I am proud that Muslims: Sunni/Shia, Sufi/Salafi, deobandi and Barelvi, have all come together in @MuslimCouncil to seek the common good
— Dr Shuja Shafi (@drshujashafi) July 9, 2014
The billing is “British Muslims Sign Historic Intra-Faith Unity Statement: Intra-Faith Unity Statement Aims to Provide Common Ground Between Muslims of All Traditions.” Tonight at an event, special guests of the Muslim Council of Britain were invited to sign the statement that calls for among other things:
Statement by MCB
“no group or individual shall use, propagate or tolerate the rhetoric of takfir (charge of unbelief) for anyone.”
“We shall respect each other and our differences”
“We shall avoid hate and condescending speech”
“attacks on these places of worship are attacks on us all,”
“We call on our Ulama from all traditions to form a positive space for reconciliation and cooperation.”
“to campaign in an inclusive, non-sectarian manner.”
“Above all, we shall emphasise areas of commonality, the virtue of compassion and empathy”
The question though that came to my mind: were the Ahmadi invited to take part? Because when I think of love for all hatred for none, pluralism and stressing non sectarianism, I think of them as the face of Islam the world needs to see more of on our TV screens. Whilst many Muslims think of them as heretics. In some states like Pakistan they are legally discriminated against, and generally terrorised by assassination or mass killing in a mosque. Not that they are allowed to call it a mosque. In the UK on this blog I mentioned an occasion when Muslims made a local paper side with their theocratic judgment that the Ahmadi were not actually Muslims.
The paper even apologised to those offended for running an advert celebrating the Ahmadi Muslims. Despite David Cameron publicly thanking them for their contribution to Britain during the celebrations. Here was a chance for the Muslim Council of Britain to include the Ahmadi and show they really did mean this: “British Muslims from a diverse range of faith traditions came together today to affirm their commitment to Muslim unity and pluralism.” The press secretary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK informed me on his personal twitter account:
So Muslim Council of Britain. You want to end sectarianism, bloodshed, murder and hatred among Muslims. You want to promote pluralism, in a spirit of unity that no one should judge other Muslims?
Then invite the Ahmadiyya to sign, and show solidarity with them when their places of worship are burnt down, their members murdered and work with them to end the persecution they suffer in the world.
Till you do, this document is a worthless piece of paper and a public relations exercise. Your actions will lack credibility and no one deserves to take you seriously as an organisation for the umma. Let alone dedicated to pluralism, which is more than just a word to use in a press release to sound tolerant.