FAISALABAD: A first information report (FIR) was registered in Faisalabad on Sunday against members of the Ahmadi community for “hurting Muslim sentiments” by sacrificing animals on Eidul Azha.
Three members of the community have been arrested over the matter, Jamaat-i-Ahmadiyya Pakistan spokesperson Saleemuddin told Dawn.com. The FIR states that the complainants were present in a mosque after Eidul Azha prayers when they came to know through “verified sources” that residents of the Ahmadi community were sacrificing animals inside their homes.
The complainants then reached the area and “climbed the roofs of nearby houses, after which they saw that the [Ahmadi community members] were sacrificing a goat at one place while other members were cutting the meat of another animal at a different place”, it added.
“The Islamic sentiments of the complainants and other Muslims were hurt by this and [the complainants] recorded a video which can be presented as evidence.
“By performing a ritual in line with Islamic beliefs and presenting themselves as Muslims despite being Ahmadis, they have committed a cognisable offence, according to Muslim ummah’s belief, and this has grievously hurt Muslim sentiments,” the complainants stated.
The FIR was registered at Faisalabad’s police station Thikriwala against five people under Section 298-C (person of Qadiani group, etc., calling himself a Muslim or preaching or propagating his faith) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
The community’s spokesperson, Saleemuddin, said the slaughter was being performed within the confines of a house and not in a public place. “The community is being persecuted,” he told Dawn.com.
The religious affairs ministry had asked the interior ministry earlier this month to ensure the implementation of Article 260(3) of the Constitution, which classifies segments of society as ‘non-Muslims’, and Section 298-C of the PPC.
A letter addressed to the interior secretary, dated July 6, which Dawn.com has seen, stated that the article and Section 198-C “prevented” the Ahmadis from “posing themselves as Muslims and performing the Islamic practices”.
“It is stated that the implementation of the penal provisions contained in the Pakistan Penal Code is the responsibility of interior ministry (law enforcement agencies) up to extent of ICT and provincial governments up to extent of provinces,” the letter added.