The Pakistan-born leader of Ahmadi Muslims, who presently resides in London has increased his security after receiving death threats from other Muslims. The Times, a British daily newspaper reported that the Metropolitan police were investigating threats from British Muslims against the Ahmadi community and its leader.
His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad who is the spiritual head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has lived in self-imposed exile in Britain since 2003. The Evening Standard named him as the most influential Londoner after the Queen.
The Times reported that, due to the threats to his life, the community has added additional walk-through metal detectors, identity checks, and bag searches at its Mosques. The report claimed that majority of the threats came from social media and text messages, while some of the Ahmadi community’s mosques were also defaced with words such as Kafir (infidel).
Farooq Aftab, a spokesman for the Ahmadi community said that the community had introduced enhanced security measures across 50 prayer halls and mosques, which include western Europe’s largest Mosque, the Baitul Futuh mosque in south London. Aftab said the additional security measures were for the safety of the worshippers. He said while it was common for Ahmadis to be persecuted in countries such as Pakistan, such violent and divisive behavior should not be tolerated in Britain.
Fiyaz Mughal, director of Faith Matters, an interfaith organization, attacked the hypocrisy of Sunni Muslims who cry Islamophobia when a member of their community is targeted for their beliefs but happily harass and threaten Ahmadis for theirs.
“It is, frankly, sickening that some think they can openly harass, intimidate, vandalise and create a sense of fear within minority Muslim communities while shouting out about Islamophobia and the need to challenge it.”
Usama Hasan of Quilliam, an anti- extremism think tank, said:
“Muslims who demand religious freedom for themselves and for other oppressed Muslims around the world have to be consistent and allow religious freedom for other groups such as the Ahmadis,”