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Anti-Ahmadism In India Indians, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, must learn from the sectarian developmen ts in Pakistan, and

make every effort to stop any expression of sectarian prejud ice in public contexts By C.M. Naim A few days back a small headline in the Urdu daily Munsif (Hyderabad) caught my eye: The Worst Attempt at the State Level to Declare the Qadianis Muslim. The text went on to report on what the dignitaries of an organization called Majlis-i-Kh atm-i-Nabuwwat Trust, AndhraPradesh had said in the way of denouncing the Mayawa ti government in Uttar Pradesh. However, only one sentence in the report running to 18 lines communicated any sense of what the alleged attempt and conspiracy was : In the textbooks for high schools the Qadiani sect has been included in the acc ount of the many sects among the Muslims. Then I received a mailing that brought to my attention a long note by Sultan Shahin entitled Muslim Juhala threaten Maya wati government over Ahmadiya issue. It included the full text of an item publis hed in Hamara Samaj (New Delhi; 25 August 2010) that provided the information I needed: It is to be noted that on page 30 of Samajik Vigyan of Class X, in the chapter t itled Ahamdiyya Andolan, the sect has been linked to Muslims terming it as a refor mist sect. Not only that, on page 29, in the essay titled Muslim Andolan an attemp t has been made to present Muslims as divided into various sects as Wahabi Andol an( Movement), Deobandi Andolan and Aligarh Andolan. It is to be noted that Mirz a Ghulam Ahmad was born in mouza Qadian in Gurdaspur district of Punjab (India) in 1839. He claimed to be a prophet in 1899 and died in 1908. Clearly, the only questionable feature in the report is the use of Andolan for sect . The report in Hamara Samaj included denunciations from the President of Jamiat-i -Ulema-i-Hind, Qari Syed Md Usman Mansurpuri, the General Secretary of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Maulana Nizamuddin, the General Secretary of the All India Majlis-e-Mashawarat , Maulana Umeduzzaman Kairanvi, the Naib Imam of the Shia Jama Masjid, Delhi, and the Principal of Jamiat-al-Shaheed, Maulana Muhsin Taqvi (sic), and a few other similar notables. Most denunciations were of the s ame nature as that coming from Maulana Abdul Khalique Sambhali of Darul Ulum Deo band, who reportedly said, The issue was an important religious one of the Muslim s and no complacency would be tolerated over it. The Maulana demanded that the UP government remove the reference in the book and cleansed the book (committee) of Muslims who are enemies of Islam in the disguise of Muslims. But the General Sec retary of the Jamaat-i-Islami (Hind), Mujtaba Faruque, went many steps further in his reasoning. According to the report in Hamara Samaj, he argued: The Qadiani s ect is in fact a product of the Jews and the Christians. That the centre of the Ahmadiyyas is in Britain is clear testimony to this. He said that the UP governm ent should realize that it was not wise to hurt the Muslims. He warned that they would be compelled to launch a movement if the essay was not expunged immediate ly. Apparently Mr. Mujtaba Faruque does not know or remember that Maulana Maududi sent his son to study and live in that most nefarious of the lands of the Chris tians and the Jews, namely the United States, and eventually came there himself for medical treatment that, sadly, did not suffice. I hope someone in the Minori ties Commission would take notice of his inflammatory statement against all Jews and Christians.

Coming to the other notables Our Lordsthat is what Maulana literally meansI would fir t like to request them to give up that title. I find it disturbing that they all ow people to use for them the title that really should be used exclusively for t he Prophet Muhammad. They themselves use the expression Sayyadna wa Maulana Muham

madin many times isrespectful that ion till the late gh for people far

in the prayers every day to refer to him. Dont they think it is d they should also be called Maulana? After all the common express 19th century was Maulavi (My Lord), which was considered good enou more learned and deserving.

Next I would like to draw their attention to two books. The first is the autobio graphy of Maulavi Abdul Majid Dariabadi, whose name I am sure they all know and revere. As is well known to his admirers, he went through a long period of ten y ears when he rejected all religions and was a votary of pure reason. Eventually he regained his faith in religion in general and Islam in particular, some might say with a vengeance. Be that as it may, he gives a vivid and honest account of those states of mind in the book Apbiti. According to him his faith in religion returned with his readings in Buddhist and Hindu texts, including the Bhagawad Gita, and his return to Islam was very much facilitated by his chance discovery of the English translation of the Quran by Muhammad Ali Lahori Ahmadi (in common p arlance Qadiani). (That was, incidentally, the first English translation by any Muslim.) This is what he wrote: I impatiently pulled it out from the cabinet and began to read, and, God be prai sed, the more I read the more my faith increased May Allah give that Muhammad Al i a place in Paradise [karwaT karwaT jannat de]. What he believed about the Mirz a [Ghulam Ahmad] Sahib [the founder of the sect] is of no concern to me. Was he right or was he wrong, I dont care. I cant help but tell my personal experience, f or it was he who hammered in the final nail into the coffin of my disbelief and rejection (kufr wa irtidad). (Apbiti, Lucknow, 1978, p. 254.) Surely, not one of the worthies mentioned above can claim to have served Islam s imilarly. The other book is a classic, a one-of-its-kind intellectual history of Islam in South Asia. It is in three chronologically arranged volumes, the last of which, Mauj-i-Kausar, deals with the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries. The author, Sh aikh Muhammad Ikram, was a scholar and Pakistani civil servant who also publishe d very important books on Ghalib and Shibli Numani. The first two volumes of the history were probably published in 1937; the final third was published either in 1947 or soon after. The three volumes went through two or three revisions and r epeated printings in both India and Pakistan. The copy I have is the expanded an d revised edition of 1962. It consists of six sections, one of which is titled Mo dern Scholastic Theology (Jadid Ilm-al-Kalam). It lists the following eight subsec tions: Sir Syed; Maulavi Charagh Ali; Syed Amir Ali; Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and the Q adiani Jamaat; Ahmadiya Jamaat of Lahore; Muslim Missionaries; Nadwat-al-Ulama; and Deoband. In other words, a highly recognized Muslim scholar of Pakistan, no less , felt no hesitation in according the Ahmadis of both kinds a place in the intel lectual history of South Asian Muslims, despite his equally immediate critique o f some of the personal claims made by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The so-called Maulanas fai l to understand that a school textbook is neither a missionary tract nor a site to declare someone kafir, that even a heretic Muslim remains a part of the histo ry of Muslimshe does not become a part of some other religious historyand that it is not the states job to take sides in sectarian matters. They claim that all Musli ms are united in considering the Ahmadis beyond the pale of Islam, but then many of the same Muslims turn around and feel no hesitation in hurling accusations o f heresy against each other, to the extent of any degree of violence. Just look at what has been happening for years in Pakistan. It should be noted that extreme sectarianism and religious persecution of minori ties in Pakistan began with the anti-Ahmadi movement led by Abul Ala Maududi and others during the regime of the army dictator, Gen. Ayub Khan, but gained enorm ous power only after the socialist Z.A. Bhutto, conceded the demand in a desperate attempt to save his political fortune. Gen. Zia-ul-Haq only worsened the situat ion with his draconian laws. He also fully exploited the sectarian passions of t

he mullahs and maulanas to keep the ordinary Pakistani beguiled while expanding the armys control in every sector of Pakistans economy. What began as a campaign a gainst the Ahmadis has now turned into a raging battle between most of the Musli ms sects in Pakistan, who come together only when they wish to beat up on some h apless Hindu, Sikh, or Christian. Then they go back to bashing each other, not s paring even the sacred precincts of mosques and Sufi shrines. That the same scen ario of sectarian violence has not played out in India is not due to any lack of attempt on the part of some of the so-called leaders. Read some of the writings of Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi and Manzur Numani and the Urdu journals and pamphlets pu t out by various Muslims organizations, go to the cassette shops in Basti Nizamu ddin and similar places, or flip through the pages of most Urdu dailies and you will easily find enough to make you worried abut the future of Indian Islam at t he hands of these self-appointed and mutually perpetuating Muslim leaders. You wil l find at the very least a shameless coarseness of feeling and language that, in Pakistan, eventually led to a state where journalists covering the recent massa cre of Ahmadis in a mosque in Lahore declined to drink the tea that was offered by the victims relatives. The latest manifestation of that same erosion of basic human feelings in the cause of sectarianism was reported in theDaily Times (Laho re) of August 21: LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed serious con cern over the murder of two Ahmedis in the last three days and over reports of d enial of shelter to the members of the Ahmadi community in southern Punjab. In a statement issued on Friday, the HRCP said, The unrelenting target killings o f members of the Ahmadi community by extremists is a poor reflection on the stat es obligation to protect the lives of all subjects. This week, the murder of an A hmadi in Sanghar and another, a doctor, in Karachi only highlights the impunity the perpetrators of such heinous crimes enjoy. Only bringing the culprits to jus tice would bring an end to these senseless killings. The HRCP is also shocked by reports that government officials have refused to provide shelter to around 500 Ahmadi families from Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh and Rajanpur districts. That a religious majority might take to persecuting a religious minority is a po ssibility that everyone unhesitatingly understands. What is not so readily under stood is that a minority itself often consists of one or two prominent collectiv es plus several smaller ones, and that the majority within a minority can persecut e the smaller groups under the same psychological compulsions of authority and c ontrol that it accuses the national majority of displaying against it.[1] That i s where state institutions must intervene, and play their critical role of both vigilance and diligence in providing physical, social, and economic security to all citizens of the country, regardless of the peculiarities or even idiosyncras ies of their beliefs. I hope Ms Mayawatis government stands firm in this matter. School textbooks are not meant to teach what religion or sect is true. Their only purpose is to make the students a little bit knowledgeable about some subject in a fair and unbiased manner. People in India, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, mus t learn from the sectarian developments in Pakistan, and make every effort to ni p in the bud any expression of sectarian prejudice in public contexts. C.M. Naim is Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago. Source: URL: Forward to a friend COMMENTS Ghulam Mohiyuddin Print

Indian Muslims must treat the Ahmadi minority with the same respect that they th emselves expect as a minority in India. If Ahmadis, who accept the unity of God , the prophethood of Mohammed, and 99.99% of the Quran, consider themselves to b e Muslims, no one except Allah has the right to say they are not. At the same ti me Ahmadis should stop saying that their creed is the only true Islam.

Lee Jay Walker ZAFFAR - you are misguided by your own ineptness. Pakistan - another massacre against Shia Muslims and yes all minorities face per secution and death in the name of Sunni Islam. Now, ignortant person; tell me when Muslims were blown up in mosques in the UK a nd USA? Also, if this did ever happen, then the legal system would deal with the problem unlike the legal system in Egypt, Pakistan, and others, who do nothing to prote ct minorities in their own lands. Yes, you cannot; can you? Also, apostates to Christianity have been beheaded by the Sunni Islamic Al-Shaba b in Somalia - now, tell me when a convert to Islam from Christianity was behead ed in the UK, France, USA, Japan, and so forth? Muslims have 99.9% more freedom in the West than what Christians, Hindus, Ahmadi yya Muslims, Baha is, Shabaks, Buddhists, Yazidis, Mandaeans, Zoroastrians, and so forth, have in despotic Islamic nations. Do you equate the rape of Christian women by Sunni Muslim fanatics in Egypt and Pakistan and then being forced to convert to Islam with so-called persecution in the West? You are not just ignorant, you are in a major denial syndrome; wake up, Sunni Is lam means darkness and persecution - after all, even in the lands of Mecca and M edina you have "no light" just hatred, and yes, hatred towards non-Muslims and S hia Muslims. Sunni Islam, the darkness and major evil of this world - pity the non-Muslims, S hia Muslims, Ahmadiyya Muslims, the Shabaks, the Mandaeans, and so forth, who ha ve to fear daily persecution at the hands of Sunni Islamic fanatics.

Zaffar I shall be pleased if you can remove the tombs and mosque pictures from your Fac e because these are the symbols of Islam and you are serving an evil in your fan atic and wild publishings, May Allah give us the courage to stand against such a n evil force like you. Your stupid eyes can see Anti-Ahmadism in India but you a re not saying anything about inhumanity and anti-Islamism in West, it is very st range that western columnists are talking about this and you people are supporti ng the evil agenda....shame on you.

Anwaar, Dallas, United States The subcontinent Muslims need to cleanse themselves of Maududism. The mullahs of UP who demand the removal from school texts of any reference to Ahmadis should not be allowed to win. But that requires that the Chief Minister and her governm ent be principled and unfazed by vote-bank considerations. I am afraid the mulla hs will win.

Ahmed, Surat, India I agree with Mr. Anwaar that it is mostly seen in India that the sectarian voice s usually triumph as the state cannot stick to its ground as it fails to give a pragmatic rationale to its decisions in the face of minority demands. Put correc tly by Mr. Naim ""majority within a minority can persecute the smaller groups und er the same psychological compulsions of authority and control that it accuses t he national majority of displaying against it". An unfortunate trend.

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