Ahmadiyyas asked to remove Quranic verses in Lahore

Ahmadiyyas asked to remove Quranic verses in Lahore

Police in Green Town area of Lahore, which has a sizable Ahmadiyya population, are set to launch an operation to remove verses of the Quran from over 20 shops of the community on College Road following a complaint from local traders. Members of the Ahmadiyya sect are not accepted as Muslims by Pakistani authorities.

The community owns electronics, hardware and home appliances shops and houses in Green Town and Quranic verses have been written in houses and business establishments. Ahmadiyya residents said they put up the verses to seek god's blessings.

Waseem Amjad Mahmood, a community leader, said police had warned the community to remove all Islamic writing from their houses and shops following a complaint from the owners of a shop. Police had warned that they would remove the writings if the community did not do so, Mahmood was quoted as saying by the Daily Times newspaper.

Sayyed Farrukh Hafeez, another member of the community, said police had told him to remove a plaque with a Quranic verse from his front door. Abdul Qayyum Mughal, another Ahmadiyya, said he had filed an application with police seeking action against some local residents for hurling stones at his house.

He said police did not take action. The Green Town police station chief, Inspector Ghulam Abbas, said that after receiving an application against the Ahmadiya community, he had called them and told to remove the verses of Quran. He said he would make the community remove the verses from their shops in the next few days.

Human rights activist Hina Jillani said no one had the right to impose his will on anyone else. She said there were some restrictions on the Ahmadiya community by law but no one had the right to harass others. Raghib Naeemi of the leading Islamic seminary Jamia Naeemia said the Ahmadiya community could not do things barred by the Prohibition of Qadianiat Ordinance of 1984. According to the Pakistan Penal Code, the community cannot call its places of worship as mosques and cannot give the 'azan' or call to prayer. According to the Pakistan Penal Code, they also cannot pose as Muslims, directly or indirectly.