Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Aysha Khan 4-08-2016

Image via REUTERS/Andrew Biraj/RNS.

Critics say such sectarianism is inciting further persecution against Ahmadis in the U.K., where in recent years Muslim groups have rallied against the opening of Ahmadiyya mosques,  distributed anti-Ahmadiyya pamphlets and organized boycotts against shops owned by the members of the sect.

Many Ahmadis have settled in Western Europe, Canada and the U.S. to escape state-sanctioned persecution in Pakistan, where they are legally barred from calling themselves Muslim or practicing their faith.

In response to the latest MCB statement, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the U.K. said the communique was at odds with the umbrella organization’s “commitment to peace and tolerance.”

Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Guards keep watch atop a mosque as members of the persecuted Ahmad gather. Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is persecuted around the world, but it has plenty of friends on Capitol Hill.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., joined more than 20 House colleagues and at least one senator on June 27 at a reception to mark the first visit of the Ahmadiyya’s spiritual leader, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, to Congress.

The Ahmadiyya have faced severe repression, Pelosi said,  “but you refused to turn to bitterness or vengeance.”

“The message we carry is 'if you are being hurt, do not respond with hurt,'" said Ahsanullah Zafar, president of the Ahmadiyya community in the U.S.