Mosque leaders denied a popular mini-cab driver a proper funeral, according to his friends.
The body of Khalid Mahmood, who died of a heart attack last Wednesday aged 52, had been prepared for the funeral prayer in Lea Bridge Road Mosque when allegations emerged that he belonged to the Ahmadi sect, which is not recognised as Muslim by Sunnis.
The mosque committee then stopped the funeral in order to keep peace they say, but friends say Mr Mahmood was disrespected and that the mosque’s actions only increase sectarianism.
One friend, Tanveer Khan, 57, a Walthamstow estate agent, said: “In a modern democracy this kind of discrimination should not happen.”
Another friend, Shahid Dastgir Khan, also 57, an Ilford solicitor and human rights activist, said: “These actions increase hatred between sects.
“The issue uniting us is common humanity and there is no place for using religion to divide people.”
The friends said Mr Mahmood’s family in Pakistan and his Pakistani passport verified he was a Sunni Muslim but mosque management said they did not have the proof at the time.
Chaudhry Khalid Hussain, president of the group that manages the mosque, Waltham Forest Islamic Association, said the allegations emerged only minutes before Friday prayer and that …continue reading at guardian-series.co.uk