Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hatred Against Ahmadiyya Muslims

Ahmadis are True Muslims

A. Abdul Aziz, Sri Lanka

Asian Tribune, 4th May, 2008

Based on the Holy Quran and the tradition of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), no Government or individual has any right to declare whether a person is Muslim or not. Only Allah can judge it, according to the Holy Quran. It is a universally agreed upon principle that before determining whether an individual or a group belongs to a particular species, an all-encompassing and exclusive definition of such a species is made, which acts as a touch-stone. As long as such a definition exists, it becomes quite easy to decide whether or not any particular individual or group may be counted as a member of that species. In this context, it will be necessary to keep the following observations in view:

1. Can any definition of a Muslim be found in the Holy Quran, or by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) which definition may have been applied without any exception during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (PBUH)? If there does exist such a definition then what is it?

2. Can it be considered legitimate for anyone to propose any definition, in any era, which is in disregard of such a definition which is found in the Holy Quran or by the Holy Prophet (PBUH), a definition that can be shown to have been applied in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (PBUH)?

3. During the time of Hazrat Abu Bakr Sideeque (R.A.), when revolt against Islam was on, did he or the Companions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) feel any need to modify the definition which had prevailed during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (PBUH)?

4. Was there any instance during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) or during the period of the Rightly Guided Caliphate (Khilafat Rashida) of declaring any one to be a non-Muslim despite one's affirmation of the kalima La Ilaha Illallahu Muhammadhur Rasoolullah, and further expressing one's belief in the remaining Four Pillars of Islam i.e. daily prayer, Zakat, Fasting and Pilgrimage to Mecca, any such person was still declared to be non-Muslim?

5. If it were to be considered legitimate to declare someone to be outside the pale of Islam, notwithstanding one's belief in the five Pillars of Islam, just because one's interpretation of a few verses in the Holy Quran is unacceptable to some Muslim divines of certain sects; or if one is declared to be outside the pale of Islam for entertaining a belief which runs counter to Islam in the view of certain sects, then such explanations and identification of such beliefs will have to be made so as to incorporate these in the positive definition of a Muslim, i.e., the statement that if any sect believes in the five Pillars of Islam but, additionally, adheres to this set of identified beliefs, then he will be declared to be outside the pale of Islam.

The only acceptable and practical definition of a Muslim is one which may be definitively predicated upon the Holy Quran, one which is clearly established to have been narrated by the Holy Prophet (PBUH), and adherence to which definition is clearly established throughout the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the period of the Rightly Guided Caliphs. Any attempt to define a Muslim which bypasses this paradigm will not be free of pitfalls and lacunae. In particular, all the definitions which were formulated in the era subsequent to the aforementioned period (when the continued fragmentation of Islam eventually resulted in seventy-three sects) deserve to be rejected because these mutually contradictory and cannot be simultaneously reconciled. Accepting any one such definition of a Muslim is impracticable because such a "Muslim" will be found to be non-Muslim on the basis of the rest of the definitions. There in no way out of this quagmire.

We must adopt a Constitutional definition which was precisely formulated by the Khatamul Ambiya Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) and which constitutes a glorious charter for an Islamic country. In this context, I quote below, two sayings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH):

1. Hazrat Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said :

'Ask me question", but (his companions) were diffident to ask. Meanwhile, a man came in and sat in front of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and asked: 'What is Islam?" The Holy Prophet (PBUH) replied: 'Do not associate partners with Allah, offer prayer, pay Zakat and fast in Ramadhan'. The man replied: 'You have spoken the truth'. (Muslim - Kithab ul Iman.)

2. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said: 'One who observes the same prayer as we do, faces the same direction (in prayer) as we do, and partakes from the animal slaughtered by us, then such a one is a Muslim concerning whom there is a covenant of Allah and His Messenger; so you must not seek to hoodwink Allah in the matter of this Covenant'. (Bukhari - Kitabus Salat, Baab - Fazl Istiqbal Il Qibla)

Our Spiritual Master Holy Prophet (PBUH), has done us all a tremendous favor by spelling out this definition in such comprehensive and unambiguous terms, and thereby laying the foundation of the international unification of the Islamic World. It is incumbent upon every Muslim Government to accord explicit recognition to this cohesive foundation in its respective Constitution. Failure to do so would perpetuate disunity among the followers of Islam and their trials and tribulations would continue unabated.

We, the Ahmadi Muslims follow all the teachings of Islam, as contained in the Holy Quran, the Sunnah (practice) and Ahadith (sayings) of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

We believe in the six articles of Faith, which are described in the Holy Quran, and summed up in the sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

We, as Ahmadi Muslims, believe in the absolute Unity of Allah, believe in the Angels, believe in all Divine Books, revealed to various Prophets by Allah. However, the Holy Quran is the only one free from human alteration. It is the final, and the eternal guidance. We believe in all the Prophets that Allah raised for the guidance of humanity. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the Leader and the Seal of all of them. He brought the final Law and he was the perfect human being. We believe in the Day of Judgment to be an indubitable fact. We believe in the Decree of Allah. Allah is the All-powerful, and we have firm faith in all His determinations.

We practice five pillars of Islam. (1) Bearing witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah, and Muhammad is His Servant and His Messenger (Declaration of faith) (2) Observance of prayer (3) Paying Zakah (4) Fasting during Ramadhan (5) Pilgrimage of kabah, the house of Allah.

After describing our beliefs and our practice, let us see what distinguishes from the other Muslims. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had foretold the appearance of grand reformer (named Messiah and Imam Mahdi) in the latter days for the revival of Islam. We believe Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (peace be on him) to be this Promised Messiah and Mahdi. The Promised Messiah came according to the prophecies of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who had also instructed every Muslim to recognize the Messiah and partake of his blessings. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835 - 1908) followed and taught the exact same religion that was practiced by the Holy Prophet Muhammad(PBUH).

If this is so, then- What is the basic difference that distinguishes his followers from other Muslims? Is the difference confined to the acceptance of the Promised Messiah only, or does it go beyond that? The answers are:

Ahmadi Muslims are those who accepted the Promised Messiah as commanded by the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

In the 1880s Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad declared himself to be the Promised Messiah and the Mahdi under Divine commandment. For all Muslims, it is very important to understand his mission, as foretold by the Holy Prophet of Islam (PBUH).

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad rendered an inestimable service not only to Islam but to humanity at large by his powerful refutations of incorrect doctrines. As a result of this, his followers have been and still are severely persecuted by ignorant Mullahs and their followers.

In March 23, 1889, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi founded the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat under Divine guidance. Its main objective is to re-establish the original purity and beauty of Islam. In the beginning he was all alone, lacking all worldly resources, and only a few responded to this call. His opponents who were strong and powerful raised an unprecedented storm of hostility.

In this moment of trial, Allah the Almighty stood by him with the Divine assurance: I shall cause thy message to reach the corners of the earth. Today, there is an organized and dynamic community with a population of tens of millions of Ahmadi Muslims living in more than 190 countries of the world including Sri Lanka. They are now led by his fifth successor (Caliph) Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad.

It is certainly fortunate that through the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, the grand spiritual revolution of the latter days, as foretold by the Holy Prophet of Islam (PBUH) is gaining momentum throughout the nations of the world. This is a Divine mission which is bound to succeed and no power on earth will ever be able to block its onward march, Insha Allah (if Allah so wills).


Links: Introduction of Ahmadiyyat | Ahmadiyyat - The Renaissance of Islam

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

An Overview

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (AMC) is a dynamic, fast growing international revival movement within Islam. Founded in 1889, AMC spans over 193 countries with membership exceeding tens of millions. Its current headquarters are in the United Kingdom.

AMC is the only Islamic organization to believe that the long-awaited Messiah has come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) (1835-1908) of Qadian. Ahmad (as) claimed to be the metaphorical second coming of Jesus (as) of Nazareth and the divine guide, whose advent was foretold by the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (sa). AMC believes that God sent Ahmad (as), like Jesus (as), to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice and peace. Ahmad’s (as) advent has brought about an unprecedented era of Islamic revival. He divested Islam of fanatical beliefs and practices by vigorously championing Islam’s true and essential teachings. He also recognized the noble teachings of the great religious founders and saints, including Zoroaster (as), Abraham (as), Moses (as), Jesus (as), Krishna (as), Buddha (as), Confucius (as), Lao Tzu and Guru Nanak, and explained how such teachings converged into the one true Islam.

AMC is the leading Islamic organization to categorically reject terrorism in any form. Over a century ago, Ahmad (as) emphatically declared that an aggressive “jihad by the sword” has no place in Islam. In its place, he taught his followers to wage a bloodless, intellectual “jihad of the pen” to defend Islam. To this end, Ahmad (as) penned over 80 books and tens of thousands of letters, delivered hundreds of lectures, and engaged in scores of public debates. His rigorous and rational defenses of Islam unsettled conventional Muslim thinking. As part of its effort to revive Islam, AMC continues to spread Ahmad’s (as) teachings of moderation and restraint in the face of bitter opposition from parts of the Muslim world.

Similarly, AMC is the only Islamic organization to endorse a separation of mosque and state. Over a century ago, Ahmad (as) taught his followers to protect the sanctity of both religion and government by becoming righteous souls as well as loyal citizens. He cautioned against irrational interpretations of Quranic pronouncements and misapplications of Islamic law. He continually voiced his concerns over protecting the rights of God’s creatures. Today, AMC continues to be an advocate for universal human rights and protections for religious and other minorities. It champions the empowerment and education of women. Its members are among the most law-abiding, educated, and engaged Muslims in the world.

AMC is the foremost Islamic organization with a central spiritual leader. Over a century ago, Ahmad (as) reminded his followers of God’s promise to safeguard the message of Islam through khilafat(the spiritual institution of successorship to prophethood). AMC believes that only spiritual successorship can uphold the true values of Islam and unite humanity. Five spiritual leaders have succeeded Ahmad (as) since his demise in 1908. AMC’s fifth and current spiritual head, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, resides in the United Kingdom. Under the leadership of its spiritual successors, AMC has now built over 10,000 mosques, over 500 schools, and over 30 hospitals. It has translated the Holy Quran into over 60 languages. It propagates the true teachings of Islam and the message of peace and tolerance through a twenty-four hour satellite television channel (MTA), the Internet ( and print (Islam International Publications). It has been at the forefront of worldwide disaster relief through an independent charitable organization, Humanity First.

One Community, One Leader

A documentary about the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the eyes of world dignitaries.

Taliban's Coercion Betrays Qur'an

By Aloysious Mowe
Visiting Fellow, Woodstock Theological Center

Sufi Mohammed and the Taliban betray a studied ignorance of Islamic scripture, law, and history, in the claims that they make for the imposition of Shari'a in Pakistan. In his repudiation of Pakistan's democratic institutions, Mohammed is quoted as saying that "the Qur'an says supporting an infidel system is a great sin." He does not substantiate this because he cannot do so: the Qur'an makes no mention of an Islamic state, does not prescribe any system of government, and is silent even about the structure and nature of religious authority in Islam (hence the enduring divide between the Sunni and the Shia branches of Islam, which began with a disagreement about who should succeed the Prophet Muhammad, and how this succession should be managed). That a democratic political system that makes room for a plurality of views and beliefs is un-Islamic has yet to be demonstrated. It is because they cannot convince that the Taliban resort to violence and intimidation.

Pope Benedict XVI's address in Regensburg in September 2006 is probably doomed to lie on the garbage heap of history because of the hostile reception it received when the Pope cited derogatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad made by the Emperor Manuel II Paleologus. It is regrettable that poor advice and worse management on the part of his closest collaborators resulted in the burial of Pope Benedict's important message in Regensburg about religious belief and violence.

Manuel II decried the use of force and violence in religion because violence is incompatible with the nature of God: "God is not pleased by blood, and not acting reasonably is contrary to God's nature...Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats...To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death..." For Benedict, the decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God's nature.

Benedict connects the Greek word for "reason" - "Logos" - with the "Logos" of Christian theology, which describes the Christ, the self-revelation of God, as "the Word". He says, "Logos means both reason and word - a reason which is creative and capable of self-communication, precisely as reason." Discourse about belief, whether between different faiths or within a faith community, should be grounded in persuasion and reasoned discussion.

The Qur'an repeatedly emphasizes individual responsibility in matters of belief. "Whoever accepts guidance does so for his own good, whoever strays does so at his own peril. No soul will bear another's burden, nor do We punish until We have sent a messenger" (17:15). There is no sense here of a state or a juridical system that metes out punishment to sinners. Instead there is an invitation to righteousness, and if there is punishment it comes from God, though only after God has mercifully sent a messenger to warn the people. The locus classicus for such a situation is that of Jonah sent to warn the people of Nineveh. Jonah was an instrument of persuasion, not an agent of destruction.

This theme recurs in Qur'an 36:17, where God's messengers say to a hostile crowd to whom they have been sent to call back to the right path: "Our duty is only to deliver the message to you." We find in another place, Qur'an 35:18-26, a summing up of the Prophet's mission. He is sent as a bearer of good news and warning, just as every faith community has had a messenger sent by God to bring them to righteousness.

Punishment lies not in the hands of these representatives of God. They are sent "only to warn", and every person must bear his own burden and be responsible for his own destiny. Coercion has no place in religious belief. The Qur'an says this forcefully in 2:256: "There is no compulsion in religion."

This recurring theme of personal responsibility and non-coercion is consistent with the Qur'an's attitude towards apostates. Despite the fact that some radical Muslims insist that death is the only proper penalty for those who apostatize from Islam, the fact is that the Qur'an, while bemoaning those who leave the true faith, never prescribes a penalty for apostasy in this life. In fact, it is clear from 4:137, which refers to those who leave the faith, then return to it, but then leave again, that apostates are assumed to be living peacefully and unmolested in the community of believers. How else could they have the opportunity to apostatize a second time?

The Muslim scholar, Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im, writes in "Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shari'a," that religious observance can only be genuine if it is not subject to coercion via the State's imposition of Islamic law: "In order to be a Muslim by conviction and free choice, which is the only way one can be a Muslim, I need a secular state." Compliance with God's law cannot be coerced by fear of state institutions, nor should there be a possibility that it be faked simply to appease the state's officials. "Belief in Islam," says An-Na'im, "or any other religion, logically requires the possibility of disbelief, because belief has no value if it is coerced."

An-Na'im does not suggest a separation of religious belief from public policy. The state is a political institution that is supposed to be influenced by the interests and concerns of its citizens, and this includes their religious and ethical commitments. The proper realm for religious conviction, however, is not the state but politics, which is the art of persuasion and negotiation in questions of policy. The state itself should remain resolutely secular, meaning that it is neutral regarding doctrine, and that its essential institutions and concepts, such as constitutionalism, human rights, and equal citizenship, act to safeguard the human rights of minorities, even minorities of one.

Those who wish to impose Islamic law on all and sundry act as though the Shari'a is a clear and unambiguous artifact known in all places and for all times by every Muslim person. Islamic law has never functioned in this manner. There has long been a multiplicity of schools of law in Islam, each with its own method and doctrine, and often disagreeing with one another on even basic matters that the uninformed take to be immutable and essential Islamic rules, such as those regulating the consumption of alcohol. Islamic law is not laid down; rather, it is worked out in the dynamic interplay between different schools, between scholars of the past and those in the present, between one text and another.

An-Na'im reminds us that the exercise of state power always involves individual human actors, each one of whom has a personal perspective on the matters at hand. The process of formulating and implementing public policy and legislation therefore "is subject to human error and fallibility, which means that it can always be challenged or questioned without violating the direct and immediate divine will of God." It is for this reason, says An-Na'im, that public policy and legislation should be supported by civic reason rather than through state coercion.

It is characteristic of Islamic law that legal opinions and judgments are classically closed by the formula, Allahu 'alam: God knows best. It is that space for error in the all too human effort to articulate a divine law that the Taliban seek to close off. In doing so, they set themselves against the wisdom of Islamic tradition.

Aloysious Mowe, S.J., is International Visiting Fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University.

By Aloysious Mowe | April 23, 2009; 9:12 AM ET | Category: Georgetown/On Faith

Monday, April 20, 2009

Divine attribute of Al Lateef - The Benignant

Summary of Friday Sermon Delivered by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad at, the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, April 17 th, 2009

Huzur delivered his Friday Sermon on the subject of the Divine attribute of Al Lateef (the Incomprehensible, the Knower of all subtleties, the Benignant).

Huzur said according to the lexicon Lateef is a kind and gracious being, it is one of the Divine attributes and as such it connotes One Who is Benevolent to His creation as well as One Who is Aware of all subtle and incomprehensible matters. According to various commentators Al Lateef is One Who illumines hearts, Who makes arrangements for physical and spiritual nourishment and Who offers His friendship to His servants at times of tribulation. Also, One Who is most Benignant in matters of accountability, Who acknowledges good but covers weakness, Who accepts small sacrifices and recompenses them with great reward, makes good the matters for one whose affairs are troubled and One Who understands the subtleties of matters.

In verse 104 of Surah Al An’am Allah the Exalted states: ‘Eyes cannot reach Him but He reaches the eyes. And He is the Incomprehensible, the All-Aware.’ (6:104). Elucidating this verse the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that sight, intellect and consciousness cannot reach God – it is impossible to try and see Him. He is Al Lateef, He is Unseen, indeed Whoever He reaches He illumines that person to such an extent that the person speaks for Him and this blessing is mostly granted to the Prophets of God and was given above all to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). However, those around him who lacked insight were deprived of benefitting from his beneficence. Huzur said one does not require worldly astuteness, education or status to witness the light of God. Rather, God Who is the Knower of all subtleties and is All-Aware as to who are those who truly look for His light and have a real longing to seek Him. He makes arrangements that people who thus seek Him see the light of the Prophets. Huzur said if one’s longing is sincere then by virtue of His attributes God Himself provides guidance for His servant. His light is manifested through His Prophets as they spread the light of Unity of God all around them. Among all the Prophets of God the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) disseminated this light the most for it was him who had the most perfect perception of God and it was he who was completely imbued in the colours of God. In the current age, because of his perfect and complete devotion and subservience to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) God granted this light to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).

Huzur said today the Word of God fulfils those who purify their hearts and wish to seek God in the true sense and accept the Imam of the age. Such people are then enabled to witness to God’s manifestations every day. Huzur said indeed in this age it is the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) alone, who, by virtue of his subservience to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), can lead one to the Unity of God. Expounding the aforementioned verse he said that the Being of God is Incomprehensible and no one can discover Him through intellect. One may realise the reality of the Unity of God only after one has abandoned all false deities; external and internal. Such are the obstacles that impede one in reaching God. However, God is Al Lateef and also All-Aware and His light enters pure hearts. He knows what is in the inner recesses of hearts, therefore God’s light will not reach a heart that is filled with false deities.

Huzur cited verse 101 of Surah Yusuf: ‘And he raised his parents upon the throne, and they all fell down prostrate before God for him. And he said, ‘O my father, this is the fulfilment of my dream of old. My Lord has made it true. And He bestowed a favour upon me when He took me out of the prison and brought you from the desert after Satan had stirred up discord between me and my brethren. Surely, my Lord is Benignant to whomsoever He pleases; for He is the All-Knowing, the Wise.’ (12:101) and explained that here Hadhrat Yusuf (peace be on him) is mentioning God’s favours by virtue of His attribute of Al Lateef (the Benignant) and is recalling how God was his Friend while his brothers conspired against him and is acknowledging that at the time he has worldly status, again by virtue of God’s attribute of Al Lateef in that He has rewarded him as well as his father immensely for their sacrifice. Huzur said God is the Friend of His true servants in all trials and tribulations, He enabled Hadhrat Yusuf (peace be on him) and his father to remain steadfast and as they were both dear to God and were granted His nearness, the other brothers were also able to reform themselves. Here, Huzur said the subject-matter that un-folds is that through prayer the opportunity to reform others arises and the closer the person who prays for another’s reformation the more it is accepted. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) ever prayed for his ummah, even when people of some towns persecuted him, he prayed for them, hoping for their reformation. Huzur said we too need to pray for the Muslim ummah today so that God may purify their hearts and enable them to accept the truth.

Huzur cited verse 64 of Surah Al Hajj: ‘Hast thou not seen that Allah sends down water from the sky and the earth becomes green? Allah is indeed the Knower of subtleties, the All-Aware.’ (22:64) and explained that here God states that by virtue of His attribute of Al Lateef it must be remembered that life originates with water and in order to attain spiritual life one needs to focus on the Unity of God Who possesses all powers. The metaphor of water from the sky connotes that just as rainfall makes the earth and the soil verdant similarly when the spiritual water comes down it facilitates the spiritual development of people. Huzur said physical rainfall falls on all land but this does not result in rocks and deserts to bloom. Similarly the spiritual water only benefits those who are pure and those who have a glimmer of goodness in them. Huzur said this sheds light on the fact that water is a sign of life and when it falls on the earth, the soil flourishes and as a result the living creatures also benefit. However, rainfall does not result in rocky surfaces and deserts to bloom, although the living creatures that inhabit the area benefit from the rainfall. Spiritual water enables pure hearts to develop and while pure hearts bear fruits due to such water those opposing them also have worldly benefits from spiritual water. The material benefit to stone-hearted people is akin to the current situation wherever our Community is progressing the opponents are trying to reap political and financial benefit. They have had material advantage from the advent of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).

Huzur said God sends spiritual water when there are signs of a near-death state in people. At a time of intense spiritual darkness He sent the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) with the perfect religion and Shariah through which the earth flourished. Later in accordance with his prophecy and after a thousand years of darkness that followed, God sent his true and ardent devotee so that he may revive the faith and may take the light to those hearts who had a true and sincere longing to seek the light. Indeed the Knower of all subtleties God knows who is it that seeks Him.

Huzur said Allah states in verse 20 of Surah Al Shura: ‘Allah is exquisitely kind to His servants. He provides for whom He pleases. And He is the Powerful, the Mighty.’(42:20) and said that in the aforementioned Surah Al An’am verse God stated that it is He Who reaches the eyes [of people] and had stated in the aforementioned Surah Al Hajj verse that He sends spiritual water and here He states that He is exquisitely kind to His servants and provides all manner of provisions and only those truly benefit from this who, in conjunction with seeking material provisions also seek spiritual provisions. Covering the faults and failings of His servants, forgiving their errors He enables those who seek the spiritual water to recognise His light. By citing His attribute of being Powerful in the verse above, attention is drawn that He also metes justice and that the ultimate triumph is His and those whom He sends and worldly opposition can never extinguish this light. Huzur said this is one of God’s many decrees and it is inevitable. The stability of the world is in trying to seek beneficence from the Divine attribute of Al Lateef and not be deprived of this blessing.

Huzur said currently the general situation in Pakistan is very bad, so prayers should be made for that. In the eyes of the world, Huzur said, it is, as if most of the terrorism is from Pakistan. The news coverage informs us that there is indeed great disorder in the country. For Pakistani Ahmadis the situation is twice as bad and they are suffering due to this. Whenever, wherever they have an opportunity they are harming Ahmadis. Everyone is aware of the case of the four youngsters who were arrested on false charges. No effort to secure a bail for them has come to fruition yet. Many others are also imprisoned. In addition many treacherous conspiracies are hatched against us – at times with the involvement of the government. At an event at the Badshahi Mosque [Lahore] recently a federal minister was present when extremely unseemly words were used for the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). The government seems to have joined the mullah against the Ahmadis and has thus created a very perilous situation. Therefore, Huzur said, a lot of prayers should be offered for the protection of the life and property of each Pakistani Ahmadi from all evil. Pakistani Ahmadis have always prayed, they should continue to do so and Ahmadis all over the world should also pray for them. Similarly there are surges of persecution in India and in Indonesia. Currently elections are being held in these countries. Prayers should be made for fair and just governments to come to power. Huzur said Ahmadis in Kazakhstan are also being harassed by governmental organisations; prayers are needed for them as well.

Huzur prayed that may God bestow each Ahmadi all over the world with His grace and may they all receive the beneficence of the attribute of Al Lateef. Ahmadis should pray, may Allah keep everyone protected.

Printed from:

AL Lateef, Part One

AL Lateef, Part Two

Islamophobia: A Definition

Islamophobia: A Definition

Runnymede Trust:
The Runnymede Trust has identified eight components that they say define Islamophobia.
This definition, from the 1997 document 'Islamophobia: A Challenge For Us All' is widely accepted, including by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia.
The eight components are:

1) Islam is seen as a monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to change.
2) Islam is seen as separate and 'other'. It does not have values in common with other cultures, is not affected by them and does not influence them.
3) Islam is seen as inferior to the West. It is seen as barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist.
4) Islam is seen as violent, aggressive, threatening, supportive of terrorism and engaged in a 'clash of civilisations'.
5) Islam is seen as a political ideology and is used for political or military advantage.
6) Criticisms made of the West by Islam are rejected out of hand.
7) Hostility towards Islam is used to justify discriminatory practices towards Muslims and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream society.
8) Anti-Muslim hostility is seen as natural or normal.

For a summary of the 1997 report, see here

For the follow-up report from 2004, 'Islamophobia: Issues, Challenges, and Action', see here

Islamophobia is the fear and/or hatred of Islam, Muslims or Islamic culture. Islamophobia can be characterised by the belief that all or most Muslims are religious fanatics, have violent tendencies towards non-Muslims, and reject as directly opposed to Islam such concepts as equality, tolerance, and democracy.

It is viewed as a new form of racism whereby Muslims, an ethno-religious group, not a race, are nevertheless constructed as a race.

A set of negative assumptions are made of the entire group to the detriment of members of that group.

During the 1990's many sociologists and cultural analysts observed a shift in forms of prejudice from ones based on skin colour to ones based on notions of cultural superiority and otherness.

Entry in Wikipedia

Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid:
One of the members of the Runnymede Trust's Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia which published the famous 1997 report argues that:

"Hostility towards Islam and Muslims has been a feature of European societies since the eighth century of the Common Era. It has taken different forms, however, at different times and has fulfilled a variety of functions. For example, the hostility in Spain in the fifteenth century was not the same as the hostility that had been expressed and mobilised in the Crusades. Nor was the hostility during the time of the Ottoman Empire or that which was prevalent throughout the age of empires and colonialism. It may be more apt to speak of 'Islamophobias' rather than of a single phenomenon. Each version of Islamophobia has its own features as well as similarities with, and borrowings from, other versions."

Read the full article

Islamophobia: A Community Awareness Event

'Love for all, hatred for none'

Zion's Islam community, FBI speak out on faith, hate crime

April 20, 2009

WAUKEGAN -- You may have heard that Muslims believe in converting others by force. Those who serve as suicide bombers get a special place in heaven. Muslims wage a jihad against all non-Muslims.

These are among the popular misconceptions about Muslims. The truth about the religion was spelled out Saturday at "Islamophobia: Everything You Wanted to Know About Islam But Were Afraid to Ask," along with an FBI presentation on hate crimes.

"We don't believe in any form of terrorism. Jihad is misunderstood," said Imam Mubasher Ahmad, Midwest region missionary for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (AMC). "Every day we hear the news -- a Muslim became a human bomb."

Suicide is an unforgivable sin, and killing an innocent person is likened to killing the whole of humanity in the Quran, Ahmad said.

"Islam is a peaceful religion," said Zahir Ahmed of AMC's national headquarters in Washington, D.C., to participate in the program at Park Place Senior Center, 412 S. Lewis Ave.

The Quran is specific in how and when a person is allowed to use violence, he explained.

"The Quran is very limited and strict on how to fight," he said.

If a person is being attacked, then he or she should be allowed to defend him or her self, Zahir said. Being the transgressor, such as a suicide bomber, is prohibited.

"No Muslims are found in acts of terrorism. Therefore, those who act inconsistently with the teachings of the Quran are not Muslims," Zahir said.

Fighting against governments and starting religious wars is rebellion, not jihad, Zahir said. True jihads are reforming against evil, like serving mankind, he said.

"Love for all, hatred for none" is the main tenet of AMC. Its message reflects the Islamic message of peace, universal brotherhood and submission to the will of Allah (God). It is practiced in 190 countries worldwide and has more than 60 communities in the United States, including one in Zion, which sponsored Islamophobia.

AJ Ijaz of Grayslake, a member of the Zion AMC, said he was especially interested in hearing the hate crime presentation.

"I think the fact there is a focus (on hate crimes) is good," Ijaz said.

FBI agent Dave Young said that hate crimes could be summed up with one word, ignorance. A hate crime is a crime against a person or property motivated by bias against, race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, disabilities or sexual orientation, Young said.

"Hate crimes generally are traditional crimes, (like) assault, battery, rape, homicide and vandalism," Young said.

Race continues to be the No. 1 reason for hate crimes, with the "African-American community" as the No. 1 target, he said.

Regarding religious hate crimes, the Jewish community is the No. 1 target, he said.

Young would not say that hate crimes against Muslims are uncommon in the Chicago area.

"Few people truly hate. (Hatred) is almost to the exclusion of all else," Young said.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

This is America: Muslims lack sensitivity...

American Muslims lack cultural sensitivity, awareness and respect for non-Muslims. It is a common scene in Muslim mosques. A non-Muslim walks in and is treated so badly, he or she makes quick judgments that are passed along to friends, who have never met or attended Muslim functions.

The above video exposes a tad of the problem. Throughout America, Muslim immigrants are of the opinion that they don't have to explain anything about Islam to their friends. Many Muslim immigrants begin to talk in their native languages around non-Muslim guests. It is rude behavior and very damaging in an effort to create a better understanding of Islam.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Prayer is the answer, period

Members of faith community dedicate CTCA chapel

April 16, 2009

ZION -- Muslim, Roman Catholic and Christian religious officials came together to dedicate the newly renovated chapel at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) in Zion Wednesday morning.

“This space holds a special spot in our hearts,” said Anne Meisner, CTCA president and CEO. "This is a dream come true for us. We're all pleased and excited with the result."

The chapel is three times larger than the former chapel, said the Rev. Percy McCray, CTCA director of pastoral care. The Mary Brown Stephenson All Faiths Chapel is designed as a non-denominational space and is decorated with a tree of life theme. A water feature and a large stained glass window serve as the two focal points.

Anthony Fossland, president of Midwestern Regional Medical Center board of trustees, donated the stained glass windows to commemorate his three deceased wives, Laura, June and Beulah.

"I greatly appreciate the hospital," the Rev. Percy McCray read in a statement on Fossland's behalf. "God has indeed richly blessed me in my life." McCray is director of pastoral care at CTCA.

The dedication also included a blessing from different religious officials.

"My blessing for this new chapel is that God brings healing upon the people here," said Robert Ochsner, deacon for Our Lady of Humility Catholic Church in Beach Park.

"All of Lake County, if not the world, can be proud of what was started here," said Chaplain Hasan Hakeem, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Zion.

Hakeem shared the Muslim perspective on faith and medicine at a discussion prior to the dedication ceremony.

"We say the greatest weapon you have is prayer. You should always believe Allah (God) is a healer, but you should also go to your doctor," Hakeem said.

Ochsner echoed Hakeem's point about the power of prayer.

"Prayer is the answer, period," Ochsner said.

McCray said he didn't think there was as much of a struggle between faith and medicine as people think. He did say that people with faith tend to look for more extreme health measures.

Faith does affect the way some patients seek cancer treatments.

"I have had patients where their faith is just blinding them to the extent that unless God tells them to be treated, they won't get treated at all. That is more challenging to convince them. I tell them 'You are here because God sent you,'" said Dr. Rakhashanda Neelam, CTCA medical oncologist.

One of her patients, Lois Kearney, is a Jehovah's Witness, which does not permit her to accept blood transfusions. Kearney, a lifelong Jehovah's Witness, cited Acts 15:28, which says "you are to abstain ... from blood," according to the New International Version.

When she underwent her mastectomy, Kearney said her doctors worked with her.

"If I would have needed blood from my surgery, they told me they would comply with my wishes, which was very reassuring," Kearney said.

This particular faith restriction is among the "perceived contradictions to medical instructions" that pastoral care workers help smooth over, McCray said.

"We are obligated to honor and respect people's religious beliefs. We help moderate and help doctors understand (when) there are faith restrictions," McCray said.

The views expressed in these blog posts are those of the author and not of the Sun-Times News Group.

We Are Not In This Together


Young, minority men who didn't earn much to begin with are hit hardest by unemployment.

Zachary Karabell
From the magazine issue dated Apr 20, 2009

More than 4 million Americans have been fired since last fall, and the job losses are far from over. April began with yet another stunningly bad report—663,000 jobs lost. The unemployment rate, now 8.5 percent, is likely to hit double digits over the coming months. Some economists say that even if the economy begins to recover later this year, it may not pick up enough steam to bring down unemployment until well into 2010. Few regions of the county have been spared, and the headlines have been dire. IN EPIDEMIC OF LAYOFFS, NO ONE IS IMMUNE, blared The Philadelphia Inquirer. SILICON VALLEY UNEMPLOYMENT RATE JUMPS TO A FRIGHTENING 9.4 PERCENT, wrote the San Jose Mercury News. Nearly everyone seems to know a horror story—the Wall Street banker abruptly escorted from his office; the small-business owner forced to close her shop on Main Street; the auto worker who spent decades on the same factory floor where his father once worked.

But there is a dirty secret about unemployment. We may feel united by a common anxiety about losing our jobs, but we are not all in this together. Unemployment is not a scythe that cuts equally through different sectors of society, felling white collar and blue collar, African-American and Hispanic, male and female, in equal measure.

Young, minority men working in jobs that didn't pay much to begin with are suffering more than their white-collar counterparts. The unemployment rate for those over 25 with a college degree was 4.3 percent—half the national rate, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report. For those college-educated and white, the number was 2.3 percent at the end of 2008, the most recent available for that demographic. On the other end of the spectrum, the unemployment rate for African-Americans over the age of 16 was 13.3 percent, and for Hispanics, 11.4 percent. For anyone without a high-school diploma, the rate was 13.3 percent. Minorities and the less educated have always suffered more during downturns, but the disparity has become more stark.

The job ax is falling hard on men in general. For men over 20, the unemployment rate is 8.8 percent; for women, it is 7 percent. In the mid-1970s, by way of comparison, the figures were nearly opposite. In today's market, the sectors that are shedding employees—construction, manufacturing, industry—have a higher proportion of male workers, many of whom do not need advanced degrees for their jobs. These industries are being hit not simply by the current crisis but by the combined effects of technology and globalization.

The unemployment statistics raise uncomfortable questions about race and economic inequities. Failure to recognize the implications of the data has serious ramifications not just for social policy, but also for economic forecasting. Such a failure can lead to faulty predictions about consumer spending, credit-card defaults, commercial real-estate prices and retail-business bankruptcies. When we portray job loss as indiscriminate, we are in danger of overestimating its economic consequences while downplaying its social costs.

This is where the discussion enters politically treacherous waters. When you consider information from the Census Bureau along with unemployment numbers, another division becomes clear: many of those who have lost their jobs weren't earning much money to begin with. As of 2008, the highest quintile of income earners in the United States accounted for 50 percent of all income in the country, while the bottom 40 percent of the population accounted for 12 percent. Unemployment is predominantly affecting those who were struggling long before the current crisis. While loss of an income can be a tragedy for those families, they were never the primary source of consumer spending, small-business creation or any other crucial aspect of economic activity.

As a result, neither spending nor the financial system may be as severely affected as expected. Already, consumer-spending numbers for January and February were positive. People ultimately tend to spend what they earn, and those who still have jobs are the higher earners. The primary impediment to their spending hasn't been debt (which also falls hardest on the same group that is being hit by unemployment), but fear of job loss and uncertainty about the viability of the economy.

A more honest discussion of the links between unemployment, race and gender would force a rethinking of the economic models that draw connections between unemployment and systemic consequences. Certainly, higher unemployment adds to the population without health insurance, which becomes yet another social spending burden, but even here, many who have lost jobs had only limited health benefits to begin with, if any at all. Still, those costs may be offset by higher tax revenues that flow to state and federal coffers from companies that are more profitable because of lower payroll.

There is a final looming challenge. The Obama administration has staked its reputation on restoring jobs, and is spending aggressively to do so. Even as unemployment worsens in the months ahead, as it almost certainly will, economic data may well start to show growth—even robust growth. As companies continue their move away from industrial and manual-labor jobs, and accelerate the migration to a service-based, global economy, we may find a permanent pool of millions of unemployed in the midst of an economy that is otherwise doing well. The massive spending plans may succeed in preserving better jobs, yet do little to bring back the jobs that have been lost. Obama and Congress could face millions of angry and disillusioned, unemployed men—men who are young but still old enough to vote. For now, they are placing their hopes and their faith in a visionary leader. But if they see none of the benefits of those actions, they may turn elsewhere, and the dirty little secret of unemployment will be a secret no more.

Karabell is president of River Twice Research.


America is not a Christian nation

Religious conservatives argue the Founding Fathers intended the United States to be a Judeo-Christian country. But President Obama is right when he says it isn't.

By Michael Lind

Apr. 14, 2009 |

Is America a Christian nation, as many conservatives claim it is? One American doesn't think so. In his press conference on April 6 in Turkey, President Obama explained: "One of the great strengths of the United States is … we have a very large Christian population -- we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values."

Predictably, Obama's remarks have enraged conservative talking heads. But Obama's observations have ample precedent in American diplomacy and constitutional thought. The most striking is the Treaty of Tripoli, ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1797. Article 11 states: "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility [sic], of Mussulmen [Muslims]; and, as the said States never have entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

Conservatives who claim that the U.S. is a "Christian nation" sometimes dismiss the Treaty of Tripoli because it was authored by the U.S. diplomat Joel Barlow, an Enlightenment freethinker. Well, then, how about the tenth president, John Tyler, in an 1843 letter: "The United States have adventured upon a great and noble experiment, which is believed to have been hazarded in the absence of all previous precedent -- that of total separation of Church and State. No religious establishment by law exists among us. The conscience is left free from all restraint and each is permitted to worship his Maker after his own judgment. The offices of the Government are open alike to all. No tithes are levied to support an established Hierarchy, nor is the fallible judgment of man set up as the sure and infallible creed of faith. The Mohammedan, if he will to come among us would have the privilege guaranteed to him by the constitution to worship according to the Koran; and the East Indian might erect a shrine to Brahma, if it so pleased him. Such is the spirit of toleration inculcated by our political Institutions."

Was Tyler too minor a president to be considered an authority on whether the U.S. is a Christian republic or not? Here's George Washington in a letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island in 1790: "The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy -- a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support ... May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants -- while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid."

Eloquent as he is, Barack Obama could not have put it better.

Contrast this with John McCain's interview with Beliefnet during the 2008 presidential campaign: "But I think the number one issue people should make [in the] selection of the President of the United States is, 'Will this person carry on in the Judeo Christian principled tradition that has made this nation the greatest experiment in the history of mankind?'" Asked whether this would rule out a Muslim candidate for the presidency, McCain answered, "But, no, I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles ... personally, I prefer someone who I know has a solid grounding in my faith. But that doesn't mean that I'm sure that someone who is a Muslim would not make a good president. I don't say that we would rule out under any circumstances someone of a different faith. I just would -- I just feel that that's an important part of our qualifications to lead."

Conservatives who, like McCain, assert that the U.S. is in some sense a Christian or Judeo-Christian nation tend to make one of four arguments. The first is anthropological: The majority of Americans describe themselves as Christians, even though the number of voters who describe themselves as religiously unaffiliated has grown from 5.3 percent in 1988 to 12 percent in 2008. But the ratio of Christians to non-Christians in American society as a whole is irrelevant to the question of whether American government is Christian.

The second argument is that the constitution itself is somehow Christian in character. On that point, candidate McCain said: "I would probably have to say yes, that the Constitution established the United States as a Christian nation." Is McCain right? Is the U.S. a Christian republic in the sense that according to their constitutions Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan are all now officially Islamic republics? What does the Constitution say? Article VI states that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust in the United States." Then there is the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ... "

True, over the years since the founding, Christian nationalists have won a few victories -- inserting "In God We Trust" on our money during the Civil War in 1863, adding "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance during the Cold War in 1954. And there are legislative and military chaplains and ceremonial days of thanksgiving. But these are pretty feeble foundations on which to claim that the U.S. is a Christian republic. ("Judeo-Christian" is a weaselly term used by Christian nationalists to avoid offending Jews; it should be translated as "Christian.")

The third argument holds that while the U.S. government itself may not be formally Christian, the Lockean natural rights theory on which American republicanism rests is supported, in its turn, by Christian theology. Jefferson summarized Lockean natural rights liberalism in the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights … that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …" Many conservatives assert that to be a good Lockean natural nights liberal, one must believe that the Creator who is endowing these rights is the personal God of the Abrahamic religions.

This conflation of Christianity and natural rights liberalism helps to explain one of John McCain's more muddled answers in his Beliefnet interview: "[The] United States of America was founded on the values of Judeo-Christian values [sic], which were translated by our founding fathers which is basically the rights of human dignity and human rights." The same idea lies behind then-Attorney General John Ashcroft's statement to religious broadcasters: "Civilized individuals, Christians, Jews and Muslims" -- sorry, Hindus and Buddhists! -- "all understand that the source of freedom and human dignity is the Creator."

In reality, neither Jewish nor Christian traditions know anything of the ideas of natural rights and social contract found in Hobbes, Gassendi and Locke. That's because those ideas were inspired by themes found in non-Christian Greek and Roman philosophy. Ideas of the social contract were anticipated in the fourth and fifth centuries BC by the sophists Glaucon and Lycophron, according to Plato and Aristotle, and by Epicurus, who banished divine activity from a universe explained by natural forces and taught that justice is an agreement among people neither to harm nor be harmed. The idea that all human beings are equal by nature also comes from the Greek sophists and was planted by the Roman jurist Ulpian in Roman law: "quod ad ius naturale attinet, omnes homines aequales sunt" -- according to the law of nature, all human beings are equal.

Desperate to obscure the actual intellectual roots of the Declaration of Independence in Greek philosophy and Roman law, Christian apologists have sought to identify the "Creator" who endows everyone with unalienable rights with the revealed, personal God of Moses and Jesus. But a few sentences earlier, the Declaration refers to "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." Adherents of natural rights liberalism often have dropped "Nature's God" and relied solely on "Nature" as the source of natural rights.

In any event, in order to be a good American citizen one need not subscribe to Lockean liberalism. Jefferson, a Lockean liberal himself, did not impose any philosophical or religious test on good citizenship. In his "Notes on the State of Virginia," he wrote: "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

The fourth and final argument made in favor of a "Christian America" by religious conservatives is the best-grounded in history but also the weakest. They point out that American leaders from the founders to the present have seen a role for otherwise privatized and personal religion in turning out moral, law-abiding citizens. As George Washington wrote in his 1796 Farewell Address:

"Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them."

In Washington's day, it may have been reasonable for the elite to worry that only fear of hellfire kept the masses from running amok, but in the 21st century it is clear that democracy as a form of government does not require citizens who believe in supernatural religion. Most of the world's stable democracies are in Europe, where the population is largely post-Christian and secular, and in East Asian countries like Japan where the "Judeo-Christian tradition" has never been part of the majority culture.

The idea that religion is important because it educates democratic citizens in morality is actually quite demeaning to religion. It imposes a political test on religion, as it were -- religions are not true or false, but merely useful or dangerous, when it comes to encouraging the civic virtues that are desirable in citizens of a constitutional, democratic republic. Washington's instrumental view of religion as a kind of prop was agreeable to another two-term American president more than a century and a half later. "[O]ur form of government has no sense unless it is founded on a deeply felt religious faith," said Dwight Eisenhower, "and I don't care what it is." And it's indistinguishable from Edward Gibbon's description of Roman religion in his famous multi-volume "Decline and Fall": "The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful. And thus toleration produced not only mutual indulgence, but even religious concord."

President Obama, then, is right. The American republic, as distinct from the American population, is not post-Christian because it was never Christian. In the president's words: "We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values." And for that we should thank the gods. All 20 of them.

-- By Michael Lind

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Glimmer of Hope or...are we spinning out of control?

Recently, I posted a press release (it can be read on my blog) that was simple and straightforward regarding Islamophobia. It was an invitation to a event held April 18, 2009, hosted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Zion, Illinois. USA

The Daily Herald, a very respected and well read newspaper, published the press release in its entirety. We thank the publishers for including it as a Letter to the Editor. After online publication, the letter was besieged by bloggers, who certainly are entitled to their views, who ripped Islam, Muslims. They created a string of comments that were curious to me. I applaud the "voices of reason" in the community that responded to the Islamophobic comments with incredible wisdom and patience.

Here are some excerpts taken from almost 180 comments:

posted by paper reader k on Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:47 AM

My dear Hasan,

Perhaps I'll attend your meeting Saturday. When I arrive I'll be interested in seeing copies of your groups condemnation of all muslim terrorist attacks, as well as those condemning Hamas, Hezballah, and al Qiada, and your statement recognizing the right of Israel to exist.

You do have such public declarations, don't you? Or are you simply a lot of hot air like the rest of the closet islamo-fascist organizations in this country, like CAIR?

Until you publicly declare your allegiance to US, you are the enemy.

But again, it is the bad apples that get all the attention. Here too, if Hasan Hakeem and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community made a call to Jihad it too would be front page news- but their attempt to reach out to the community is stuck in the Letters section.

My feeling is that it is bridges- not walls- that will get us over troubled water and from one place to the next. I wish I could make it Saturday- if for no other reason than to say thanks.

Hakuna Matata & Namaste!

I agree that there are radicals out there in all walks, but we need to see that our media is conditioned to only tell us what is wrong- and not what is right. Over time this can lead us to an almost McCarthyism like state that we see here in several posters.

If the Queen of Jordan suggested Jihad, it would be front page news- But her months and months of work to breakdown stereotypes barely gets her a youTube award.

posted by Veteran American on Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:08 AM

I'll listen when they step forward and take back their religion from the radicals. Until then you are the enemy

posted by Lou Skolnick on Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:01 AM

Hasan Hakeem, President, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community: Muslim voices who say Islam means peace have been drowned out a long time ago by radical clerics who support jihad and promote hatred in the name of Islam.

Lou: Apparently, Hasan does not know "salaam" means peace -- Islam means submission.

Since Hasan has his words confused, perhaps he misunderstand what those "radical clerics who support jihad" are saying. Perhaps, those "radical clerics who support jihad" merely want you to submit to Allah's will and obey Sharia in the way Allah demands.

posted by Donnieyo on Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:02 AM

Hasan, if you want peace, then YOU as a moderate Muslim must fight for justice. Denounce unequivocally the violent acts of the extremists of your religion. Then you will end Islamophobia and win respect.

I think I'd rather take Arabic lessons from a guy named Hakeem than a guy named Skolnick. But Lou's mileage differs, as always.

posted by Evie2 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:37 AM

It's interesting how our president, with his willing accomplices in the press, allow Muslims to characterize America as having a damaged image around the world while Islamo-cavemen blow up women and children, terrorize the seas and plot the destruction of the modern world.

Gimme a break! If anything we should be acting more aggressively to exterminate the blight of Islam on the world.

posted by CCL on Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:57 AM

Just because some Muslims are terrorists doesn't mean they all are. We have Christian terrorists also who think nothing of battering Gays because of the Bible.

Also ever heard of the Ku Klux Klan - they still exist you know and believe the Bible is their guide.

The Southern Poverty Law Center also tracks other American terrorists in this country and there are many of them - mostly nazi-like militia groups.

No doubt there are plenty of bad guys out there. The level of violence and associated deaths put forth by Islamic extremists every single day throughout the world is, however, unmatched.

Although there is no denying the existence of non-Muslim terrorist groups, there is also no denying the Muslim terrorists are the most active and have by far perpetrated the most death.

posted by sluggo on Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:48 PM

Mike the Fledgling Lawyer asked "Who said: Not all Muslims are terrorists, but almost all terrorists are Muslim."

Don't know, but whoever it was is an idiot.

posted by Victoria77 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:10 PM

HASAN: I would like to know your view on Jerusalem being the rightful capital of the Israelites.

The fact that Arabs and Jews are half-brothers stemming from Abraham, the hatred could not be more clear. You view Ishmael as Abraham's eldest son, whereas Jews and Christians view Isaac as Abraham's true heir.

As it says in Genesis 16:12 of Ishmael, although his lineage will be blessed and the people multipled exceedingly, it specifically says this:

He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers."

It amazes me that the above Biblical verse could not have been more prophetic and how Muslims kill their own without any remorse.

The Quran teaches that if you do not convert to Islam no matter what your religious beliefs, or no religious belief at all, you need to be killed. This is more pervasive today than ever before.

Having people come and talk about so-called "peace" is a smoke screen. Once Arabs stop viewing Israel as a rotting corpse and hate the United States for unwavering support of Israel, things can never be solved.

posted by Poindexter on Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:32 PM

posted by Victoria77 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:10 PM

The Quran teaches that if you do not convert to Islam no matter what your religious beliefs, or no religious belief at all, you need to be killed.


So you're a scholar of the Qur'an now? Could you please quote chapter and verse... Excuse me, could you please cite for me the sura and ayat where this decree from Allah may be found?

posted by Pumbaa on Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:57 PM

Victoria- the vile stuff you think is Islam is not Islam but your Islamaphobia.

Seriously the meeting Hasan Hakeem and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community are putting on is ideal for Islamaphobics like you.

posted by Jickles on Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:26 PM

These responses alone prove Islamaphobia is alive and well.

I am curious how many people who posted know any Muslims? And I do not mean see some working at the Amoco station or drive by some while driving down Devon ave. in Rogers Park, but actually know and spend time with them? I am just curious...

posted by LetFreedomRing on Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:58 PM

"True" Islam cannot co-exist with other religions. They seek to overtake, overwhelm, overrun everyone else. The push others to 'tolerate' them, which really means they use any force necessary to impose their religion, laws, customs, traditions, upon everyone else. Look to the spread of Sharia here in America. The 'true' islamists won't be happy until all our laws are replaced with Islamic Sharia law and our courts are all run by Muslims.

This is a fact.

Now, not ALL muslims feel this way, nor do they feel the need to impose their religion upon a western society.

But it just takes a few vocal ones to do it, combined with the idiotic soclialism and liberals in the western countries, and before you know it, it takes root.

posted by POV on Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:07 AM

posted by paper reader k on Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:47 AM

My dear Hasan,

Perhaps I'll attend your meeting Saturday.


Yes Paperk I encourage you to do so with an OPEN mind. Then come back and report on what you experienced, without bias.

Unfortunatly I have serious doubts you will follow through on your threat to attempt learn something.

posted by Charles60191 on Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:14 AM

There is not a country on this planet that does not have issues with their Muslim population.

France? Muslim Problems (Riots last year)

Canada? Muslim Problems (Citizens of Toronto are being intimidated by Muslim groups)

Spain? Muslim Problems (Remember the bombings?)

Iraq? Muslim problems (They are ALL Muslims in Iraq and they can't get along)

Any country that has a mix of ANYONE and Muslims has issues with the Muslim population.

Why is that?

Could it be that Muslims get upset when everyone else does not bow to their needs?

Are Muslims militant and violent due to the teachings of their religion?

Are these people just animals and totally incapable of living among other people?

Whatever the case may be, I have yet to see ANY high ranking Muslim cleric speak out against the violence, caused by Muslims, in the name of Islam. NOT A SINGLE HIGH RANKING MUSLIM CLERIC.

The bottom line is that this "Religion" is a sadistic and oppressive cult that has no tolerance to any view point beyond its own teachings. They are completely unable to mix with any society (including their own).

End Islamophobia?


End Islamofascism.

posted by TGSantini on Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:47 AM

Hasan's letter sounds a bit like a trolling pervert telling a youg kid to get in his car because he has candy.

No one ever shows the kid the candy and no Islam-o-"insert suffix here" has denounced the terror perpatrated by his fellow religious bretheren.

If you want to be accepted then you have to all play by a common set of rules. In this country those rules are the Constitution.

If they take control of this country then we have no one to blame but ourselves and our liberal politicaly-correct pandering idiocy.

I'm fine for letting people practice their religion as long as it stays their religion and isn't forced on anyone else.

If you want Islam to be accepted in America then you have to publicly denounce the horrible deeds done by your brothers and sister.


posted by tahmed on Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:23 AM

A couple of clarifications: What is Allah?s cause, to harm fellow beings?? His cause is to create peace and harmony amongst all of us not to quarrel and kill one another. The other cause is to worship one true God!

What is Jihad, it is a struggle or to strive to do the better righteous thing. Therefore, each of us has a Jihad, we want to create peace and that is a struggle, it is the right thing to do. Jihad is not a war of machines, ammunitions, etc. We want a better life for our families that is Jihad, we want the right environment and peace for our children.

It is the believer?s task to reflect over the Holy Qur?an and the advice and counsel of the Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him)

Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said ?Avoid oppression because oppression will manifest itself as darkness on the Day of Judgment. Avoid greed, materialism, and malice as it destroyed the earlier people.?

posted by tahmed on Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:25 AM

The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) defined ?a destitute person? as that individual amongst us who will present himself on the Day of Judgment with his prayers and his fasting. However, he would have had abused people and take over other?s property and physically harmed others. His virtues (prayers & fasting) will be granted to his victims and he will thus be ?destitute?.

These are just 2 simple examples from Muhammad.

There are individuals who observe worship of God and who give a lot in financial terms, however, they do not recognize other?s rights. Purity is not by virtue of what is apparent; rather it is by virtue of the state of one?s heart. That is what we should concerns ourselves with, look in the mirror and say am I pure in my heart, am I feeding the wrong message to others to create disharmony? It seems like the overwhelming majority are creating disharmony, is this a trap?

Now, will any of you come to this event, will you ask questions, will you meet Muslims? I am an American, I care about my country and yes I am a Muslim, meet me and talk to me, I am as human as you are, I care more about the society than myself. I simply dare you to come

posted by Pumbaa on Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:52 PM

posted by tahmed on Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:25 AM

Now, will any of you come to this event, will you ask questions, will you meet Muslims? I am an American, I care about my country and yes I am a Muslim, meet me and talk to me, I am as human as you are, I care more about the society than myself. I simply dare you to come.


I wish I could make it but have several other commitments Saturday. I truly respect the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for this outreach and hope that there will be many more.

I wish you much luck with this project and hope it goes well. As you can see from several posters here- Islamophobia is seemingly contagious.

posted by PeaceMaker7 on Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:13 PM

For those interested in reading about Ahmadiyya Muslim Community's view towards terrorism, there is plenty of literature available at you are welcome to read it.