Regarded as heretical

In 2010 the BBC offered some background on the Ahmadi movement, aka the Ahmadiyya community.

[I]t is regarded by orthodox Muslims as heretical because it does not believe that Mohammed was the final prophet sent to guide mankind, as orthodox Muslims believe is laid out in the Koran.

Well there’s your problem right there: thinking “heretical” is a meaningful and useful word. Let’s face it, nobody knows whether Mohammed was the “final prophet” or not, or whether he was a “prophet” at all, or how they would know he wasn’t one. It’s all just claims all the way down. That, I suppose, why there’s so much venom about the claims.

The Ahmadiyya community takes its name from its founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who was born in 1835 and was regarded by his followers as the messiah and a prophet.

Ghulam Ahmad saw himself as a renewer of Islam and claimed to have been chosen by Allah.

It was ok for Mohammed to do that in the 8th 7th century but it’s not ok for Ahmad to do it in the 19th. Why’s that then?

In 1947, the community moved its religious headquarters from Qadian in India to Rabwah in Pakistan.

Then in 1953, orthodox Muslim groups in Pakistan came together to form what they called the “anti-Qadiani movement”.

Described by rights organisations as one of the most relentlessly persecuted communities in Pakistan, the Ahmadiyya have seen their personal and political rights erode steadily over the years under pressure from orthodox Muslim groups.

So six years into Pakistan’s existence as a country, they got started on persecuting the Ahmadiyya.

In 1974, under severe pressure from clerics, Pakistan’s first elected prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, introduced a constitutional amendment – known as the second amendment – which declared Ahmadiyya non-Muslims.

A decade later, a new law was brought in barring Ahmadis from calling their places of worship mosques or from propagating their faith in “any way, directly or indirectly”.

Anticipating the impact of the new law, the community moved its headquarters to the UK.

According to Islam and the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, by Simon Valentine, the movement stresses non-violence and tolerance of other faiths.

Well we can’t have that. No wonder the “orthodox Muslims” hate them and persecute them.


  1. johnthedrunkard says

    Mohammed slams the door on any future rivals. And the Wahhabis want to obliterate the past. So the whole of humanity is trapped in the 7th century like a fly in amber.

    No reformers, no innovators, no discoverers, no historians, just puppets with glazed eyes repeating the same tripe over and over.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    … for Mohammed to do that in the 8th century …

    Mohammed/Muhammad (circa 570-632) didn’t do squat in the 8th century except crumble into the dust.


  3. lpetrich says

    Here’s how far hostility to Ahmadis goes in Pakistan.
    What they do about Pakistani physicist Abdus Salam.
    He shared the 1979 Nobel physics prize for helping to develop the theory of electroweak unification, a big part of the Standard Model of particle physics. Yet he is barely acknowledged in his home country. All because he was an Ahmadi, and thus Not A True Muslim.

    At first sight, electromagnetic and weak interactions do not seem to have much in common, but by the 1950’s, particle physicists had discovered that the two interactions have rather similar structure. But it took a lot of theorizing to work out how they could be two parts of the same interactions, and Abdus Salam was one of those involved in this theorizing. The result was a theory of electroweak unification.

    It predicted the masses of the particles that make the weak interactions happen: the W (about 90 times more massive than a proton) and the Z (about 100 times). These high masses are what make the weak interactions weak. When these particles were discovered, their masses were right on the dot. It also predicted the Higgs particle, a particle with an odd property: it has a nonzero vacuum or lowest-energy value, and its always being present gives masses to most other Standard-Model particles: the W and the Z and the elementary fermions (electron, etc.). This particle is the LHC’s biggest discovery so far, and it matches Standard-Model predictions fairly well.

    So Abdus Salam ought to be a national hero in Pakistan, but he isn’t.

  4. daniyaz says

    @lpetrich: Speaking as someone of Pakistani descent, and who’s been living in Pakistan for the past few years (long story), it’s a right shame as to how he’s been treated by Pakistan. There have been some steps to rectify that, but so long as the Pakistan Govt sticks to its anti-Ahmadiyya legislation, that will take a while.

    There’s another thing as well: if you’re applying for a Pakistani passport or a National ID card, one of the last things that you *have* to sign on each form is an oath that basically says that yes, you do believe that the founder of the Ahmadiyya faith is a heretic. I don’t believe in gods, but nor do I believe in the idea that I have to basically trample on any group of people, in order to receive official documents. I have a number of friends whose parents *did* sign those oaths – and who are Ahmadi – as it was the only way to leave the country. And wouldn’t you, if this sort of guy – who is very popular in Pakistan – was allowed to stay on television?

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