Dr Irfan Malik: The persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslims

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Source: Nottingham Post

Dr Irfan Malik, general secretary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association in Nottingham, on why Muslim communities should work together.

The Ahmadiyya (or Ahmadi) Muslim community was declared as non-Muslim in Pakistan by legislation in 1974. Overnight, the Ahmadis become a non-Muslim minority under Pakistani law. And many commentators have felt this was the turning point for the generalised rise of religious extremism that we witness in that country today.

Our community was founded in 1889 in India by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. He claimed under divine guidance to be the awaited ‘Promised Messiah’. This is the main point which differentiates Ahmadi Muslims from other Muslims; and is the basis on which other Muslims discriminate against us.

We follow all the principles of Islam and certainly have not formed a ‘new’ religion. Yet persecution and killing of Ahmadis has continued. We do not expect others to accept our beliefs; however, we would appreciate mutual respect and not discrimination.

The Ahmadi minority never responds to persecution and violence in any way apart from prayers.

My friends include Muslims, Christians, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus and atheists, we have open minded debates, we respect each other’s views. It is okay to ‘agree to disagree’ in an educated, civilised society.

We are very comfortable being British and Muslim, at the same time being well integrated into our local communities. We don’t have any hesitations with the Government’s plans to scrutinise our Mosques.

In Britain, the Ahmadiyya Muslim community raises hundreds of thousands of pounds each year for UK charities. It also provides worldwide disaster relief, medical facilities, education, energy and self-help programmes.

Recently around 100 young men of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community travelled to assist in the flood-affected areas of Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire. Every year our organisation is involved in a national campaign to raise funds for the British Legion Poppy Appeal. And in London, the Ahmadiyya Muslim community recently launched the ‘United Against Extremism’ campaign following the terrible Paris terrorist attacks – one hundred London double decker buses now have an advert displaying the Eiffel Tower, in the French tricolours, with a message of peace

In addition the Ahmadiyya Muslim community hold interfaith ‘Peace conferences’ up and down Britain throughout the year. These events help to foster greater understanding, tolerance and respect for all faiths.

I feel it is very important in the current difficult environment that Muslim communities need to reach out and engage with a wide range of society. It is through these building of bridges that strong long term relationships of mutual respect and friendship can be formed.

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2 replies

  1. Dear Sir, thank you for expressing your impassioned view relating to your faith and belief. It may well be that you are keen to prove your “true British” credentials, by involving yourself in community welfare projects etc. These are all actions to be applauded. I must however disagree with your view that your community is heavily persecuted against. Certainly,there are always elements of intolerance in all societies, indeed, your “founder” possibly sowed the seeds of such intolerance himself by villifying his contemporary opponents, slating them….in one of his own books he reacted with intense bitterness and anger by stating one word , “laanath” in seven successive pages. Maybe if he had been more segacious in the use of his words and more courteous to his opponents, the legacy he left might have been more embracing.

  2. May I also state, for the record that 1400 years of Ulema established the core central belief among Muslims that the Prophet Mohammed ( m.p.b.h), is the FINAL prophet, to deny this tennet of Islamic belief not only puts a person outside the Islamic faith, but also it therefore denigrates his most esteemed position among the lineage of prophets of Allah, also belittles his entire life’s work. Before you state a denial that Mirza Ahmad ever made such claims, I’m afraid you can find his claims in many instances of his own writing or in his recorded uttersnces

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