Islamic extremists have started openly calling for the destruction of a controversial Muslim sect in a major escalation of sectarian conflict within British Islam, an investigation by The Independent has revealed.
Members of the Ahmadiyya Community have seen a significant upsurge in threats and intimidation over the past four months, sparked by an extremist attack on two of their largest mosques in Pakistan earlier this year.
Hardline Islamists in Britain have been distributing leaflets calling for the murder of AhmadiMuslims in Kingston-upon-Thames whilst mosques have been vandalised in Newham and Crawley.
Preachers in south London have also been orchestrating a boycott of Ahmadi businesses and Ofcom has had to reprimand an Islamic satellite channel for repeatedly calling the sect "Wajib-ul Qatal" - an Arabic phrase used to describe those who digress from mainstream Islam that translates as "liable for death".
Community leaders say the upsurge in animosity towards Ahmadis is directly linked to violence in Pakistan where local Taliban militants have declared war on sects that they deem to be heretical such as the Ahmadis and the Shi'a.
Although the Ahmadis have been targeted by extremists in the past, the combined attacks on two mosques in Lahore in May was the most brazen assault on their community yet, with 93 worshippers killed as they gathered for Friday prayers, including a number of Britons.
Since the mid 1980s the Ahmadi community has been headquartered in Morden, south London, after their leaders were forced to flee Pakistan, the only country in the world that legally forbids them from declaring themselves Muslims.
They claim to have 70 million adherents worldwide although detractors say the number is closer to two million. An estimated 15,000 live in Britain including their spiritual leader Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad.
The Ahmadi leadership had hoped the attacks in Lahore would prompt an outpouring of sympathy among British Muslims.
Instead, they say, it has emboldened a minority of extremists to openly target them in an upsurge in intimidation....
What a surprise!