Non-Sunni Muslims face persecution in Africa, U.S. report says

Shi’a, Ahmadis, others face state action and private harassment

In this May 29, 2010, photo, people from a minority Muslim Ahmadi community stand guard as others prepare to bury the victims of attack by Islamic militants, in Rubwah, some 150 kilometers (93 miles) northwest from Lahore Pakistan. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, adopted 55-year-old Ramazan Bibi, jailed on blasphemy charges in Pakistan, as a prisoner of conscience. According to a December report by the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedoms, Pakistan recorded the most cases of blasphemy in the world even though 84 countries have criminal blasphemy laws on their books. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed) **FILE**
In this May 29, 2010, photo, people from a minority Muslim Ahmadi community stand guard as others prepare to bury the victims of attack by Islamic militants, in Rubwah, some 150 kilometers (93 miles) northwest from Lahore Pakistan. The U.S. … more >

 By Mark A. Kellner– The Washington Times – Wednesday, October 20, 2021

While many Muslims in Africa live and practice their faith in peace, governments from Egypt to Guinea persecute minority Muslim communities, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom reported Wednesday.

According to “Muslims in Africa,” a factsheet released by the independent panel, official discrimination against such minority groups tends to target the Shi’a and Ahmadiyya Muslim groups.

Also under various governments’ eyes are Muslims who support the Qur’anist, Tijaniyya and Qadiriyya schools of Islamic thought, the document states.

Egypt, for example, “refuses to recognize Shi’a Islam as an acceptable” practice, the report states. This means Shi’as cannot establish public or private places of worship, and several Shi’as have been accused of blasphemy or were prosecuted for having texts on Shi’a beliefs.

In Nigeria, followers of the Tijaniyya and Qandiriyya schools have been sentenced to death for alleged blasphemy.

Governmental persecution of Shi’as also exists in some of Nigeria’s northern states, where protesters suffered a violent crackdown in February 2019, the commission document reported. In the Comoros islands, 11 Shi’a were arrested for performing a ritual in public.

Ahmadiyya Muslims — a controversial subset of Sunni Islam that preaches a “separation of mosque and state” — are under governmental attack in Algeria and Egypt.

In 2020, Algerian authorities “reignited a campaign” against the Ahmadis, the report said. The group was charged with blasphemy and gathering without a permit, which the government has refused to grant.

In Egypt, Ahmadis were prosecuted for practicing their faith and their literature was banned, the commission document stated. As with the Shi’as, Ahmadis in Egypt are denied permission to establish public places of worship.

A bright spot for the Ahmadis is the Republic of the Gambia, the smallest nation in mainland Africa. There, a cabinet minister addressed an Ahmadi peace conference shortly after the nation’s Supreme Islamic Council, an independent body, had said the sect’s members were not Muslim.

Along with the reports of government repression, the commission‘s factsheet notes several instances of attacks on Muslim leaders and holy sites as well as sectarian and political violence against Muslims.

There are at least 500 million Muslims in Africa, representing 45% of the continent’s population, the commission noted.


6 replies

  1. Assalamu alaikum,

    Bro, Ahmadiyyah aren’t Muslims in first place. Because, they believe in Mirza Ghulam who was among the 30 imposters which Prophet Muhammad(peace and blessings be upon him) warmed us about it. And as for Shia this is is debatable.

  2. Hadith on Jihad: Did you tear open his heart to see his intention?

    Usamah ibn Zayd reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, sent us on an expedition. In the morning we attacked Al-Huraqat of Juhaynah. I caught hold of a man and he said, “There is no god but Allah!” but I stabbed him. Then it occurred to me that I should mention that to the Prophet. The Prophet said, “Did he say ‘there is no god but Allah’ and you killed him?” I said, “O Messenger of Allah, he only said it fearing the weapon.” The Prophet said, “Did you tear open his heart to know if he meant it or not?” The Prophet continued to repeat this to me until I had wished I had not embraced Islam until that day.

    Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6478, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 96

  3. During my time in West Africa (Ghana 1972/3 and Nigeria 1973-1980) I found that there was great tolerance in these countries. I hope it continues …

  4. Detective Alex: Be careful before you label someone who says he is a Muslim a ‘non-Muslim’ ! See hadith above.

      • Of course they are. They profess so. Look at their prayers, exactly the same. It is up to Allah alone to judge, not humans like you and me.

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