Worshippers told at Tooting Islamic Centre to boycott Ahmadiyya shops
1:20pm Thursday 14th October 2010
Exclusive By Omar Oakes »
Ahmadi shopkeepers face financial ruin after clerics demanded a boycott of their shops.
Imam Suliman Gani, of the TIC, admitted he personally pleaded with the owner of the Lahore Halal Meat in Tooting not to sell his business to an Ahmadi man.
He said: “Since the Qadianis are routinely deceptive about their religion, there was a potential risk of Muslims being offered meat that wasn’t necessarily halal.
“Can you imagine the uproar in the Jewish community if it was found that a shop selling purportedly kosher food was not doing so?
“If there is any deception involved in the provision of halal meat, naturally, we will prefer to err on the side of caution.”
Mr Gani offered no evidence to support claims the meat might be non-halal and later admitted if the meat came from the same supplier as before [which it did] “there would be no issue”.
One leaflet, the origin of which is not known but was posted on the wall of the Streatham Mosque, called for a boycott on Lahore Halal.
Another Ahmadi butcher, who came to London in 2001 after fleeing Pakistan, won an employment tribunal last month after being sacked in March.
Employment Judge Baron accepted Azizur Rahman, owner of Haji Halal Meat in Upper Tooting Road, pressured his employee to convert to the Sunni Muslim faith.
The tribunal heard: “Mr Rahman said he had been told that if he continued to employ the claimant then his customers would cease to patronise him.
“Mr Rahman referred specifically to pressure being placed on him by the head of the Sunni sect who had helped Mr Rahman to gain admission for his daughters to single sex school for girls.”
Mr Rahman claimed he had been influenced by a conference held by KN at the TIC on March 28, where worshippers were ordered to boycott Ahmadi-run shops.
During that conference Mr Gani shared a stage with KN Abdul Rehman Bawa. Mr Bawa said: “I don’t know why our sisters or mothers are talking with these Qadiani and making friendships … I know in this road, Tooting high street, all of the shops who are selling to Qadiani.
“Don’t make friends with them… they are trying to deceive you, they are trying to convert you from Islam to Qadianism.”
The owner of one Tooting halal butchers said his trade had fallen by nearly 50 per cent in three months. He said: “We have lost so much business because some people refuse to come here just because I am Ahmadi. They use words against me like ‘Kafir’, which means I am not Muslim.
“I’ve lived here for 13 years and lots of people know me in Tooting, but this situation has become so much worse now.”
A Wandsworth police spokesman said an investigation into the alleged hate crimes was ongoing.