Online News Editor August 12, 2022
Islamabad, Aug 12 (EFE).- A member of the Ahmadi minority community was on Friday stabbed to death by a radical Islamist at a bus stand in Pakistan, where the persecuted sect’s beliefs are considered blasphemous by conservative Muslims.
The attack took place Friday morning in the city of Rabwah in the eastern Punjab province, a spokesperson of the Ahmadi community, Amir Mehmood, said in a statement
“A 62 year old Ahmadi Naseer Ahmad was stabbed to death at Rabwah’s main bus stop by a fanatic for not chanting slogans in praise of Khadim Rizvi” – the founder of the far-right Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan party that seeks to protect the “sanctity” of Prophet Muhammad – the statement said.
The victim died on the spot, while the assailant allegedly chanted “Kill those who disrespect Prophet Muhammed!” – a slogan popularized by Rizvi – while being arrested
The Pakistani Ahmadis are a Muslim sect founded in the 19th century in India by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, whom they consider a prophet, which clashes with the Islamic belief of Muhammad as the last messenger of God.
As per Pakistan’s penal code, the Ahmadis are prohibited from “impersonating Muslims”, calling their places of worship mosques or selling texts of their sect, which could lead to penalties of up to three years. They are even forbidden from using the typical Muslim greeting “assalamu alaikum”.
Official government documents, such as passports, mention them solely as Ahmadis, and some radical sects have openly proclaimed that killing a member of the community would guarantee a place in heaven for Muslims.
Mehmood told EFE that Naseer was an active member of the community and was on his way to the cemetery for a habitual Friday visit to the graves of his loved ones, when he was attacked.
“The killer is a cleric and the killing was solely religiously motivated,” insisted the spokesperson, adding that the assailant lived in a different area and had traveled to the spot to carry out the attack.
Local police chief Tahir Manj told EFE that the attack was being investigated, without confirming whether it was religiously motivated.
Ahmadis have a worldwide population of between 10-20 million, including half a million in Pakistan. As per their spokesperson, a total of 280 Ahmadis have been killed in the country since 1984, including the two assassinations this year. EFE