Pakistan: Men sentenced to three years in prison for “Excessive use of Quran”

A Pakistani court on Wednesday sentenced two men to three years in prison for “Excessive use of Quran”

The two men, Idris Ahmed and SabaulZafar were charged with”excessive use of Quran and Islamic literature” along with illegal possession of the Islamic Holy book. Both men were given a three-year prison sentence and fined PKR 50,000 (USD 475) by the anti-terrorism court.

The men who belong to the minority Ahmadiyya community were arrested by Pakistan’s security forces in December last year during a raid on the community offices in the town of Rabwah. At the time Idris Ahmed was employed as a manager at the Ahmadiyya community owned Zia-ul-Islam Press, while Sabah-ul-Zafar worked in the communications department of the community.

Ahmadis who identify themselves as Muslims are considered heretics by mainstream Muslims. Due to their beliefs, Ahmadis were declared non-Muslims by the Pakistani government in 1974. Under the Pakistani laws, it is criminal for Ahmadis to act in an Islamic way or possess Islamic material.