In the wake of the massacre of journalists and cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo weekly in Paris, one tiny and unusual sect of Islam is getting a great deal of media attention.
Canada’s Ahmadiyya Muslims – also known as Ahmadis – are this week all over Canadian newspapers, radio and TV shows, condemning the violence.
Their leaders, and their everyday members, are being regularly featured in providing commentary condemning the attacks by Islamic militants on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket.
Why is this small Muslim sect getting so much attention?
Mostly because their leaders are very quick at sending out news releases, particularly this week.
Even though Canada’s Ahmadiyya Muslims make up less than one per cent of the world’s Muslims (about 2.5 per cent of those in Canada), they are a missionary group that actively seeks new converts.
And they do much of their proslytizing through the mainstream media, which is currently looking for Muslims to interview about violence, peace and the ethics involved in the satirizing of religion.
(Ahmadis strongly oppose violence by Muslim Salafists. They also oppose satirizing religion, as do Protestants and Catholics, who have survived despite being lampoon since the Reformation and Enlightenment.)