Members of Ireland’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Associ-ation have described as “deeply” hateful a recent comment by a Muslim cleric that tried to discredit their community.
The criticism follows a video lecture on YouTube by Sheikh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, leader of the Blanchardstown-based Al-Mustafa Islamic Cultural Centre Ireland, who said that Ahmadiyya followers are “not Muslims”.
“We consider the comments of Sheikh Umar Al-Qadri with regard to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Ireland deeply offensive and has hurt the feelings of the community members,” spokesperson Imran Ahmed Sheikh told Metro Éireann.
He warned the cleric to avoid making irresponsible remarks that could cause serious problems within the Muslim community in Ireland.
“Such comments have caused hatred and violence in countries such as Pakistan and can create dissention from within all the Muslim communities in Ireland.”
Sheikh added that the comments “should not be tolerated in Ireland”.
However, Sheikh Al-Qadri told Metro Éireann that he stands by his statement, and said he explained as such to Ahmadiyya leader Imam Ibrahim Noonan in a brief meeting at Dublin Castle last week.
“It is a fact that according to all Muslims, Sunni and Shia, the Mirzais [Ahmadiyya Muslims] are not Muslims,” he told Metro Éireann. “This is because of their belief that their leader, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was a prophet.
“There are many explicit verses in the Qur’an and Hadith [regarding] the Prophet Muhammad [specifying that] He is the final messenger of God.
He added: “Anyone who disagrees with this rejects the explicit verses of Qur’an and Hadith on finality of the prophethood. And such a person, according to Islamic Law, is not a Muslim.
“In regards to Mirzais, there is also a consensus [or Ijmaa] that they are not Muslims.”
Sheikh Al-Qadri said that was the view he expressed in the video lecture in question, and is one he is entitled to express in a free society like Ireland.
“I have not incited hatred or violence,” he said, adding that the Ahmadiyya leader accepted his invitation for dialogue.