Believers or heretics? Mainstream Muslims vs. Ahmadiyyas
Believers or heretics? Mainstream Muslims vs. AhmadiyyasOur online community requested that we cover the largely underreported struggles of the Ahmaddiya community.
Controversy surrounds the Ahmadiyya community whose members call themselves Muslim. Many mainstream Muslims contend that Ahmadiyyas are a separate religion entirely. The Ahmadiyyas believe their founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a Prophet and Messiah sent by God to reform Islam. Ahmad was born in 1835 in the northern Indian town of Qadian.
Many Muslims claim Ahmadiyya beliefs are heretical to Islam because they believe Muhammad was the last Prophet.
Some Ahmadiyya leaders claim they have as many as 200 million followers around the world, but Islamic scholars say that number is between five and ten million. A majority of Ahmaddiya live on the Indian subcontinent.
In Pakistan, Ahmadiyyas say they have been systematically persecuted for decades. In 1974, Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto passed a law declaring Ahmadiyyas a non-Muslim minority.
Currently, Pakistan’s blasphemy laws prohibit Ahmaddiyas from calling themselves Muslim, proselytising in the country, or referring to their places of worship as mosques. Human rights activists say Ahmadiyyas face discrimination in education, jobs, and housing in addition to physical violence and legal action under that country's blasphemy laws.
Even in other countries such as Indonesia and Iran, their places of worship have been burned and their followers targetted.
The current spiritual leader of the sect, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, leads the global community from the United Kingdom.
These are a few of the social media elements features in this episode of The Stream.