Mosque linked to hate campaign causes rift in Muslim community

Streatham Guardian, UK
7:20am Wednesday 3rd November 2010
By Matt Watts »

A mosque has been linked to a hate campaign causing a dangerous rift in south London’s Muslim community.

Evidence shows Ahmadiyya Muslims are being demonised and ostracised by UK Islamic fundamentalist group Khatme Nabuwat, whose hardline clerics have been preaching in south London mosques.

The alleged campaign has seen Ahmadi residents, businessmen and politicians targeted, including inflammatory leaflets being distributed in south London encouraging violence against “Qadiyanis” – a derogatory term for Ahmadis.

The rift has stemmed from some Muslims not accepting members of the Ahmadi community as fellow Muslims.

Ahmadis differ from mainstream Islam in that they state the second coming of the messiah has already happened and is embodied by their founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

South London Ahmadis – who built what is believed to be the biggest mosque in western Europe, based in Morden – say their beliefs have made them victims of a hate campaign.

Now Streatham’s mosque has been dragged into the debate after a poster seen on the noticeboard of the South London Islamic Centre in Mitcham Lane stated the meat sold by an Ahmadi-run butcher in Tooting, Lahore Halal, was not halal.

Mumtaz Malik, the mosque’s Iman, said the poster was put up by a member of the Somali community to inform Muslims of the change of ownership of the supermarket to an Ahmadi.

He said as part of Islamic teachings, Muslims are advised to buy their meat from fellow Muslims.

He said the ownership of the shop by a “non-Muslim” raised questions about whether the meat sold was still halal, despite there being no evidence it was not.

But the Ahmadi shopkeeper who owns Lahore Halal, has told the Streatham Guardian “through religious discrimination and harassment” his business had suffered both reputationally and financially, with takings being cut by up to 50 per cent.

An Ahmadi supermarket worker across the street won an employment tribunal against his former boss last month for wrongful dismissal after he had pressure put on him to convert to the Sunni Muslim faith.

Lambeth police promised to talk to Streatham mosque about the poster, while Wandsworth police are investigating wider allegations in the Tooting community of inciting religious hatred against Ahmadis.

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