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1 Mar, 2018 10:54

Pakistani court wants names, ages & family info of those who left Islam

Pakistani court wants names, ages & family info of those who left Islam

A Pakistani court has ordered the citizen database to hand over a list of an estimated 10,000 people believed to have requested a change of religion. The petition is the latest move by mainstream Muslims to criminalize Qadianism.

On Monday, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), ordered Pakistan’s Citizen Authority (NADRA) provide information on residents who reportedly changed their religion from Islam to Qadianism. Qadiani, or Ahmadi Muslims are believers of a minority Islamic sect considered heretical by other, mainstream, Muslims.

The Ahmadi believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, and not Mohammed, was the last prophet chosen by Allah and insist they are Muslim with as much right to practice their faith in Pakistan as other people.

Along with providing their names, the court also directed the citizen authority to provide their ages, international travel history, and their parents’ names. In 1974 the Pakistani constitution was amended to declare Ahmadis “non-Muslims.”

In response to the ruling, the NADRA submitted a report of 10,205 persons who changed their religious status from Muslim to Ahmadi. The agency confirmed on Tuesday that 6,001 of those persons applied for a received passports stating their new religion, reports The Nation.

Meanwhile, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has requested additional time from the IHC to gather the necessary travel history for those 6,001 citizens. The FIA now has until next March 5 to provide the information. The court heard that several of the citizens are believed to have changed their religious status to get foreign citizenship.

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During the hearing, Hafiz Hassan Madni, a professor at the University of Punjab, Lahore, testified that a person who left Islam for any faith – and particularly for Ahmadism – was “dangerous” and needed to be punished, reports Rabwah. Madni also recommended that no non-Muslims should be made judges. 

The legal hearing was on foot of a petition challenging amendments in Pakistan’s electoral law which give more rights to minority Ahmadis. Earlier this week the same court barred the NADRA from changing the ‘religion’ column on national identity cards for Muslim citizens.

The petitioner, Maulana Allah Wasaya, has previously asked the government to set up a database of government employees belonging to the Ahmadi faith, according to Dawn.

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