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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Muslim Council of Britain - The Islamist Big Brother

Muslim Council of Britain has many affiliates. Shia, Sunni, Wahabi, Salafi, progressives as well as orthodox; the council does seem to strive to represent the interests of British Muslims.

We can safely assume that theological differences among various sects are put aside while dealing with key issues which affect all Muslims alike. i.e., Islamophobia, community tensions, discrimination at workplace, mosque applications getting refused on flimsy grounds etc.

It doesn't matter to the council for example if a shia  muslim holds a theologically distinct position regarding the superiority of Imams over the Prophets, a belief which is fiercely contested by the Sunnis. But why should it matter?

Your local council, or a fiery UKIP candidate, or your boss don't need to know these intricacies while judging you to be a person of concern around the place. Your beard, hijab or the need to go for prayer breaks will be sufficient to provoke prejudice against you.

Similarly, it doesn't matter for the MCB if a certain proportion of their membership is barelvi sub-sect of sunni Islam. Barelvi's tend to be more devotional towards the saints and sufis of the past and their present day successors. They find it much easier to prostrate themselves before their holy men and indulge in mystical music and dancing. An observant barelvi will spend much of his life in certain social and religious practices which are shunned by the wahabi/salafi sect of Islam. Wahabi/Salafi Muslims are strict monotheists. To them, barelvis are 'Mushrik', polytheists. The act of 'shirk' is enough to condemn a person to eternal hell!

Both wahabis and barelvis are proud members of the MCB, and why shouldn't they be? As it doesn't matter to the local residents to protest against a mosque project if it is going to be a barelvi or a wahabi mosque. We all look and sound the same to them, right?

Why should then the MCB go out of its way to say that Ahmadis cannot be called Muslims?
According to their statement the MCB feels that muslims are unduly pressurized to refer to Ahmadis as muslims.

In my experience, it is infact the ordinary mainstream Muslims who are being pressurized unduly to boycott Ahmadis and consider them non-Muslims. Most of my muslim friends consider me a muslim like themselves. But if some of them unfortunately cross paths with a takfiri Mullah, they change their views. Not all of them, but some of them. And when I confront them about their views their standard reply is that 'I am not expert in such things, but the Maulvi knows much more than I do.'

A famous slogan goes 'whoever doesn't believe them to be kafir is a kafir himsef'.

Hate filled pamphlets called for the boycott of Ahmadis are common sight in the UK threse days.
We should sympathize with those poor souls who are being held hostage by the enemies of freedom of belief and expression. The MCB is playing big brother for UK muslims, just like its proud affiliate, the Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat, AMTKN, a well funded organization which is responsible for Ahmadi persecution worldwide.

Imam Ibrahim Mogra of the MCB, a polite and well-spoken muslim faith leader, spent an hour on the BBC Asian Network trying to explain to the audience what it is that gives him and the MCB the right to say such an absurd thing.

Imam Ibrahim Mogra. Image courtesy
Mogra cites the two fundamentals of Islam, 1) Belief in Allah as the only God and 2) Belief in Muhammad as the final messenger of God.

He says that because Ahmadis do not believe in the finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad and they hold a distinctly unislamic belief in another prophet after him, therefore they cannot be Muslims.

A number of Ahmadi callers to the show refuted the Imam's assertions by stating that almost all muslims are awaiting another prophet to arrive any day now, hence his stance is not only illogical but against the commonly agreed doctrine of the majority of Muslims.

I could go into more details on this fine and nuanced theological debate, but it should be sufficient to say that Ahmadi Muslims believe in a messiah, namely Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian who claimed to have fulfilled the prophecy regarding the awaited prophet. Others however believe that Jesus who is in heavens will descend on a minaret in Damascus and conduct a worldwide holy war against all non-believers.

My point is that whereas shia belief challenges the fundamental concept of prophethood of sunni Islam, and whereas the barelvi practices clearly contravene the fundamental idea of the oneness of God as held by the non-barelvis, both these groups are muslim in the eyes of the MCB. Ahmadi Muslims do not hold any beliefs that cannot be interpreted from the words of Quran and the sayings of the Prophet. Then why display such malice against a persecuted, peaceful minority? 

I know the answer, and it is time that you know it too.

Ahamdiyya Islam has challenged the orthodox establishment in Islamic countries for over a hundred years. Whether it is the concept of violent jihad or the place of science in the muslim society, women's rights or interfaith relations, rejection of political Islamism or the use of modern methods to defend Islam against the missionary onslaught in the colonial days; Ahmadiyya Islam has been winning hearts and minds all around the world. And this does not sit right with the orthodoxy.

The early opponnets of Ahmadiyya Islam were great scholars in their own right. They still hold revered status among the orthodox Muslims today, but most of them accepted the Ahmadi Islam as a part of Muslim polity. They may have declared them 'kafir' in a theological sense, but they did not dare deny them their identity.

It is only when in 1974 Pakistan a Saudi backed conglomerate of mosque and Parliament took the ill-fated step of enforcing jealousy and hatred as a law. Yes, such laws exist. They were jealous of the advances the Ahmadis had made in all spheres of life in Pakistan and abroad. Statesmen, businessmen, scientists, military heroes, diplomats and economists, Ahamdis had proven their true value to the nation and the Muslim world as a whole. In fact, most new converts to Islam were because of the Ahmadiyya missionary work around the world.

After causing hundreds of targetted killings in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia, when the same jealousy and hatred spills over to the UK with the scholars and Imams of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin, people like Asad Shah get murdered in Glasgow.

And the same hatred and jealousy is the cause of such statements to be made which reek of complicity and guilt.

Ahmadi Muslims do not need a certificate of approval of their faith. But as a political entity, Muslims who self-identify as Muslims must stand united, regardless of theological differences. If MCB is failing thousands of Muslims in this country like this, I am happy to join any other council which does what it says on its label.

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