Pamela Geller has drawn some outrageous conclusions about Islam and Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in response to an article by a member of that community. I have pointed out some factual inconsistencies of Ms. Geller’s statements. I am exclusively submitting this piece for your consideration for publication. I am a member of Muslim Writers Guild of America and my work has previously been published in major national newspapers.
Pamela Geller’s recent response to an article written by Qasim Rashid, a member of the Muslim Writers Guild of America and the spokesman for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, is yet another example of her biased view on Islam under the guise of freedom of speech. There are quite a few outrageous conclusions drawn by Ms. Geller in her article. Let’s go through them in detail.
First, she calls Rashid a “one-man cottage industry of deception and hypocrisy” who is trying to prove that Muslims who are violent are not a true representation of Islam. Ms. Geller sh
ould note that there are over a 100 active members of the Muslim Writers Guild of America who have written thousands of articles, op-eds and letters to the editor over the last decade to promote the peaceful and true message of Islam by rejecting all forms of violence committed by some Muslims in the name of religion. This group of writers belongs to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community that has over a century-long track record of exemplifying true Islam. Anyone can go online and see what this movement stands for. While there you can learn about the peaceful efforts of the head of this community, his holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad. His holiness has delivered numerous lectures and speeches on multiple forums to present the true teachings of Islam based on the Quran. His holiness has written numerous letters to the heads of states and has given media interviews to tell the world that violence has no place in Islam. This community not only talks the talk but walks the walk. Here in the US, the Muslims for Life campaign has collected thousands of pints of blood to save tens of thousands of lives since 2011. Humanity First USA, the community’s charity wing has been at the forefront of disaster relief efforts and building communities in America. Their youth wing is feeding the hungry in America through its Muslim Youth Against Hunger initiative.
Ms. Geller wants people to believe Rashid is alone. This belief is a myth. On the contrary, he is but one of tens of millions of Muslims in 206 nations worldwide united under an international caliphate under His Holiness the Khalifa of Islam Mirza Masroor Ahmad. Ms. Geller censors from her readers that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the world’s single largest Muslim community united under one imam, the Khalifa. Ms. Geller claims to stand for free speech but censors these undeniable facts from her readers. Such is the height of her deception.
Second, Ms. Geller presented an out of context hadith (saying of the prophet Muhammad) to prove that prophet Muhammad was commanded to fight against the people. If she had only flipped one page of Sahih Muslim (the book of Hadith she referenced) she would have found another hadith (Book of Faith #28) that states that when the prophet Muhammad appointed Mu’adh as the governor of Yemen, he told him to “first call people towards God” and once they become “fully aware of God” then tell them about the other tenets of Islam, like prayers and financial sacrifice. Here Muhammad is talking about establishing God’s love in people’s hearts first. There is no mention of fighting or imposing belief on people. In fact, it was impossible for Muhammad to say such a thing when the Quran, in Chapter 2, verse 257 clearly states that there is no compulsion in religion. What Ms. Geller quoted is a hadith addressed specifically to those who waged war against the prophet. This is in line with the verse of Quran that states, “Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged — and Allah indeed has power to help them.” (Chapter 22: Verse 40). The injunction is for self-defense only.
Third, Ms. Geller says Muslims did not speak out on the issue of freedom of speech in relation to Charlie Hebdo. That is not true either. You can find multiple articles written by Muslim writers in condemnation of this horrific event. Here are just three examples: example 1, example 2 and example 3. Lets not confuse free speech with insensible speech that’s provocative and plays with the sensitivities of a certain group of people. Here is an article by another Muslim writer that talks about why Americans should not draw Muhammad’s cartoons.
Finally, Ms. Geller made another outrageous remark about the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. She said that this community has “changed Islam” and they don’t believe in the finality of prophet Muhammad.
It is certainly not Ms. Geller’s place to issue a verdict that Ahmadis have changed Islam without fully understanding their beliefs. In fact, Ahmadis do believe in the finality of prophet Muhammad.
I invite Ms. Geller to study the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community before passing one-sided judgments on Islam. Ms. Geller should let her free conscience determine the validity of her free speech.