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Friday, August 5, 2016

Thanks but no thanks Mr. Murray

Douglas Murray - Image from bbc website

In the aftermath of the horrendous and barbaric attacks in France in recent weeks, many Muslims turned out in their numbers to attend church services across France and Italy. This made headlines.

Muslims attending Mass in Rome. Image from Massimo Percossi—EPA

Not known for his impartiality or balanced opinion, Douglas Murray has issued what appears to be a deeply cynical take on these news stories.

He has a theory. A conspiracy theory.

He thinks that there is a media conspiracy to push a positive, feel-good story about Muslims soon after the horrors of the latest ISIS inspired episode have been covered on a 24/7 loop by all news channels. He also seems to imply that somehow Ahmadi Muslims, a small sect founded in 19th century India and rejected by the mainstream Muslims are in on this conspiracy.

I don’t exactly know what compels news outlets to crave for a 'positive Muslim story'.

In this Orwellian dystopia, as Murray imagines it to be, is it for the sake of the sanity of a society at the brink of mental breakdown? Or is it the ratings? Keeping the hit counts growing and message boards and phone lines busy with anguished contributors trying to make sense of things in line with their personal worldviews? It could be a deliberate attempt to engineer public opinion – to keep it just left of the fascist scale, but enough to keep the white working-class scared with a slight tinge of hope to keep them going with their daily lives?
These are mainstream Sunni Muslims.

But Murray's conspiracy theory is more fantastic than that. He thinks that the media and the marginalized Ahmadiyya Muslims are in-fact masquerading these feel-good stories to keep the public dis-informed about the irredeemable evils of the Islamic religion; to hoodwink them into believing in the so-called ‘religion or peace’ narrative so that they can sleep walk into a Europe ruled by Sharia law with mosques at every street corner.

Murray's latest post is a masterpiece of shameless obfuscation of plain facts. French and Italian Muslims attending Mass to show solidarity with Christians was not an engineered story. It was plain to see from the news coverage that Muslims belonging to various groups, sects and organizations were represented at many churches, including the Ahmadiyya Muslims who appear to have attended a church event with their famous banner stating Love for All, Hatred for None.  

Ahmadi Muslims pay their respects outside a Church. Image courtesy JACKY NAEGELENREUTERS

Murray doesn’t want to believe that mainstream Islam has any redeeming features and in his recent posts has highlighted that only the marginalized, persecuted and rejected Ahmadiyya sect is the only source of positive news stories about Islam.

As an Ahmadi Muslim, I couldn’t disagree more.  It is true that Ahmadi Muslims have been at the forefront of this battle against bigotry of extremist Islamophobes as well as the militant Islamists. But there are Muslim groups in the western world, representing the mainstream Sunni and Shia sects who do respond to such tragedies with gestures of solidarity and goodwill. They may be small in numbers now, but this is a good sign of things to come.

For example, in France, the call to solidarity was led by CFCM, the French equivalent of the MCB. The BBC news story, of which Murray is so critical, shows a number of photographs with Imams belonging to mainly Sunni sects clearly.

I know the garbs, headdresses and other distinctive features of Sunni Imams, something of which Murray may not be cognizant. If I was commenting on various Islamic sects and there validity in the public discourse, I would take care to find out more about their distinctive features. White round hats, conical Qaraqul caps, long gowns, long beards, short beards, black turbans; you can distinguish between various denominations if you know what you are looking at. And if you see all of these turbans, gowns and beards in a news story, from across the European continent, it is not a media conspiracy, but a true show of humanity and solidarity.

Ahmadi Muslims are only a tiny minority in France and it appears that they did attend a service. They would have attended regardless of CFCM appeal, but that is beside the point.

Murray says that Ahmadiyya efforts in reaching out to the wider European community are meaningless as they are shunned and dismissed by the rest. Nothing could be further from the truth.

They say that mimicry is the best form of flattery. You can see that mainstream Muslim sects are adopting the Ahmadiyya ways of dialogue and social intercourse which has been missing in the past.

In Britain, more and more progressive Imams are visible in the media and are challenging the orthodox positions on many subjects. It is also true that the traditionalists and literalists still hold sway in most communities, especially the ghettoized ones. But you can’t ignore the fact that Ahmadiyya Muslims have paved way to some reform in the Muslim communities across Europe.

Not long ago, hardly any cleric in any of the Sunni or Shia mosques in Europe would have dared to denounce the violent interpretation of Jihad. Ahmadis have been branded as ‘deniers of Jihad’ by the orthodoxy since their sect was founded in 1889.  It was because their interpretation of the Quranic verses differed from the misguided political definition of Jihad. To them Jihad is not an armed rebellion, but a struggle, a long and personal journey to find God.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V, Mirza Masroor Ahamd. A champion for peace and Caliph of the Ahmadiya Muslim Community.

I am happy to see that those clerics and Imams who traditionally reject the Ahmadiyya message of reform are accepting this very same definition. They may be hesitant to admit to it, but they are reforming themselves, very slowly.

Mr. Murray should be happy too. But unfortunately he has chosen to believe in a bigoted view of history. He sees Islam and the message of the Quran as the problem. While he praises the Ahmadiyya Muslims, he ignores the fact that Ahmadis do believe in the Quran as the literal word of God and they do believe that Muhammad, the Prophet was a perfect exemplar for all of mankind.

Mr. Murray, please don’t use Ahmadi shoulders to shoot your Islamophobic gun. We are doing fine without your support.

And if you so wish to find out what an Ahmadi Imam looks like, come visit us at the Jalsa Salana UK,  12-14th  August. It is our 50th annual convention in the UK with over 30,000 guests anticipated to attend for three days.  There will be many Ahmadi Imams in attendance from all around the world, including a contingent from France who will be happy to educate you about Islam and the Ahmadiyya reform efforts.
Over 30,000 Ahmadi Muslims attend #JalsaUK at Alton, Hampshire.












Saturday, April 9, 2016

Muslim Council of Britain - The Islamist Big Brother

Muslim Council of Britain has many affiliates. Shia, Sunni, Wahabi, Salafi, progressives as well as orthodox; the council does seem to strive to represent the interests of British Muslims.

We can safely assume that theological differences among various sects are put aside while dealing with key issues which affect all Muslims alike. i.e., Islamophobia, community tensions, discrimination at workplace, mosque applications getting refused on flimsy grounds etc.

It doesn't matter to the council for example if a shia  muslim holds a theologically distinct position regarding the superiority of Imams over the Prophets, a belief which is fiercely contested by the Sunnis. But why should it matter?

Your local council, or a fiery UKIP candidate, or your boss don't need to know these intricacies while judging you to be a person of concern around the place. Your beard, hijab or the need to go for prayer breaks will be sufficient to provoke prejudice against you.

Similarly, it doesn't matter for the MCB if a certain proportion of their membership is barelvi sub-sect of sunni Islam. Barelvi's tend to be more devotional towards the saints and sufis of the past and their present day successors. They find it much easier to prostrate themselves before their holy men and indulge in mystical music and dancing. An observant barelvi will spend much of his life in certain social and religious practices which are shunned by the wahabi/salafi sect of Islam. Wahabi/Salafi Muslims are strict monotheists. To them, barelvis are 'Mushrik', polytheists. The act of 'shirk' is enough to condemn a person to eternal hell!

Both wahabis and barelvis are proud members of the MCB, and why shouldn't they be? As it doesn't matter to the local residents to protest against a mosque project if it is going to be a barelvi or a wahabi mosque. We all look and sound the same to them, right?

Why should then the MCB go out of its way to say that Ahmadis cannot be called Muslims?
According to their statement the MCB feels that muslims are unduly pressurized to refer to Ahmadis as muslims.

In my experience, it is infact the ordinary mainstream Muslims who are being pressurized unduly to boycott Ahmadis and consider them non-Muslims. Most of my muslim friends consider me a muslim like themselves. But if some of them unfortunately cross paths with a takfiri Mullah, they change their views. Not all of them, but some of them. And when I confront them about their views their standard reply is that 'I am not expert in such things, but the Maulvi knows much more than I do.'

A famous slogan goes 'whoever doesn't believe them to be kafir is a kafir himsef'.

Hate filled pamphlets called for the boycott of Ahmadis are common sight in the UK threse days.
We should sympathize with those poor souls who are being held hostage by the enemies of freedom of belief and expression. The MCB is playing big brother for UK muslims, just like its proud affiliate, the Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat, AMTKN, a well funded organization which is responsible for Ahmadi persecution worldwide.

Imam Ibrahim Mogra of the MCB, a polite and well-spoken muslim faith leader, spent an hour on the BBC Asian Network trying to explain to the audience what it is that gives him and the MCB the right to say such an absurd thing.

Imam Ibrahim Mogra. Image courtesy
Mogra cites the two fundamentals of Islam, 1) Belief in Allah as the only God and 2) Belief in Muhammad as the final messenger of God.

He says that because Ahmadis do not believe in the finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad and they hold a distinctly unislamic belief in another prophet after him, therefore they cannot be Muslims.

A number of Ahmadi callers to the show refuted the Imam's assertions by stating that almost all muslims are awaiting another prophet to arrive any day now, hence his stance is not only illogical but against the commonly agreed doctrine of the majority of Muslims.

I could go into more details on this fine and nuanced theological debate, but it should be sufficient to say that Ahmadi Muslims believe in a messiah, namely Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian who claimed to have fulfilled the prophecy regarding the awaited prophet. Others however believe that Jesus who is in heavens will descend on a minaret in Damascus and conduct a worldwide holy war against all non-believers.

My point is that whereas shia belief challenges the fundamental concept of prophethood of sunni Islam, and whereas the barelvi practices clearly contravene the fundamental idea of the oneness of God as held by the non-barelvis, both these groups are muslim in the eyes of the MCB. Ahmadi Muslims do not hold any beliefs that cannot be interpreted from the words of Quran and the sayings of the Prophet. Then why display such malice against a persecuted, peaceful minority? 

I know the answer, and it is time that you know it too.

Ahamdiyya Islam has challenged the orthodox establishment in Islamic countries for over a hundred years. Whether it is the concept of violent jihad or the place of science in the muslim society, women's rights or interfaith relations, rejection of political Islamism or the use of modern methods to defend Islam against the missionary onslaught in the colonial days; Ahmadiyya Islam has been winning hearts and minds all around the world. And this does not sit right with the orthodoxy.

The early opponnets of Ahmadiyya Islam were great scholars in their own right. They still hold revered status among the orthodox Muslims today, but most of them accepted the Ahmadi Islam as a part of Muslim polity. They may have declared them 'kafir' in a theological sense, but they did not dare deny them their identity.

It is only when in 1974 Pakistan a Saudi backed conglomerate of mosque and Parliament took the ill-fated step of enforcing jealousy and hatred as a law. Yes, such laws exist. They were jealous of the advances the Ahmadis had made in all spheres of life in Pakistan and abroad. Statesmen, businessmen, scientists, military heroes, diplomats and economists, Ahamdis had proven their true value to the nation and the Muslim world as a whole. In fact, most new converts to Islam were because of the Ahmadiyya missionary work around the world.

After causing hundreds of targetted killings in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia, when the same jealousy and hatred spills over to the UK with the scholars and Imams of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin, people like Asad Shah get murdered in Glasgow.

And the same hatred and jealousy is the cause of such statements to be made which reek of complicity and guilt.

Ahmadi Muslims do not need a certificate of approval of their faith. But as a political entity, Muslims who self-identify as Muslims must stand united, regardless of theological differences. If MCB is failing thousands of Muslims in this country like this, I am happy to join any other council which does what it says on its label.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Bill Maher and 'that' Pew survey

Bill Maher is a well-known TV personality in USA. He is a touring comedian who hosts a regular late-night talk show on HBO. He is a left-wing liberal and is a devout atheist. He loves to berate religion and conservatives in his shows and finds little in common with people of faith. In recent months, Maher has turned his most acerbic wit to criticize Islam.
Maher (center) had a heated argument on his HO show with Ben Affleck (left) on his negative remarks about Islam
 (image courtesy LA times)
His jokes fall flat as I can see through his ignorance of my religion. His opinions are informed by certain Islamophobes who think that they know all there is to know about Islam. They see the Islamic world in turmoil, suicide attacks on the innocent civilians all around the world and a constant stream of negative headlines and deduce that there must be something wrong with the religion.
Maher cites a pew survey very regularly to prove his point. The survey does seem to show some worrying results. In Egypt, 86% of Muslims believe that apostates should be killed. This is also Bill Maher’s favourite statistic.
Pew Survey (2013) 86% of Egyptians think that punishment of apostasy should be death

From a statistical point of view the survey has some merits. With a considerable sample size and a good geographic spread, this survey goes to some lengths to understand the socioeconomic profile of the target demographic. 
From my reading, I can see some flaws in how the data is being presented. For example, when it comes to the controversial topics like the stoning to death of adulterers or apostates, the data is presented as if it represents the views of the same population who responded to the prior questions. The caption on the graph does explain that it represents the answers from only the subset of people who stated that sharia law must be the law of the land.  If recalculated, 86% turns into 63%; still a very high percentage. Who would like to live in a place where more than half of its population is so bigoted? I wouldn’t.
Lets look at some more variables to understand this data. My stance is that indeed Muslims around the world are invariably influenced by the rigid interpretation of Islam exported from Saudi Arabia, but the situation is not as bad as portrayed by the survey.  It is partly due to the fact that the questions were over-simplified and we cannot rule out extreme response bias due to the nature of the survey and the current environment.
Countries scoring very high in the survey for violence and prejudice have been in a state of socio-economic upheaval for a long time. Add to that failing political system, mistrust of the politicians and a constant dose of counter-narrative from the Islamist camp and you are bound to get such poll results.  A survey recently found out that almost 20% of Trump supporters think that slavery should not have been abolished.
This is far more alarming than a politically disenfranchised Egyptian or Pakistani wishing for an ideological state which can never exist.
Results from central Asia, Turkey and most African countries show Muslims to be tolerant and accepting of other faiths. Countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia are among those showing high numbers in markers for intolerance.
These countries are also very diverse in their ethnic mix, urban and rural make-up of religious groups and how the current political establishment may be impacting the opinions of the common people. Also, if the surveyors had gone to the major urban centers like Lahore, Rawalpindi, Dhaka, Jakarta etc., they may have found highly opinionated responders who are not representative of the opinions found in the wider population.
It is not unlikely that a large proportion of people living in economically deprived areas would hold rather extreme political views. The prevailing political system would dictate how much of that is translated into a real change. Mr. Trump’s disenfranchised white, working class supporters prove that point.
The religion of Islam is undergoing a crisis since the past two centuries. It is the same crisis that the Western world went though and came out of it without a faith. Some say it is a good thing. I disagree.
Some western liberals believe that this problem can be solved by listening to lapsed or ex-Muslims who hold  opinions not to dissimilar to many Islamophobes. I hear them speak about discarding certain verses from the Quran or even accepting the hate filled criticisms of modern orientalists with open hearts.  
Ayan Hirsi Ali, an ex-Muslim and Maher's favourite Islamophobe (image:

It may get them some airtime on an HBO talk show but it means nothing to 1.6 billion Muslims, majority of whom struggle for their daily bread.
In the same survey, a majority of Egyptians and Pakistanis thought their country's economy was in a bad state. Similarly, most responders across the board were dissatisfied with the general state of affairs their country.
To such people religion offers the justice that they deserve in the afterlife. This notion of Sharia law which their local cleric has taught them is nothing but an alternative political system to end all injustice.
The survey also establishes that many Muslims believe that Sharia is a Divinely revealed law with no room for interpretation. They also believe that according to the same law apostate should be killed and adulterers should be stoned to death. 
I see not a single verse in the Quran to support either punishment. In this discrepancy lies the answer to all involved; liberals, lapsed or ex-Muslim intellectuals, Islamophobes and most importantly, the practicing Muslims.  
Intellectual thought in mainstream Islam has been frozen in time and opportunist elements from within and without want to keep it that way. This intellectual leap which would allow Muslims to embrace modernity can only be made through economic welfare and education, both of which impossible without peace.
Modernity does not mean discarding of the fundamental Islamic tenets. It means that educated Muslims will be able to read and understand the Quran themselves, they will be empowered to challenge the clergy, run their own democratic governments,  and cause a peaceful revolution which will be in the best interest of all.  
In the meantime, Bill Maher should worry more about a fascist regime which is about to take over his own country.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Bigotry in the UK

I visit the northern English city of Bradford often, famous for its redundant textile mills and a large Pakistani diaspora which settled here thanks to the mills. These mills offered employment to the many thousands of Kashmiri, Potoharis and Bengalis who flocked here in the 60s and 70s.

A shocking haircut!

Now Bradford is a bustling town which has a lot to offer. Curries, Asian clothing, cheap motor repairs and all the desi groceries you can imagine...and religious bigotry.

A few months ago, expecting a quick haircut, I stepped into a barbershop on Great Horton Road. This road is famous for its fine Pakistani restaurants and sweet shops. Two young men  were busy clipping away on the heads of their customers. While waiting for my turn, I looked around to find something to read. The local newspaper, a magazine, or a special treat; maybe an Urdu language digest that can be found in these establishments often. While scanning the table top, I spotted something familiar. It was the picture of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, the founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam. It was on a pamphlet entitled 'Beware, the impostor of Qadian'.

As an Ahmadi Muslim, the sight of this pamphlet and its wording sickened me to the core. I looked at the young kids who ran the shop and considered my options. They look like your typical British Pakistani kids. Slingy jeans, wacky hair cuts and facial hair which seemed like drawn on with a fine pencil, listening to loud music of the urban variety. Not your madrassah qualified maulvis by any stretch of imagination.

Should I ask them why they are displaying such materials in a place of business? Should I threaten them with a report to the police? Or should I just ask them why they felt it necessary to share their religious bigotries to their customers? Was it left by someone? If yes, why did they not remove it?

I didn't do any of that. I just got up and left. As a visitor to the city, I thought that the more meaningful course of action would be to make my acquaintances in Bradford aware of this and recommend reporting this to the police.

A similar incidence happened in London. In my local Pakistani grocery shop someone had placed similar literature. They were promptly challenged by an Ahmadi and the shop owner after learning that most of the local Ahmadis shopped there, wisely removed the offensive materials. His excuse was that someone had placed them there without his knowledge.

Do all homegrown terrorists start as armchair takfiris?

A few years back, an anti-radicalization police representative called upon our local Ahmadi community. He inform us that the police are a bit concerned about the clandestine activities of a local salafist group who are publishing hate materials on a website against other communities, Ahmadis being one of them. He thought that these groups represent the final steps before they engage in real terrorist activities like going to the training camps run by al-Qaeda. These were pre-ISIS/Daesh days when Al-Qaeda was the main recruiter of terrorists from the western world.

The war on terror had its repercussions on the domestic front in the West as well. When suicide bombers of Pakistani origin blew themselves up on London's tubes and buses, the British government found itself in a tricky situation. Curbing the activities of clerics qualified in Pakistani or South African seminaries was impossible due to political sensitivities.

The 'Luton' incidence.

An example of this was seen in 2014 in Luton, another town with a large Pakistani population of mainly Barelvi variety. When the local Ahmadiyya Muslim community decided to take out newspaper adverts to mark 125 years since the establishment of the Ahmadiyya Caliphate, the newspaper offices were visited by a delegation of local clerics who forced the paper to publish an apology in their next edition for referring to Ahmadis as Muslims. This was such a ridiculous situation that it was picked up by the national press and media. The resulting controversy further reinforced the public perception about Muslims being intolerant and a constant source of problems for the British society.

Luton's Ahmadis then tried to organize an event, a peace conference to clear the air. The local labour member of Parliament excused himself from the event, even though the elections were looming and he could do with a few votes. But he had the votes from the majority of non-Ahmadi Muslims so he found it more convenient to ignore the invitation. Politics indeed is a fickle affair.

I also wrote about this controversy in my blog here.

Halal life in a Haram society:

London's mayoral hopeful for the Labour Party is Sadiq Khan. He is also a senior labour leader and a member of parliament. He has a good chance of winning the elections. His constituency is also the home of a well known Deobandi mosque, Tooting Islamic Center. One of its Imams, Suliman Gani is a well known supporter of Sadiq Khan, a campaigner for the Guantanamo detainees and more importantly an anti-Ahmadiyya campaigner in the city. Tooting and the surrounding areas have a large Ahmadi Muslim presence. They have built the largest mosque in Western Europe in Morden not far from Tooting.

Back in 2010, Imam Gani headed a campaign to boycott a shop which was owned by Ahmadis. He declared the meat sold in the shop might not be halal (despite the fact the shops' supplier dealt with halal meat only).

There have also been more serious incidents in the same area, including literature containing the fatwa of death for Ahmadis and physical assault on someone who was merely suspected of being an Ahmadi.

Such attitudes can only be explained as a collective psychoses of religious bigotry which does not reconcile with the eagerness of such people to live in a non-Muslim society. Such extremes and contradictions eventually result in turning many second generation immigrants into extremists - Some of whom may travel to join Daesh, Al-Shabab or Al-Qaeda.

The visiting ulema and peers:

Many of my elders have confirmed this observation about the clerics. It is that Ahmadiyya Islam was a biggest threat to the livelihood of Maulvis (clerics) in the subcontinent, so anti-Ahmadiyya agitations became their new business. And ironically, it is destined to remain their livelihood as long as Ahmadiyyat keeps flourishing.

United kingdom has been a destination for mainly poorly educated, rural class of Muslims from Pakistan. They had to import their religious teachers and scholars from back home - a trend which continues to date. In comparison, countries like Canada and Australia who have invited the skilled migrants from around the Muslim world have a large number of clerics who speak English as their first language.

Sadly, the clerics who have made UK their home, or visit annually for the benefit of their followers spread across the UK, also bring with them the bigotries that have been their bread and butter back home. If anything, the business of the 'protection of the finality of Prophethood' has been a lucrative activity for the Pakistani and Bangladeshi clerics. They have successfully applied the same business model in this country. Several ethnic religious TV channels regularly spew hatred against the Ahmadis using premium rate phone lines and frequent charity appeals. All of them have been reprimanded or fined by the UK's regulators for hate speech and defamation. They tone down their language after a slap to the wrist, but make sure that their audience get the message of takfir of Ahmadis loud and clear. And in return, they earn brownie points for protecting the faith and fill their coffers with revenue from the charity donations.

It is ironic that the same freedom of speech which is denied to Ahmadis in Pakistan is utilized fully by the clerics in the UK to persecute them.

One outlet, the Barelvi oriented Ahle-sunnat organization boasts of holding 35 Khatme Nabuwwat conferences in the UK to date. A Bangali Deobandi mosque in Bradford has held 19 so far.

The largest conglomerate of Islamic organizations in the UK, the Muslim Council of Britain has also issued statemetns to the national media to stress that Ahmadis are not Muslims. This organization has many prominent supporters among the British politicians, and has in its ranks a Knight of the British Empire (Sir Iqbal Sacranie) who served as its secretary general.

Khatm-e-Nabuwwat Academy in London. Yes. It looks like a shop.
In addition to these, the resident Khatm-en-Nabuwwat coordinator in Lodnon is Maulana Sohail Bawa, who has strong links to the Pakistan based Alami-Majlis-e-Tahaffuz Khatm-e-Nabuwwat (AMTKN), an organization which has never hidden its ideological affiliation to the banned ASWJ and Sipah-e-Sahaba outfits. These are Bawa has made a career out of anti-Ahmadi polemics in the UK and travels to other western countries to speak at mosques regularly.

Another celebrity cleric, much in demand these days, is Allam Tahirul Qadri. With many tall claims of having destroyed Ahmadi doctrines in public debates and converting thousands of Ahmadis to Islam, the Allama has spoken at various Khatm-e-Nabuwwat conferences in the UK in recent years. His speeches are carefully worded so as not to distort his already questionable credentials with the British authorities.

Multan and Karachi based leadership of the AMTKN pay occasional visits to the UK in their bid to chase the Qadiani's out of every country of the world. Most of their efforts although, are to collect funds for one charitable cause or the other. The main selling point - to protect the oft-attacked, the most vulnerable and the most fundamental - Finality of the Prophethood.
You probably have heard of Mumtaz Qadri, a Pakistani policeman who murdered the Governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer because he was deemed a blasphemer by the clergy. Qadri handed himself to the police and was lauded as a hero by many. A true believer and a real soldier of Islam, a 'ghazi'. After his execution by hanging, millions mourned his death. Some clerics in the UK also took to the airways and openly declared their disgust at the exectuion. I could understand if they were arguing against the idea of death penalty, but that wasn't the case. They were preaching to their audience that blasphemy is a crime punishable by death and Qadri was just doing his religious duty.

The unlikeliest of allies - The far-right white folk and the brown immigrants:

English defense league is/was a far-right movement of mainly English hooligans who have been active in recent years all across the country. They organize marches and rallies and most importantly, they are not known for their intellectual prowess. They usually hold threatening protests if a new mosque is being planned or built in any area. UKIP, another anti-immigrant party facilitates the opposition to such mosques through political means. It is very common that if a mosque is being refused permission in an area, it is due to underlying tensions caused by such right wing activism.

A story made headlines in the local British papers a few years ago. Wallsall council, under pressure from the local residents refused the building of an Ahmadi Mosque. I assumed that it must have been pressure from the right wing groups and xenophobic residents. Until I saw a picture of the local residents smiling for the cameras after the decision was announced. All of them were Pakistani Muslims.
EDL, after learning of their protest, decided to cancel their plans to descend on this town to show their disgust.

Ahmadis in Scunthorpe, Yorkshire also want to build a mosque, but a number of complaints were raised by the locals. All of them were Muslims of Pakistani origins. Some of them even turned up to protest against it. The local council was wise enough to spot the real agenda behind the anti-mosque campaign and approved the plans.
Scunthorpe Mosque being opposed by a group of 'Muslims'

Walsall Ahmadis, like Scunthorpe Ahmadis, eventually got their mosque plans approved. Currently there is an investigation going on by the local police on a brick attack on the newly built mosque.
Could it be a racist neo-Nazi?
Could it be a Muslim kid who knows Ahmadis to be disgusting kafirs worthy of such violence and more? It is anybody's guess.


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