Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri.
Nadeem F Paracha is a famous columnist in Pakistani English language daily Dawn. He is left leaning writer. In his articles he does recap of history on any particular subject. His writes ups are based on a reasonable research. In his articles he has been sympathetic to state of ahmadis (basically Qadianis in Pakistan) in general. His recent article published in Dawn online on November 21, 2013: The 1974 ouster of ‘heretics’: What really happened?
Some quotes from article:
“To do so I did go through some literature produced by orthodox Sunni and Shia ulema and those associated with the Ahmadiyya community during the commotion, but that literature is largely theological.”
“Instead, my findings in this respect are squarely based on, and culled from the writings of historians and authors who, I believe, have transcribed the history of the event in the most objective and informed manner.”
“A series of modern, as well as puritanical reformist Muslim movements emerged after the complete fall of the Muslim Empire in India in the mid-1800s.
The Ahmadiyya movement was one of them. The Ahmadiyya community was founded in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who claimed he was under divine instruction to fulfil the major prophecies contained in Islamic and other sacred texts regarding a world reformer who would unite humanity.
He announced to Christians awaiting the second coming of Jesus, Muslims anticipating the Mahdi, Hindus expecting Krishna, and Buddhists searching for Buddha, that he was the promised messiah for them all, commissioned by God to rejuvenate true faith.
When Mirza died the Ahmadiyya split into two sects: the ‘Qadianis’ and the ‘Lahoris’. The Qadianis claimed that Mirza was a prophet, and accused all Muslims who did not accept him as being non-Muslims. Claiming prophethood is regarded to be a major and unpardonable sin by a majority of Muslims, even though the Lahori faction believes that Mirza never claimed prophethood. Orthodox Muslim sects in South Asia believe that he did.
Till about 1913, the Ahmadiyya movement was seen as a spiritual and evangelical branch of the modernist reformist Muslim initiatives triggered by the likes of Sir Syed and Syed Ameer Ali.
In fact, for a while, a number of Indian Muslim intellectuals were closely associated with the Ahmadiyya movement and considered Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a modern redeemer of faith in India.
Brilliant poet and philosopher, Muhammad Iqbal, too was once a great admirer of the movement.
Contrary to popular belief, agitation against the Ahmadiyya movement (by the orthodox Muslim sects and sub-sects in India) was not an immediate happening that emerged right after the formation of the community in 1889.
The more vocal accusations against the community first arose 24 years later in 1914 when an influential Ahmadiyya leader, Mirza Muhammad Ahmad, began to publicly declare that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a messiah and those Muslims who disagreed with this were infidels.
This further split the movement, with the so-called ‘Qadianis’ sticking to Mirza Muhammad Ahmad’s assertions and the ‘Lahori’ faction denouncing him and accusing him of inferring something that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had not claimed.
Nevertheless, the schism within the Ahmadiyya community and Mirza Muhammad Ahmad’s unabashed claims left the movement vulnerable against accusations of being heretical.”
“Along with the working classes and the petty-bourgeoisie of the Punjab, the Ahmadiyya had overwhelmingly voted for the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the province during the 1970 election.
On May 22, 1974, some 160 members of the Islami Jamiat-i-Talaba (IJT — the student of the Jamaat-i-Islami), boarded a train headed for Peshawar in the former NWFP. On its way to Peshawar, the train stopped for a while at the Rabwa railway station. The city of Rabwa was predominantly an Ahmadiyya town and also housed the community’s spiritual headquarters. As the train stopped at Rabwa, IJT students got out and began to raise slogans against the Ahmadiyya and cursed the community’s spiritual figurehead, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The train then left the station taking the charged students to Peshawar. No untoward incident was reported apart from the slogan-chanting and cursing.
However, when the incident was related to some Ahmadiyya leaders in Rabwa, they ordered Ahmadiyya youth to reach the station with hockey sticks and chains when the train stops again at Rabwa on its way back from Peshawar.
After finding out that the students would be returning to Multan from Peshawar on the 29th of May, dozens of young Ahmadiyya men gathered at the Rabwa station. As the train came to a halt, the men fell upon the bogeys carrying the IJT members. A fight ensued and 30 IJT men were severely beaten for insulting the religious sentiments of the Ahmadiyya.
A non-Ahmadiyya man who witnessed the commotion at the station told reporters that both the incidents (the slogans and retaliation) were unprecedented.”
Link to NFP article: http://dawn.com/news/1057427/the-1974-ouster-of-the-heretics-what-really-happened/1