Gunmen attack mosques in Pakistan’s Lahore

LAHORE, Pakistan — Gunmen stormed two Pakistani mosques belonging to a minority Muslim sect in Lahore on Friday, seizing hostages among worshippers, setting off grenades and sparking a bloody shootout with police.

Gunfire and explosions rang out at the mosques — one in the upscale neighbourhood of Model Town, where a suicide car bomber struck in March, and the second in the heavily congested area of Garhi Shahu.

Theologically, Ahmadiyya is a cult of Islam. Their views about Jesus Christ, the Prophet Muhammad, and their own founder, whom they regard as the Messiah, have placed them at odds with the rest of the Muslim world.
Ahmadiyyas and their mosques often come under terrorist attacks from extremist Muslims. The latter apparently believe that they present the world with a more accurate picture of Islam.

They are both mosques of the Ahmadis, also known as Qadiani, and have tens of thousands of members. Rights groups say the sect has long been persecuted in Pakistan and has remained an occasional target of sectarian attacks.

“Terrorists have attacked mosques. They are firing and using grenades. They have taken people inside the mosque hostage,” district civil defence official Muzhar Ahmed told AFP by telephone from the scene in Garhi Shahu.

Lahore, a city of eight million near Pakistan’s border with India, has been increasingly subject to Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked attacks in a nationwide bombing campaign that has killed more than 3,300 people in three years.

Founded by Ghulam Ahmad, who was born in 1838, the Ahmadi sect has a number of unique views including that Ahmad himself was a prophet and that Jesus died aged 120 in Srinagar, capital of Indian-ruled Kashmir.

Religious violence in Pakistan, mostly between majority Sunni Muslims and minority Shiites, has claimed around 4,000 lives in the past decade.

– Source / Full Story: Gunmen attack mosques in Pakistan’s Lahore, Arif Ali, AFP, May 28, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Note: It is our policy to file stories about Islam-related hate crimes under the ‘Hate Groups’ topic.

See Also

Islam and Terrorism
More news articles about Ahmadiyya

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday May 28, 2010.
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