By Mark A. Kellner– The Washington Times – Thursday, September 9, 2021
Harris Zafar, an Ahmadiyya Muslim author and speaker who often sports a “Talk to a Muslim” T-shirt, is thinking about the image of his faith as the twentieth anniversary of 9/11 approaches.
“I think a lot of progress has been made over the past 20 years,” said Mr. Zafar, national spokesman for the Ahmadiyya Muslim community whose U.S. headquarters is in Silver Spring, Maryland.
After the terrorist attacks linked to violent jihad, the Ahmadis, as they’re known, intensified efforts to demonstrate that the terrorists do not represent genuine Islam.
“But also it feels like you’re trying to clear out a forest, and every time you think you got to the last row of trees, and you look up and you just found a whole new horizon full of trees,” he added.
The Ahmadiyya movement is a controversial subset of Islam’s Sunni branch, which makes up between 85% and 90% of the world’s Muslims.
Established in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who announced himself to be the Mahdi, or “guided one” and the final Messiah prophesied in the Koran, those pronouncements sparked controversy from the start. Not all Sunnis accepted this announcement, and Ahmadis have faced persecution in many nations including Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
The group says it “is the only Islamic organization to endorse the separation of mosque and state” in each of the 213 nations where it operates.
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