Bad for business

The Herald: March 2012

Bad for business

The Khatm-e-Nabuwat Lawyers’ Forum’s proposed ban of Shezan products is yet another illegal action against Ahmadi business-owners, who continue to face violent persecution in the absence of state intervention.

In the summer of 2011, TA (name withheld), a shop owner based in Faisalabad, received a call on his mobile phone. The man on the other end of the line refused to identify himself, but he knew TA’s name. His motives became clearer when he asked, “Tum Jamaat e Ahmadiyya mein kya kartey ho?” (What do you do within the Jamaat e Ahmadiyya?)

“Who is this?” persisted TA. “How did you get my number?”

“Khuda ko banda dhoond leta hai, tum kya ho?” replied the man, before he hung up. (trans)

TA continued to receive a slew of text messages as well as other such phone calls. One message read, “You liar Ahmadi. You better accept the truth. Warna toh apna intezaam kar lo.” (trans)

Such communication has become routine, he tells the Herald, after he was named in a pamphlet distributed in June 2011, at eight Clock Tower bazaars in Faisalabad. “My friend saw a couple of men who looked like mazdoors distribute these pamphlets outside our shops,” TA says. “When we took a look, we realized how dangerous they were.” The pamphlet reads “Qadiyanis are deserving of death” and “To shoot such people in public view is jihad and it is a blessing to kill them.” 

Link to PDF of full article

Author: Sanam Maher

Karachi-based journalist and author My work has appeared in Al Jazeera, The Caravan Magazine, Buzzfeed, Scroll, Women in the World, British Film Institute’s Sight & Sound, Boat magazine, The Express Tribune, Herald, Daily Times, The Friday Times and Newsweek Pakistan. My first book, The Sensational Life & Death of Qandeel Baloch is out in South Asia now, and the UK in 2019. You can find me on Twitter @SanamMKhi Or follow me on Instagram @topbastard

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