, University of Halle
The topic of this study is the reformist movement of the Ahmadiya,
whose members are assessed as heretics by their critics. The movement
is divided between the more traditional majority and the reformist
Despite its long presence in Germany and other European countries
and its public missionary enthusiasm, the Ahmadiya has hitherto
been something of an unknown entity. The aim of the subproject
is to further conscious recognition of the Ahmadiya in Germany
and to ease contact through more transparency.
Up to now the Ahmadiya has rarely been a subject of investigation.
There is a continuous flow of publications on the Ahmadiya in
Paskistan from the community itself as well as from various human
rights organisations. No detailed scientific research has been
published since the beginning of the 1990s. Most of the material
is provided by Christian groups or the Ahmadiya itself, particularly
in Germany. Neither have the Ahmadis living in Great Britain been
explored in-depth up to now.
Andrea Lathan will conduct an intense investigation into the
activities of the Ahmadiya in Germany, which will focus on relations
with the majority society and other religious groups. An overview
of the basic laws governing religious minorities, especially the
Ahmadiya, will be succeeded by interviews with experts on immigration
laws. How the Ahmadiya are perceived in German society and portrayed
in the German media will be discussed. She will examine in restrospect
how the reformist movement viewed German society.
The project compares Ahmadiya links with different countries.
Great Britain seems a good choice in Europe because of its large
percentage of South Asian migrants. In addition, the Ahmadiya
transferred their headquarters from Pakistan to London in 1984.
Outside of Europe, Andrea Lathan plans to compare the situation
of the Ahmadis in India, the country of their origin, and Pakistan.
Due to association with the Ahmadiya in Pakistan, which is marked
by suppression, the question of reassessing the German asylum
law will be discussed.
Growing political engagement can be observed in India. As in
Germany and Great Britain the Ahmadiya is a minority within a
minority that rejects them. Unlike Europe, the majority is not
Christian, but Hindu.
The Islamic reformist movement describes its situation as continuous
suppression and exclusion by other Islamic groups. C.M. Claim,
an Ahmadi activist, considers this phenomenon to be the “second
Tyranny” in Europe coming from Islamic countries. It will
be interesting to find out how this association developed. Focusing
on the network of the Ahmadiya and its opposing groups, Andrea
Lathan also analyses whether it has undergone change in the European
A further aspect of the project is the compatibility of ideological
and religious beliefs with the basic laws in Germany and Great
Britain, focusing on the gender question, the right of self determination
and the status of the Ahmadis as a welfare community. An analysis
will be conducted on the interaction with Christian and Jewish
communities and their perception of the Ahmadiya.
The project intends to contribute to a conscious perception
of the manifold facets of European Muslims. Not only will answering
the above-mentioned questions promote interaction with Ahmadis
in Great Britain and Germany, at the same time it serves as an
example of the general association with Muslim minorities in Europe.