Well, this is reassuring — and we’ve certainly never heard it before! There’s just one catch (well, maybe a few catches): note, first of all, that Ahmidiyya leader Shahzad Amjad, at least as far as this story goes, doesn’t offer a single specific example of how the Islamic State is misrepresenting the teachings of the Qur’an and Muhammad. Second, it is risible for Amjad to present himself as a representative of mainstream Islam, when the Ahmadiyya represent no more than three percent of Muslims worldwide, and are violently persecuted as heretics by Sunni Muslims in Pakistan and Indonesia. In Pakistan, they’re not even allowed legally to proclaim themselves as Muslims. Amjad, like his far cleverer and more sinister brethren Qasim Rashid and Haris Zafar, is carrying water for those who oppress his people by misleading Americans into complacency about the nature and magnitude of the threat they pose.
“Muslim group in Tempe pushes back against ISIS extremism,” by Garrett Mitchell, The Republic, May 30, 2015 (thanks to Darcy):
The Valley chapter of a Muslim youth advocacy group hosted a seminar in Tempe on Saturday examining the religion of Islam and how it differs from the radical and violent activities of terrorist groups.
Saturday’s seminar, “Stop the CrISIS,” aimed to address religious extremism as well as combat intolerance and ignorance. Nearly 60 people participated.
The seminar’s purpose was to show the difference between mainstream Islam and radicals who “represent a small minority” of a religion that promotes peace and tolerance, said Shahzad Amjad, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association’s Phoenix chapter.
Notice once again that the focus was on convincing non-Muslims of this, not on convincing young Muslims that the teachings of the Islamic State were wrong. All the talk about the Phoenix protest and “bigotry” takes on a new light when one remembers that two adherents of the Islamic State, Ibrahim Simpson and Nadir Soofi, tried to commit mass murder at our free speech event in Texas — and they were from Phoenix, where they were members in good standing at the mosque where the demo was held.
The AMYA is a national group that works with young Muslim men and boys to teach community involvement, spiritual training and provide service opportunities.
After opening with excerpts from the Quran, the calm discussion was a departure from Friday’s contentious anti-Muslim protest, where hundreds of protesters and counterprotesters faced off outside the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix. The protest organizer had urged people to bring weapons and American flags to the mosque during prayer services. Counterprotesters responded by holding signs with phrases such as “Love not Hate.”
Addressing the severe form of sharia law imposed by Islamic State in the territory it controls in Iraq and Syria, Amjad said, “There’s extremists on both sides. We need to look past what they’re (members of Islamic State) doing. They’re using a faith that promotes peace and using it for their own purposes.”
The AMYA periodically hosts such events to educate people on Islam’s views on pressing topics.
In regards to Friday’s protest, Amjad said, “We’re all Americans, and we all need to have a voice when freedoms are threatened. We have an obligation to raise our voices when these things happen.”
Amjad was joined by other AMYA members and Valley government and police representatives as well as advocates and allies of Valley Muslims.
Josh Prather, a pastor at Redemption Church and an evangelical Christian, spoke at the event. He said having relationships with “neighbors who are unlike us” can help others understand and accept religious differences.
“We have to be a voice for the voiceless,” Prather said. “One of the most important things is to humanize people who have been dehumanized.”
Amjad Mahmood Khan, a Los Angeles-based attorney and the national director of public affairs for the AMYA, said Friday’s demonstration was intended to provoke Muslims during their day of prayer.
“Those who were there had the legal right to be there, but should they have done it? That’s a moral question,” Khan said. “The ability to provoke should not be taken lightly.”
Khan also spoke of the prophet Mohammed’s teachings, touching on the stark contrast between the Islamic State and the teachings of mainstream Islam.
“The Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam,” he said. “Everything Mohammed stood for is the opposite of what they do — he condemned violence.”…