A Muslim teenager shot dead an Ahmadi homeopathic doctor at his clinic in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar on Thursday, a local police official confirmed to Dawn.
“A police spokesperson identified the slain man as Abdul Qadir who was shot dead by an accused identified as Ihsanullah, 18,” the Pakistani newspaper reported on February 12, adding that “locals overpowered Ihsanullah at the scene and handed him over to the police.”
The victim, Abdul Qadir, 65, was an adherent of the Ahmadi faith, an official of Peshawar’s Inquilab police station told Dawn.
Local police official Raiz Khan said on Thursday that authorities were still questioning the teenager who shot and killed the Qadir, adding that the motive behind the killing remains unknown.
The Ahmadis are a minority religious community whose adherents reside largely throughout the Indian Subcontinent, where the faith was established in the 19th century. Ahmadis believe the religion’s founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was the messiah promised by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Muslim faith.
Pakistan’s parliament declared Ahmadis “non-Muslims” in 1974 and they are considered “imposter” Muslims by radical Islamists.
In Pakistan, where Islam is the state religion and blasphemy laws are punishable by death, an Ahmadi “can get 10 years in prison for claiming to be a Muslim,” according to the Associated Press. Extreme discrimination is also present in other logistical arenas; for example, non-Ahmadis are forced to issue statements professing rejection of the faith to receive passports or other legal documents.
A spokesman for the Peshawar’s local Ahmadi community, Saleem Uddin, released a statement condemning Thursday’s fatal shooting of Qadir, adding that members of his community “were being constantly targeted because of their faith.”
Pakistan’s government threatened legal action against Google and Wikipedia in late December for featuring content about Ahmadis and cartoons of Muhammad in search results.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) published letters on December 25 that it allegedly sent to Google and Wikipedia ordering them to remove content from their sites featuring information about the Ahmadi community and “deceitful” information about Islam.
“PTA has been receiving complaints regarding misleading search results associated with ‘Present Khalifa of Islam’ and unauthentic version [sic] of Holy Quran uploaded by Ahmadiyya Community on Google Play Store,” the telecom authority’s letter to Google read.
“Being a matter of very serious nature [sic], PTA has approached Google Inc. with the directions to immediately remove the unlawful content,” the ministry added.
“Complaints were also received regarding hosting of caricatures of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and dissemination of misleading, wrong, deceptive, and deceitful information through articles published on Wikipedia portraying Mirza Masroor Ahmad as a Muslim,” the statement continued.
“After extensive communication on the matter, Wikipedia has been finally served with the notice to remove the sacrilegious content to avoid any legal action,” the statement alleged.