On September 9, 2008, in Nawab Shah, Pakistan, religious extremists entered the workplace of Sate Mohammad Yusuf and shot him three times. A shot to his heart resulted in his death at the scene. This horrific act of terror, the second in as many days, also took place in the Province of Sindh, the home of Pakistan’s new President, Asif Ali Zardari, as well as during Islam’s holy month of Ramadhan.
Mr. Yusuf was the President of the local branch of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a long-persecuted religious minority which, in 1974, was declared non-Muslim, and then in 1984, became criminally prohibited from declaring themselves as Muslims and peacefully practicing their Islamic faith, including greeting people and praying in accordance with Islamic custom and practice.
Mr. Yusuf’s murder follows the murder of Dr. Abdul Mannan Siddiqui who was shot multiple times and killed by religious extremists on September 8 while he was attending to his patients in his medical clinic. Extremists targeted both Mr. Yusuf and Dr. Siddiqui because of the peaceful adherence to their Ahmadiyya Islamic faith and that they were prominent members of their respective local branches of the Ahmadiyya Community.
“Religious Extremists across Pakistan incite hatred against Ahmadis, their beliefs, and call for their killing. Most profane and unfortunate is it that these clerics are doing so during the holy and blessed month of Ramadhan, a month of fasting, prayer and quiet devotion” said Mr. Lal Khan Malik, President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Canada.
Since 1974, countless members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community have been killed in Pakistan and their properties desecrated or destroyed. To date, no one has ever been convicted of any crimes against Ahmadiyya Community.
“The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is persecuted on account of its faith and strict adherence to non-violence and non-retaliation. Ahmadis will no doubt continue to endure this suffering with patience and steadfastness, and will be ever-ready to offer sacrifices in the cause of their faith” said Naseem Mahdi, Senior Vice-President of the Ahmadiyya Community in Canada.