Government expels Ahmadiyya Islamic group

President Kumba Yala ordered on Monday the Ahmadiyya Islamic group to leave Guinea-Bissau “within 48 hours”, accusing it of causing “serious misunderstandings” within the Muslim community, which accounts for nearly half the country’s population, the Portuguese news agency, Lusa, reported.

He told a meeting of 500 Muslim leaders that the Ahmadiyya were interfering in the country’s political life, Lusa reported. The meeting had been called, it added, to explain Yala’s decision to suspend the activities of the Ahmadiyya. That decision caused Yala‘s religious affairs advisor, Sory Djalo, to resign, saying he was not consulted on the action, Lusa reported.

The Ahmadiyya have been in Guinea-Bissau since 1995. Lusa reported that its doctrines, considered unorthodox, were unacceptable to the majority of mainstream Islam. Ahmadiyya do not subscribe to the Mecca pilgrimage as one of the pillars of Islam and claim their founder, Ahmady, is also a prophet.