Why were 3 members of the Ahmadi community arrested in Pakistan on Eid?

Three members of the Ahmadi community were arrested in the city of Faisalabad, Pakistan, for allegedly hurting Muslim sentiments by sacrificing animals on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, Pakistani website Dawn reported.

According to the FIR, the complainants were present at the mosque after Friday prayers when they learned that members of the Ahmadi community had sacrificed animals inside their homes, the website reported.

Complainants then arrived in the area and climbed onto the roofs of nearby houses to find that members of the Ahmadi community had sacrificed a goat in one place, while other members were slitting the throat of another animal in a different place, Dawn quoted the FIR.

The plaintiffs alleged that the accused committed a recognizable offense by performing a ritual in accordance with Islamic beliefs and posing as Muslims despite being Ahmadis.

However, Ahmadi community spokesperson Saleemuddin told the Pakistani website that the sacrifice was carried out within the confines of a home and not in a public place, further claiming that the community is being persecuted.

Earlier this month, Pakistan’s Ministry of Religious Affairs asked the Ministry of Interior to implement Article 260(3) of the Pakistani constitution, which classifies segments of society as non-Muslim. In a letter addressed to the Secretary of the Interior, it was stated that the article and Section 198-C prevented Ahmadis from presenting themselves as Muslims and carrying out Islamic practices.

Since 1974, Ahmadis have been barred from calling themselves Muslims, with the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, stating that they are a persecuted community in Pakistan and must be protected. Adherents of the Ahmadiyya Muslim religious movement are called Ahmadis and follow Islamic scriptures. But they also believe that the founder of their movement, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was a messiah.

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