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Thursday, November 21, 2013

1974: In response to Nadeem F. Paracha

Nadeem F. Paracha is a respected columnist of the left-wing variety, a rare species in Pakistan these days. He is a keen observer of the modern history of a nation in the process of self-combusting into oblivion. I understand and share his pain at this hopeless, prolonged and soul destroying state of affairs in Pakistan.



In his attempt to understand and explain the reasons behind Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's 'compromise' over the Ahmadiyya issue in 1974, NFP has made a few factual errors. Errors which almost seem like an attempt to shift some blame for the 2nd constitutional amendment to its victims, the Ahmadi Muslims. NFP calls this a 'theological issue' and excuses himself from giving any opinions on its religious aspects. Ironically, at the same time he blames the myopia and laziness of the secular intelligentsia to blame Bhutto alone for this whole debacle. The matter of deciding on someone's faith is nothing but a theological issue.


It is laziness and myopia indeed if an opinion is given without considering the religious motives which caused it. NFP then gives an opinion which is rather theological in nature:


"The Qadianis claimed that Mirza was a prophet, and accused all Muslims who did not accept him as being non-Muslims"
.



The above opinion is based on the false allegations raised by the Anti-Ahmadiyya clergy which was thoroughly discussed and refuted during the In-Camera proceedings held in 1974. Why was this question even taken to the parliament? A parliament of a secularist, socialist majority should have known better!


Ahmadis DO NOT consider anyone who claims to be a Muslim to be Non-Muslim, even if they reject the claims of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian as the Promised Messiah. In Ahmadiyya theology, this 'Kufr' or rejection of a Divinely appointed Imam (Mamur) is considered a sin, which makes the rejecter answerable in the eyes of God. It has to be understood that Ahmadiyya Muslims interpret the word 'Kufr' in a Quranic context and not as an absolute term of exclusion and hatred commonly used by the Mullahs against each other.


So my dear Nadeem F. Paracha, you have to understand the theology to understand the Ahmadiyya viewpoint. It is nothing but laziness and myopia if you don't even try.


Now to the events of 1974 which culminated in that constitutional amendment. I find it rather amusing that NFP would defend Islami Jamiat Tulaba (IJT) like this. Even if a bunch of hooligans shouting profanities at Rabwah railway station got away with 13 minor injuries (as Samdani commission report confirmed) as a result of a brawl, does that mean that the whole community should be punished for the actions of a few?


And where did you get the idea that some 'Ahmadiyya leaders' were involved in planning a violent response. Ahmadiyya Jamaat's leaders do not resort to violence. Our 130 years history is a witness to that. The fact is, that some Ahmadiyya youths were involved in this brawl which took place on 29th of May because the IJT students, while shouting abuse from the outbound train a week before had also threatened violence on their way back on the 29th. The head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad had condemned the actions of those misguided Ahmadis in his Friday sermon on 31st of May.


I also believe that the Rabwah Railway incident was a pre-planned event, used as a pretext to start a violent street agitation against the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. A year before this incident, in spring 1973, an extraordinary session of Ahmadiyya Jamaat's Majlise Shoora was called in which the Khalifatul Masih (Mirza Nasir Ahmad) had informed delegates from all over Pakistan that a grand conspriacy was being hatched against the Jamaat. He had even outlined the methods likely to be used including using hypocritics within the community. Rabwah railway station incident was not a random event. On the day of the brawl, Faisalabad Mullah rags had published fictitious accounts of mutilations of the innocent 'Muslim youths' at the hands of Qadiani 'goons'. JI leadership was in cahoots with the Petro-Dollar funded Rabita Alam e Islami who had issued an edict to boycott Ahmadis and remove them from key posts only a year ago. It is no surprise that the student wing of the same organization then gets the ball rolling at Rabwah.


Agha Shorish Kashmiri was fawning over King Faisal at the OIC conference and praying for his speedy ascendency to the office of Khalifa for all Muslims. Mr. Bhutto was not blind to the immense wealth and prestige which came with the Saudi patronage. It only made sense for a person of his ambition to sacrifice the Ahmadiyya Muslims to gain popularity among the religious minded masses of Pakistan. Maulana Kausar Niazi wrote in his book “The last days of premier Bhutto”;


"He was referring to the Constitutional Amendment regarding the Ahmadis, which has prompted country wide celebrations. Mr. Bhutto felt that the credit which should have gone to his government had not been accorded. “The maulvis are claiming all credit for the Amendment,” he complained, “we must portray the true picture before the people."


Here is another interesting observation. PPP of early days was branded a communist party by the religious right. With such a toxic label, Mr Bhutto had no hope to win many seats in Punjab in 1971 elections. It was Mirza Tahir Ahmad, who later became the 4th head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community who helped PPP leadership to choose the appropriate candidates in Punjab which then ensured a very unlikely PPP victory. Ahmadis were helping the country to follow more progressive path and they supported the only party which was serious in its secular and enlightened vision for the country’s future.


Bhutto then stabbed his benefactors in the back, and while in his jail cell five years later, equated the Ahmadiyya Muslim community to the 'Jewish Lobby' in USA. He had tears in his eyes when he had to insist that he was a Muslim because a high court judge had called him a 'Muslim in name only' during his murder trial.


He died believing that maybe his act of declaring Ahmadis Non-Muslims will become the cause of his forgiveness.


Whether he will be forgiven or not, God is the only Judge of that. But Mr. Bhutto left the country firmly in hands of religious bigots for a long time to come. Even people like Nadeem F. Paracha cannot bring themselves to accept that their beloved leader sacrificed the soul of Pakistan 40 years ago.


How can we hope for things to change?
Here is the Ahmadiyya response to the declassified In-Camera proceedings and the historic background to the 2nd amendment.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Wikileaks and 1974 Anti-Ahmadiyya Agitations

 US Diplomatic Cables, now declassified (or released) via wiki leaks, give an interesting insight into the Spring and Summer of 1974. United States has always enjoyed great influence in Pakistani establishment and certain details present in the diplomatic correspondence of that time show a government under threat.


It appears that Bhutto maintained a neutral stance to avoid any embarrassment on the humanitarian front, but hid behind the parliament to make his decisions. Also, the US diplomats reported on the agitations as 'generally under control' and ignored the human cost of the violence. 

Here are a few excerpts I found to be of interest. 

'VIRTUALLY ALL OUR CONTACTS MAINTAIN THAT MILITARY AND CIVIL SERVICES ARE "FULL" OF AHMADIYAS,  WHEN PINNED DOWN, ONLY NAME WHICH GENERALLY COMES TO MIND IS RECENTLY RETIRED AIR MARSHAL CHAUDHRY. ACCORDING TO ONE SENIOR CIVIL SERVANT, GOP HAS LOOKED INTO MATTER AND FOUND THAT SENIOR-MOST AHMADIYA IS (UNNAMED) PROVINCIAL SECRETARY IN SIND.'

(1974 June 7, 12:31 (Friday), Lahore)

 JAMAAT-I-ISLAMI LEADER MIAN TUFAIL MOHAMMAD REPORTEDLY SENT TELEGRAM TO SAUDI ARABIA OVER WEEKEND REQUESTING KING FAISAL'S INTERVENTION TO HELP SOLVE SECTARIAN QUESTION. IN TELEGRAM, MOHAMMAD REPORTEDLY REMINDED MONARCH THAT ISSUES SHOULD BE VIEWED IN LIGHT OF DECISIONS TAKEN DURING RABITA-E-ALAM-E-ISLAMI CONFERENCE HELD LAST APRIL IN JIDDA. (ACCORDING TO LOCAL SOURCE, CONFERENCE DECIDED TO CONDEMN AHMADIYAS AS AGENTS OF ISRAEL AND INTERNATIONAL ZIONISM, AND TO DECLARE AHMADIYAS AS NON-MUSLIMS THROUGHOUT ISLAMIC WORLD.)

1974 June 17, 11:46 (Monday) Lahore)



TEHRIK ISTIQLAL LEADER ASGHAR KHAN HELD PRESS CONFERENCE IN LAYRE JUNE 14, WHICH FOR FIRST TIME IN MONTHS GOT HIM CONSIDERABLE (ADVERSE) PUBLICITY. APPARENTLY, NO JOURNALIST OF ANY PERSUASION WAS SATISFIED WITH AIR MARSHAL'S COMMENT THAT AHMADIYA COMMUNITY WAS "ALREADY A TINY MINORITY," ALTHOUGH HE DID STATE THAT HE FIRMLY BELIEVED IN FINALITY OF PROPHET MOHAMMAD (KHATM-E-NABUWWAT).

1974 June 17, 11:46 (Monday) Lahore)



PRESS CONTINUED TO CARRY INFLAMATORY STORIES DURING WEEK, INCLUDING ONE ARTICLE IN JAMHOOR JUNE 21 DATELINED CHINIOT, IN WHICH CORRESPONDENT CLAIMED HE HAD RECEIVED INFORMATION FROM KARACHI THAT AHMADIYAS WERE PURCHASING GOLD IN LOCAL MARKET WHICH WOULD BE TRANSFERRED TO NEW AHMADIYA HEAD-QUARTERS OUTSIDE PAKISTAN VIA BRITISH OR AMERICAN DIPLOMATIC MISSION.

(1974 June 28, 11:46 (Friday), Lahore)



MAJLIS- E- AHRAR ANNOUNCED INTENTION TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETING OUTSIDE LAHORE' S DELHI GATE TO PAY TRIBUTE TO ACTION OF AZAD KASHMIR ASSEMBLY, TO FEATURE NOTED OPPOSITION FIGURES SUCH AS AGHA SHORISH KASHMIRI AND NAWABZADA NASRULLAH KHAN, AS WELL AS SOME PROMINENT LEADERS OF JAMIAT ULEMA, JAMIAT ULSUA PAKISTAN AND JAMIAT ULEMA ISLAM, AND SIMILAR MEETINGS WERE SCHEDULED FOR OTHER PARTS OF THE PUNJAB.

(1973 May 11, 09:15 (Friday), Lahore)



And one strange one. Regarding a Group Captain Sajjad Haider who wanted a diplomatic post in Washington. It is interesting to see him being labelled as anti-Ahmadiyya and his own claims of being one.


ALTHOUGH HAIDER HAS APPARENTLY BEEN REHABILITATED, IT LOOKS AS IF HE IS NO LONGER CONSIDERED FIT FOR FIRST-LINE OPERATIONAL DUTY IN PAKISTAN. HE IS ANTI-AHMADIYA, AND CLAIMS TO HAVE BEEN INSTRUMENTAL IN REMOVING FORMER AIR MARSHAL CHAUDHRY.

(1974 July 24, 09:01 (Wednesday), Lahore)

Friday, February 8, 2013

1974 -VI Kufr and Islam - Circles and Boundaries


A popular slogan of Takfiris. 'Shia are Kafir-whoever disgarees with it is also a Kafir'.

Yahya Bakhtiyar, Mufti Mahmood and many others maintained that the Ahmadis were declared Non-Muslims because their Khalifa accepted in the Parliament that they consider all others Muslims as Kafir.

Mr. Bakhtiyar confirmed this in an interview with Aatish Fishan, Lahore in their May 1994 publication. He thought that during the cross-examination, Mirza Nasir Ahmad was forced to accept that Non-Ahmadis cannot be true Muslims.


A famous Barelvi Fatwa against M. A. Jinnah. The founder of Pakistan.

This matter was settled by a comprehensive response in the Mahzarnama by the Khalifatul Mashi III, which not only quoted fatwas (edicts) of heresy, apostasy and worst by all major sects of Islam against each other, but also gave a detailed description of the Ahmadiyya opinion on Kufr , Eeman and Islam.

It all boils down to..


The Ahmadiyya point of view on this matter can be summed up by two phrases used by Imam Raghib in his Mufridaat.

Doon-ul-Eeman: Those Muslims who are at a lower standard of faith; i.e., they are Muslims because they profess to be Muslims.

Fawq-ul-Eeman: Those Muslims who are at a distinguished standard of faith. i.e., they try to fulfill all of the criteria set in the Quran to attain spiritual distinction in the eyes of God.

During the cross-examination, the Attorney General kept discussing the labels of Kufr and Islam as a corporation would use it for copyrights purposes. Something that all the Mullahs present in the house could easily relate to. But the fact is, that Quran does not treat the subject of faith as a copyright issue.

Kufr (denial) has many degrees. A person can commit kufr though their actions while still professing to be a Muslim. For example, someone who does not offer his daily prayers becomes a Kafir. Sahih Muslim, the second most authentic book of Hadith has a chapter on this topic. But does this mean that all those who miss a single prayer in their life become Non-Muslims?

Imam Ibn-e-Taimiyyah, a famous Jurist who is held in high esteem by the more orthodox Sunni sects, also held the same belief. The following statement from his book was quoted by the Khalifatul Masih III in his statement.

"One type of Kufr causes the person to be removed from the Millat (Nation/Ummah) whereas the other type of Kufr does not." (Kitab-ul-Eeman, page 171).

Fawq-ul-Eeman and a Joke:

While discussing the 'True Islam' or the faith which entitles someone to be on Fawq-ul-Eeman, Khalifatul Masih III read a quote from the book of the founder of the community (page 820). This quote outlines the view of Hadhrat Ahmad on what he considered to be the pristine form of faith. Yahya Bakhtiya responded with a joke about a simpleton who responds to a Mullah's description of the razor thin bridge leading to the gardens of paradise;

'Why don't you say I can't go to paradise, Maulvi sahib'. Asked the poor soul.

The proceedings do not record if the house was amused by the joke. But one member did not like the passage being quoted and objected by saying that its just an effort to show how pious the Ahmadis are.

But it becomes abundantly clear from reading the Ahmadiyya responses, that Ahmadis consider all those who delcare and consider themselves to be Muslims as Muslims.

Another fake reference:


The questioning committee comprised of representatives from all religious parties. One of their tasks was to support their questions with appropriate references and quotes. The Attorney General appears to be caught short at numerous occasions where a carefully crafted question was sabotaged themselves by a bogus reference. Mr. Bakhtiyar read a sentence from a speech delivered by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II in conference in London.
"Ahmadis to form a separate community from outside (the) Musalman(s)." (page 843)

This sentence does not exist in the speech.

Yahya Bakhtiyar's confusion:


What the Attorney General understood as his triumph was actually an indication of his poor grasp of the matters of faith and spirituality. In his concluding remarks he said

'According to Mirza Nasir Ahmad, he (anyone who does not accept the prophethood of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad) remains within the Millat-e-Muhmmadia, but he is ouside the Dairah or circle of Islam. This was all lost to me.' (page 3037-3038)

Circles and Boundries:


Mr. Bakhtiyar's questions on this issue will give the reader a good indication of his (and the house's) malicious intentions. He pretended not to understand the simple and logical explanation being given by the Khalifatul Masih.

'I thought if he (Mirza Nasir Ahmad) said that we all Muslims and we will said that they (Ahmadis) are Muslims, and ignore these fatwas that have been going on for a long time, but he bluntly said that there were not Haqeeqi Muslims among Non-Ahmadis. It was impossible for a Non-Ahmadi to be a Haqeeqi (True) Muslim.' (page 3039)

One can only express sympathy for the Attorney General's mental capabilities and that of his helpers that they refuse to accept what Quran has made so clear. A verse in Surah Hujrat (49:15) tells the Bedouins that they should not say that are Mo'mins (people of faith), but they are only Muslims.

Even Maudoodi has to accept that certain people

May be counted among the Muslims in the world, may even be treated as Muslims in society, but they cannot be counted as believers in the sight of Allah.

If I understand correctly, Maudoodi's deputies in the Parliament and their friends were trying to play God by their own admission.



Famous Barelvi Fatwa against Shia Muslims. If these are the moderates, imagine the hardliners!


This brings us back to the original objection raised by the Ahmadiyya delegation in the Mahzarnama, that

And most serious of all: it (deliberating and legislating upon such manners) clearly runs counter to the teachings of the Holy Quran and the Ahadith of the Holy Prophet, and can prove to be a harbinger of many ills and disorders in the society. (pages 8-9)

If Ahmadis consider others as Muslims, why don't they pray behind them.


This probably has become the most repeated argument against the Pakistani Ahmadi Muslims that they don't pray behind a Non-Ahmadi Imam and also they do not participate in funeral prayers of any other sect. In fact, this arises because two facts are ignored.

a. All leaders/Ulema of other sects have strictly forbidden their followers to pray behind Ahmadis becuase they are Kafirs and according to them they are the followers of an impostor.

b. Why pray behind a person who considers you an apostate, worthy of death etc?. Prayers are acts of worship, not a social occasion.


Shia Fatwa against Wahabis. 'Wahabis bound for the lowest level of hell!'.

Deobandi leaders are Mushrik and Kafir.

 
After quoting miscellaneous fatwas of all sects agains Ahmadis and against each other (page 147-164) this heartfelt plea follows, which obviously fell on deaf ears;

For God's sake, do some justice! Have a modicum of fear of God. Have some sense of obligation to being the followers of our lord and master Hadhrat Muhammad, the chosen one (saw), who was the personification of justice. Tell us, how far are the atrocities and injustices being perpetrated against Ahmadis by the ulema of the majority of the aforementioned sects, justified? How far such conduct is becoming of a Muslim; how far does it behove any humble follower of the one who was "Mercy for the Universe"? If one does offer prayers behind them, one is branded as kaafir; if one does not offer prayers behind them, one is still branded as kaafir! It is a no-win situation. What is one supposed to do? Is the only way left for one to retain Islam as his faith is to abstain altogether from offering prayer in congregation—as the majority among the generality of Muslim has already done? (page 164)

A link to the fatwa delivered by Rabita-e-Alam-e-Islami against Ahmadiyya Muslims in 1974.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Freedom of Speech and the Islamophobes.

Harris Zafar of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, USA is an excellent writer and a Jihadist in the true sense of the word. His Jihad is to spread the true and peaceful teachings of Islam to his homeland and to the wider world through his writings.

In this struggle, he has invited many critics. Some from within the Muslim community who consider his Ahmadi faith as heretical, but the most vocal and hateful criticism comes from the American Ultra-Conservative Islamophobes. One of them, Andrew E. Harrod writes that in his latest article, that Harris fails to make any sense. To Harod, Islam is a unique case of a false faith which invaded, forcibly converted and occupied almost half of the world for a whole millennium. Harris Zafar's attempts to explain the misdeeds of despots and extremist clerics as unislamic are futile.

The tragedy with this type of Islamophobia is that it does not recognize reform within Islam as a genuine phenomenon. Their hateful propaganda has unfortunately been supported by the actions of the medievalist Islamists. For people like Harris and me, and all the other moderate Muslims the cult of Robert Spencer and the cult of Suicide bomber share the same view of history. Both of them see stories of violence in some history books as true and both of them reject reform and tolerance.

Harrod repeats the same distorted historic 'evidence' of killing of blasphemers and apostates during the time of the Prophet which is so common in Islamophobe literature. He also cites the same injustices being carried out in countries where despotic regimes are in control.

We cannot deny that some history books do mention events where alleged blasphemers and apostate were killed. At least this is how the orthodox Muslims understand them. As is the case with any scripture or historic narrative, readers can super-impose their own whims on the text to interpret it as they wish. So if OBL or Robert Spencer want to read the story of Kaab ibn Ashraf as an example of killing of a blasphemer, they will make every effort to ignore the fact that Ibn Ashraf was in direct contact with the leaders of Quraish and was posing a direct threat to the lives of the inhabitants of Medina. Similarly, Mr. Harrod, Spencer et al., will be happy to accept the story of Asma bint Marwan several others as true whereas Islamic scholars of Hadith have declared those narrations as fabricated or weak.

Fabricated events cannot become real just because Saudi Arabia is beheading and Iranian regime is condemning people for apostasy and blasphemy. There were hoardes of crucaders killing innocent women and children in the name of Christ. There are Jews killing unarmed civilians in the name of David and Moses. Can I start being disrespectful of these Prophets of God? Should a cartoonist be asked to portray these evil acts with Jesus, Moses and David as the subjects of these images? I am sure someone, somewhere is capable of doing this. But as a decent human being, I will abhor such 'art' as disrespectful, unfair and slanderous.

As human beings, we need laws and rules to regulate how society should behave. A line needs to be drawn where freedom of speech can turn into a license to cause offence, to stir up hatred and eventually violence in a society.

There is no confusion in Islam about freedom of conscience and expression. The real confusion is in the minds of Islamophobes who feel that their only weapon will be taken away if a law was enforced to curb their bigotry and naked hate.

I wish Harris all the best in his struggle against Islamophobia in the USA. It is the struggle for the triumph of real Islam, which will put an end to all persecution, war and bloodshed InshaAllah.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pakistan, Shia Genocide and 1974

Muhammad Hanif, a popular novelist and journalist tweeted recently about a discussion he had with a young man at a vigil for the Quetta massacre victims. They disagreed upon the year when the Shia killings started in Pakistan. The young man insisted that it all started in 1997, while Hanif knew it to be 1985. He concluded that the kid was too young to remember and he was old enough to be right.

Majority of the Shia Muslims dying in Pakistan at the hands of takfiri terrorists, and most of those protesting against this ongoing genocide don't know or remember 1974.

It was the first year of official takfir in Pakistan.

An elected parliament which consisted for some very vocal Shia politicians, under the guidance of a Shia prime minister allowed Sunni and Wahabi Mullah's to amend the constitution to declare Ahmadis as non-Muslims. One can read the speech by Syed Abbas Hussain Gardezi in the proceedings which supposedly represented the Shia opinion on the matter. I do not believe Mr. Gardezi was representing the Shia Muslims of Pakistan. He, like most of his colleagues were politicians who ushered in the dark years without realizing it.




On 6th of August 1974, day 2 of the in-camera session, the Head of the Ahmadiyya community, Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad cited numerous examples of fatwas (edicts) of Kufr by various Muslim sects against each other. He argued that Parliament should not behave like a takfiri mullah as those demanding the 2nd amendment call each other kafir too.


During the cross-examination, Attorney General Yahya Bakhtiyar refused to accept that all other edicts of heresy had anything in common with the proposed 2nd amendment. According to him, all Muslim sects were unanimous in declaring Ahmadis as Non-Muslims while the edicts quoted by the Khalifatul Masih were individual opinions of one sect against another.

Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad then quoted Dr. Khalifa Abdul Hakim, a famous religious scholar of Paksitan (Page 284), who wrote that a well known Mullah who was also a reluctant migrant to Pakistan declared a number of sects as Wajibul Qatl, includig Shias. He then quoted another scholar who famously said "We have only started Jihad against one sect (Ahmadis). We will deal with the others once we are done with them first".

On hearing this, Yahya Bakhtiyar tried to dismiss it as an individual opinion. But Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad told him that in future other sects will gang-up against another and the cycle of destruction will go on.

'That will be Hara-Kiri". Yahya Bakhtiyar remarked; probably the only correct conclusion he made during those 17 days.

Hara-Kiri, according to wikipedia is, "The ceremonial disembowelment, which is usually part of a more elaborate ritual and performed in front of spectators, consists of plunging a short blade, traditionally a tantō, into the abdomen and moving the blade from left to right in a slicing motion".

My deepest sympathies to the Shia Muslim brothers and sisters of Pakistan. It appears that they were bound by a Hara-Kiri pact without their consent.

Muhammad Hanif and many other liberal Pakistanis taking part in vigils and sit-ins this week can also mention 1974 to everyone. Those asking the PPP government for protection should be told that in the summer of 1974 a similar massacre happened all over Pakistan, and Bhutto's first Parliament was busy surrendering to Takfiri Mullahs.

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