When is a mosque not a mosque? When it’s an Ahmadi mosque
A large fire broke out at a prominent mosque in South London on Saturday. The blaze, at the Baitul Futuh Mosque in Morden, was tackled by 70 firefighters, and a man was taken to hospital suffering the effects of smoke inhalation.
About 50% of the building’s ground floor was reported to be damaged as well as part of the first floor and a section of the roof. Thankfully, only a handful of worshippers were inside the mosque when the blaze started and they were evacuated safely from the site.
Usually, such incidents unite most Muslims (and non) who will find a common humanity to express commiseration. Instead, what we have seen is certain Muslims more preoccupied with semantics. The reason – this was an Ahmadi mosque.
The Pakistani channel Geo News describes Baitul Futuh as an “ibadatgah“, or place of worship. Not a mosque. This is, unfortunately, expected from a country where Ahmadis are officially declared as being non Muslims.
Sadly, such views are not confined to the Indian subcontinent. The 5 Pillars website, which runs the tagline “What are Muslim thinking?”, repeatedly refers to the mosque as a “temple” and its name is inserted in very snide quote marks.
Considering that its deputy editor Dilly Hussain once alluded to Ahmadi Muslims as being worse than monkeys, one should not expect any less.
On their Facebook page, there are comments lauding 5 Pillars’ “correct” use of the word temple to describe the mosque.
The Muslim Council of Britain states on its website that it is a “non-sectarian body working for the common good without interfering in, displacing or isolating any existing Muslim work in the UK”.
How ironic then that not only did the MCB not refer to the Baitul Futuh as a mosque, but it once put a statement on its website declaring it as “not a mosque”, adding “It is clearly misleading to describe [Ahmadis] as Muslims”. So much for non-sectarianism. The statement disappeared from the website quite recently.
These are the same people who often cry Islamophobia, when in fact a lot of the bigotry towards Muslims comes from fellow Muslims themselves.
Perhaps they should take note of the Ahmadi motto: Love for All, Hatred for None.
UPDATE: Two teenage boys have now been arrested on suspicion of arson