Originally Published in Patheos on February 26th, 2018
There was an article recently by a friend on how a representative of the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) supported a hate rally in Virginia recently; a reader commented that American Muslims need a better mainstream representative. The problem is that despite most American Muslims being good people, there’s no real unity between them, it’s inconceivable for them to have one group represent them, especially if that means including those leaders who consider minorities such as Ahmadis and Shia, or other sects as apostates like the ones who met in Virginia.
Even CAIR is not a unified group, they are locally funded and operated so some CAIR groups that are okay working with Ahmadis and accepting us as Muslims while others won’t even touch us with a 10 foot pole fearing they will lose the support of some Muslim clerics. I also read a while back that most Muslims, over 80%, don’t feel CAIR represents them and with such divisive leadership it’s not surprising.
Muslims have been unable to find a group that represent them. It has been tried time and again since the end of the Rashidun Caliphate but Muslims have only become more and more divided. Instead, they should be looking for the group which represents Islam the best. Muslims do not agree on everything but with proper study of the Qur’an and other Islamic literature and the observation of the words and actions of different groups, one can discern who best follows Islamic teachings.
My belief is that ultimately, despite doctrinal disagreements, most Muslims will eventually come to see the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community as the best representatives of Islamic teachings. Wherever we are established, we seek to spread peace and unity with Muslims and non-Muslims alike and work to better our communities for the common good. The ‘True Islam’ campaign is just one recent of this. We are also the single largest Muslim organization in the world unified under one leadership, our Caliph, a spiritual leader elected by our community, no other group can claim these things.
The biggest roadblock is the copious propaganda that many clerics, have spread about our beliefs, our origins, and our activities. Along with the division of Muslims, they have put off most Muslims from having any desire to seek us out and engage us in our beliefs or activities.
If and when other Muslims give time to listen and understand what Ahmadis believe and do from us, they would learn that even if they disagree with some of our beliefs, it is not heretical or anti-Islamic and we actually agree with them on most Islamic beliefs. Even the most ardent opponents of our community have admitted at one time or another some praise for our leadership, activities, or teachings, it is their pride that drives them to write us off and spread propaganda about us.
There is no better group to work with, or join as some so wish, to advance the true teachings of Islam in our society in the pursuit of uniting humanity and improving the condition of all, physically, morally, and spiritually. No other group works harder for peace and justice in a turbulent and unjust world and time.