The Minority’s Minority

Source: Tehelka


“The breed of Qadianis will never change. They may multiply up to 99 generations; still the 100th one will continue to be a dualist-infidel and apostate. The reason is that their crime is a never-ending one. The offence will never cease to exist in their progeny. Let it be clear to every Muslim that the crime of apostasy runs throughout the lineage of a Qadiani. If he is adamant and refuses to renounce his apostasy, then Allah’s sacred soil deserves to be cleaned of his foul existence. By the law of Shariat, they should be awarded capital sentence because they are dualist-infidels (zindiq). If they are masquerading as Muslims on the globe, it is because they have not been sentenced. Hunt the liar in his mother’s haunt [Britain]. I ask my Muslim brethren — Don’t you have any grace left in you to answer these shameless Qadianis? Peel their camouflage off from every nook and corner of the world, just as it has been done in Pakistan.”

From a booklet published by the Majlise-Tahaffuz-e-Khatm-e-Nubuwwat Trust, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

IN RECENT days, as news of the Higgs Boson and the so-called god particle swept across the globe, some commentators in Pakistan referred to the strange and paradoxical case of the late Mohammad Abdus Salam. A physicist of renown and Pakistan’s first Nobel laureate, Salam is hardly remembered in his country, and even mocked because he belonged to the Ahmadiyya or Qadiani sect of Islam. In recent years, as Sunni supremacism and an extremist, Wahhabi form of the religion have gained ground in Pakistan, Ahmadiyyas have found themselves under attack.

Is the fire spreading to India? The Ahmadiyya sect was born in this country, its adherents being followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, a 19th century religious preacher who lived in Qadian, near Gurdaspur in Punjab. Yet today, a silent social boycott of the community in India is isolating it from other Muslims.

No one knows this better than Jehangir Ali, 82, a wizened resident of the Old City in Hyderabad. We are standing in his house, part of a complex that includes the 398-year-old Qutub Shahi Mosque, the family graveyard, living quarters and a small poultry business. “Look around you,” he says, “what do you see?” This reporter looks around — there are trees, a railway line, and more trees. There’s nothing really; rare open spaces in the otherwise congested neighbourhood of Falaknuma.

That’s exactly the point Ali is trying to make — his and his family’s exile from the community. His family — including those of his two sons and two grandsons — has not just been excluded and pushed to the margins, it has been repeatedly threatened.

Religious zealots, backed by the Andhra Pradesh Wakf Board, are claiming ownership of the mosque Ali’s family has so lovingly tended to.

“This mosque was in a bad shape when my grandfather came here in 1890,” says Ali. “He became its caretaker and spent his money restoring it. Not even a single person came here to read namaz back then. Even today, no one else comes here to pray except us. They still want to throw us out.”

On 18 February, the Wakf Board issued an order resolving to “take over possession of the mosque and the graveyard from the custody of the Qadianis. Since Sunni or Shia mosques cannot be administered by non-Muslims, it is ordered that the said property be taken under the Wakf’s direct management”. In effect, the Wakf Board declared the Ali family non-Muslims.

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