Ordinance XX

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Ordinance XX is a legal ordinance of the Government of Pakistan that was promulgated under the regime of General Zia-ul-Haq and is meant to restrict usage of Islamic terms and titles by the Ahmadiyya community.

Precedent[edit]

Ordinance XLIV of 1980 attempted to address the same issue without specifically naming the Ahmadiyya. It amends the PPC as follows:

  • 298-A: Use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of holy personages:*

Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of any wife (Ummul Mumineen), or members of the family (Ahle-bait), of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), or any of the righteous Caliphs (Khulafa-e-Rashideen) or companions (Sahaaba) of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

1984 ordinance[edit]

Ordinance XX followed in 1984, with the following changes to the PPC:

298-B. Misuse of epithets, descriptions and titles, etc., reserved for certain holy personages or places:

(1) Any person of the Qadiani group or the Lahori group who call themselves 'Ahmadis' or by any other name who by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation- (a) refers to or addresses, any person, other than a Caliph or companion of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as "Ameer-ul-Mumineen", "Khalifatul- Mumineen", Khalifa-tul-Muslimeen", "Sahaabi" or "Razi Allah Anho"; (b) refers to, or addresses, any person, other than a wife of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as "Ummul-Mumineen"; (c) refers to, or addresses, any person, other than a member of the family "Ahle-bait" of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as "Ahle-bait"; or (d) refers to, or names, or calls, his place of worship a "Masjid"; shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine. (2) Any person of the Qadiani group or Lahori group (who call themselves "Ahmadis" or by any other name) who by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation refers to the mode or form of call to prayers followed by his faith as "Azan", or recites Azan as used by the Muslims, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine.

298-C. Person of Qadiani group, etc., calling himself a Muslim or preaching or propagating his faith:

Any person of the Qadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves 'Ahmadis' or by any other name), who directly or indirectly, poses himself as a Muslim, or calls, or refers to, his faith as Islam, or preaches or propagates his faith, or invites others to accept his faith, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations, or in any manner whatsoever outrages the religious feelings of Muslims shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.

According to the Ahmadiyya, this law does not allow Ahmadi Muslims to call themselves Muslim or to "pose as Muslims" punishable by three years in prison. This Ordinance and the 1974 amendment in the constitution effectively gave the state of Pakistan, the exclusive right to determine the meaning of the term "Muslim".[1]

Analysis[edit]

According to this ordinance, Ahmadis are debarred from the use of any honorific titles and modes of address specific to the Prophetic community, from building mosques and calling the Adhan, from undertaking Muslim modes of worship, and from making any citations from the Quran and Muhammad's hadith. The Penal Code is adjusted to provide two years of imprisonment to anyone caught doing any of the above. According to the Ahmadi claims of state persecution, this ordinance criminalises the everyday life of Ahmadis.[2] reciting the Kalima (Muslim creed) and greeting with peace in the Muslims way is a criminal offence for Ahmadis in Pakistan.[3] In the following four years from the regulation of the ordinance, there were more than 3,000 cases of Ahmadis charged with various offences under the regulation, 6 were sentenced to 25 years imprisonment and 4 were sentenced to death. No executions have occurred to date and such cases have though subsided in recent years. The United Nations Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities has called on the Commission on Human Rights to "call on the Government of Pakistan to repeal Ordinance XX."[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Trespasses of the State, Ministering to Theological Dilemmas through the Copyright/Trademark, Naveeda Khan, Sarai Reader, 2005; Bare Acts. Page 184
  2. ^ Government of Pakistan - Law for Ahmadis. at ThePersecution.org
  3. ^ Trespasses of the State, Ministering to Theological Dilemmas through the Copyright/Trademark, Naveeda Khan, Sarai Reader, 2005; Bare Acts. Page 178
  4. ^ www.unhchr.ch/Huridocda/Huridocda at UNHCHR

See also[edit]