Five Ahmadis Booked For Distributing 'Altered' Version of Quran In Chiniot

Five Ahmadis Booked For Distributing 'Altered' Version of Quran In Chiniot
Punjab police have registered a case against five members of the Ahmadiyya community under blasphemy charges, and arrested one for publishing and selling an 'altered' version of the Holy Quran, it emerged on Monday.

The alleged desecration first took place some four years ago, but the FIR of the incident was recently registered by the Chenab Nagar police against the author, publisher, printer, composer and other 'facilitators'.

All five have been booked under section 295-B of the Pakistan Penal Code, and Section 9-1 of the Punjab Holy Quran (Printing and Recording) Act, 2011.

The complainant, Hassan Moawia of the Tahafuz Khatme Nabuwat Forum Pakistan, claims that the 'altered' translation was distributed among children during a ceremony of Madressatul Hifz, Ayesha Academy, Chenab Nagar, on March 7, 2019. He further says that the aforesaid version of the Holy Quran was banned by Punjab home department in 2016.

A court has observed in its earlier verdict that Hassan Moawia is a habitual complainant, who gets cases registered against 'Ahmadis' to "satisfy his ego"

“The ceremony was held on the lawns of Nusrat Jehan College for Woman where 62 boys and girls were given copies of altered version which was a clear violation of relevant laws,” according to the text of the FIR. The complainant says he has been trying to get the altered translation blocked, but to no avail. Following his writ petition, the Lahore High Court had earlier directed the relevant institutions to take action against the publishers.

Ahmadi's Protest

Meanwhile, scores of Ahmadiyya community members reached the police station concerned and lodged a protest against the registration of the case and the subsequent arrest. The protest at the police station brought traffic on the Chiniot-Sargodha Road to a halt for several hours.

While the local cleric lauded the FIR, a spokesperson of the Ahmadiyya community termed it another bid to book its members in false cases in different parts of the country. He said the community believed in rule of law and would deal with the matter constitutionally.

A spokesperson of the Ahmadiyya community called the accusations "baseless and fabricated"

In November last year, an Ahmadi man was booked by Karachi police under the nation’s Ahmadiyya-specific penal provisions for using ‘Syed’ as a prefix.

The suspect, a lawyer, had been representing other Ahmadis before a court. The man had submitted some documents in connection with the case. The documents, it has been claimed, featured Islamic terms. His name featured alongside.

The complainants sought action against the Ahmadi lawyer over this and for employing ‘Syed’ as a prefix. The suspect was booked under Section 298-B and C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) after at Karachi City Court police station.

'Fabricated Accusations'

Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the Ahmadiyya community responded to the allegations, terming them baseless and fabricated.

In his response to the FIR against the community, he pointed out that the complainant Hassan Moawia regularly approaches courts against them. To substantiate this, the spokesperson referred to a judgement in a previous case, which noted, "It is proved before this court that the complainant is habitual of getting cases registered against 'Ahmadis' to satisfy his ego."

He further said that the ongoing case is based on an incident that occurred three years ago, without any clarity about the exact instance when the blasphemy (if any) was committed.

"There are several different translations and interpretations of Quran among different sects, so it would be a grave injustice to register a case based on this," the spokesperson concluded. The spokesperson further added that the complaint in the instant case was frivolous and based on mala fide intentions, and forcefully asserted that the five Ahmadiyya community members in question had never promoted or sold the Holy Quran.