Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pakistan: Observations of hardships and betrayals

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Mob looted homes however they could, and burnt everything else.they couldn't put in their pockets or carry on their shoulders. 

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | US desk
Source/Credit: Ahmadiyya Times
By Web desk | November 25, 2015

Last Friday evening, when a violent mob shouting Allah-o Akbar set on fire an Ahmadi-owned business with workers inside and attacked adjacent homes where workers' families lived, the mob created a blockade to keep workers and their families from escaping the fire while they held rescuers outside at a distance.

Nearly 1,500 Ahmadis were displaced when men, women, and children were forced to make fast get-aways from the enraged mob lusting after their blood.

Mob looted homes however they could, and burnt everything else.they couldn't put in their pockets or carry on their shoulders.

A few harrowing details (edited) from the two places are described below that people in social media took from firsthand narrations coming from the scene of attack.

  • 'In #Jehlum the mob was angry at alleged Quran burning but actually they were busy looting houses & property. Then they burnt everything'
  • 'One Ahmadi pregnant woman had to hide from the enraged mob for 3 hours in wild bushes with her two toddler daughters, and it ws a cold night.'
  • 'There were pickets on the GT Road stopping the cars and searching for the burqa clad Ahmadi women.'
  • 'After escaping the violent mob, two Ahmadi boys had to hide and walk thru bushy hills till 3 in the morning'
  • 'Mob was insistent on holding the Ahmadi women back, while the men tried to convince people to kill them but let their wives and kids go'
  • 'The Jhelum factory was paying for the education of the person making videos and inciting people; one small example of the countless betrayals'
  • In one instance, 'Parents who sent their kids to a female Ahmadi tutor were amongst those who burned down her home'
  • By the way, 'the oldest boy of the man accused of burning the Qurans is a 'Hafiz-e Quran.' [meaning the parents from very early age helped the child memorized the entire text of the Holy Quran out of reverence for the scriptures.']

Collected from @humda83 and @TahirImran

  -- Pakistan: Observations of hardships and betrayals

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Nepal: Bleak outlook for country's urban refugees

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"People in Syria and other countries are dying from bullets. Are we going to die from hunger? How can we feed our family if the UNHCR doesn't support us?"

 [Photo: Deepak Adhikari/Al Jazeera]
Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | Int'l Desk
Source/Credit: Al Jazeera
By Deepak Adhikari | 24 November 2015

Sit-in protests in Kathmandu by over 100 people aim to compel UNHCR to drop proposal to cut monthly allowances.

 Kathmandu, Nepal - Refugees have organised sit-in protests in the Nepali capital demanding that UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, which provides for them, revokes its decision to cut monthly allowances starting next year.

For the past three weeks, in a rare protest in Kathmandu, over 100 refugees have gathered under a large canopy in front of the entrance to a UNHCR office.

Rohingya women have huddled together near the closed entrance, nursing their babies, alongside Sri Lankans and Hazaras.

All shared similar stories of fleeing war, ethnic cleansing and political and religious persecution.

Perspective: Bombs may kill extremists, but they will not kill extremism | Umar Nasser

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Our shock at the recent terror attacks across Paris, the Middle East, and now Mali is being predictably followed with calls for mindless retribution.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: Belfast Telegraph
By Umar Nasser | November 23, 2015

How we respond to recent attacks will shape our future for generations to come

‘Bomb and be done with it. Destroy the enemy, and all will be well.’ This seductive voice cannot go unchallenged.

ISIL must be defeated, but it will have no meaning to destroy ISIL today if another ISIL springs up 5 years from now. If we truly want to live in a world without terrorism, we cannot continue to treat it as a phenomenon that is self-existing, divorced from a global geopolitical landscape that is shaped largely by our own actions. Our focus should not just be on defeating ISIL- it must be on establishing a lasting peace.

The attacks were perpetrated by ISIL, but ISIL themselves are the offspring of extremist philosophy and foreign support. We must reflect on each of these in turn.

Why Pakistan persecutes the minority Ahmadi group? | DW

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"A mob attacked our mosque in Kala Gujran, an area in Jehlum, took out its furniture and set it on fire. Then, they washed the mosque and later offered evening prayers in the mosque."

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | Int'l Desk
Source/Credit: DW
By DW | November 23, 2015

An angry mob in the Pakistani city of Jehlum burnt down a factory and a mosque belonging to the minority Ahmadi group on blasphemy charges. What are the reasons behind continued persecution of the Ahmadis? DW examines.

In Pakistan, all you need to lynch Ahmadis or torch their houses and places of worship is an allegation of blasphemy. They are an easy target. Declared non-Muslims in 1974, the Ahmadis face both legal and social discrimination in the Islamic country, and the attacks on their properties have increased manifold in the past decade.

On Saturday, November 21, an angry mob in the eastern Punjab province set ablaze a factory owned by the Ahmadis, after one of its employees was accused of desecrating the Koran.

"The incident took place after we arrested the head of security at the factory, Qamar Ahmed Tahir, for complaints that he ordered the burning of Korans," Adnan Malik, a senior police official in the Jhelum city, told the media.

UK: Ahmadiyya Muslims Organize Peace Conference in Tooting

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"Terrorism and hatred can never triumph whilst we continue to strive to work together for the benefit of everyone."

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch |
Source/Credit: Tooting Daily PRSS
By TDP | November 23, 2015

The first Peace Conference of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association (Tooting Chapter) was held on the 22nd November 2015 at the Lola Jones Hall, Tooting Leisure Centre.

Condemning the terror attacks in Paris and Bamako, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community held the event in Tooting to promote peace, to unite religions in peace and to tackle extremism.

Shakeel Ahmed, President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association (Tooting Chapter) said in his welcoming speech, “Islam encourages interfaith dialogue and advocates peace, tolerance, love and understanding among the followers of different faiths. We firmly believe in the Quranic teaching that ‘there is no compulsion in religion’. It is our firm belief that we must work together for a greater cause of peace, putting aside minor differences. I’m sure that we can achieve unity without disarray, diversity without division, and be one worldwide community without hatred, oppression, poverty and war. This event has one purpose, which is for us to come and sit together in a friendly environment to talk about one goal and shared objective that we hold, which is to promote love, affection, brotherhood and peace. The ethos of our community is summed up in our motto: love for all, hatred for none.”

Perspective: A guide to growing up Ahmadi in Pakistan | Ayesha Ali


One day you will hear that the girl in section 2B is telling everyone that her father says you are not a Muslim and that no one should be friends with you.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | Int'l Desk
Source/Credit: Daily Dawn Pakistan
By Ayesha Ali | November 23, 2015

Welcome, to the beautiful land of the pure. Here, we are blessed with four wondrous seasons and the geographical features are aplenty.

This is a land hard won through the sacrifices of many and now, you too, are a part of this nation of the free.

There is only one small hitch. You are Ahmadi, and life will be slightly more difficult for you than it is for the rest of the citizens of this country.

Though, if we are being honest, it’s not exactly a joy ride for everyone else either.

But never fear, this handy guide will tell you how to navigate through the typically awkward moments of a minority life. Let us begin:

UK: Muslims and other faiths unite in Huddersfield to condemn terrorism

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“We consider this to be not just an attack on France but on the entire humanity and we express our condolences to the families of the bereaved and pray for the fast recovery of all those injured."

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: Huddersfield Examiner
By Neil Atkinson | November 23, 2015

Special prayers for victims of Paris attacks

People of all faiths came together in Huddersfield to condemn terrorism.

They were at a mosque in Fartown for a specials service organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

The event attracted not only Muslims but Sikhs and Christians.

Fatihul-haq, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Huddersfield South, said: “We condemn the actions of extremists wherever they may be, whatever their cause. We are with the people of France in sharing their pain.

“This was an outrageous attack on the peaceful innocent members of the public and they are in our thoughts and prayers.

Pakistan: Uneasy calm after weekend of roits against Ahmadi minority in Jhelum

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"Around 18 Ahmadi families live in this neighbourhood. They had already left their homes for protection even before the mob attacked their worship place here."

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | Int'l Desk
Source/Credit: Haveeru Online
By AFP | November 23, 2015

Officials in a Pakistani city hit by sectarian riots called a meeting of religious clerics Sunday to defuse tensions as scores of Ahmadi Muslims reportedly fled after a weekend of violence.

The unrest began Friday when an angry mob in the eastern city of Jhelum torched a factory after one of its employees, a member of the persecuted Ahmadi sect, was accused of committing blasphemy by burning pages of the Koran.

On Saturday, protesters ransacked an Ahmadi mosque in the congested Kala Gujran area of the city and set fire to some Ahmadi homes.

Ahmadis are legally declared 'non-Muslims' in Pakistan and frequently persecuted because they believe in a final prophet after Muhammad.

"We have called the local clerics and traders and they have agreed to help restore peace because they are convinced that violence is not Islamic," Zulfiqar Ahmad Ghumman, chief of the district administration, told AFP.

UK: Morden's Baitul Futuh Mosque draws hundreds of women for multi-faith peace gathering

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"I would like to say a huge thank you to your community. Thank you for the great leadership you are showing in helping young people step up."

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: Wimbledon Guardian
By Pippa Allen-Kinross | November 23, 2015

Hundreds of women have joined together at the Baitul Futuh Mosque to discuss the aim to "nurture today, protect tomorrow".

More than 300 people attended the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women Association’s 7th Annual Peace Symposium on Saturday, November 21, to talk about inspiring and guiding young people and the importance of women’s education.

The day included speeches from women including Siobhain McDonagh MP, the mayor of Croydon Patricia Hay-Justice and a message from the Khalifa Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, who condemned the recent attacks in Paris.

There were also tours around the mosque and its library, as well as a question and answer session and dinner.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Pakistan: Preliminary report finds Punjab police mishandled Jhelum anti-Ahmadi riots

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The report said that only one colonel of Pakistan Army has restored the law and order in the city which was not controlled by additional IGP, DPO, around 10 SPs, DSPs and hundreds of reserved police personnel.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: The Express Tribune
By Abdul Manan | November 24, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The police are responsible for the Jhelum tragedy as the high-ups failed to address the religious sentiments of a mob which not only led to displacement of some 1,200 Ahmadiyya community members but also caused them huge business losses, according to a preliminary report said presented to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday.

The report  was prepared by various stakeholders including the Punjab Cabinet Committee on Law and Order, law enforcement agencies and security intelligence agencies.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif also observed the report. The two leaders directed the concerned authorities to carry out actions against all the culprits regardless of their affiliations.

Vatican: Two journalists among five charged for documents leak

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The documents were cited in two books, by journalists Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi, alleging misspending and corruption at the Vatican.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | Int'l Desk
Source/Credit: Lanka News Web
By BBC/LNW | November 22, 2015

The Vatican has charged five people, including two journalists and a top priest or monsignor, over the leaking and publication of secret documents.

The documents were cited in two books, by journalists Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi, alleging misspending and corruption at the Vatican.

The journalists deny claims that they exerted pressure to obtain information.

Two members of a papal commission advising on economic reform, and an assistant, were also charged.

Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda, and his colleague on the commission, public relations expert Francesca Chaouqui, were arrested early in November.

Perspective | Pakistan and its hate crimes | Yasser Latif Hamdani

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It seems there is an organised campaign to target the Ahmedi community's economic well being by destroying their businesses, harassing their youth and ransacking their communal properties

Hate writer Ishtiaq Ahmadi (L) and hate speaker Tahir Ashrafi (R)
Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | Int'l Desk
Source/Credit: Daily Times
By Yasser Latif Hamdani | November 23, 2015

The burning down of a factory owned by an Ahmedi family followed by the ransacking of an Ahmedi place of worship in Jhelum has once again showed how precarious the situation is for that community in Pakistan and how easily they can become victims of mob outrage and hatred, which has been cultivated slowly and steadily over the years. Against their will, they were cast out of the fold of Islam by the National Assembly (NA) in 1974. Then, in 1984, horrendous sanctions were placed on their freedom of religion and speech in the form of Ordinance XX of 1984, a law that mirrors, in its ruthlessness, the Nazi regime’s laws in Germany in the 1930s. Since the mid-1980s, the rest of us have been forced to abuse them and the founder of their sect in order to get a passport as Muslims in Pakistan. It seems there is an organised campaign to target the community’s economic well being by destroying their businesses, harassing their youth and ransacking their communal properties.

This did not happen overnight; it is a result of the state’s tolerance of hate speech against this particular community, and other sects and religions in general, which has become the norm since the late 1970s. The state has allowed hate mongers and bigots to flourish in small towns and qasbahs especially those in upper Punjab, lining the famous GT Road and on the Seraiki belt. These towns and qasbahs have now become hotbeds of extremism and religious and sectarian exclusivism.

Top read stories during last 7 days


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