In a small dark bedroom in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, sits a big boy who has just learned about photoshop. His name: Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi.
Mr. Ashrafi also works as the Chairman of the Pakistan Ulema Council, the board of religious clergy of Pakistan that is infamous for endorsing the ongoing State-sanctioned persecution of the Ahmadi Muslims. Amongst other things, he is also known for his provocative speeches that led to the assassination of Christian Minister Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti.
But in this age of the internet, he has finally decided to take his Jihad to the next level.
For the last two months, he is taking online tutorials on how to use photoshop to further his propaganda against the country’s Ahmadi Muslims.
This is his latest work from today (November 27th, 2015):
The news flash alleges that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Khalifa was arrested for using drugs at Heathrow Airport while returning from America. So what is wrong with this news? Well, what is not.
1) The Ahmadiyya Muslim Khalifa, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, recently returned from Japan, NOT America. He hasn’t been to the Americas in a few years. Someone on Ashrafi’s digital team did a sloppy job with his research. He should consider hiring smarter individuals – may be someone who can tell Japan from America? Just a sincere suggestion.
2) The news channel AZAD News is a Hindi language Indian News channel that does not break news in Urdu language at all. May be, he forgot to check for Urdu language when searching logos online. Here is their Facebook page.
3) Google “Breaking News Alert” and see the first few stock images that come up. Yep! Very original.
4) How come no such event was reported on any other news channel in the world?
I don’t even have to walk you through the absurdity of this “breaking news” by ‘Azad News’ (read ‘Ashrafi News’). The only reason I am doing so is because fellow ‘photoshoppers’ are protesting worldwide at this insulting attempt by the leading Sunni cleric of Pakistan.
“I don’t care if he’s giving the country a bad reputation by advocating the persecution of Ahmadi Muslims. I don’t care if he wants to jail all Ahmadis for calling themselves Muslim or for reading the Quran. All I want to tell him is STOP photoshopping. Dude! You are insulting our skills,” said an enraged Mr. Fredrick Silva, President of the World Photoshoppping Society, in a statement from his office in Chicago.
Here is another example of his photoshopping work.
This time, he even forgot the news logo. And when confronted, he said he did not know what newspaper carried the story, giving the name “Al Huriyya News” when pushed by fellow Sunnis to respond. In this photoshopped image, he alleges that those arrested in connection with the Paris Attacks were Ahmadi Muslims. How come no news channel we know of broke this story? How come all such stories only first appear directly on his Facebook page? May be because that is where they are born – on his computer.
Many Sunni Muslim digital artists also reacted to these provocative attempts.
One Sunni from Lahore, Mr. Ahmed Mohib, said, “Yaar how will the world respect us when the head of Pakistan Ulema Council does not know how to photoshop at all. Even kids these days can do better. And why can’t he photoshop something believable. I mean, he is only exposing himself through these cheap attempts.”
A teary Jabir Khan from Sialkot said, “I don’t care that he is lying, I mean, we all know he is. I don’t care if Pakistan Ulema Council is renamed Pakistan Liars’ Council. We know what he is up to. But these cheap acts coming from Pakistan’s biggest – and largest – Sunni scholar is embarrassing me. I am staring to hate photoshop now. I will never forgive this man!!”
There is a protest planned outside Pakistan Computer Graphics Association offices in Lahore tomorrow to press on Ashrafi to stop photoshopping and stick to verbal attacks and threats that cannot be tracked and traced, and that are more believable than online propaganda and smear campaigns.
When reached for a comment regarding the protest, Ashrafi said, “Those protesting against me are blasphemers. They are Qadiani agents who are destroying the Ummah. They are supported by the Jews and the CIA. They hate me because I am the leading scholar of the Muslim world. But the Ummah will squash their attempts at maligning Islam and Pakistan. I was born a photoshopper and I will never stop. Allah Hu Akbar!”
No he didn’t explode. He just hung up.