Ahmadiyyas of Newham call for government protection from persecution

Basharat, who is president of Newham's Ahmadiyya Muslim Association is calling for greater protectio

Basharat, who is president of Newham's Ahmadiyya Muslim Association is calling for greater protection from persecution - Credit: Archant

A Muslim minority forced to flee Pakistan is fighting to protect its UK members from persecution.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, whose East London members worship at East Ham’s Baitul Ahad Mosque in Tudor Road, is renowned for its anti-terror work and the motto “love for all, hatred for none”.

In a letter to the government, president of the Newham branch, Basharat Ahmad, has spoken of the bigotry he still faces in the UK, despite his community settling here to escape hatred in Pakistan.

“Our community has faced severe persecution and violence in other countries, most notably Pakistan,” he said.

“We have been seeing signs of increasing extremism in the UK and have been alerting government and the authorities of our concerns for 30 years. The government needs to do more so extremism is not allowed to take root.”

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His statement follows the killing of Ahmadi shopkeeper Asad Shah in Glasgow on March 24.

Tanveer Ahmed, a 32-year-old Bradford Muslim has been accused of his murder. Mr Ahmed released a statement through lawyer John Rafferty on Wednesday in which he claimed to have killed Mr Shah because of his Ahmadiyya faith.

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Basharat says anti-Ahmadiyya hatred has been rising among other Muslim communities in Britain and is calling for swift action against radicals who say he is an apostate deserving of death.

“From anti-Ahmadi sermons preached in mosques to posters calling for boycott of Ahmadi business and customers and intolerance being promoted by deeming us to be apostates, there is a constant undercurrent of hostility being pushed out against our community,” he said.

“The vast majority of Muslims in the UK and indeed in Pakistan reject outright the poisonous ideology that such groups promote, but it cannot be denied that a tiny minority of extremists are taking root here. They must not be allowed to spread and must have no hiding place.

“The UK authorities have every right to ensure that no hatred and extremism is preached in UK mosques.”

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