LONDON, July 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
A frenzied mob of extremists in Pakistan has murdered three people after setting fire to eight houses in the town of Gujranwala in Punjab.
An eight-month old baby and seven year old child were murdered along with their grandmother who was in her fifties. A pregnant woman who suffered severe smoke inhalation lost her unborn child and remains in critical condition.
Murder of Ahmadi Muslims is commonplace in Pakistan, where hate-filled sermons from extremist religious clerics goad worshipers to attack minorities.
The Ahmadis are specifically targeted because of their belief in their founder as the Promised Messiah,a belief that extremist clerics say makes Ahmadis liable to be killed.
The victims were Mrs Bushra Bibi, and her two granddaughters, Hira aged 7 and Kainaat aged 8 months. Mrs Mubashara Bibi, who was 7 months pregnant, suffered a miscarriage and remains seriously ill.
8 other women and children are being treated for burns and severe injuries.
Houses were looted after a mob gathered outsides the properties on the pretext they were protesting over an alleged defacing of a picture of the Kaabah on Facebook by an Ahmadi Muslim. An allegation vehemently denied by local Ahmadis. Ahmadis regard the Kaabah in Makkah as Islam's Holiest Sacred Mosque.
Rafiq Hayat, National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, UK, said:
"This was a ruthless and unprovoked attack. This tragic incident is a reflection of the dire situation in Pakistan where the lives of Ahmadi Muslims are becoming increasingly perilous each day.
"We condemn this atrocious act in the strongest possible terms and urge the Government to Pakistan to give protection to all its citizens and we call upon the British Government to raise this as a matter of urgency with Pakistan."
"The anti-Ahmadi laws means that at any moment violence can erupt against our members.
"As guided by our worldwide leader, His Holiness Hazrat Mizra Masroor Ahmad, who is based in London, we will never strike back but will pray to God for peace."
Press Secretary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community International, Abid Khan said:
"Ahmadi Muslims across the world have been left shocked and utterly grieved by this horrific and devastating attack in Pakistan. It is impossible to comprehend the levels of hatred and wickedness that could motivate anyone towards such merciless brutality."
In 1984 the anti-Ahmadi laws were promulgated that meant that an Ahmadi could be imprisoned for three years or even sentenced to death under the blasphemy laws simply for claiming to be a Muslim. Since then 244 Ahmadis have been murdered, 183 assaulted for their faith and 83 mosques have been attacked and demolished or occupied. Even in death there is no respite as 35 bodies have been exhumed.
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SOURCE Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK