A Labour councillor who claims she was bullied and forced to resign for defending a persecuted Muslim community has called for the party to launch a national investigation into prejudice against the sect.
Sue White resigned from Cardiff Council last week, claiming that she had been bullied for defending the local Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
The Ahmadi regard 19th century religious teacher Mirza Ghulam Ahmed as a prophet and self-identify as Muslims, but are regarded as apostates by Islamic hardliners and have faced decades of violent persecution in Pakistan. Their anti-extremism work has been praised by Prime Minster Theresa May.
Ealier in the year the violence spilled into the UK, when Ahmadi Asad Shah was stabbed and beaten to death in March in his Glasgow shop by an Islamic extremist.
White claims a party colleague spread smears alleging the Ahmadi were linked to terror group Isis, and when she proposed a motion condemning persecution of the group not a single colleague supported her.
Labour has launched an investigation into White's allegations, and now she has called for the party to broaden its inquiry nationally.
"I would like UK Labour to be involved because discrimination against the Ahmadiyya is not confined to Cardiff. It has been painfully evident in other areas of Britain including Birmingham and London. I am also concerned that complaints of bullying taken to Welsh Labour in the past have not been dealt with to the victims' satisfaction," said White in a statement to IBTimes UK.
It is not the first time Labour has been accused of failing to confront anti-Ahmadi prejudice in its ranks.
In the 2010 general election, the campaign of current London mayor Sadiq Khan was accused of helping a Tooting local mosque stir up anti-Ahmadi prejudice to secure victory over Lib Dem Nasser Butt, a member of the Ahmadi community.
In August, IBTimes UK reported that Labour-led Birmingham Council interfaith committee had buckled to sectarian hardliners, refusing to admit the Ahmadi unless they renounced claims to be Muslims.
The same month, Luton Labour MP Gavin Shuker invited cleric Abdul Aziz Chishti to an event in parliament. The Markazi Jamat-E-Ahle Sunnat UK & Overseas Trust charity, where Chishti is chief trustee, has organised events for the Khatme Nubuwwat movement, which is implicated in violent anti-Ahmadi persecution in Pakistan and spreading anti-Ahmadi hate speech in Britain. His Jamia Islamia Ghousia mosque in Luton has also hosted conferences for the group.
MP Siobhain McDonagh believes that UK authorities need to take a harder line against anti-Ahmadi persecution in the UK, and backs a national investigation into the issue.
"I am very concerned to hear of the bullying and discrimination that Cllr Sue White has encountered. Any forms of racial or religious discrimination are absolutely unacceptable and they have no place in our party, or anywhere in politics," said McDonagh.
Though I have no personal experience of this in Cardiff, I fully endorse the forthcoming review into Cardiff Labour, to explore and tackle anti-Ahmadi hatred that is being promoted there. But I will also be writing to Labour's general secretary, calling for a full, national review into the rise of prejudice faced by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community."
The Labour Party had not responded to a request for comment by the time of publication.