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British doctor, 72, is beaten up by his patients and jailed in Pakistan for ‘posing a

Discussion in 'South Asia & SAARC' started by Marqueur, Dec 17, 2013.

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  1. Marqueur

    Marqueur Peaceful Silence ELITE MEMBER

    Nov 29, 2011
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    British doctor, 72, is beaten up by his patients and jailed in Pakistan for ‘posing as a Muslim’ after they film him reading the Koran

    • Masood Ahmad was beaten up by two men pretending to be patients
    • The 72-year-old is now in a Lahore jail, accused of 'posing as a Muslim'
    • Dr Ahmad is part of the Ahmadiyya community, seen as 'non-Muslims'
    • Ahmadis are persecuted in Pakistan over their religious views

    In prison: Masood Ahmad, 72, was filmed reading the Qur'an by two men posing as patients, before they beat him

    A 72-year-old British doctor has been imprisoned in Pakistan for ‘posing as a Muslim’ after two men pretending to be patients recorded him reading the Koran.

    Masood Ahmad, a member of the Ahmadiyya community, was arrested in Lahore last month after the two men had 'dragged him out by the neck' and beaten him.

    Mr Ahmadi spent a majority of his life working as a doctor in London, but returned to Pakistan in 1982 to open a pharmacy.

    According to Pakistani law, Ahmadis are non-Muslims and can be jailed for three years for 'posing as a Muslim' or 'outraging Muslims' feelings'.

    Mr Ahmad's brother say two men posing as patients questioned him about his faith and used mobile phones to secretly record him reading a verse from the Koran.

    ‘He said to him "you are like a father to me, please help me with some questions",’ Nasir Ahmad said

    ‘When my brother answered, they began beating him and dragged him outside by his neck.’

    Masood Ahmad has had three unsuccessful bail hearings, but remains behind bars.

    One hearing was picketed by scores chanting anti-Ahmadi slogans and his lawyer allegedly too frightened to attend the other two.

    His son, one of seven children in Britain and Australia, said the family suspected someone was trying to steal his father's dispensary.

    ‘I feel so angry because I can't do anything from here,’said 39-year-old Abbas Ahmad, a cab driver in Glasgow. ‘It's awful to know that people were plotting against someone you love.’

    One of his accusers, religious teacher Muhammad Ihsan, say Ahmad had preached to them illegally

    The Ahmadi community has suffered from religious persecution for decades. Last year, 20 cases against Ahmadis alleged that they 'posed as Muslims', despite the group proclaiming Islam to be their faith.

    One case saw a bank clerk arrested for wearing a ring with a Quranic verse and another an entire family was charged for writing a Muslim greeting on a wedding invitation.

    Persecuted: The Ahmadi are considered non-Muslims under Pakistani law and they can be jailed for three years if they are seen ''posing as a Muslim' or even upsetting another Muslim (stock image)

    Clerics have twice sought the arrest of an entire town of Ahmadis, 60,000 people, for holding religious celebrations. Residents were serving food, giving out sweets and displaying bunting, the complaints said.

    ‘We would not have a problem with them if they did not use the name of Islam and the symbols of Islam,’ said Tahir Ashrafi, head of the powerful Ulema Council of clerics.

    ‘We are against the killing of any innocent. Such attacks are not acceptable or allowed, but if they break the law, we have a right to go to the police,’ he said.

    There are about half a million Ahmadis in Pakistan, their leaders say. Many only feel safe in Rabwa, a town they bought when Pakistan was created in 1947.

    On its main streets, banks of security cameras monitor fruit vendors and dozing dogs.
    Near the playing fields, blocks of flats house families that fled other parts of Pakistan after loved ones were murdered.

    Rafiatta, who asked her last name not be used, moved to Rabwa after gunmen killed her husband in 2010 in front of their young children.

    ‘He was just a hard-working man who loved his family,’ she said. The family fled after two Ahmadi neighbours were also killed and men tried to kidnap Raffiata's young son.

    The Ahmadi are also targets outside Pakistan.

    In Indonesia,a gruesome YouTube video recorded a mass lynching in 2011 as police looked on.

    Ahmadi publications are banned in Bangladesh, where a festival site was torched earlier this year.

    In Britain, Ahmadi buildings have been vandalised and leaflets have appeared forbidding them to enter shops and urging Muslims to kill them, British media have reported.

    But Pakistan is the epicentre of persecution.

    Last April, a 25-year-old hospital clerk and his father were at home in Lahore reading an Ahmadi newspaper when a crowd broke down their door, the clerk said.

    They beat the two and looted their home. Then a gunman forced the pair into a car without license plates, the clerk said. He asked not to be named for fear of retribution.

    Their kidnappers went free but the two were eventually charged with impersonating Muslims in special anti-terrorist courts designed to combat the Taliban.

    The clerk was released after a month, but his father, who has not yet been convicted, has been in prison for nine months.The family has since fled their home and the man now occupying it is refusing to pay them for it.

    ‘Nobody has the courage to give him bail or dismiss the case,’ the clerk said.

    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
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