A few weeks ago, this blog covered a story from a local Surrey newspaper about the persecution of local members of the Ahmadiyya community. It was reported that leaflets were being disseminating among the local Muslim population which called for the murder of followers of this Islamic sect. The Independent has since undertaken an investigation into the activities of extremists who are targeting Ahmadis.
Here are some relevant extracts from paper’s report:
Members of the Ahmadiyya Community have seen a significant upsurge in threats and intimidation over the past four months, sparked by an extremist attack on two of their largest mosques in Pakistan earlier this year.
Ofcom has had to reprimand an Islamic satellite channel [The Ummah Channel – available on Sky] for repeatedly calling the sect “Wajib-ul Qatal” – an Arabic phrase used to describe those who digress from mainstream Islam that translates as “liable for death”.
The Ahmadis say that doctrinal opposition towards their community is being spearheaded by Khatme Nubawwat Academy, a British offshoot of a Pakistani group that is dedicated to confronting Ahmadi beliefs.
The group, whose name translates to “The Finality of the Prophet”, has close connections to the Pakistani establishment and met Pakistan’s high commissioner in the UK earlier this summer.
They also held a conference in Newham on 18th June in which one of their speakers claimed that the attacks on the two mosques on Lahore were an Ahmadi conspiracy.
Imam Suhail Bawa, a leading Khatme Nubbawat preacher, told worshippers: “This will become apparent very soon to you all that Qadiani [a derogatory term for Ahmadis] themselves are behind this whole conspiracy. [They] are responsible for whatever has happened in Lahore. This is all Qadiani conspiracy. They now come to television programs to try to “falsely” demonstrate their victimisation.”
The police have now opened a hate crime investigation into extremist activities in Surrey, and these developments must continue to be taken very seriously indeed. The story in the Independent is certainly a good start, but this is not a problem that should be taken lightly, and it will continue to grow if left unchecked.