Even as some Islamic organisations in Tamil Nadu have protested the Central government’s remarks on controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and have defended his right to preach, the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Chennai allege that they have been facing discrimination from some of the organisations.
Noor Muhammad.M, president of the Jama’ath Ahmadiyya in Chennai, said their community’s attempts to preach through Tamil television channels were thwarted due to pressure from some Islamic organisations.
“A couple of years ago, we tried to sponsor some television shows on Islam, but organisations such as the Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamat and the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam threatened television channels.
“What is ironic is that every sect will say that those belonging to the other sect are non-Muslims. But when it comes to Ahmadiyya sect, everyone will get together and call us non-Muslims,” he claimed.
He recalled instances where some members of the sect were forced to cancel weddings and couldn’t bury the dead in Muslim graveyards.
Asked about his view on radical Islamic preachers who prescribe a narrow view of Islam, which brands those who have a different interpretation of the religion as “non-Muslims” he said, “I believe that the relationship with God is personal … and even if a person becomes an apostate, it is up to God to decide what to do with him/her.”
Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamat’s president, M.A. Pakkir Mohammed Althafi, admitted that they had been campaigning against the Ahmadiyya brand of Islam.