Thoughts on the Murder of Ahmadis in Indonesia

بسم الله الحمد لله و صلاة و سلام على رسول الله و على آله و سلم

Indonesia: The most populous Muslim country

For those who do not know, recently three Ahmadis in Indonesia were savagely beaten and killed by an angry anti-Ahmadiyya mob. The images are disturbing, as extremists continued to bludgeon to death a lifeless body.

TheCult repeats its consistent and on-going condemnation of acts of violence against innocent Ahmadis. No one should be harmed based purely on the religion he espouses. Many of the members of TheCult team have family who are still followers of the Ahmadiyya religion and we are personally offended that potentially even their own parents or siblings could be the victims of such heinous crimes. We pray that after a thorough investigation, all those responsible for the murders are arrested, tried and punished to the maximum extent of the law. Ameen.

I know that no amount of condemnation will stop the most extreme Ahmadis from associating us with violence. In the face of such a calamity, their hatred is directed at anyone who even peacefuly criticizes their faith. To such people we respond, say what you will, we refuse to be victims of your collective judgement. We refuse to be associated with violence and extremism. You might as well stop reading this article from here. Seriously, go away, it does no good…There, now that they’re gone, only the thinking Ahmadis remain!

We all know the verses against killing innocent people or against vigilantism, they have been repeated many times before. So allow me provide you with a unique motivation for condemning acts of violence against Ahmadis, a perspective you might never have considered…

…But first, a relevant predicate…

Imam al-Ghazali رحمه الله, in his The Decisive Criteria between Islam and Hersey, opined that while reason is useful, reason alone is seldom why people hold the positions they do. Rather, reason and logic primarily serve to support a previously-held conviction. Both Muslims and Ahmadis believe they possess a monopoly on reason, while the other is completely bereft. Both sides quote the Qur’an, the prophetic traditions, believe they are true and the other is baseless. So how do we determine who is upon Haqq?

Short answer: The Heart

While Allah does talk about the intellect, the Qur’an primarily speaks in terms of the spiritual heart (قلب). We hear the terms ‘soft heart’ or ‘hearts like stone’. Surah al-Baqarah says, “Allah has placed a seal upon their hearts”, not “intellects”. In other words, the primarily vehicle of accepting the Truth is not through rational arguments, though they do have their place. It is through guidance that Allah bestows upon those he wishes good for. All we have to do is open our hearts.

When an Ahmadi is killed, what is the response from other Ahmadis? Anger! Rage! Hatred! All of which is completely understandable and justifiable! Loss of life is no small matter.

But consider the result: Emotional Ahmadis who are completely unwilling to even consider traditional Islam. The thought cannot enter their minds. They think, “How could I accept the religion of the ones who persecute us? You want me to accept the religion of these savages? No, I will remain Ahmadi!” Thus, they become psychologically entrenched. At that point, its not about reason, its about the negative emotions they have towards traditional Muslims.

A single barbaric act wipes away years of da’wah efforts by those who call Ahmadis to Islam. What’s worse, anyone who peacefully argues against Ahmadiyya with kindness and patience is painted with the same broad brush as the actual extremists. They are the victims of emotion-based rhetoric such as “This is the true face of your Anti-Ahmadiyya!”

One of the biggest enemies in our da’wah efforts to current members of the Ahmadiyya religion is the violence that is done against them, sadly in the name of Islam. Not only because it is evil and sinful, we condemn acts of violence because they undermine our efforts and push Ahmadis further into Ahmadiyya.

It goes deeper than that. Considering that they claim their population is upwards of 200 million, how many Ahmadis have been killed in the entire world since its foundation? A few thousand? Maybe a million? Try 356. That’s 0.000178% of the current population (does not include members who have lived and died since then).

Compare that to the Muslim population in Chechnya (and increasingly now in Dagestan). The wars in the 1990s exterminated 25% of the Muslim Chechen ethnic group. That’s one out of every four people, dead. In Bosnia, the Serbian soldiers were ordered to systematically rape Muslim Bosnian women. Perhaps the most persecuted Muslim group in the world based purely on their religion are the Shi’as who have experienced a May 28th once every few months through masjid bombings, stabbings, beatings and other persecution.

Shaykh Waleed Basyouni on violence in the name of God

This begs the question, if the numbers are so low compared to the Muslims, why are there websites like ThePersecution.org and Android Phone applications that seemingly advertise their persecution? Because it serves a very useful purpose: To inculcate the “siege mentality” which prevents an emotional person from ever considering traditional Islam with an open heart. The religious elders know emotionalism is an effective tool, and they exploit it.

It is sad what is being done to Ahmadis in various parts of the world. Even if we never come to any sense of agreement, we must always treat each other with kindness and respect, because just like what the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم said about Ta’if, perhaps from the children of the current Ahmadis will arise a generation of Muslims.

May Allah end all violence against all religious groups, including Ahmadis, and continue to bring them to Islam.

و صلى الله على سيدنا محمد على آله و سلم

Ahmadis as Silent Sufferers?

The very muted Ahmadiyya response after the terrorist atrocities in Lahore have been commented on in many fora.

While the attack on the Ahmadiyya was a terrorist atrocity, and I condemn the perpetrators, it did not exist in a vacuum, or in a state of ‘silent suffering’. Please watch what the Ahmadiyya leadership said on Fox News earlier in May. Their position was factually incorrect as well as rhetorically inflammatory to all peace-loving Muslims:

http://bit.ly/biw7aP

While the terrorist attacks are deplorable, I really wish that in the current atmosphere in Pakistan, where the United States Army is attacking Pakistani soil almost every day, the Ahmadiyya can do better than to take indefensible positions based on false information, and do not use that to bash the vast mainstream Muslim community on the most anti-Muslim platform in the United States.

What happened in Lahore was an atrocity, but Nasim Mahdi’s campaign in the United States earlier in May was not silent suffering — not by a long shot!

Open Letter – Part 3 – Pen and Knowledge

There was a time, under leadership better suited for the times, when Ahmadiyya did something with the little money that they reeled in.  Although most of what they did was ultimately useless, at least the chanda-payers saw it being invested somewhere.  So, the agricultural research in Sind came to naught except create real-estate wealth for the Mirza Family; and the buildings and gardens of the post-graduate ‘degree college’ in Rabwah (Chenab Nagar) are in ruins (never completed); for decades, jars of preserved specimens remained locked up in a room in ‘Tibiya College’ (medical school).  In an era of unprecedented quality in private education in Pakistan, and close to 100 universities in the country, the Ahmadiyya are still complaining about the nationalisation of their T.I. school and college in 1974.

Similarly, the ‘King of the Pen’, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, failed to inspire any writers or ‘Pen jihadists’ as the Ahmadiyya like to call themselves.  Not a single writer of repute, not a single author of any renown, nor a single poet of recognition.  After all, Urdu is spoken in India, and there is cross-over between Urdu and Hindi literature.  Even if Pakistanis persecuted them, someone from their ranks could have been recognized in India.  So barren is the literary landscape of the Ahmadiyya, that it is surprising, even taking into account the absolute literary mess of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s writings.

So, while the Islamic world is busy writing and publishing, and Muslims are among the thought-leaders of today, Ahmadiyya are the ‘true Muslims’ sitting in their little town and creating endless numbers of ‘Sultan-ul-Qalam societies’.  Is this jihad with the pen?  Amazing.  Not quite, if you look at the latest numbers that I have got (top-secret document leaked from Rabwah): 88,000 Ahmadis in Pakistan, 62,000 in India and 2,000 in Bangladesh.

So, while the alma mater of Dr. Abdus Salam, Government College, Lahore, Pakistan,  has created a prestigious Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences in 2003 in his honour, those that cry ‘persecution’ have done nothing except write articles and letters condemning Pakistan for not recognizing its learned son.  GC Lahore, one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions, has also named the Salam Chair in Physics in 1999.

So, dear Ahmadi friends and family, while Chanda collection has gone up 1500 times since 1974, all you get is MTA and homeopathic ads in Alfazl (picture below, retrieved from Alfazl 13 March 2010).  Why do you want to relegate your offspring to supporting this family business?

(Ad: Guaranteed complete eradication of Asthma, guranteed treatment of Hepatitis B and C — all using homeopathy with ‘oxygen therapy’ on machines imported from Japan — using ultrasound and ECG)

The Persecution of the Ahmadis

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.

Motivation

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.

Ahmadi Boycott

I gasped at the audacity of the Ahmadiyya’s pitiful “cry-wolf” organ repeating a story from the Bangladeshi Daily Star about an Ahmadi family in Bangladesh being “harrassed”.

Looking at the actual picture, the “persecution” that this family received was ostracism and boycott from the mainstream Muslim community.? Not exactly the end of the world then. No beatings, no house burnings, no murders. Just ostracism and a boycott.

Not nice, but let’s consider this. I watched a programme this evening where the brothers of a teenage mum had their faces beaten to a pulp by thugs, just for being their brothers. Now that’s ostracism to the max. Only, I didn’t see them make a fuss, or start putting up web sites about it.

Still, ostracism and boycott, whilst not exactly life threatening, can be “painful”.

Which brings me to the point. The Ahmadis routinely boycott Ahmadi families for:

  • Allowing their daughters to marry a Muslim
  • Listening to music at a wedding
  • Asking routine questions about their faith
  • Not paying the 6.25% tax

The families in question have to write begging letters for weeks, sometimes months and even years to the current Mirza Cult Leader of the day, seeking pardon. In the meantime, the community shuns the family and sometimes individuals and they are left in limbo, neither accepted by the Ahmadis, nor by the Muslims (unless they renounce the cult, which very few brave people do).

This practice started in earnest with the arrival of the Cult’s True Master, Mirza Mahmud, son of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. This man was responsible for setting up the cult apparatus in the image of the Papacy in Rome. A horrific example can be found in the murder of Fakhrudin Multani. This poor man was a companion of Mirza, a true believer. He left his home and settled in Qadian, to be with his master. He was then treated like a modern day paedophile in a northern town and ultimately murdered.

His murderer was hanged by the government, but buried with full honours by the Ahmadiyya. This is an old story. The newer ones, while often not as violent, are just as painful and the reasons often more petty. This happens while rapists connected to the Mirza family are given enormous financial support and while the cult keeps grabbing land for no reason other than to satisfy the greed of the leadership.

Nobody condones murder or persecution. I’m not backing any of that kind of nonsense here. I used to be one of them – how could I possibly condone violence against them? I am just of the firm opinion however, that the persecution of Ahmadis is the most overplayed card in the history of all fitnas to affect the Muslim Ummah. If it’s persecution you want to see, look at Palestine. Look at Chechnya. Look at Bosnia. Look at Iraq. Look at Afghanistan. Then shut the hell up already.

It would behove the Ahmadiyya to stop bleating on about “persecution” when its own house is in disarray. When the Ahmadiyya stops boycotting and ostracising its own for allowing their daughters to marry Muslims, then they should feel free to put out pathetic press releases about a family practising a cult that is anathema to Muslims getting cold-shouldered.