Have you ever heard of a Muslim cleric named Mirza Abdul Ghani?
When India and Pakistan were partitioned in 1947, some provisions were made for ‘hallow’ land (like, say, cemeteries) of religious minorities. This was the case with a Christian cemetery off New Rasool Road in Mandi Bhawaldin, Pakistan.
16 years ago, Mirza Abdul Ghani, the above mentioned Muslim cleric, decided to build a Mosque on the land legally set aside for the local Christian cemetery. The local Christians were not particularly thrilled with this interfaith outreach – but they were intimidated into silence with threats.
So, the mosque was built. The constitution of Pakistan forbids the demolition of places of worship, so the mosque has stood there ever since.
Three months ago, Mr. Ghani began building an addition to the mosque – complete, with basement. The addition is reported to also include ‘shops’.
When the local Christians realized what was happening and that more graves were being desecrated and destroyed, they sought and received a legal injunction which ordered that all work be stopped. The cleric and his crew have ignored the injunction and the project is reportedly nearly complete; they are at the ‘plastering stage’.
Of course, once built – there is nothing anyone can do…
Next time you have musings about the tack record on the levels of sensitivity to desecrating hallow ground of other people by Muslim clerics intent on building mosques – think of the town of Mandi Bhawaldin and Mr. Ghani’s little mosque on the cemetery!