By Shehla Ahmad
On November 20th, on the false and ungrounded plea of Blasphemy of the Holy Quran, a factory in Jhelum which was owned by an Ahmadi Muslim was burnt, while Police was present on the scene. Thank God no one was hurt although the mob which set the factory on fire appeared to have obnoxious plan to burn alive those Ahmadi Muslims who were residing in the premises of factory along with their families.
Army was called in the city to control the situation. Next day a similar mob goes to an Ahmadiyya Muslim mosque in the area and attempts to burn it too. The mob then washes the mosque to “purify it” and thus claims they have converted it from an “Ahmadiyya Muslim mosque” to a “Muslim mosque”.
It’s very shocking for me how casually the whole matter has been dealt with. Firstly, the actual factory has been allowed to be burnt merely on a false allegation. Secondly, apparently as per plan, the mob easily succeeded in arson attack on the mosque the next day and the official security officers who should have been alert in the area did nothing to prevent this from happening.
How the mobs are gathered? They were invited and incited to violence by announcements from “mosques” and this all resulting in what we saw unfortunately on that day. But till today we have not heard if those Mullahs, who incited all this violence and whom we see inciting hatred and violence regarding this incident in YouTube videos, are yet arrested? However the Ahmadi Muslim on mere allegations of one person was arrested right away. It only shows that in Pakistan not only laws are made to discriminate against its citizens but laws are also applied discriminately.
I must appreciate the courage of some voices in Pakistan’s private TV channels, English newspapers and social media who are brave enough to discuss such an incident in media. However it’s worth noting that no such impartial coverage is found in Urdu print media. Further, it’s my observation that even when TV anchors show some courage to raise logical and obvious questions in favor of Ahmadi Muslims, there is a clear and understandable hesitation on their part to argue with other side beyond a certain point. The overall environment of intolerance and suffocation reflects in all these programs where although they are trying to defend Ahmadis, but they don’t at all seem free to do so.
My question is: why it takes so long to arrest those who are the perpetrators of mob violence. Is it not a real crime? It’s obvious from the details that the incident was pre-planned and was designed to cause damage to Ahmadi Muslims and their families.
There should be legal repercussions for individuals who make such false allegations. Last but not the least, as an Ahmadi Muslim I am confident that all this was a fabricated allegation as no Ahmadi Muslim can even remotely do a slightest disrespect to the Holy Quran.