Shunned for saying they’re Muslims: life for Ahmadis after Asad Shah’s murder

Some of Samia Sultan’s neighbours don’t greet her any more, and sometimes it’s hard for her to understand why. Sultan, a dentist, lives in Glasgow, in an area of the city that is – like most Muslim populations in the UK – majority Sunni. But Sultan isn’t Sunni: she is Ahmadi. And that is the source of the problem.

“My neighbours were fine, but when they came to know I was Ahmadi, their attitude changed,” Sultan explains. It is a bright morning in Glasgow, but the boredom of the school holidays is beginning to bite, and her daughters are impatient to borrow her smartphone so that they can use its stopwatch to time their game. Sultan passes her palm gently over her older daughter’s hair as she sends her back out to play. “They would no longer reply to my greeting As-salamu ‘alaykum [peace be upon you]” with Wa’alaykumu s-salam [and upon you peace].”

At first hearing, it seems almost negligible; a petty withholding. But this doorstep refusal to return the universal Muslim greeting is blunt in its intended humiliation: a denial of the basic vocabulary of belonging. Sultan shrugs lightly. “We can’t stop it by ourselves and we are taught to bear hardship with patience, so we try to be friendly.” She pauses. “But it is hard. Sometimes you think: what is wrong with me?” [209 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 430 votes] “The Glasgow shopkeeper was a member of the Islamic sect persecuted in Pakistan for decades. How did the arcane but deadly tensions, rooted in the theological history of the region, surface in the UK?”

Because when they emigrated to the UK, they brought there traditions with them and refused to start over?

[2ND 415] The Muslim Council of Britain, which has no Ahmadi members, stated that – although it is “unacceptable” to target Ahmadi on the basis of their beliefs, “Muslims should not be forced to class Ahmadis as Muslims if they do not wish to do so, at the same time, we call on Muslims to be sensitive.”

What has it got to do with the Muslim council of Britain, or any other Muslims? If someone says they are a Muslim, that should be enough.

Once again, we see the truly ugly reality of political Islam.

[3RD 304] The reaction of the Muslim Council of Britain is very telling.

[4TH 282] Looks to me he is making an objective criticism which reveals the ghastly sectarian nature of the MCB. Or did I miss something you saw?

[5TH 262] It’s worrrying how indoctrinated and medieval these people are, that they will murder someone without thinking twice because they disagree with them. The article implies that this murder is just the tip of the iceberg. Worrying for the future of this country

[6TH 259] Shocking. Everything about Ahmadis that makes them model citizens – their peacefulness, tolerance, reaching out to those of other faiths – is what makes them a target. How worrying. [The Guardian] Read more

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