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British Muslim group criticized for rejecting Ahmadi Muslim sect

By: Aysha Khan, RNS
April 8, 2016 Updated: April 8, 2016 at 6:33 pm
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photo - Members of Tehreek-e-Khatme Nabuwwat, a radical Islamist group, shout slogans as they demand to declare the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community non-Muslims in front of the national mosque in Dhaka January 3, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj (BANGLADESH - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST RELIGION) - RTR3C2HE
Members of Tehreek-e-Khatme Nabuwwat, a radical Islamist group, shout slogans as they demand to declare the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community non-Muslims in front of the national mosque in Dhaka January 3, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj (BANGLADESH - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST RELIGION) - RTR3C2HE 
(RNS) The Muslim Council of Britain is rejecting the minority Ahmadiyya sect, less than two weeks after an Ahmadi shopkeeper was stabbed to death in Scotland.


“Muslims should not be forced to class Ahmadis as Muslims if they do not wish to do so,” MCB, an umbrella group of Muslim organizations in the U.K., said in a statement Wednesday (April 6).

It said the statement was issued because “pressure is mounting to describe this community as Muslim.”

Asad Shah, an Ahmadi shopkeeper in Glasgow, was killed March 24 by a Muslim man in what police called a religiously motivated attack. The MCB condemned the attack soon after, but distanced itself from the sect when debate reignited over whether Ahmadis fall within Islam.

(RNS) The Muslim Council of Britain is rejecting the minority Ahmadiyya sect, less than two weeks after an Ahmadi shopkeeper was stabbed to death in Scotland.

“Muslims should not be forced to class Ahmadis as Muslims if they do not wish to do so,” MCB, an umbrella group of Muslim organizations in the U.K., said in a statement Wednesday (April 6).

It said the statement was issued because “pressure is mounting to describe this community as Muslim.”

Asad Shah, an Ahmadi shopkeeper in Glasgow, was killed March 24 by a Muslim man in what police called a religiously motivated attack. The MCB condemned the attack soon after, but distanced itself from the sect when debate reignited over whether Ahmadis fall within Islam.

Many Ahmadis have settled in Western Europe, Canada and the U.S. to escape state-sanctioned persecution in Pakistan, where they are legally barred from calling themselves Muslim or practicing their faith.

In response to the latest MCB statement, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the U.K. said the communique was at odds with the umbrella organization’s “commitment to peace and tolerance.”

“In a free and fair society like the United Kingdom, it is unacceptable that any group would seek to follow such a dangerous precedent by denying Ahmadi Muslims the right to identify as Muslims,” said the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the U.K.

“Everyone has the right to self-identify as a Muslim or as the follower of any faith for that matter,” the group said.

(Aysha Khan reports for RNS)

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