Law and Politics
[Civil and Military Gazette] had editorialized on the Ahmadiyya being a threat to peace. This issue and the [Muhammadi Begum] saga led to a climax of a long-simmering feud between Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and Muhammad Hussain Batalvi. The government had to intervene and both parties signed a court-dictated order and Mirza had to promise to stop prophesying doom and death of his opponents, thus ending a decade of death prediction drama in the Punjab.
1930s - Kashmir Committee
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With the sudden unrest in Kashmir, the British Government in India looked to the Ahmadiyya to provide some:
The death-knell on Ahmadi activities came a few days later. C.C. Garbett of the Punjab Government informed Wingatge that legal action could not be taken against the Mirza Mahmud's tracts, but he also suggested strongly that the Government give no future interviews to Ahmadis as they were using these occasions as propaganda. Garbett's critical but perceptive remark soon became a policy of both the Punjab and Delhi Governments and helps explain the ambiguous role the Government took towards the Ahmadis in their direct confrontations with the Ahrar in the Punjab during late 1934-36. The documentation of the events, claims and counter-claims of the Ahmadis, the Ahrar, the Azad, 'Abdullah and the several governments involved in the Kashmir crisis of 1931-34 demonstrates clearly how religious, political and economic variable forces could not be separated. The Ahmadiyah, while claiming to be in Kashmir for religious reasons and intensely loyal to Government, in fact were acting in a most political manner which ran counter to British support of the Darbar in Kashmir. (Lavan p.160)
As a result of the Kashmir Committee situation, the Ahrar decided to confront the Ahmadiyya –
When the Ahrars had attempted to establish an office in Qadiyan in 1933, the Ahmadis, claiming the building in question to be theirs, tore it down and built latrines on the site. In addition, the Government often had received complaints from non-Ahmadi residents of Qadiyan that they had been harassed by Ahmadis. Such oppression, Garbett suggested, might have been the reason that the Ahrar had so many sympathizers in the immediate area of Qadiyan. (Lavan p.166)
Mirza Mahmud Ahmad started to call up 2,500 armed volunteers from all over India, and stocked up on metal sticks. The government did not like it and tried to enforce orders against him, he felt betrayed by the government, but the British government had had enough of the Ahmadiyya –
On November 8, 1934, the khalifatul-masih II, Mahmud Ahmad . . . attacked the Government for unwarranted use of a civil disobedience ordinance against him, claiming that orders to Ahmadis to come to Qadiyan were not his responsibility but rather of another Ahmadi official working under the “Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya,” “authorised . . . in matters of this kind, any course he deems fit, without as much as mentioning the matter to me or to the Anjuman . . .” The logical outcome of Government policy, he went on to argue, would be to drag him into court every time some Ahmadi committed an offence, no matter where or when.
A reasonable historical evaluation cannot justify Mahmud Ahmad's protest on these grounds. Within a year after his succession to the leadership, he had taken power from the Sadr Anjuman and insisted that all major decisions of the community be approved by him.
In the days and weeks to come, the British carefully investigated activities at Qadiyan and thereby created even more tension between themselves and the Ahmadiyas. The growing political awareness and involvement of the movement became more clear when the Ahmadiya started to put up candidates for public election for the Punjab Legislature. (Lavan, p. 168 onwards)
As part of the Ahrar controversy and prosecutions brought on both sides –
As early as January 4, 1934, some ten months before the Ahrar controversy reached its first climax, action had been taken against Ahmadis for the publication of the tract, Ulema-i-Su-ke-karname, or The Deeds of the Wicked 'Ulama'. The author, 'Abdul Karim Naqid (secretary of the Pathankot Ahmadiyah in Gurdaspur District) was prosecuted under Section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code for insulting the religious beliefs of the Sunni Mohammadans. (Lavan, p.169)
At this time, signs of the Ahmadiyya becoming a cult started to emerge. As Mirza Mahmud Ahmad had lost reasonable men through power purges, the Ahmadiyya went off the rails and started to confuse the religious with the political:
June, 1935, Review of Religions: (Lavan, p. 174): Iqbal . . . . “certain class of mullahs, aided and abetted by a few third class politicians and notoriety-hunters, followed by an unthinking and unreasoning rabble . . .” for his participation in the “highly mendacious and malicious propaganda” being carried on against the Ahmadis.
Ahmadiyya maintains its Middle East Headquarters in Israel and one prominent family in Kababir forms the core of its Israeli membership. Foreign (Pakistani / Indian) missionaries also go there on deputation, but their presence is not publicly acknowledged. Ahmadiyya have never criticized Israel, which is a distinction not shared by any other Islamic group of whatever political stripe.
Mohamed Fali, president of Algeria’s Ahmadiyya community was arrestedon August 28, 2017, following one year of trials (https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/09/04/algeria-stop-persecuting-religious-minority)
From Wikileaks (https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/08SOFIA403_a.html):
12. (SBU) The Chief Mufti's office has twice (in 2005 and again in 2007) blocked the registration of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community -- the Ahmadis -- as a state-recognized religious group by advising the Religious Directorate such registration would promote a non-traditional interpretation of Islam in Bulgaria. Although the Ahmadis claim to be Muslims, the Chief Mufti's office refuses to recognize them as Muslim because they claim their founder, Hadhart Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, is a Promised Messiah and Madhi. Founded in Punjab, India at the end of the 19th century, the Ahmadis have grown to claim "tens of thousands" of members in 189 countries worldwide, including some 1,000 believers in Bulgaria. The Ahmadis here describe the Chief Mufti's office as their greatest enemy. They say it has misrepresented the Ahmadis' religious practices and falsely claimed that Ahmadis do not go on hajj or pray toward Mecca.
13. (SBU) After the rejection of their registration as a religious group, the Ahmadis operated as an NGO, which further fueled Bulgarian authorities' suspicions. Ahmadis report that they pray in their homes and help young children and the needy. They recently donated 3,000 leva each to two orphanages, with funds reportedly received from their headquarters office in London. In early 2008, officials in the city of Blagoevgrad cancelled the Ahmadis' NGO registration, charging that the group practiced religion in public places. The Ahmadis say they want their rights enforced via the law and not through violence, and are considering taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights.
Saudi Arabia does not allow the Muslim pilgrimage (Hajj and Umrah) for Ahmadis. The Hajj directorate also seeks verification of faith from countries like Pakistan and NIgeria.
From Wikileaks (https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/07RIYADH212_a.html):
44. (C) On December 29, 2006, forty nine members of an Ahmadiyya Muslim group consisting of 25 Indians, 23 Pakistanis and 1 Syrian were arrested in Jeddah. The SAG is in the processing of deporting the 49 plus additional Ahmadiyyas. Muslim authorities consider the Ahmadiyyas to be heretics and apostates because they believe that a nineteenth century Muslim, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was the Messiah and a Prophet. Though the SAG has said that it is illegal for the Ahmadiyya to publicly practice their faith, this incident involved the religious police raiding a private religious gathering and subsequent pressure on the Ahmadiyyas to implicate and inform on other members who were not involved in the December 29 meeting. These SAG actions contravene understandings reached previously with Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom John Hanford.
LankaWeb reports a prominent Ahmadiyya follower – Dr. Iftikhar Ahmed Ayaz, an OBE and a United Nations Peace Envoy – on 10 June 2010:
(Ahmadiyya) . . . are known to be law abiding, peace loving and completely non violent. Their teachings prohibit protests, demonstrations, industrial strikes and agitations.