Pakistan: The situation of non-Ahmadi Muslims who convert to the Ahmadi faith; rates of conversion (2005 - November 2009)
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa|
|Publication Date||23 November 2009|
|Citation / Document Symbol||PAK103293.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Pakistan: The situation of non-Ahmadi Muslims who convert to the Ahmadi faith; rates of conversion (2005 - November 2009), 23 November 2009, PAK103293.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4b20f049c.html [accessed 24 May 2013]|
|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 correspondence with the Research Directorate, the National General Secretary of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at Canada stated that a non-Ahmadi Muslim who converts to the Ahmadi faith "will face extreme persecution which could be ... physical torture, expulsion from family, social boycott, murder or a combination of all" (3 Nov. 2009). The Eastern Canada Regional Amir of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at Canada stated that violence against converts can come from both their immediate family and religious leaders (28 Oct. 2009). The Eastern Canada Regional Amir further stated that there is a fatwa [religious ruling] which states that non-Ahmadi Muslims who convert to the Ahmadi faith should be killed within three days of their conversion (Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at Canada 28 Oct. 2009). Further information on the fatwa could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
According to the United States (US) Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2007, on 1 March 2007, a person who had recently converted to the Ahmadi faith was shot and killed by a retired police officer (11 Mar. 2008, Sec. 2.c). The retired police officer stated that, under Islamic law, the killing was justified (US 11 Mar. 2008, Sec. 2.c). The US Department of State's International Religious Freedom Report 2009 states that "authorities often accused converts to the Ahmadiyya community of blasphemy, violations of anti-Ahmadi laws, or other crimes" (26 Oct. 2009, Sec. 2). A report from a website that documents Ahmadi human rights issues (ThePersecution.org n.d.) provides details about a convert to the Ahmadi faith who was questioned in June 2005 by army officials regarding the details of his conversion (ibid. June 2005). Corroborating information on this case could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
The General Secretary of Ahmadiyya Anjuman Lahore provided the following information on the consequences of both public conversion and private conversion:
[I]f the conversion is declared in public then such a person has to face severe consequences and he would be legally declared non-Muslim and liable to be killed....
If the case is not declared and such conversion remains secret then ... such a person escapes legal punishment but still faces mental torture and prejudicial treatment. (2 Nov. 2009)
In a telephone interview with the Research Directorate, the Eastern Canada Regional Amir corroborated that some people do not advertise their conversion to the Ahmadi faith (Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at Canada 28 Oct. 2009).
Information on rates of conversion to the Ahmadi faith could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. However, the General Secretary of Ahmadiyya Anjuman Lahore stated that conversion is not a regular occurrence primarily because Ahmadis are not considered Muslims and are subject to the curtailment of their rights (2 Nov. 2009).
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 Lahore. 2 November 2009. Correspondence with the General Secretary.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at Canada. 3 November 2009. Correspondence with the National General Secretary.
_____. 28 October 2009. Correspondence with the Regional Amir for Eastern Canada.
ThePersecution.org. June 2005. "Newsreport June, 2005."
_____. N.d. "Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community."
United States (US). 26 October 2009. Department of State. "Pakistan." International Religious Freedom Report 2009.
_____. 11 March 2008. Department of State. "Pakistan." Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2007.
Additional Sources Consulted
Oral sources: A London-based representative of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association was unable to provide information.
Internet sites, including: Amnesty International (AI), Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Dawn [Karachi], European Country of Origin Information Network (ecoi.net), Freedom House, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), Minority Rights Group International (MRGI), PakTribune [Rawalpindi], The Nation [Karachi].