as-salaam ‘alaykum wa rahmat Allahi wa baraktahu,
Let me say from the start, I am against the persecution of Ahmadis. Not only is it morally wrong, evil and unjust, it undermines the da’wah efforts of the Muslim to the Ahmadis. No Ahmadi centers should be destroyed, no Ahmadi should be insulted, and no Ahmadi should be prevented from declaring the Shahada (Kalima). I would personally defend any Ahmadi who was being attacked by a Muslim simply because he was an Ahmadi.
Having said that, is their persecution really as bad as they portray it? Lets objectively analyze.
Facts According to ThePersecution.org
Are they really persecuted? In 2001, the Ahmadis declared that their population was 200 million worldwide. That is roughly ~20% of all Muslims. Considering their alleged massive population, and outcry of terrible persecution, one would expect the number of murders of the Ahmadis to be in the range of 100,000 – 150,000 innocent people. But, according to their own statistics from the year 2000, the number of Ahmadis murdered was 12. Yes, 12. Don’t get me wrong, each soul is precious. But, given their international outcry of horific persecution, I honestly expected a little more than 12. In 2001, the figure dropped to 9. In 2002 it dropped to only 4. Again in 2003, the figure decreased again to 2. [They did not report any figures by year after 2003]
If we go by the figures they provide, from 2000 to 2003, the number of innocent Ahmadis murdered only for their faith was 0.0000135% of their total population.
In 2003, they reported that the number of charges brought against Ahmadis exclusively based on their religion increased 376% from the previous year. 376%, huge increase right? Not necessarily. If you have 2 reports in year one, and you increase that to 4 reports in year two, it is a 100% increase. I’m sure you can see where I am going with this. A 376% increase does not mean anything when your figures are low to begin with.
Recently, Dr. Abdul Mannan Siddiqui, a medical doctor from the US was murdered. I stand with the Ahmadis in condemning his murder. But, notice how widespread this story has become. Any Ahmadi who even marginally attends their services has heard about it. Why? Because it is such a rare occurrence that when it happens, it is big news. Everyone knows about it.
Compared to Muslims
I remember as a child in Ramadhan, during the Witr of Taraweeh, the Imam would recite “Allahuma ‘Aizz al-Islaama wa al-Muslimeen fi Soomal, wa Kashmir, wa Falasteen wa Sheshaan” meaning “O Allah, [give] honor to Islam and the Muslims in Somalia, and Kashmir and Palestine and Chechnya.” Every year the number of countries on that list grew and grew until he just says “fi kulli makaan” meaning “in every locality”.
Look at Palestine. The number of Palestinians who die from Israeli state terrorism in one month alone exceeds the entire number of Ahmadis killed from 2000 to 2003. After the two Chechen Wars, 12% of the entire Chechen ethnic group was dead. In the mid 90s during the Bosnian wars, roughly 38,000 Bosnians died. Don’t even get me started on the mass rapes. Ya Allah, in Iraq, roughly 96,000 of our brothers and sisters died as a direct result of my country’s military (I am an American) since the war started (and that figure is considered very low, only what can be confirmed). If I keep looking up statistics, I will start weeping.
Its not just about Deaths
The Ahmadis could argue that actual loss of life is not the only metric to measure persecution. It manifests itself in many forms, social and legal, sometimes in very subtle ways, etc. That’s absolutely true. But, even then, can the Ahmadis claim to have been more persecuted than the Muslims? In 2003, they claim 23 Ahmadis were subjected to miscellaneous laws against their faith and 17 Ahmadis were in prison by the end of the year. Now consider just one city in Palestine, where the residents undergo daily abuse by the Israeli terrorists; preventing them water, sexually abusing young women, beating the young men, making them wait long hours in endless lines to travel short distances, random searches, destruction of infrastructure, etc, etc. The suffering from one small village alone in Palestine is worse than the entire Ahmadi population combined.
I believe there are two reasons why the Ahmadis dramatize their persecution.
First, it acts as a tool to keep members in their religion. Communities under considerable, but not extreme pressure tend to unify and grow stronger. By extreme pressure, I mean like European Jewry in the 1930s and 40s. By considerable pressure, I mean African-Americans from the 20s to 60s, when the Black Nationalist movements begun. The Ahmadis have exploited their sense of persecution to build and strengthen their communal bonds.
Second, there is a hadith that says those upon the truth will follow the way of the Prophet and his companions. The Ahmadis interpret this to mean those who are persecuted as the earliest Muslims were persecuted. So, if they can show that they are persecuted, they argue, it is proof that they are upon the Truth. There are obvious problems with this. First, “following the way of the prophet” refers to his Sunnah, not being subject to abuses by others. Second, the earliest Muslims did not sit back and vercify their suffering. Sabr (patience) was only the first stage. They migrated to Madinah, took up arms and fought back against the Quraysh (and not all battles were defensive). With that aside, even if we use their interpretations, the Muslims are far far more persecuted, even per capita, than the Ahmadis worldwide. If that is their interpretation of the Hadith, then it is clear that Islam is the Truth and Ahmadiyya is falsehood.
May Allah stop and punish those who bring even the slightest bit of harm against the Ahmadis and may He guide the Ahmadis to Islam.