By Rana Tanveer
Published: May 5, 2012
A hoarding is installed behind the chhatri (flattened dome) at the entrance, so that the worship place does not look like a mosque. PHOTO: EXPRESS TRIBUNE
Two days after being told by Misri Shah police to ‘cover up’ architectural elements that made an Ahmedi worship place resemble a mosque, the administration has installed a hoarding behind the chhatri (flattened dome) at the entrance.
Two people had filed an application with the police, requesting that they register an FIR against the Ahmedis under the blasphemy laws – 298-C and 295-B of the Pakistan Penal Code – “for depicting themselves as Muslims”.
The police on Wednesday had removed some tiles with the Kalma and Quranic verses from the building entrance. They had planned on tearing down the flattened dome as well but agreed to give Baitul Hamd administration a couple of days to ensure that any resemblance to a mosque was removed.
Fazal Ahmed, a member of the administration committee, told The Express Tribune that though they had tried their best to make sure that the worship place’s entrance does not look like that of a mosque, it remained to be seen if the complainants and the police would be satisfied. “They might still object and demand that the flattened dome be removed altogether.”
According to Ahmed, the police were expected to visit the site on Friday night.
The administrator remarked that the tiles carrying Quranic verses had been shattered into pieces while being removed. It is strange, he said, that the complainants had not objected to the “desecration of the holy words”. “They were scared,” said Ahmed, “we picked up the broken tiles and have saved them to preserve their sanctity.”
He said that while neighbours had not created a problem for them, they hadn’t stood up for them either.
Malik Yasin, a Sultanpura resident who one of the negotiators, said they had tried their best to ensure that there was no confrontation between the complainant and their Ahmedi neighbours.
Misri Shah SHO Mudassirullah Khan told The Express Tribune that he would visit the site on Friday night or Saturday morning. He described the visit as a “formality”. “The issue has been resolved,” he said.
Source: The Express Tribune, Lahore