Justice Markandey Katju: Pakistan Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s praiseworthy verdict

Justice Markandey Katju

By Justice Markandey Katju–

(Justice Markandey Katju is a former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own)

I have been strongly critical of the Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa in the past. However, I applaud and acclaim his recent verdict upholding the rights of Ahmadis, and setting free an Ahmadi accused of distributing an Ahmadi commentary of the Quran.

Many reactionaries like Mauana Fazlur Rahman have criticized the judgment, but this was only expected of these buffoons. I was shocked to see on YouTube a journalist like Sami Ibrahim, whom I otherwise respect, criticizing it.

Ahmadis are just 4-5 million strong in Pakistan’s population of about 240 million, and have been treated barbarically in the past. They have often been killed in large numbers, assaulted, persecuted and insulted because of their faith; their places of worship (they are forbidden by Gen Zia ul Haq’s laws to call them mosques ) are often vandalized, and they are treated like Jews in Nazi Germany.

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. Even if the Ahmadis (disparagingly called Qadianis, from Qadian, a small town in northern India, where Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement, was born.) say that Muhammad was not the last prophet, do they deserve to be beheaded? Do they deserve to be maimed? Let them believe what they want.

But no, they must be castigated, made outcasts, 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

Shame on those who criticize this verdict. Shame on those who criticize and persecute Ahmadis merely on account of their faith. By this verdict, CJP Qazi Faez Isa has partially redeemed his earlier mistakes.

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