The Olympic gymnast Louis Smith has begun his education on Islam by visiting a sect that the majority of the Islamic world do not consider to be Muslims.
Smith, who has apologised for mocking Islam in a recent video, visited the Baitul Futuh “Mosque” in Morden which belongs to the Ahmadi sect. Although Ahmadis self-identify as Muslims, they are not considered to be so by the consensus of orthodox Islamic scholars because they disbelieve in the finality of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
On his Facebook page Smith wrote: “So today I visited 2 mosques in London that I was invited to. I accepted the offer to learn more about the Muslim community and Islam. I honestly can say it was actually a really good day. I was a little nervous and anxious before visiting because of the recent events in the last week. But the people and the community where so understanding and inviting.
“We discussed my actions and they showed me what they learn & the true meaning behind there religion of peace. The community work they do for various charities is actually crazy and the money raised each year would blow your mind.
“I was ignorant to people’s religion. And I apologised for offending those who follow the faith. And just because I have the right to doesn’t mean I’m happy with doing that. People have commented about it’s freedom of speech but I feel if I was to preach freedom of speech I wouldn’t use my video to endorse that. We can all exercise our rights of freedom of speech but being in the public eye and someone of sporting influence it’s my responsibility to exercise it in good taste, and on that part I messed up.”