Sara Khan champions the Ahmadiyya community

Sara Khan

The controversial commissioner for countering extremism, Sara Khan, will champion the Ahmadiyya community this weekend.

In a statement before she speaks at the Annual Convention of the Ahmadiyya “Muslim” Community UK, she said the convention will be a celebration of the “Ahmadiyya Community’s commitment to peace and tolerance.”

She said: “I will be emphasising the importance of diversity and pluralism and the Commission’s commitment to religious freedom. The hatred, intolerance and discrimination experienced by Ahmadiyyas for what they believe has no place in our society. They have sadly been boycotted, ostracised and leaflets have been spread calling for their death. In 2016 Glasgow-based Ahmadiyya shopkeeper, Asad Shah, was murdered because of religious extremism and intolerance.

“Too often those promoting anti Ahmadiyya hatred wear a face of respectability and legitimacy. Last week I raised concerns about Sheikh Hassan Haseeb ur Rehman, a prominent Muslim preacher in Pakistan who visited the UK to talk about countering terrorism and interfaith dialogue.

“However behind these fine words, he has a history of promoting hatred and intolerance. He described Mumtaz Qadri who murdered Pakistani Governor, Salman Taseer who challenged the country’s blasphemy laws as a ‘martyr’ and ‘holy warrior.’ The same laws that are used to persecute the Ahmadiyya.

The Ahmadiyya convention

“This is an important part of the story of extremism in 2018. Extremists deliberately misuse the language of rights and freedom to cloak their hate in respectability or “justice” when it is anything but.”

Khan added: “But there are brave individuals and groups making a difference. Not least the Ahmadiyya Muslim community’s UnitedAgainstExtremism campaign. But too often counter extremists receive more abuse than support This reflects a wider challenge – the increasing viciousness of public debate. We have lost the art of respectfully agreeing to disagree. I want to help everyone do more to challenge extremism.”

Sign up for regular updates straight to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated on the latest news and updates from around the Muslim world!

Khan’s alliance with the Ahmadis could prove controversial because of the tensions between Muslims and Ahmadis which exist. Although the Ahmadiyya self-identify as Muslims they are considered to be outside the fold of Islam by a consensus of mainstream Muslim scholars.

Their recognition of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who founded the sect in British-ruled India in 1889, as a “prophet” is viewed by Muslims as a breach of the Islamic tenet that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was God’s last Messenger.

The leadership of the Ahmadiyya community are enthusiastic partners with the government’s Prevent strategy which Khan also champions.

It is believed that Khan is struggling to find representative partners within the Muslim community to sell her pro-Prevent agenda. Earlier this year when she was appointed to her £140K a year, three day a week job, more than a hundred Muslim leaders in the UK signed a joint statement condemning her appointment.

They said: “We, the undersigned, believe the appointment of Sara Khan (founder of Inspire) to the post of ‘Commissioner for Countering Extremism’ is deeply flawed and inappropriate. Ms Khan has no grassroots credibility with the Muslim community and no academic background or serious practical experience upon which to take up the role.

“Moreover, Miss Khan has lacked transparency over the years with ‘conflicts of interests’ with her organisation Inspire and public bodies.  We are also concerned about misleading information which Inspire has presented in the public domain and its links to Islamophobes which are now being uncovered.

“We believe that this appointment will further damage relations between the Government and Muslim communities. We have no confidence in this appointment and firmly believe that Muslim communities will refuse to liaise with Miss Khan thereby defeating the purpose of her appointment to the role. We call upon the Government to reverse the decision with immediate effect.”

Add your comments below

Previous articleTommy Robinson: I had excrement thrown through my jail window
Next articleIsrael attacks second Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla boat