A Sunni mob in Pakistan tore down a historic mosque belonging to the country’s Ahmadi community on Thursday, in the latest act of violence against the minority Muslim sect.
The attack took place in the eastern Pakistani city of Sialkot, with videos showing Sunni extremists tearing down the place of worship. No worshippers are believed to have been in the mosque at the time of the attack.
The mosque had been an important place of worship for Pakistan’s persecuted Ahmadi sect for the past 135 years.
It was said to be visited by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who founded the faith and is considered to be a prophet by its followers.
Ahmadis were declared “non-Muslims” by Pakistan in 1974, depriving them of many basic rights.
Ahmadis say that dozens of other mosques in Pakistan have been destroyed or closed down by authorities.
Sunni extremists view Ahmadis are heretics and the minority have been subject to horrific violence and pogroms.
UK @foreignoffice @ukinpakistan has repeatedly called for Pakistan @CMShehbaz to protect all communities & faiths -yet last night we again see a frenzied mob destroy a beautiful&historic mosque in #Sialkot -the tragedy of the continued persecution of #Ahmadi #Muslims @alislam pic.twitter.com/IzmzGrNvXH
— Lord AhmadofWimbledon (@tariqahmadbt) May 24, 2018
Pakistan has detained dozens of Ahmadis under the country’s religious laws, with three members of the community sentenced to death last year for alleged blasphemy.