In March 2016, the Algerian authorities refused registration of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community as an association.
On 2 June 2016 the National Gendarmerie, acting on orders of the Prime Minister, raided and destroyed a newly built Mosque in Larbaa (Bilda Province) on the day of its inauguration and arrested nine Ahmadis, including the community’s national president. All of the community’s belongings in the mosque were also seized including personal data.
Since then, the Algerian authorities have prosecuted more than 280 Ahmadis simply on grounds of their faith. Alleged charges against the community include distributing foreign literature, threatening the national interest, with no evidence to substantiate these claims.
Those arrested included the elderly, sick, women and children. All arrested have faced criminal proceedings, with most convicted and sentenced to a prison term of up to 4 years imprisonment or a fine of up to 300,000 dinars.
The national president of the Ahmadiyya community in Algeria – Mohammad Fali, had been arrested by authorities and faced prosecution in 6 separate cases between 2016-17 and spent three months in prison.
Many Ahmadi’s have faced two or more trials, sometimes in different parts of the Country.
The government and media initiated a relentless defamatory campaign against the Ahmadiyya community. For example, a newspaper headline from 29 June 2016 reads:
“The Ahmadiyya Group … The Next Plague Coming to Algeria”.
The Prime Minister, the Minister of Religious Affairs and Endowments (Mohamed Issa), and the Minister of Interior all made public statements denouncing the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in abusive terms, often on national television.
In February 2017, Minister Mohamed Issa declared Ahmadi’s as ‘non-Muslim’. In April 2017, the chief of cabinet, Ahmed Ouyahia, asked all Algerians to “preserve the country from the Shia and Ahmadiyya sects”.
Following a presidential pardon in April 2017, most Ahmadi’s imprisoned were released, though this has not prevented further discrimination against the community from Algerian authorities.
The police have continued to monitor the activities of the Ahmadiyya community closely including being present at internal board level meetings.
Private investigators have also been appointed by the Government/police to interrogate and harass community members outside the remit of the legislative framework and underhand techniques are being used to target the community. Ahmadi’s routinely receive telephone calls summoning them to alleged investigations without proof.
Ahmadi Muslims have been the target of deadly violence and intimidation. Extremist Muslim groups have organized mass political rallies calling for an official declaration that Ahmadis are not Muslims and for a ban on their publications and missionary activities.
Ahmadi mosques have been attacked, individuals have been beaten up or killed, and denied access to schools Suffocation of the Faithful and employment. Previous Bangladeshi governments have aligned themselves politically with groups and individuals inciting violence against Ahmadis.
For example, throughout 2004 and into 2005, Khatme Nabuwwat has threatened the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community with attacks on their mosques and campaigned for Ahmadis to be declared non-Muslim.
Khatme Nabuwwat historically had links to the former governing Bangladesh National Party (BNP) through the BNP’s coalition partners, the Jama’at-e-Islami (J.I.) and the Islami Okye Jote (IOJ).
One of the worst attacks on Ahmadi Muslims took place on 17 April 2005 when a mob led by the Khatme Nabuwwat attacked members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, injuring at least twenty-five people. Witnesses reported that thousands of Khatme Nabuwwat members brandishing sticks and machetes marched towards Ahmadi Muslim houses and sought to place a signboard on the Ahmadi Muslim mosque in the area that read: “This is a place of worship for Qadianis; no Muslim should mistake it for a mosque.”
Khatme Nabuwwat activists injured dozens of people including six women. The police, instead of preventing the incident from occurring, sought to contain the situation by hanging the sign-board themselves on the Ahmadi Muslim mosque.
Khatme Nabuwwat activists went on a three day rampage, looting nearby Ahmadi Muslim homes and injuring many Ahmadis in the process, who were beaten with sticks and sustained serious injuries. During the attack activists looted at least ten Ahmadi houses at Sundarban Bazar in the village.
In 2015, a suicide bomber detonated explosives during the Friday Prayer at a mosque in a remote northern village in Bangladesh, wounding three members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. An estimated 70 Ahmadi Muslim worshippers were inside the mosque during the Friday congregation prayers.
In May 2017, an Ahmadi Imam was brutally attacked at his local mosque in Khanpur Village, Mymensingh district, in Bangladesh. Perpetrators repeatedly stabbed him in the back.
In 2018, Sunni Muslim groups demanded the Jalsa Salana, the community’s annual convention to be cancelled. Around 700 men wielding sticks and batons marched towards Ahmadnagar and clashed with Ahmadi Muslims. Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to maintain order. At least five Ahmadi Muslims were injured.
Similarly, in 2019, extremists vandalised and torched houses owned by Ahmadi Muslims to protest against the Jalsa Salana, the community’s annual convention. Around 50 people were injured in co-ordinated attacks by hardline Islamist groups in Panchagarh.
Bulgaria’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Community tried to gain registration as a religious community, following the introduction of the Religion Act 2002. The Community’s application was refused in December 2003 after representations by the Religious Affairs Directorate. The Directorate refused to disclose the evidence it relied upon.
In 2007, the Community again sought to register itself again as a religious organisation pursuant to the Religion Act 2002. This application was again rejected on the basis that (a) the Denominations Directorate, (following advice from the Grand Mufti), did not consider the community and its members to be Muslim; and (b) that allowing the community to register itself would “lead to dissent in the Muslim community as well as to the spreading of Islam which is not traditional to the Republic of Bulgaria.” This decision was upheld by two appeal courts, including the Supreme Court.
The matter was then taken to the European Court of Human Rights. A chamber’s judgment (Metodiev and Others v. Bulgaria, ECHR, June 15, 2017) held that Bulgaria had violated the European Convention on Human Rights Act 9 (freedom of religion) in refusing to register the Ahmadiyya Muslim community as a denomination under Bulgaria’s Religions Act. “The Court concluded that the alleged lack of precision in the description of the beliefs and rites of the religious association in its constitution was not capable of justifying the refusal of registration, which was therefore not “necessary in a democratic society.”
It is shocking to see that Ahmadi Muslims – effectively on advice from the country’s Grand Mufti – were denied the right to religious freedom for nearly 14 years in an EU country. The fact that the initial decision was upheld by two appeal courts before being dismissed reflects a shocking injustice within the legal institutions of a country that should have been in harmony with EU values of freedom of religion and belief.
On 6 January 2017, the Government of Comoros Islands, unexpectedly seized the Baitul Ahad Mosque belonging to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and ordered it to vacate and remove all belongings within 48 hours.
The mosque was then raided by the army who seized the premises and ordered that prayers and functions be prohibited upon instruction of the Commissioner of Anjuan Islands.
The minarets were destroyed, the Kalima (the fundamental declaration of the Islamic creed) was erased, the religious teacher removed from his ground floor residence in the building and the building was taken over to be used as the police Headquarters.
Mr Muhammad Daoudou, Minister of Interior of Comoros, was interviewed by the Comoros Gazette in which he accepted that the actions by the police and the state were carried out because he did not consider Ahmadis to be true Muslims.
On 8th January 2017, at the time of early afternoon prayers, police came and forcibly removed worshippers from the mosque. The ban on Ahmadis being able to pray at the mosque is ongoing.
In January 2018, the interior minister, Mr Magdy Mohamed Abdel Ghaffar issued arrest warrants for at least 25 Ahmadi Muslims. The publications secretary for the Community was arrested and sentenced to imprisonment.
His laptop and publications of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community were seized by police.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community had previously faced arrests on fabricated charges in 2010 where 9 Ahmadis were wrongfully arrested on fabricated charges for allegedly insulting Islam.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been established in Indonesia since 1925.
The persecution in Indonesia has been at the hands of extremists following the anti-Ahmadi edicts issued by the Indonesian Council of Ulemas (MUI) and the 2008 Joint Ministerial Decree. A fatwa was issued by the MUI (a quasi-government body) in 1980 and reissued in 2005 that declared Ahmadis to be a “non-Islamic group, deviant and misled” and it described Ahmadis as apostates and heretics, and called for them to be banned.
In 2001, an era of intense animosity against Ahmadis started. Papook Hassan, a 55 year old Ahmadi Muslim, was killed in June when a mob of 100 people came to destroy the local Ahmadiyya mosque.
In September 2002, a mob attacked the Ahmadi mosque in Maluku, East Indonesia and a crowd of 2000 attacked and burnt down the Ahmadi mosque in Pancor, Lombok Island and demolished 30 Ahmadi homes. No arrests were made.
Following large-scale demonstrations on 9 June 2008, Indonesia’s Ministry of Religious Affairs released a Joint Ministerial Decree (number KEP033/A/JA/6/2008) declaring the community to be deviant and forbidding the Community from ‘preaching’. It put together a team to monitor the Community’s compliance with the decree.
On 6 February 2011, a horrific attack took place whereby 1500-strong mob of anti–Ahmadi extremists from the Islamic Defenders Front attacked members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Cikeusik Banten Province. This was one of the most horrific acts of religiously-motivated violence in Indonesia’s recent history. Three Ahmadis were butchered to death, although 30 police officers were present, they did little to stop the attack.
In April 2013, there were four mosque closures in one month alone. The closures occurred amid ongoing attacks, intimidation and state discrimination against Ahmadis and other religious minorities in Indonesia.
On 5 May 2013, the Ahmadiyya community faced further attacks in Tasikmalaya, West Java. Approximately four hundred Islamic hardliners destroyed homes in the village. On 6 December 2013, the court ruled that the Ahmadiyya mosque in Bekasi should remain sealed. The mosque originally was sealed in November 2011 and has remained shut.
In 2017, the local administration of Depok, West Java, shut down the last remaining Ahmadi Muslim mosque following protests of hundreds of Islamic hardliners, including members of the notorious Islam Defenders Front (FPI), in front of the mosque.
On 19 May 2018 in East Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara angry mobs attacked a community of Ahmadi Muslims in East Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, destroying eight houses, four motorcycles and forcing out 24 villagers from seven families.
In April 2020, local authorities in Tasikmalaya, West Java, banned the renovation of an Ahmadi Muslim mosque in Cipakat village. The ban was enacted in a joint decree signed by authorities in the region, including Tasikmalaya Regent Ade Sugianto.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in, Kazakhstan had been registered as a religious organization since 1994, but this was later revoked following the introduction of an anti-extremism law in 2011.
While other religious communities have since been permitted to re-register, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the only global religious organisation that has been denied registration. The refusal grounds include that it does not consider us to be Muslim, making this a clear case of denial of religious freedom.
The community has been prevented by law from meeting, engaging in congregational prayer or any religious practice whatsoever – this is a criminal offence under Kazakh law.
The community’s assets (including finances and premises) are under constant threat of seizure by government authorities.
Two foreign Ahmadi Muslim missionaries have also been forced to leave Kazakhstan.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been established and registered as a religious organisation since 2002 in Kyrgyzstan.
In 2011 registration was suddenly withdrawn by the Ministry for Religious Affairs, over objections raised by other Muslims in Kyrgyzstan who are hostile to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. False allegations were also made by the General Prosecutor’s Office that Ahmadis were an extremist threat.
Along with the denial of registration, the Government also issued a notification banning the Community from all activities, including congregational worship, religious programmes and publications. Following the ban opposition against the community increased.
In 2014 the Supreme Court rejected an appeal against the decisions to deny registration.
On 25 December 2015 an Ahmadi Muslim, Mr.Yunus Abdul Jalil was murdered on grounds of faith by two assailants who shot him dead at him as he stood outside his house with his neighbour.