At a conference

Yesterday Kashif Chaudhry went to a conference in Virginia – a conference about hating Ahmadi Muslims. Kashif is an Ahmadi Muslim, and a cardiologist. He’s writing up the conference, and in the meantime he has this public Facebook post about it:

Every American, but especially American Muslims, should be worried about this and must condemn it loudly. Whether its Islamophobes hating on Muslims, Neo-Nazis hating on Muslims and Jews, or Sunni extremists hating on Shia and Ahmadi Muslims, all Americans must condemn the hate and protect our values of pluralism and inclusivity.

Today, I went to an anti-Ahmadi “Khatme Nabuwat” conference in Virginia, a fundraiser by an extremist organization. I can’t believe the hatred that was being spewed by the extremist Sunni clerics in attendance and I was shocked at the extent of radicalization of Muslim youth occurring right here on American soil (America was repeatedly referred to as the “land of the infidels”) at the hands of these extremist clerics. I will be writing about the whole experience and sharing quotes of the speakers soon. For now, I will just share one interesting encounter. During the Q/A session, after letting the speakers know I was an Ahmadi Muslim, I asked Omar F. Khan (speaking in the picture), the director of the institute that organized the event and who reiterated how Ahmadis were infidels, how he defined a Muslim.

Me: “Maulana Sahib, how do you define a Muslim?”

Omar Khan: Anyone who recites the Kalima.

Me: I recited the Kalima loudly, turned to the crowd, and then back at the Maulana and asked if I was a Muslim by his definition now.

Omar Khan: “No. you have to believe in Khatme Nabuwat also.”

I recited verse 33:40 in which Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is called the Khataman Nabiyeen and said I believe in this verse 100%. Now what?

Another speaker interrupted and said mere words were not enough, and that I had to believe in his interpretation of Khatme Nabuwat.

Me: I asked them to come up with a definition of a Muslim and be consistent. I then asked Omar Khan what he thought of the Shia Muslims. “Are the Shias Muslims in your eyes because they believe in your interpretation of Khatme Nabuwat?”

Omar Khan: “No, the Shias are Kafirs (infidels). They cannot be considered Muslims.”

American Muslims must NOT allow such Takfiri, divisive, hateful, extremist-minded clerics to speak for us on US soil. It is these bigots who give us all a bad name. We must be the first to call them out. There is much more. Stay tuned for a comprehensive piece on my experience.

Remember the murder of Asad Shah? The Glasgow shopkeeper who was a benevolent loved presence in his neighborhood?

Before he was brutally murdered on 24 March of this year, Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah had uploaded hundreds of videos to YouTube.

Nearly all were filmed over the counter of his newsagent shop in the Shawlands area of the city.

In one he’s cutting a birthday cake for a young child celebrating his sixth birthday in the store alongside his mother.

It’s a touching window into the life of a man who had become a much loved figure in his local community.

He was murdered because he was Ahmadi.

In April, Tanveer Ahmed took the highly unusual step of releasing a statement through his lawyer, before even entering a plea, outlining his motivations for killing Asad Shah.

He said: “This all happened for one reason and no other issues and no other intentions.

“Asad Shah disrespected the messenger of Islam the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. Mr Shah claimed to be a Prophet.”

Tanveer Ahmed also appears to be free to communicate his beliefs to others even from inside prison.

An audio message purportedly sent by him to supporters who uploaded it to Facebook marks the Muslim festival of Eid earlier this week.

It ends with the chilling slogan in Urdu: “The penalty for those who disrespect the Prophet is cutting the head from the body.”

Kashif wants us to get the word out. Hate-mongering against Ahmadis isn’t some innocent weekend pastime.

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