Rawalpindi: Jammat ud Dawa threatens Ahmadiyya Centre

Rawalpindi: Jammat ud Dawa threatens Ahmadiyya Centre

As the political and judicial crises deepen in Pakistan, the only winners emerging from the scene seem to to be the extremists. Lashkar e Taiba has reemerged with the new name of Jammat ud Dawa led by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed. Jammat ud Dawa was a declared a terrorist organization and Saeed its terrorist leader in 2008 by the UN.

Even though Jammat ud Dawa was declared a terrorist organization by the UN it operates freely in Pakistan and has so far enjoyed the full protection of Punjab’s political leadership and is trying to gain political points by inciting anti-Indian sentiments. As soon as you enter Lahore you are met with countless posters and banners filled with anti-India slogans plastered all over the walls and back of Rickshaws. But Pakistan’s economic and civil situation has forced the masses to ignore this hoopla with most of the households immersed in Indian TV series revenge from India is the last thing on their mind.

But it would seem Jammat ud Dawa struck the right chord when on 29th January 2012 a rally was organized in Rawalpindi against the Ahmadiyya Community in which an open warning was given to demolish the “Ewan e Tawheed” a place used for prayers by the Ahmadiyya Community. Over 5,000 protesters from Jamaatud Dawa, Jamaat-i-Islami, Sipah Sahaba (banned organisation) and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat attended the gathering.

This issue has left the Ahmadiyya community prone to attacks and there are known security threats to community members from these terrorist outfits. As the possibility of an attack looms the Ahmadis are not being allowed to defend or protect themselves.

The spokesperson of Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan, Saleem ud Din said in a statement :

“This open campaign against the community centre is a plan to deprive the community’s peaceful members of their right to pray and gather.”

Mr. Saleem ud Din further said,

“We can compromise on the right of self-defence but never compromise on the right of prayer in front of God”

He said “the founder of Pakistan Qaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah gave this right to all Pakistani citizens on 11 August 1947.

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”

Ehsan Rehan

Ehsan Rehan

Ehsan is a Washington D.C. based reporter who covers Human Rights & Religious Freedom issues.
Ehsan Rehan