Asiapacificpost.com: The Ahmadiyya, a heavily persecuted Islamic sect officially opened its largest mosque in B.C. this week underlining the need for all religions to promote peace, condemn violence, and fight for universal freedom of conscience.
The inauguration of the Baitur Rahman mosque (House of the Gracious God) at 9570 River Road in Delta, BC was led by the worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at, Mirza Masroor Ahmad.
Ahmad, the Ahmaidiya pope, who lives in exile in London is the spiritual leader the Ahmadi Muslims, a small sect of Islam with followers spread across the globe and concentrated in Pakistan, Southeast Asia and West Africa.
Most Muslims say Ahmadis are not Muslim.
The sect, founded in India more than 100 years ago, is viewed as heretical among much of the Muslim world because of a theological dispute that started with their founder, who claimed to be the metaphorical second coming of Jesus Christ, sent to reform the practice of Islam and press for nonviolence. That contradicts a central tenet of Islam that says Muhammad was the last prophet, said the Wall Street Journal.
In Pakistan, the estimated four million Ahmadis aren’t allowed to identify themselves as Muslim or vote as Muslims. Attacks on the community there has left hundreds dead. In some countries they are banned from making the Haj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia.
But that hasn’t slowed their efforts in the U.S., where in recent years they have ramped up their profile by hosting community blood drives and making television appearances defending Islam, the WSJ said.