ISLAMABAD – The Ahmadiya community residing in Rawalpindi city continues to bear the brunt of dangerous religious frenzy.
Around 1500-1600 worshippers belonging to Ahmadi community - who were supposed to congregate at the worship place of the community located at E-Block of Satellite Town to observe Eidul Azha prayers - were barred by the authorities from doing so.
It came after a new wave of hate-campaign against the community hit the city.
The Action Committee Khatm-e-Nabuwwat (ACKN) - an opportunistic alliance between the banned religious outfits including Jamatud Dawa (Jud) and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat (former Sipah-e-Sahaba) and some local traders - just a week before Eidul Azha had filled the city with anti-Ahmadi banners demanding of the city administration to seal the worship place permanently.
It was not the first time, as community members were also not allowed to offer Eidul Fitr prayers around two-and-a-half months ago.
“We, the office-bearers of Anjuman-e-Ahmadiya Rawalpindi (AAR), have formally requested the city administration to allow us to observe Eidul Azha prayers at Ewan-e-Tauheed near the Holy Family Hospital. But the administration refused on the pretext of law and order situation,” said a member of the administration of Ewan-e-Tauheed, wishing not to be named, while talking to TheNation.
He said that AAR had also requested the administration to suggest them some alternate place of worship, but it was not entertained too.
He said that the worship place located at Murree Road, Rawalpindi, Bait-ul-Hamd, could accommodate only 200 worshippers. “Some of the community members belonging to Rawalpindi moved to Islamabad to offer prayers,” he said.
Aiwan-e-Tauheed - a worship place of Ahmadiyya Community in Rawalpindi - turned controversial approximately a year ago, when a local trader Sharjeel Mir spearheading a campaign has demanded to shut down the worship place after terming it “unconstitutional and against Islam”.
At the start some prayer leaders and seminary students of nearby areas joined him, but later the campaign was hijacked by clerics of banned outfits.
Taking notice of the highly tense situation, the city administration had imposed a ban on observing Friday prayers at the worship place.
Earlier, on January 29, 2012, around two thousand people including activists of banned Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and Jamatud Dawa (JuD) and students of religious seminaries of Rawalpindi have carried out a massive rally near the Ahmadis worship place against what they termed “illegal and constitutional act” of the community.
The Action Committee is of the view that the House where worship place is established was purchased by Ahmadis for residential purpose but later they converted it into a mosque, however, the administration of Eiwan-e-Touheed claims otherwise.
“Across the world, it is a common practice that administration takes stand for right but here the situation is complex. The environment filled with hate for the community has also compelled the administration to go with the wrong side,” the administration member said.
He denounced Action Committee for causing split not only amongst Muslims and Ahmadiyya community but also between Muslims and Muslims.