The “Ahmadiyya Muslim Community” have taken a full page advert out in the Metro Scotland newspaper claiming to represent the “true Islam.”
Ahmadis are considered to be outside of the fold of Islam by mainstream Islamic scholars because they do not accept that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the final messenger.
The Metro advert, which would have been distributed to hundreds of thousands of readers across Scotland, features a large picture of the “Ahmadi messiah” Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
Ahmadis self-identify as Muslims and have achieved a good degree of influence in government and the mainstream media. They say that their message is one of tolerance and love and that they stand against extremism. They also complain of persecution in countries such as Pakistan.
In 2016 the Muslim Council of Britain, the largest Muslim umbrella organisation in the UK, issued a statement reaffirming their position on the Ahmadiyya sect as non-Muslims.
The statement said: “The MCB fully subscribes to pluralism and peaceful coexistence and acknowledges the rights of all to believe as they choose without coercion, fear and intimidation.
“We affirm the right of Ahmadis to their freedom of belief and reject any attacks on their property or persons. They have the right to live free from discrimination or persecution. The targeting of Ahmadis for their beliefs is totally unacceptable.
“The Muslim Council of Britain reflects the clear theological position expressed across Islamic traditions: namely that the cornerstone of Islam is to believe in One God and in the finality of the Prophethood of the Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him. We understand that this is not a tenet subscribed to by the Ahmadi community.
“The MCB Constitution requires our affiliates to declare that Messenger Muhammad peace be upon him is the final prophet and whoever does not subscribe to that declaration cannot be eligible for affiliation with the MCB. Given this fundamental theological difference with the Ahmadi community, the MCB is not in a position to represent or be represented by the Ahmadi community.
“Despite our clear theological beliefs, we note that pressure is mounting to describe this community as Muslim. 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, and above all, respect all people irrespective of belief or background.”