I look out the window and stare at the minarets of the Ahmadi mosque. There is a cool evening breeze as the calls to prayer are heard from its two towers, lit up in colors in the evening. The sea spreads below it off to the horizon. The mosque minarets have become something of a symbol of the city, the very first thing that greets the eyes of tourists as they enter town from the main highway.
The Ahmadis just across from my window go about their business, disturbed by no one and disturbing no one. There is a reason for this.
The reason is that this Ahmadi mosque is not in Pakistan. It is in Haifa, Israel. You know, that same Israel that is defamed as a discriminatory apartheid state by the members of the Islamofascist-leftist alliance, that 21st century Ribbentrop-Molotov pact. Of course, the reality is that Israel is the only country in the Middle East that is not an apartheid regime.
The minarets of the Haifa mosque are the most interesting thing one sees from my living room window. But I turn from the window to the television screen. There on the evening news are other Ahmadi mosques. They are filled with blood and flames. Those Ahmadis were not fortunate enough to live under Israeli “apartheid” rule. They were the victims of Pakistani barbarism and savagery.
On May 28, 2010 a group of Sunni Muslim terrorists attacked two mosques in Lahore, Pakistan, belonging to the Ahmadi sect. At least 98 people died in the carnage. The terrorists used bombs and automatic rifles. The massacres drew attention to a little discussed facet of modern Islamofascism, namely Islamist violence against other Muslims.
The Ahmadis are a heterodox sect, known collectively as the Ahmadiyya, founded in the late 19th century in Pakistan. It is estimated that they have four million followers just in Pakistan, and they claim to have tens of millions more worldwide. They have two million followers just in the African country of Benin.
Ahmadi followers believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) was sent by Allah as a prophet “to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice and peace,” this according to an Ahmadi web site. The founder of the sect claimed to be a prophet and a sort of Islamic messiah or Mahdi. The sect even claims that Mohammed foresaw and foretold of the coming of Ahmad.
There is some disagreement even within the Ahmadi movement as to just what Ahmad’s position is in the religion. The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement broke away from the rest of the Ahmadis and tried to move closer to mainstream Islam. It affirmed the traditional Muslim interpretation that there can be no prophet after Muhammad, and instead, viewed Ahmadism as a reform movement within broader Islam. Curiously, one of the main theological differences between Ahmadis and other Muslims has to do with the role and position of Jesus, who is considered a prophet in Islam, although not of the same stature as Mohammed. Starting in the 1920s, large numbers of Pakistani Ahmadis arrived as missionaries in many countries around the world, trying to win converts. The movement claims to have followers today in 195 countries.
The first Ahmadi contacts with people living in Ottoman Palestine were made before the end of the nineteenth century. Concentrating their missionary efforts mainly on local Arabs, several converts were made. The most important was a local clan leader living on Mount Carmel in what is now a neighborhood of Haifa. He was Abdul Qadir Odeh, the first Arab leader to embrace Ahmadiyyat in what became Israel. In the Haifa neighborhood of Kababir just across the wadi from me today, the Israeli Ahmadans live.
Older Ahmadis can be spotted around town by their Pakistani haberdashery; they wear exactly the same style of hat that Afghan President Hamid Karzai wears. The “Centre for the Ahmadiyyan Delegation to Countries of the Middle East” is also situated in the village/neighborhood. I once went to one of its open houses in its mosque, where it was offering free Koran books in different languages to anyone for the asking. Hebrew Korans are easy to find. But that was the first and only time I ever saw the Koran translated into Yiddish. Ahmadis from Kababir also regularly set up information stands about their community on my campus.
The relations between the Haifa Ahmadis and Jews (and Christians and Moslems and Druse and Bahais) is warm and cordial. As far as I know there has never been a single instance of Haifa Ahmadis participating in anti-Israel terror or sedition. The worst complaint about them that I have heard has to do with their shooting off fireworks at their weddings.
Many mainstream Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims do not consider the Ahmadis to be true Muslims at all. There are many websites that demonize and defame the Ahmadis, run by radical Islamists. A law in Pakistan prohibits Ahmadis from proclaiming themselves Muslims. Anti-Ahmadi violence has broken out regularly in Pakistan, the first time in 1953, shortly after Pakistani independence.
According to one of Ahmadi official web site:
“Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the leading Islamic organization to categorically reject terrorism in any form. Over a century ago, Ahmad(as) emphatically declared that an aggressive “jihad by the sword” has no place in Islam. In its place, he taught his followers to wage a bloodless, intellectual “jihad of the pen” to defend Islam. To this end, Ahmad(as) penned over 80 books and tens of thousands of letters, delivered hundreds of lectures, and engaged in scores of public debates. His rigorous and rational defenses of Islam unsettled conventional Muslim thinking. As part of its effort to revive Islam, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community continues to spread Ahmad’s(as) teachings of moderation and restraint in the face of bitter opposition from parts of the Muslim world. Similarly, it is the only Islamic organization to endorse a separation of mosque and state.”
One wonders whether the Ahmadi version of a quietist non-violent Islam is what really has the Islamofascists so upset. Because of the cordial relations between Jews and Ahmadis in Israel, numerous Islamofascist web sites denounce the Ahmadis as Zionist agents.