On 6 February 2020, at 2pm, a mosque belonging to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Qasur, Pakistan was illegally and forcefully ceased by an organised mob.
The mosque (which cannot be called a mosque in Pakistan due to legislation) had belonged to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat for more than a hundred years. It was stormed despite police presence by a crowd led by Muslim clerics.
After entering the mosque, the mob smashed CCTV cameras and called the azan through a loudspeaker and offered prayers; supposedly marking the mosque as now “worthy” of being a “mosque”.
According to the official press release by Nizarat-e-Umoor-e-Ama, Pakistan, the police presence had no effect and they allowed the organised mob to take over the Ahmadiyya Mosque without any resistance.
The press release also panned out that this act was completely against the law and Ahmadiyya Mosque in Qasur, Pakistan illegally stormed by an organised mob opposes the decision made on 19 June 2014 by The Supreme Court of Pakistan.
The disturbing act has, once again, endangered the lives of Ahmadi Muslim across Pakistan, particularly in the locality of Qasur. The Jamaat has taken legal action against the raid and hopes the authorities and legal system of Pakistan will show justice.
Ahmadi Muslims have been subjugated to hate, discrimination and violence by organised and well-established groups in Pakistan for decades. The attack on the Ahmadiyya Mosque in Qasur is just the latest on-going injustice against the community.
The Khulafa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat have always strongly instructed Ahmadi Muslims to respond with prayers, and prayers alone.
The following is the official press release by Nizarat-e-Umoor-e-Ama:
Ahmadis deprived of their place of worship and their right to worship in Kharappar, district Qasur.
Spokesperson of Pakistan’s Ahmadiyya Community asks the government to take note of the blatant violation of the verdict issued by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2014.
Chenab Nagar (PR) The Spokesperson of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan has said that the seizure of an Ahmadi place of worship in Kharappar, District Qasur, is a clear violation of the community’s fundamental right to religious freedom. The site in question has been in possession of the community for over one hundred years. However, under duress from certain agitating parties, the local authorities have handed it over to the ringleaders of a mob that had formed to forcefully take control of it. Prior to this, the local Ahmadi community in Kharappar was subject to constant pressure to relinquish the building themselves.
According to the spokesperson of the community, on 6 February 2020 at approximately 2pm in the afternoon, a mob forcefully entered the place of worship. Once inside, they smashed the security cameras and installed a loudspeaker through which they called the Azan. Afterwards they performed prayers inside the main hall. Once news reached them, a heavy police contingent arrived at the site, but took no action against the mob. Instead they locked the place of worship down, and without any authority or jurisdiction announced that the place of worship would be handed over to the ringleaders of the disturbance.
Citing earlier a judgment by the Supreme Court of Pakistan issued on 19 June 2014 the spokesperson of the Ahmadyya Community added that the forceful acquisition of the place of worship is in clear violation of the verdict issued by the then Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani. Under his authority a three-member apex bench devised a framework and reached a historical decision (S.M.C.No1of2014/PLD2014SC99) which outlined 8 guidelines instructing the government to form a special police task force in order to ensure the security of places of worship. One of the recommendations focused on the need to take swift action against those who were found to be involved in defiling any place of worship in the country.
The spokesperson said that the Ahmadiyya Community is a peaceful, law-abiding, and a patriotic community which continues to work towards the progress and betterment of Pakistan. Despite this, not only are Ahmadis consistently denied their freedom of religion, but their historical places of worship are also being illegally taken away from them. This only leads to heightened religious discord and hostility.