Many times I’ve noted that while Sunni Muslims viciously persecute Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan and Indonesia, Ahmadi Muslim spokesmen in the West such as Qasim Rashid and Haris Zafar eagerly carry water for their persecutors and smear and defame those who speak out against the persecution of the Ahmadis. Now they’re joined by another Ahmadi Muslim writer, Kashif Chaudhry, who identifies himself self-importantly as “Physician, Writer and Humanitarian; Blogger at The Huffington Post and Express Tribune, Pakistan; Recipient, Presidential Service Award; Humanity comes First; Interests: Cardiology, Pakistan, USA, Human Rights and ‘Halwa Puri.'”
Chaudhry has written a piece at his blog that has widely circulated among Ahmadis on Twitter (which is where the whole controversy took place, anyway) attacking Pamela Geller and me, entitled “Spencer & Geller identify Taliban – but not Ahmadis – as Muslims,” based on a series of attacks they mounted against us on Twitter. The idea was to catch us in a dilemma: either we would declare that the Taliban were Muslims but the Ahmadis not, and thus supposedly be guilty of validating “extremism,” or would affirm that the Ahmadis were Muslims, and thus be caught out admitting that Islam is peaceful.
This dilemma is obviously bogus on its face. I have never claimed — contrary to repeated smear claims from Leftists and Islamic supremacists — that any particular sect of Islam represents “true Islam.” Not the Taliban, not the Ahmadis, not anyone. I have reported many times that groups like the Taliban make recruits among Muslims by representing themselves as the authentic exponents of Islam, and that peaceful Muslims have not ever mounted an effective comeback to those claims. But I’ve never said that the Taliban represented true Islam, or that Ahmadis weren’t Muslims. Chaudhry, as you’ll see, forces the evidence and assumes that I said that the Taliban were Muslims but wouldn’t say the same thing about Ahmadis. He obviously didn’t do a simple search of Jihad Watch that would have shown him hundreds of examples of my referring to Ahmadis as Muslims.
When I gave him just a small bit of this evidence on Twitter, the preening and arrogant Qasim Rashid worked the second part of the “dilemma,” claiming that by acknowledging that Ahmadis were Muslims, I had now admitted that Islam was a religion of peace — and that therefore no one need take seriously what I say about Islam and jihad violence. This is patently absurd, since then the persecution of Ahmadis by other Muslims only underscores that Islam is not a religion of peace. And Rashid’s conclusions betrays the goal of the whole endeavor: to get people to stop listening to Geller and me, because we reveal truths about Islam and jihad terror that water carriers for terror like Chaudhry and Rashid are desperate to obscure. It is a pity that Ahmadis like Chaudhry and Rashid are such faithful servants of those who are murdering their people in Pakistan and Indonesia, but that is how it is.
Some highlights of Chaudhry’s outstandingly dishonest presentation (you can see the whole thing here):
This was not a false claim on Geller’s part at all. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reported that 90 per cent of the girls were Christians. But that is just the beginning of Chaudhry’s dishonesty.
Whatever their faith, I asked her to join #BringBackOurGirls campaign against the terrorists.
Pamela insisted this was a “Muslim problem.”
Even though he puts the words “Muslim problem” inside quotation marks, Chauhdry doesn’t give a source for Pamela Geller saying this. And for good reason: she doesn’t say it. I searched her Twitter feed in vain for her saying this. Chaudhry simply fabricated the quote. Then, after mistaking (no doubt intentionally) her pointing out that Ahmadis are persecuted by other Muslims as a claim that Ahmadis were not Muslim, there came this exchange:
Rashid’s claim was based on nothing at all, and Geller immediately set him straight:
After a bit more contentious back-and-forth, Chaudhry picked up this theme from Rashid:
And he enunciated the point of the inquiry — to defame and discredit Geller:
Rashid duly took up the talking point:
Soon enough, they turned to me:
I asked Spencer for his own views.
Now look how Chaudhry characterizes what happened next:
Do you see where I equate Ahmadis with the Taliban? Neither do I. Chaudhry simply made that up. My tweet was about how Qasim Rashid was a servant of the Ahmadis’ Salafi persecutors. Chaudhry’s taking that as an equation of the Ahmadis with the Taliban shows yet again his dishonesty.
Chaudhry kept pressing for an answer to his question, which seemed to me to be utterly irrelevant. I gave him one:
They refuse to identify Ahmadis the way they would like to be identified. Reason: “We are not Imams who can certify to your Muslimness.”
Taqiyya about taqiyya in the Washington Post: “An Ahmadi Muslim [Qasim Rashid!] writes a guest column in the Washington Post claiming to delineate moderate Muslim theology, but in reality, he just throws more sand in our eyes.” — February 2011
And from just a few days ago:
Baltimore Muslim leader says Islam doesn’t justify abduction — doesn’t mention sex slavery passages of Qur’an — referring to Ahmadi leader Faheem Younus
And so on. I could multiply such examples endlessly, but the point is made. I’ve always referred to the Ahmadis as Muslims, and Chaudhry didn’t bother doing even rudimentary research.
Anyway, heedless of all this, Chaudhry pressed on:
Do they also need Imam’s approval to consider Taliban Muslim?
“No, we dont [sic] need approval. Their claim is enough. We report it as such.”
Here again Chaudhry fabricates a quote: I never said, “No, we dont need approval. Their claim is enough. We report it as such.” He extrapolated that from my saying that I reported on what the Taliban said and did, but if he had checked Jihad Watch, he would have known that that is what I do with the Ahmadis as well. Then, building false charge on false charge, Chaudhry charges that I “censor” Ahmadis’ claim to be Muslim.
Now, so far in this post, all the tweets I have reproduced are also in Chaudhry’s article. But this one in which he made the charge straight out that I considered Ahmadis non-Muslims, and my follow-up (and others) in which I asked him to quote me saying that Ahmadis were not Muslim, he did not see fit to include:
I expect that he omitted them because he knew his charge was false, and that he couldn’t find a quote to substantiate it. Also not included in his article was my subsequent exchange with Qasim Rashid, in which I gave Rashid some of the evidence (which they could have found via a Google search) that I have many times referred to the Ahmadis as Muslims and that Chaudhry was lying. Rashid, a relentlessly mean-spirited, rude and unpleasant individual, responded with his usual arrogance and contempt:
Of course, I had done no such thing, as acknowledging that Ahmadis consider themselves Muslims, as I acknowledge that the Taliban consider themselves Muslims, doesn’t say a thing about what the Qur’an or Islamic tradition and law say about warfare against unbelievers. So we have the spectacle here of two respected Muslim leaders lying brazenly and repeatedly, ignoring evidence that didn’t fit their view, and forcing conclusions without a shred of evidence.
1. Chaudhry and Rashid are deeply dishonest, and not to be trusted.
2. Chaudhry and Rashid fear Pamela Geller and me so much that they feel the need to lie in order to try to discredit us.
3. Chaudhry and Rashid are more interested in aiding their Sunni persecutors in defaming us than with standing with us who speak out against the persecution of Ahmadis.