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Ethnic and Religious Clashes

Ethnic and Religious Clashes Ahmadi Muslim Asad Shah was murdered by Barelvi extremist Tanveer Ahmed in 2016

No such cases were recorded during the monitored period (2013-2017).

The only major inter-ethnic or religious clashes in the UK during 2016 was the inter-Muslim conflict between sections of the Barelvi Islamic sect and sections of the Ahmadi Muslims; with the violence being very much a case of the latter perpetrating it against the former.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community “is a contemporary messianic movement founded in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1839–1908), who was born in the small village of Qadian in Punjab, India. The movement was founded in 1889, when “Ahmad declared that he had received divine revelation authorizing him to accept the baya’ah, or allegiance of the faithful. In 1891, he claimed to be the expected mahdi or messiah of the latter days, the “Awaited One” of the monotheist community of religions, and the messiah foretold by the Prophet Mohammed. Ahmad described his teachings, incorporating both Sufic and orthodox Islamic, Hindu, and Christian elements, as an attempt to revitalize Islam in the face of the British Raj, proselytizing Protestant Christianity, and resurgent Hinduism. Thus, the Ahmadiyya community believes that Ahmad conceived the community as a revivalist movement within Islam and not as a new religion.”

The anti-Ahmadi incident which claimed the most attention was the murder of the Ahmadi Muslim Asad Shah by the Barelvi extremist Tanveer Ahmed. However, the anti-Muslim-hate monitoring group TELL MAMA revealed in their publication ‘Sectarianism, Extremism and Hate Crime: The impacts on the Ahmadiyya Community’ that there were 29 anti-Ahmadi incidents throughout 2016 which was a large increase from the nine reported in 2015.

As is often the case with the reporting of hate crime, it is likely that both of these figures are far lower than the actual number of anti-Ahmadi hate crimes committed. Rafiq Ahmad Hayat, head of Britain's Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the UK, stated that “we suspect strongly that interfaith hate crime is very underreported. The Ahmadi are very small, 30,000 against an overall Muslim community of 2.7 millions... in the last number of months we're getting a sense of issues developing in the Muslim community, not only about Ahmadi but also Sunni and Shia”. TELL MAMA link the conflict between the groups in the UK to the situation faced by the Ahmadi community in Pakistan, where constitutional amendments declared Ahmadis as non-Muslim in 1974 and thus open to prosecution for membership to their religion. In the UK, the group Khatme Nubawwat has been accused of trying to incite hatred against the Ahmadi community here. The anti-racist group Hope not Hate have reported that on their Facebook page following Shah's murder, "Khatme Nubawwat wrote: "congratulations to all Muslims".

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