Palestinian Arabs belonging to the little-known Ahmadiyya sect of Islam have come under increased persecution, while being denied basic protections by the Palestinian Authority.
Ahmadi Muslims follow the teachings of Mirzam Ghulam Ahmad, whom they believe to have been the Muslim messiah. They reject the use of violence in all cases, and believe that mainstream Islam has been distorted into a blood-thirsty religion.
For their beliefs, top Palestinian clerics have ruled that the Ahmadi Muslims among them are apostates, a label that puts them in danger of regular acts of intimidation, violence and other mistreatment. As apostates, Palestinian Ahmadis are also stripped of their rights in court, meaning they have no legal recourse against their more violent Sunni neighbors.
The Palestinian Authority is "encouraging the cold-blooded murder of Ahmadis" by failing to take concrete action to protect the community, Mohammed Sharif Ouda, head of the Ahmadi community in Israel, told Arutz Sheva radio.