A leader of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan asked his followers to “make sure that no new Ahmadis are born.”
by Massimo Introvigne
A YouTube video is circulating on social media with a speech by Muhammad Naeem Chattha Qadri, a senior cleric of Tehreek-e- Labbaik Pakistan (TLP). Bitter Winter devoted a series to TLP, a violent Pakistani political party born within the Barelvi movement and notorious for its attacks against religious minorities, including Christians and Ahmadis.
In the video, Qadri calls on his supporters to carry out attacks against pregnant Ahmadi mothers to “make sure that no new Ahmadis are born.” In a crescendo of hate, the preacher insisted that “there is but one punishment for blasphemers, decapitation.” He also said that, should the attacks on Ahmadi pregnant women not be successful, “those babies who are being born, should be killed.”
Qadri also threatened the police, should they attempt to interfere with TLP’s religious cleansing of the Ahmadis. “Those of you who are from the Police agencies, he said, or if there is any D.P.O (District Police Officer) or D.C (Deputy Commissioner) or S.H.O. (Police Station house officer) must understand that we cannot be stopped.”
On August 12, 2022, Naseer Ahmad, a 62-year-old Ahmadi father of 3, was stabbed to death at the main bus stop in Rabwah, a city with an Ahmadi majority, by a TLP activist who went there to “create an incident” with the Ahmadis.
The TLP has also targeted Pakistani Sunni Muslim politicians accused of being “soft on the Ahmadis.” Court cases disclosed that the TLP is only able to operate in Pakistan because of secret agreements its leaders passed with different Pakistani governments and the intelligence service ISI.
The Ahmadis are a persecuted religious minority founded within Islam by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908). Conservative Muslims accuse Ahmad of having considered himself a “prophet,” in breach of the Islamic doctrine of the Finality of Prophethood, which maintains that there can be no prophet after Muhammad.
The Ahmadi formula for Ahmad, “at the same time a prophet and a follower of the Holy Prophet [ Muhammad],” is not enough to establish their orthodoxy in the eyes of Muslim clerics. For them, the Ahmadis deny the Finality of Prophethood and are non-Muslim heretics. They are severely persecuted in Pakistan through specific laws that make them second class citizens prevented from voting and holding office.