LONDON, June 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Faith leader describes 'new low' in litany of human rights abuses
A spate of human rights abuses across the so-called Islamic world reflect how far removed some Muslims have gone from the true teachings of faith, says a UK religious leader.
Rafiq Hayat, National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community says the actions of extremists had reached 'a new low' in the conduct of some Muslims.
He cited the appalling abuse of faith in:
- the case of Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian woman who had been sentenced to death because of her religion
- the stoning to death of Farzana Parveen outside the High Court in Lahore, Pakistan in broad daylight
- the murder of US surgeon Dr Mehdi Ali Qamar, an Ahmadi Muslim who was in Pakistan to provide free cardiac treatment
Rafiq Hayat said "The widespread prevalence of hate and extremism shows how far removed some Muslims are from the true teachings of faith. Islam teaches tolerance and humanity while some so-called Muslims demonstrate the exact opposite and claim it is in the name of religion.
"It is an article of faith that there is absolutely no compulsion in matters of religion - people are free to choose any faith or no faith at all - it is for God to judge them, not men on earth playing God. We call upon the Sudanese Government to release Meriam Ibrahim and uphold the Islamic principle of freedom of religion.
"The terrible killings in Pakistan point to a deep malaise in the root and branch of society. The obscene blasphemy laws mean anyone can be victimised, and laws that enforce religious apartheid mean minorities are under constant attack.
"The cold-blooded murder of a member of our community who had gone from America to provide life-saving surgery signals how serious state of affairs is in Pakistan."
The murder of Dr Qamar (50) - who is survived by a wife and three young sons - is the latest in a long line of target killings of Ahmadi Muslims that accelerated since April 1984 when the then dictator General Zia, amended the country's penal code and declared it a crime for an Ahmadi to call himself a Muslim, a crime punishable by death under the country's blasphemy laws.
Rafiq Hayat added: "The abuse of women in Pakistan came to world attention following the case of the schoolgirl Malala who was shot in the head by the Taliban. The extremist mentality has pervaded many parts of society leaving women in daily peril of chauvinistic, discriminatory and abhorrent attitudes and practices. This must stop."
Basharat Nazir email@example.com Tel +44-7703-483-384
Mahmood Rafiq Tel +44-7971-060-962
SOURCE Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK