By Nelson Price
Columnist, The Marietta Daily Journal
There are almost as many sects of Muslims as there are Baptist denominations. Most often in the news are Sunnis and Shiites. Within the Sunni movement are four basic schools of law: Hanafi, Shafi’i, Malaki and Hanbali.
There are others. Wahhabi, the primary sect in Saudi Arabia, are among the most aggressive. Most Muslim prison chaplains in America are Wahhabi and recruit in prisons.
A little-known sect is the Ahmadiyya Muslim movement. It is divided into two schools of faith. The Ahmadiiya Muslim Movement is said to be the oldest Muslim group in America, having been established here in the 1920s. The other school of Ahmadi faith is the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam.
Ahmadis consider themselves the Muslims who practice the pristine form of Islam. However, in some counties such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan they are considered non-Muslims. I will leave it to Muslims to decide that issue.
The small Ahmadiyya Muslim movement professes to be peace loving and not believe in jihad of the sword. They are active in our community and do various community programs such as sponsoring Red Cross blood drives. Their motto is “Hatred toward none, love toward all.”
They are sensitive about being identified with the broad base of Islam that does believe in jihad. I can understand that, in that I resent being grouped with certain Baptist groups. However, that is the way it is. It is unfortunate, but every news article related to Islamic Jihad can’t be expected to have a caveat excluding one community.
Perhaps they could make more positive news if they would speak out against jihadists. They are energetic in defending themselves in relation to individual Christians. Why not be vocal against Islamic Jihadists?
Perhaps one reason is their own well-being. Muslims who believe in jihad consider all who oppose them as enemies and swear vengeance against them. That would include Ahmadis.
They tell a beautiful story that once a delegation of Christians came to see the Prophet Muhammad and during the meeting the delegation said that they wanted to be excused because it was prayer time.
To that Prophet Muhammad, said you can go to my Mosque and worship there, which they did.
That is contrary to an experience we had upon entering a mosque and were forbidden to have showing any Christian jewelry.
It is a far cry from the bombing and burning of Christian churches in Muslim counties. Nor is it the spirit manifest when our military chaplains are forbidden to wear Christian insignias in Muslim countries.
Our federal government spends taxpayers’ money to restore or rebuild mosques in Muslim countries and grovels if a Koran is damaged.
May the professed spirit of the Ahmadiyya Muslim movement increase.
May they become a dominant voice in the international conflict.
May they have an understanding regarding why most Americans are skeptical of anything Muslim. May we non-Muslims when we knowingly encounter Ahmadiyya Muslims evidence understanding of their distinctiveness.
The Rev. Dr. Nelson Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church. Contact Price at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal – Nelson Price: May professed spirit of Ahmadiyya Muslims increase.
The featured picture is of author’s church.