The UK’s largest Muslim organisation has appointed a panel to investigate a sectarian hate group making death threats against alleged “apostates”, led by a man who has supported the group and believes apostates should be killed.
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) is the, “largest national representative of British Muslim associations, mosques and schools”, and a government report last year found they are connected to the international caliphate-agitating Muslim Brotherhood.
After the murder of Glasgow shop keeper Asad Shah, a member of the persecuted Ahmadi sect, the MCB was criticised for being affiliated to Khatme Nubbawat – an organisation with the sole purpose of annihilating of the Ahmadi Community, who they refer to with derogatory language as “Qadiyani cult”.
The MCB itself officially classes Ahmadis as “apostates”, a charge punishable by death in many Muslim nations, but insists violence must not be used against them in the UK.
— Sadaf Ahmed (@OscarChilde) April 27, 2016
Khatme Nubbawat has been directly implicated in inciting violence in Pakistan that has led to the murder of Ahmadis. In the UK, they are known as the Stockwell Green Mosque, and were distributing literature calling for “capital punishment” of Ahmadi’s in top London universities just last year.
After the high profile murder, the MCB ordered the “temporary suspension of its affiliate” Khatme Nubuwwa, and set up an “Independent Investigation Panel” tasked with:
“Determin[ing] whether the named affiliate has been and/or remains engaged in such activities that make its continued affiliation with the MCB undesirable and not in accord with the Shariah and the duty to promote and work for the common good of the society”.
They claim that: “Spreading of hatred and espousal of violence on any ground is neither permitted nor sanctioned by Shariah and the laws in the United Kingdom.
However, one of the men leading the panel, Maulana Shahid Raza Naeemi OBE, a sharia judge and imam, told the Dewsbury Reporter in 2011, that: “Sharia law says that if a Muslim changes their religion it is treason and the punishment for treason is death”, when asked if a man who converts from Islam to Christianity must receive the death sentence.
Furthermore, as pointed out by secular campaigner Sadaf Ahmed, Mr. Naeemi has spoken at Khatme Nubbawat hate events himself, where he appears to demonstrate support for the very organisation he is now tasked with “independent[ly]” investigating.
Mr Naeemi was awarded an OBE by Prince Charles in 2008 for “his years of tireless work in interfaith dialogue, for the support and leadership he has shown for Muslims in Britain, and his services to British society at large”. He was also given a honorary degree by the University of Leicester this year.
The Crown Prosecution Service has repeatedly declined to bring criminal charges against Khatme Nubbawat, a decision which has been criticised by Lord Avebury, former vice chairman of the government’s Parliamentary Human Rights Group, who said the decision showed Britain’s laws against inciting religious hatred were “not effective”.
However, this week police in Scotland finally began removing anti-Ahmadi hate posters from Muslim shops, and the UK’s most senior police officer vowed to protect the group.
Ahmadis in London are currently so threatened that they have airport-style security at the entrance to their mosques.