Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Intolerance among Kerala Ahmadis

[This is the fourth article in the series on "Kerala Ahmadis and the New Mujaddid", critically examining the responses of Kerala Ahmadi leadership towards the new Mujaddid Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius and his disciples in India, from among the Kerala Ahmadis who joined the Divine Manifestation]. 

In a recent opinion piece published in a major newspaper, Ifthikar Ahmed Sahib, an Ahmadi Professor in Kerala, underscored the need for giving space to dissenting ideas and alternative perspectives. He states: The core aspect for all the material and spiritual ideologies is to look at dissenting perspectives with due respect and to deal with differences of opinions by engaging in productive dialogue. And the mental broadness to assimilate diverging opinions is precisely the corner stone of any democratic polity”. The Professor, then, went on to illustrate his point with reference to the decline of liberal values in Kerala society.

Is the Ahmadiyya Community an exception to this rule? Does their practice match up to what they preach? Do they show tolerance and a desire to engage with a diverging perspective from theirs? Or do they betray anger and hatred instead?

Consider the following events:

  1. A person was trying to distribute notices introducing Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam, near the Ahmadiyya Mosque, Kannur Town. An Ahmadi came and snatched away the notices and did not allow their distribution among the common people. So much for freedom of expression, conscience, belief and faith!
  1. When Dr. Thahir Sahib, General Secretary of Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam, Kerala tried to hand over a notice to Ahmadi Mullah Muhammad Ismail Sahib of Pazhayangadi, the latter had no qualms about using foul language and that too within the very Mosque premises. The Mullah’s indecency, threatening Dr. Sahib with deer consequences, was witnessed by an Ahmadi brother Madar Abdul Shukkur Sahib who happened be present at the place at that time. It is the same Mullah who has acted the ears and eyes of the Khalifatul Massih V, when the latter visited Kerala in 2008. His indecent behaviour and cultural decadence is a standing testimonial to the cancerous cells that have gripped the body of Nizam-e-Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya in India, especially in Kerala.  
  1. When Azad Sahib of Jamaat-e- Ahmadiyya, Pazhayangadi came to hear about the new Mujaddid in Mauritius, he visited Dr. Thahir Sahib at his office to understand the movement and discussed the matter for over four hours and went back to his home. Based on what he now understood, Azad Sahib went to meet Mullah Ismail Sahib. True to character, the Mullah once again unleashed his anger and asked Azad Sahib to get out of his house and prohibited him from reading any literature of the new Jamaat.    
On the one hand, Ahmadi intellectuals make eloquent addresses and pay extraordinary tributes to the idea of freedom of expression and tolerance of dissent and the need for alternative perspectives for growth of democracy and rule of law. On the other, when incidents violating those very principles of civilized conduct take place and norms of Islamic ethics are trampled to dust in their own backyard, they keep quiet.

Reflect on the Holy Qur’an:

“O ye who believe, why do you say what you do not do? 
Most hateful is it in the sight of Allah that you say what you do not do”. (61:3-4)

For other Articles in the series, click here: 12 and 3