CJP Qazi Faez Isa''s praiseworthy verdict

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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By Justice Markandey Katju

CJP Qazi Faez Isa

Though strongly critical of the Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa in the past, I applaud and acclaim his recent verdict ( along with Justice Musarrat Hilali ) upholding the rights of Ahmadis. and setting free an Ahmadi accused of distributing an Ahmadi commentary of the Quran

Ahmadis, a tiny minority of 4- 5 million in Pakistan's population of about 240 million, have been treated barbarically in Pakistan in the past, as mentioned below :

They have been often killed in large numbers, assaulted, persecuted and insulted because of their faith, their places of worship ( which they have been forbidden by Gen Zia ul Haq's Ordinance XX to call mosques ) often bombed and vandalised, they have been forbidden to 'pose' as Muslims ( which term is expresslly kept vague in Ordinance XX), their graves desecrated, and they are treated like Jews in Nazi Germany.
And what is the 'crime' of the Ahmadis? It is that they allegedly say that Prophet Muhammad was not the last prophet ( a charge they deny ), and claim that one Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was also a prophet.

But even if the Ahmadis ( disparagingly called Qadianis ) say that Muhammad was not the last prophet, do they cut off anyone's head, do they chop off anyone's limbs ? Let them believe what they want. But no, they must be castigated, outcasted, and treated as pariahs and lepers.

A torrent and barrage of invectives, fulminations, scurrility and diatribe has been launched against Qazi Faez Isa for allegedly insulting Islam and the Quran by his judgment

Many reactionaries like Mauana Fazlur Rahman and others have criticised the judgment, but this was only expected of these buffoons with feudal bigoted mindsets

But I was shocked to see on youtube a journalist like Sami Ibrahim, whom I otherwise respect, criticising it

Shame on those who criticise this verdict. Shame on those who criticise and persecute Ahmadis merely on account of their faith.

By this verdict CJP Qazi Faez Isa has partially redeemed his earlier mistakes.

(Justice Katju is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. These are his personal views.)

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