Pakistan: Registration procedures and documents of the Lahore Ahmadiyya associations in Canada, the US and the UK
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Publication Date||24 January 2013|
|Citation / Document Symbol||PAK104256.E|
|Related Document||Pakistan : information sur le processus et les documents d'adhésion des associations ahmadies lahories au Canada, aux États-Unis et au Royaume-Uni|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Pakistan: Registration procedures and documents of the Lahore Ahmadiyya associations in Canada, the US and the UK, 24 January 2013, PAK104256.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/510f896b2.html [accessed 16 September 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
In 18 January 2013 correspondence with the Research Directorate, the president of the Ontario Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at Islam (Lahore) (OAAIIL) provided the information contained in this section.
All members of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement in Pakistan are registered. Therefore, all who arrive from Pakistan are required to present proof of their membership on letterhead issued by the Central Anjuman in Lahore. The OAAIIL does not have membership verification forms. The OAAIIL verifies that the person is a Lahori Ahmadi by contacting the central office in Lahore, Pakistan directly, via email, telephone, or other media communication. This takes at least a week.
For new arrivals in Canada from other countries, mostly from the Caribbean, the OAAIIL verifies membership through contacts such as family and friends.
All members newly arrived in Canada must apply for membership and must use the form Application for Membership, which asks for information such as name, address, telephone, and type of membership sought. There are three types:
- full membership, for members who have taken the Bai'at (pledge);
- associate membership, for members who have not taken the pledge; and
- junior membership, for members under 15 years of age who have taken the pledge.
An applicant who is a convert must first become a Muslim by taking the Shahada, by which he or she makes a public declaration that "'there is no god but Allah (God) and the Holy Prophet Muhammad is His messenger'." Subsequent to that, the person would apply for membership as described above.
The OAAIIL is considering implementing a membership card for its members in Ontario.
2. United Kingdom
In correspondence sent to the Research Directorate, the Secretary of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at Islam Lahore (AAIIL) in the United Kingdom indicated the following regarding the verification of affiliation within the movement:
We only verify the affiliation of a person to our Movement if they come from Pakistan and want to claim asylum in the UK. We write to the Secretary General of our Centre in Pakistan and ask for written confirmation. This takes about a week at most. In all other cases we simply accept what a person says as being true. (AAIIL 19 Dec. 2012)
Regarding the AAIIL's registration process in the UK, the Secretary indicated that there are no forms for this purpose; newly arrived persons in the country must contact the organization and their names will be included in a list that contains the names of all its members in the UK (ibid.). The information that is included in that list is "[f]ull name, address, telephone number, mobile number, any notes, amount of monthly contribution and [the language in which they are to be sent literature] (English or Urdu or both) and by what means (email, first class post, second class post), and the number of copies to be sent" (ibid.). As for persons who convert into AAIIL within the UK, the Secretary indicated that
[e]veryone has to take a pledge' as prescribed by the founder of our Movement. It can be done privately but we prefer it if it is done publicly. If a person comes from Pakistan and wants to take a pledge before allowing him to do so we ask him to place an advertisement in the Daily Jung [sic] of London, which is a daily newspaper aimed at Urdu speaking population of the UK, bearing their photograph, full name, addresses in the UK and Pakistan as well as their father's name. (ibid.)
The website of the AAIIL indicates that persons can convert into the movement by signing an "e-pledge form" (AAIIL n.d.). The Secretary indicated that the evidence that a person is a member of the AAIIL is a letter issued by the AAIIL with the person's name, address, date of birth, and a scanned photograph (ibid. 19 Dec. 2012). He stressed that they "do not issue certificates" because previously issued certificates had been forged and misused (ibid.).
3. United States
Information on the registration process in the US could not be obtained by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at Islam Lahore (AAIIL). 19 December 2012. Correspondence sent to the Research Directorate by the Secretary of the AAIIL in the UK.
_____. N.d. " How to Become a Muslim or Lahori Ahmadi."
Ontario Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at Islam (Lahore) (OAAIIL). 18 January 2013. Correspondence sent to the Research Directorate by the president of the AAIIL in Ontario.
Additional Sources Consulted
Oral sources: Attempts to contact representatives of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at Islam Lahore in the United States were unsuccessful.
Internet sites, including: Amnesty International; Australia Refugee Review Tribunal; Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation; ecoi.net; United Kingdom — Border Agency; United Nations — ReliefWeb, Refworld .