Ahmadiyya Muslim bookseller freed, who was jailed for selling Quran in Pakistan
Ahmad Tabshir Choudhury speaks to DOT :
Abdul Shakoor, an elderly Ahmadiyya Muslim bookseller, has been freed from prison recently under strict anti-Ahmadi laws for selling copy of Holy Quran in his bookstore in Pakistan.
Shakoor, is a free man after spending over three years in jail as a ‘prisoner of conscience’ by Amnesty International. Ahmadi Muslims are often jailed for their faith in Pakistan, often accused for blasphemy. This is a positive step and the authorities who worked to make this possible must be applauded.
We must continue to strive to make Pakistan a nation where no one has to endure such miseries on grounds of their religious profession.
It is a day of victory for those who believe in freedom of religion and universal freedom of conscience. It is a day of victory for those who cherish a peaceful and progressive Pakistan. May this be the foundation for much more progress in the way of human rights.
Pakistan President General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq issued an anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance, on 26 April 1984 which effectively prohibited Ahmadis from preaching or professing their beliefs. The ordinance, which was supposed to prevent “anti-Islamic activities”, forbids Ahmadis to , call themselves Muslim or to “pose as Muslims.”
On 26 April 1984, Ahmadis in Pakistan cannot mention Muslim in national IDs, passport or bank accounts.
Let’s hope for the best, that one day the draconian anti-Ahmadi laws will be repealed in Pakistan.
Ahmad Tabshir Choudhury, is National Vice President and Secretary External Affairs and Public Relations if Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Bangladesh
Edited by Saleem Samad