The Chicago Islam Examiner Qasim Rashid, recently gave an interview on a local news channel in Richmond Virginia where he expressed his faith’s categorical rejection of violence. His faith is of course, Islam.
However, his definition of Islam stands out from what is portrayed by the terrorists who kill in the name of God. He mentioned that he belonged to the Ahmadiyya Movement In Islam whose motto is “Love for all, hatred for none”. This particular sect in Islam has never had the misfortune to be linked to any terrorist activity. In fact, the Ahmadis have for decades now, been a persecuted community within their own native countries e.g Indonesia, Bangladesh, Egypt to name a few. And Pakistan, the native country of Faisal Shahzad as well as Qasim Rashid, had declared the Ahmadis non-Muslims in 1974.
Hundreds of Pakistani Ahmadis are sitting behind bars, owing to their religious beliefs and countless others have been put to death by unknown assailants. Sectarian violence is not new to Pakistan;the sunni-shi’a conflict is still ongoing. However, the consequences of such violence always carry a stark difference.
When a sunni mosque is attacked, the shi’as become the target. Thousands of sunni as well as shi’a Muslims have lost their lives in vain. But when an Ahmadi is mudered, the culprit gets away with it, with a free mind, knowing that the Ahmadiyya Community will not retaliate. The most that they do is lodge a complaint with the local police station.
But Qasim Rashid is an American citizen. Yet the reaction to violence in any form including to his own community remains the same. Thankfully, justice is surely to be served here in America compared to the unruly state of Pakistan.
On August 8th, 1983, Dr. Muzaffar Ahmed, a physician at Wayne County General Hospital, was shot to death at his home in Detroit. He belonged to the Ahmdiyya Movement in Islam, which had a branch based in Detroit. The two men who were involved in his killing, were apparently identified as the arsonists who set the Detroit Islamic Center to fire a few hours after the murder.
The dead bodies of William A. Cain of Akron and Calvin Stanley Jones of Ohio, were found in the Islamic Centre with handguns. They died of smoke inhalation, the Police Dept declared. Or retribution paid them a visit.
The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, was deeply shook up by this perpetration. Another member of the sect had bombs thrown into his house following Dr. Ahmed’s murder but luckily failed to explode. His wife had to flee her home in the dark, with her young children.
The Ahmadis proudly display their motto of Love for All, Hatred for None. They do justice to it by their actions. Just as the Ahmadis silently endured the calamity that befell them on the night one of their own was killed and their Islamic centre was burned down.