Earle Cornelius of LancasterOnline is a better reporter than most non-Muslim reporters in the U.S. who report on Ahmadiyya spokesmen as if they’re the true, peaceful, moderate Muslims: he informs his readers of a salient detail that most leave out, that the Ahmadiyya “are considered a heretical sect by some Muslims and Ahmadiyya Muslims have been persecuted in Pakistan and Indonesia.” But he doesn’t inform his readers that the Ahmadiyya represent no more than three percent of Muslims worldwide, or that in Pakistan, they’re not even allowed legally to proclaim themselves as Muslims.
These facts make Hammad Ahmad’s claim that Muslim clerics have been misunderstanding Islam for 1,400 years — that is, since the very beginning of the religion — bizarre, to say the least. How did this misunderstanding arise at the dawn of the religion, and why did it persist to modern times? Why is the group that Ahmad considers to be the only true Muslims a tiny, despised group?
Earle Cornelius neither asks nor answers these questions. For the mainstream media, in its ongoing quest to present a peaceful, benign face of Islam, any “moderate” will do, no matter how risible his or her claims.
“Convention focuses on rebuilding Islam’s name,” by Earle Cornelius, LancasterOnline, August 14, 2015:
Imam Hammad Ahmad contends that Muslim clerics have, for the past 1,400 years, perverted the true meaning of Islam.
Islam, he said in an interview this week, is a religion of peace, not of war.
Ahmad is among those who are addressing several thousand members at this year’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Community convention currently taking place at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. The theme of the event is “Religion, Freedom and Peace.”
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community — which is the oldest American-Islamic organization — is a reformist sect that believes Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who died in 1908, to be the mahdi, or the figure expected by some Muslims at the end of the world. Ahmad claimed to be the metaphorical second coming of Jesus whose arrival was foretold by the Prophet Muhammad.
That belief separates the sect from other Muslims in the world. They are considered a heretical sect by some Muslims and Ahmadiyya Muslims have been persecuted in Pakistan and Indonesia.
Ahmad, from Baltimore, said the purpose of the convention is to “promote peace and tolerance.”
Worried by radicalists
Amjad Khan, the group’s national director of public affairs, said the convention “focuses on revitalizing and clarifying” Islam’s meaning.
He said extremists, such as Islamic State, are ruining Islam’s name.
“We are deeply concerned about radicalism among Muslims worldwide,” he said.
“We see jihad as a spiritual struggle, as an intellectual struggle, not one of violence,” said Khan.
(Imam Fuad al-Zubeiry of Lancaster, said Muslims do not accept any messenger other than Muhammad. He added that while the greatest jihad is internal, orthodox Muslims see jihad as fighting for the right cause.)
Ahmadiyya Muslims follow the Five Pillars of Islam, adhere to the six articles of faith and follow the Quran.
Late last year, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, who is the spiritual leader or caliph to millions of Ahmadiyya Muslims around the world, said it was shameful that Britain had lost an estimated 500 young people to Islamic State.
According to The Guardian newspaper, the caliph said Muslim leaders in the United Kingdom should be teaching “love of country” as well as love of God to disaffected young men and women and working harder to promote the peaceful message of Islam.
Bridging the gap
Khan and Ahmad acknowledge these are difficult times for Muslims. Polls show that Americans have a largely negative view of Islam.
“It’s a steep mountain for us to climb,” Khan admitted.
To bridge that gap, the group has launched three campaigns — Muslims for Peace, Muslims for Loyalty and Muslims for Life.
Muslims for Loyalty hold events on July 4 every year. The purpose, said Khan, is to remind Muslims they are to be loyal to America.
Every Sept. 11, they hold a blood drive as part of the Muslims for Life campaign. Since its inception, he said, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has collected more than 35,000 pints of blood.
Khan said that has enabled the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to build ties in this country….