 14 Ahmadis are currently detained under blasphemy and/or anti-Ahmadi laws. [ Para # 74 ]

According to the NCJP, religious minorities constitute a proportionally greater percentage of the prison population. Government officials state that although religious minorities account for approximately 5 percent of the country’s population, 25 percent of the cases filed under the blasphemy laws are aimed at religious minorities. According to the NCJP, from 1987 to 2004, there were 580 persons accused of blasphemy: 290 Muslims; 203 Ahmadis; 79 Christians; and 8 Hindus. During the period covered by this report, 43 persons had blasphemy cases filed against them with the police; 14 of these cases have resulted in formal charges: 10 cases against Muslims; 2 against Christians; and 2 against Ahmadis. At the end of the period covered by this report, approximately 100 court cases were pending against Muslims and 11 against Christians. ……… [ Para # 75 ]

The blasphemy laws were intended to protect both majority and minority faiths from discrimination and abuse; however, in practice rivals and the authorities frequently use these laws to threaten, punish, or intimidate religious minorities. Credible sources estimate that several hundred persons have been arrested since the laws were implemented; however, significantly fewer persons have been tried. Most of the several hundred persons arrested in recent years have been released due to a lack of sufficient evidence. However, many judges reportedly have issued guilty verdicts to protect themselves and their families from retaliation by religious extremists. When blasphemy and other religious cases are brought to court, extremists often pack the courtroom and make public threats about the consequences of an acquittal. Lower level magistrates generally are more susceptible to pressure by religious extremists than the higher-level judiciary. The government provided protection to human rights lawyers defending accused blasphemers following threats and attacks on lawyers by religious extremists. Many of those accused of blasphemy face harassment and even death before reaching trial, during incarceration, or even after acquittal on clear-cut proof that the charges were false. Islamic extremists have vowed categorically to kill all accused blasphemers, regardless of judicial acquittals. As a result, the accused often are denied requests for bail on the grounds that their lives would be at risk from vigilantes if released. When released, many of the acquitted go into hiding until they can secure asylum outside the country. [ Para # 76 ]

Blasphemy laws and the anti-Ahmadi law (Sections 298(b) and 298 (c) of Ordinance XX of 1984) often target members of the Ahmadi community. According to Ahmadi sources, 89 Ahmadis were charged formally in criminal cases on a “religious basis” (including blasphemy) in 2002, compared with 70 cases in 2001 and 166 cases in 2000. In 2003 approximately 80 Ahmadis were arrested, and according to Ahmadi sources, 6 Ahmadis similarly were charged since January. [ Para # 79 ]

In July 2003, Nasreen Tah and her brother Ehsanullah were charged with blasphemy for allegedly burning some pages of the Koran; Nasreen was released on bail, but her brother was not. A blasphemy case was registered against Ghulam Hussain of Rajanput in June 2003 for defiling the honor of the Koran and speaking out against the Prophet Muhammad; the Ahmadi community claims the case is fabricated and personally motivated. In March 2002, a foreign Ahmadi of Pakistani origin was arrested, tried, and acquitted of publishing blasphemous pamphlets. In April 2001, four Ahmadis, including Abdul Majeed, president of the local Ahmadi community, were charged with blasphemy for constructing minarets and the Mihrab (prayer niche inside the mosque in the wall facing Mecca) of an Ahmadi mosque. The defendants in all four cases were acquitted by the court in January 2003. [ Para # 80 ]

In 2003 Mohammad Nawaz, an Ahmadi leader in Okara District, Punjab, was sentenced to 25 years in jail on charges stemming from a 1999 blasphemy case. The case was appealed to the Lahore High Court; however, at the end of the period covered by this report, Nawaz was detained in the Multan City jail while his appeal was pending. [ Para # 81 ]

There were also many charges against Ahmadis under section 298C. For example, in September 2003, Muhammad Arif was accused of preaching the Ahmadi religion to a local mullah. However, according to the Ahmadi community, Arif and the mullah had been disputing the mullah’s failure to pay a bill. In November 2003, Daud Ahmad Muzaffar was charged under section 298C after he stopped at a madrassa to use the restroom. In December 2003, the president of the local Ahmadi community in Khanpur, Ismail, and his son, Tayyab, were arrested under section 298C after Ismail questioned the basis of the mullah’s anti-Ahmadi sermons. [ Para # 85 ]

Section III. Societal Attitudes

Many religious and community leaders, both Muslim and non-Muslim, reported that a small minority of extremists account for the vast majority of violent acts against religious minorities. However, discriminatory religious legislation has encouraged an atmosphere of religious intolerance, which has led to acts of violence directed against Ahmadis, Shi’as, Christians, Hindus, and Zikris. Members of religious minorities are subject to violence and harassment, and police at times refuse to prevent such abuses or refuse to charge persons who commit them (see Section II). Wealthy religious minorities and those who belong to religious groups that do not seek converts report fewer instances of discrimination. [ Para # 98 ]

Ahmadi individuals and institutions long have been victims of religious violence, much of which is instigated by organized religious extremists. Ahmadi leaders charge that militant Sunni mullahs and their followers sometimes stage marches through the streets of Rabwah, a predominantly Ahmadi town and spiritual center in central Punjab. Backed by crowds of between 100 and 200 persons, the mullahs reportedly denounce Ahmadis and their founder, a situation that sometimes leads to violence. The Ahmadis claim that police generally are present during these marches, but they do not intervene to prevent violence. In 2001, a mob destroyed an Ahmadi mosque in Sheikhpura; authorities did not stop the violence, and later they arrested 28 Ahmadis for civil disorder. The Ahmadis were released quickly, but there have been no steps to prosecute the offenders or compensate Ahmadis for the loss of the mosque. [ Para # 105 ]

Ahmadis are willing to rebuild the mosque with private funds; however, the Government has not given them permission to do so. There were also reports that when Ahmadis displayed the kalima (the Muslim declaration of faith) in their homes or mosques, they were torn down or defaced. In August 2003, Ahmadis in Karachi were told that they had to mark out the kalima from their mosque. After the Ahmadis refused, the authorities painted over the kalima. [ Para # 106 ]

In February 2003, Mian Iqbal Ahmed, a lawyer and District President of the local Ahmadi community, was killed at his home in Rajanpur by unknown gunmen. In 2002, Maqsud Ahmed was killed in Faisalabad. Rashid Ahmed, a medical doctor, was killed at his clinic in Rahim Yar Khan in 2002. Abdul Waheed was killed in 2002, in Faisalabad. Two persons were accused, apprehended, and tried. One was acquitted while the other was found guilty and sentenced to death. His appeal is pending in the High Court. All of these killings appeared to have been motivated by anti-Ahmadi sentiment. At the close of the period covered by this report, there was no further information on these cases. [ Para # 107 ]

In August 2003, Munawwar Ahmad, former chief of the district organization of Ahmadi elders, was shot and wounded by attackers when he answered his door. Police opened an investigation; however, there were no developments during the period covered by this report. [ Para # 108 ]

Ahmadis suffer from societal harassment and discrimination. Even the rumor that someone may be an Ahmadi or have Ahmadi relatives can stifle opportunities for employment or promotion. Most Ahmadis are home-schooled or go to private, Ahmadi-run schools. Ahmadi students in public schools often are subject to abuse by their non-Ahmadi classmates. The quality of teachers assigned to predominately Ahmadi schools by the government reportedly is poor. In 2002, in response to a question from Islamic clerics, President Musharraf (who has been accused of favoring Ahmadis) declared that he believed Ahmadis are “non-Muslims.” [ Para # 113 ]

Some Sunni Muslim groups publish literature calling for violence against Ahmadis and Shi’a Muslims. Some newspapers frequently publish articles that contain derogatory references to religious minorities, especially Ahmadis and Hindus. [ Para # 117 ]


*** See Ahmadiyya Belief.
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