A Sherwood-based GP has spoken of his horror after his uncle died following an attack on a mosque in his ancestral village in Pakistan.
Dr Irfan Malik, who works at the Elmswood Surgery in Sherwood, said an “enraged” mob of about 1,000 people stormed the Ahmadiyya Mosque in the village of Dulmial, District Chakwal, in Punjab, on Monday.
He said his uncle is likely to have died from a heart attack when the mob raided the mosque where he an around 50 other people had been inside.
Dr Malik is a member for the Ahmaddiya Muslim community, which he says is persecuted in Pakistan due to its ideology, and that the mob of extremists wanted to take over the mosque.
He said: “When I woke up in the morning, someone messaged me saying that there was an attack going on. I rang my relative who was there and could hear gunfire in the background and people shouting..
“There were men inside the mosque and police ushered them out, apart from the body of my uncle, and put them in a safe house.”
The GP, who lives in Carlton and is married with two children, said the mob then overpowered and entered the mosque, destroying items and starting a fire, with the terror lasting for around three hours before the Army arrived and brought the situation under control.
The mob had also washed the building to bring it “under the influence of Islam”.
Dr Malik, who last visited the area 10 years ago, added: “Thankfully there were no other deaths. It potentially could have been a lot worse.
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“We religiously feel persecuted in Pakistan. The violence and levels of persecution have increased. The Army has now clamped down on the village and our families have been taken to safe houses outside the village.”
There have been a number of arrests. But Dr Malik added that the mob had threatened to return on Friday.
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He and fellow members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community are using social media to raise awareness of their plight.
“We don’t want to cause a problem for the Government but we want to ensure that the Government of Punjab and Pakistan can resolve this issue without further bloodshed,” he said.