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Qadianis in forefront of welcoming Modi to Israel

Radio Islam News | 06 July 2017

 

A Qadiani leader was among the figures Israel lined up to welcome Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he arrived in the Zionist state on Tuesday.

During an extraordinary reception at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport wherein Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu broke with protocol to be present, the pre-selected welcoming party included representatives of the Druze, Bahais and the Qadianis – all three deviated sects, representing distortions of Islam.

The President of the Israeli chapter of the Ahmadiyya Community, Muhammad Sharif Odeh greeted the Indian PM alongside Israeli PM Netanyahu and introduced himself much to the delight of PM Modi. The brief handshake turned into a conversation as Mohammed Sharif Odeh thanked Modi for his support of the Ahmadi community back in India.

“We want to thank you for helping our community in India. Thank you very much,” he said.

The Indian PM smiled back, thanked him for his kind words and affirmed that his Government maintains close relations with the Qadiani community back in India.

“We are very close to the Ahmadiyya community,” he confided.

A final round of thank you’s were exchanged between the two and the brief conversation ended with a laugh with Odeh welcoming the Indian PM to the Holy Land.

The banter continued when Netanyahu introduced the next-in-line Bahai representative, and Odeh again chipped in extolling the (currently) Israeli city of Haifa as a “holy city” of peace.

The Ahmadiyya community has its origin in Qadian in Gurdaspur district of Punjab where its founder Ghulam Ahmad Qadiyani was born in 1835.

In 1974, the Ahmadiyya community was declared non-Muslims by the Pakistani government. In 1984, General Zia Ul Haq passed an ordinance prohibiting the Ahmadiyyas from using Islamic phrases and greetings, and calling “Masjid” their place of worship.

Among the sect’s heretical beliefs are the denial of the finality of Prophethood of Sayyidina Muhammad SAW, and falsifications about Sayyidina Isa AS.

Qadianis have a curious presence in Israel, having established their first community in the region in 1928 during the British Mandate of Palestine.

Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Ahmadis can openly practice their faith. As such, Kababir, a neighbourhood on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel, acts as the Middle East headquarters of the Community. It is unknown how many Israeli Ahmadis there are, although it is estimated there are about 2200 Ahmadis in Kababir alone.

Multiple Israeli politicians have visited the local Qadiani community, including previous President of Israel, Shimon Peres on invitation for an Iftar dinner during the month of Ramadan. It has further been alleged that members of the Ahmadi community have served in the Israeli Army.

Local leader Odeh had previously voiced his support for Zionist visits to Masjid al Aqsa, claiming it to be a sin for Muslims to deny Jews the right to visit the Masjid. “On the contrary,” he was quoted as saying, “Allah has threatened those who prevent visitors from entering mosques with disgrace in this world and suffering in the next… Muslims must remember these principles and teachings, and abandon the obsolete, criminal ideas that call for violence, crimes and aggression… that are voiced by the traffickers of religion and those seeking to realize their personal or political aspirations by igniting strife and escalation at any price.”

At the Tel Aviv reception on Tuesday, Netanyahu’s entire Cabinet was present at the airport to receive Modi, who was wearing a cream colour ‘band gala’ suit and a dark blue handkerchief in the pocket.

Modi was also accorded a Guard of Honour after an Israeli military band played the national anthems of the two countries.

“I remember what you told me in our first meeting — when it comes to India and Israel relations, the sky is the limit. But now, prime minister, let me add even sky is not the limit. We are also cooperating in space,” Netanyahu told Modi.

Talking about the vast possibilities of cooperation between the two countries, he said, “We can do even more, even better together.”

Appreciating the special welcome accorded to him, Modi spoke a few words in Hebrew, starting with “Shalom (hello), I am happy to be here.”

“I thank my friend prime minister Netanyahu for receiving me (at the airport),” said Modi, while describing his three-day visit as “path-breaking”.

“It is my honour to be the first ever Indian Prime Minister to undertake this ground-breaking visit to Israel,” he said.

“Building a strong and resilient relationship with Israel will be my intent and focus…We have to secure our societies against the common threat of terrorism,” Modi said.

He said his visit was about the strength of the two societies and their strong partnership.

“Together, we can do even more and even better (for India-Israel ties),” he added.

Noting that India is an old civilisation but a young nation, Modi said, “We have a talented and skilled youth, who are our driving force.”

Describing Israel as an “important development partner”, he said, “This is an exciting journey that we will undertake together, for the good of our people and our society.” 

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