I am on the mailing list of an organization called Muslims for Peace, which represents the Ahmadiya branch of Islam. The below article is what I received this week. Prior to reading the article, you should have some background on the Ahmadiya Muslims.
They were established in the 19th century in what was then British-controlled India by a man named Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. He is regarded ( by Ahmadis) as the latest Muslim prophet after Mohammad. The problem is that mainstream Muslims do not accept any prophet after Mohammad. Therefore Ahmadis are considered heretics. In Pakistan, where they have their largest presence, as well as other countries like Indonesia, they are persecuted by other Muslims. In the former country, it is illegal for them to call themselves Muslims. I should also note that Ahmadiya Muslims do not appear to be involved in terrorism as best I can tell.
The below article was published on 9-11-14 and is written by Amer Aziz for the Santa Clara Valley Signal.
Like other leading Ahmadi Muslims, Mr Aziz neglects to mention the fact that Ahmadiya Muslims are rejected by mainstream Islam and persecuted as well. Why is there a reluctance to inform American audiences of that fact? On March 6, 2013, I attended an event at UC Irvine hosted by the Ahmadiya Muslim Student Union (which is separate and distinct from the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine). Representives from the nearby Chino Ahmadiya mosque came and spoke about the teachings of Mohammad. Indeed the event was entitled: “Mohammad-Messenger of Peace”. Prior to the event, I engaged the principle speaker, a Pakistani-born cleric named Nasir Shamshad, in an informal chat. In answer to my question, he acknowledged that Ahmadis were persecuted in Pakistan because of their belief in a latter prophet after Mohammad (Ahmad). Yet when his presentation began, this fact was left out. It was during q and a that I had to drag it out of him for the benefit of the audience. The rest of the presentation was the usual stuff about Islam being a religion of peace, Mohammad being a kind and forgiving figure etc etc. When asked a probing question from a woman in the audience about the age of one of Mohammad’s wives (Aisha) when the marriage was consummated (She was 6 when betrothed), Shamshad fumbled around then said, “Not less than 12.”
As to the above article, what I find intriguing is that Mohammad is not even mentioned one time as Aziz lists the prophets of peace such as Buddha, Jesus and Ahmad. There is no mention of Moses nor of Mohammad. Why is that? Also, why is it that Aziz says nothing about the role of the Romans in killing Jesus while focusing on the Jewish Zealots and other Jewish sects? It may well be because the Romans were not acting out of religious motives, but the omission seems odd.
As to those extremist Muslims that Aziz talks about when mentioning ISIS, what about those Muslims in Pakistan who are persecuting Ahmadis? Are they extremists too? I am sure if pressed that Aziz would say they are also extremists. But if they are extremists what about the government of Pakistan where it is illegal for Ahmadis to even call themselves Muslims. They cannot even read the Qu’ran publicly.
I am encouraged by the fact that Ahmadis genuinely seem to reject violence. But I am puzzled as to why they downplay their own persecution by other Muslims while adhering to the party line about Islam (as a religion of peace) as Western Muslims insist on portraying it to non-Muslims.
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