Sara Khan, PREVENT and the Ahmadiyya “Extremism” Blind Spot

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The last piece examining Sara Khan’s contribution to the Hope not Hate (HnH) report highlighted the sectarian exploitation by the very policies Khan advocates.  In addition to noting the dangerous smearing of whole groups, it was identified that the Ahmadiyya were being used to force a deformation of Islam agenda.

This piece will examine how Khan, continuing the neocon trait of double standards and hypocrisy, has overlooked the “extremism” – as defined by the PREVENT Strategy – within the Ahmadiyya community, reflecting a broader concerted, ideological political effort to attack and subdue orthodox Islam. The Ahmadiyya, therefore, provide a useful example of both HnH’s incoherent approach, and Khan’s selective social-cohesion concerns.

In stark contrast with the Muslim minority as a whole, the politicians and media have given an amplified and prioritised platform to project the Ahmadiyya persecution narrative. Whilst addressing such grievances is important for the state, the Ahmadiyya leadership dynamic in Britain echoes a colonial past where the emergence of the Ahmadiyya movement meshed with the British colonial power structure and aided it against colonial resistance.

Dovetailing a Neocon Agenda

Pursuant to the closed society neocon agenda, in 2011, Cameron sung from a hymn sheet which was music to the ears of an ecstatic EDL.  The Munich speech marked the death of multiculturalism and the creation of “muscular” – or rather colonialist – liberalism along neoconservative lines.  The speech itself was the work of anti-Muslim neocon Michael Gove and Maajid Nawaz, both of whom are linked to the counter-Jihad movement. The speech provoked criticism from politicians and the Muslim minority, however, the Ahmadiyya leadership came out in support of Cameron’s charter of acceptable thoughts and opinions, which have culminated in the entirely draconian “British values”-based PREVENT social engineering programme.

Lord Tariq Ahmad defended Cameron stating “the Prime Minister is all about uniting people, not dividing them”, before whitewashing his discriminatory proposals which marginalised “devout Muslims”.

In 2015, against the backdrop of growing critique of Britain’s counter-extremism approach and theory, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK (AMAUK) issued a press release that “welcomed the Prime Ministers focus to tackle extremism” and declared that they were ready to “work with the Government in tackling extremism”.  The Ahmadiyya “Caliph” Mirza Masroor Ahmad was also mentioned in the press release as having “spoken of the need for the authorities and communities to be vigilant so that radicalisation can be nipped in the bud”. Pertinently, this focus on the neoconservative-shaped “extremism” policy has been widely derided by broad sections of the academic, civic  (see also, here and here) and grass-root communities.  Cameron’s proposals were nothing short of discriminatory, constituting a worrying form of totalitarianism.  At that time, Cameron also established the “Community Engagement Forum”, which was made of individuals associated with neoconservative and counter-Jihad movements.

Present also on the forum was Tariq Ahmad.

In 2016, the AMAUK Twitter account issued a statement lauding Cameron for supporting their “Unite against extremism” campaign.

The Ahmadiyya leadership has consistently provided unfettered support to the neocon counter-extremism/PREVENT agenda. In doing so, they have become the “good citizen” face to the “bad Muslim” Muslim minority opposed to the neocon politics. Even the anti-Islam, fascist hate preacher Douglas Murray has supported the Ahmadiyya and framed the them within this binary.

However, herein lies the ultimate hypocrisy.  And my reference here is not solely to the fact that while promoting “Love for all, Hatred for None”, the Ahmadiyyah are also peddling policies forged and moulded by haters of Islam.

Under PREVENT, ideas are rendered “extremist” if they contravene “British values” of human rights, democracy, rule of law and equality. Such views enable terrorism. These ideas and faux-concerns reflect liberal insecurities as well as psychological projection on the part of fascist neoconservatives. To be clear, as highlighted above, the concept that alternate ideas leads to terrorism is empirically unfounded.  The purpose of this analysis is to demonstrate Khan’s political and ideological blind spot which is revealed when the ideological PREVENT scrutiny is applied to Ahmadiyya beliefs.

The question is twofold; are there Ahmadiyya beliefs that can be characterised as “extremist” as per the PREVENT Strategy? And will Khan and her clique of financial opportunists condemn Ahmadiyya beliefs as “extremist”?

Ahmadiyya “Extremism”

Much ink has already been spilt on the “reformist” founder of the Ahmadiyyah movement Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadiyan and his offensive statements concerning Prophet Jesus, peace be upon, Christians, Muslims and those who disagree with him, undermining the Ahmadiyya clarion call of “Love for all, hatred for none”. It is interesting to note that Khan in the HnH report categorises the desire for Islam to spread “throughout the whole world” as hate-preaching.  How this constitutes hate, or even extremism, will be the subject of discussion in a future piece. However, if these examples are problematic for Khan/PREVENT/HnH, what does they make of the following Ahmadiyya beliefs?

The second “Caliph” Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad has clearly outlined his vision for his group.  He has written that,

“We do not have the power to forcibly rectify the people and throw that person who does not obey our orders of the country like Hitler and Mussolini, and punish the one that is not prepared to listen and obey us. If we had power, then we would have done this within a day and not have let another day rise that we had these shortcomings in us but if we get power today we will implement our orders”.[1]

Totalitarian power exercised “like Hitler and Mussolini” is completely at odds with pre-modern Islamic form of governance. “Islamism” is often compared with fascism by neocons. Are the parallels drawn with Hitler and Mussolini in Ahmadiyya literature of no concern for Khan the “human-rights activist”?

“Takeover” themes can be found on websites endorsed by the Ahmadiyya leadership.  Affiliated with AMAUK is the website AlIslam.org, which contains a plethora of material related to Ahmadiyya thought. In a world where PREVENT claims to be tackling “all forms of extremism” these ideas should be eliciting paroxysm from Khan and her counter-extremism cohort.

In elucidating the goal for the Ahmadiyya community, Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the fourth “Caliph”, approvingly quotes the second Ahmadi “Caliph”:

“You are not supposed to sit at rest. Your destination is yet very far. Your task is very arduous, and your responsibilities are heavy. You are under the Command of your Lord to wield the Sword of the Qur’an and assail all powers of darkness simultaneously; bring all the countries of the world under the banner of Allah and His Messenger, or lay down your lives in His path. Do not pay heed to minor affairs. Always keep your objective in mind. Every Ahmadi, in any walk of life, must keep one goal, and one alone, in his mind, as a focal point of all his efforts; that is, to capture the entire world for Islam.[2] 

Mirza Tahir Ahmad outlines his plan to conquer the entire world:

“The very aim and object of the formation of the Ahmadiyyah Muslim Jama‘at is to translate this undertaking into actionan undertaking which you call a ‘conspiracy’. Almighty Allah Himself has repeatedly blessed the Promised Messiahas with glad tidings of victory in various countries and has foretold the supremacy of Ahmadiyyat, not in one country or two, but throughout the length and breadth of the world. The Promised Messiah has forcefully proclaimed the prophecies of the ultimate triumph of Islam with glory and grandeur. For the Jama‘at that openly declares its aim to conquer the entire world to be blamed for taking over Balochistan is a trivial matter indeed.[3]

Reinforcing the Ahmadiyya “conspiracy” as being a part of life and death struggle all over the world he writes:

“We are certainly involved in this ‘conspiracy’ and are engaged in a life and death struggle all over the world to seek the pleasure of our Beloved. We shall never hesitate to make any sacrifice in His path.[4]

The “Caliph” has also claimed that “a master-plan is being prepared for the defeat of Christendom.”[5]

Closing off his booklet, he supplicates,

“May Allah enable us to unfurl the banner of Islam on the roofs of the grandest halls of the greatest of the world powers”.[6]

Were these statements uttered by a Muslim, neocons would have been drawing endless analogies with Al-Muhajiroun and ISIS.

During his reign, Cameron categorised “conspiracy theories” as something which foments “extremism”. In a publication concerning the Salman Rushdie affair, the author determines the “shadows behind Rushdie”:

“All the signs point to a conspiracy between the Jews and the Christians in collusion with a mercenary, or indeed a modern day Faust.[7]

The author also states that, “for some reason the Christian nations of the West display a vampirish concupiscence for the blood of Islam.”[8]

Concluding Remarks

Many of these statements can probably be contextualised and explained away.  Reserved for the Muslim minority, however, is not an honest effort to exchange ideas but callous engagement backed by the threat of state sanction using the counter-terrorism apparatus. Khan’s exploitation of the Ahmadiyya provides for useful comparison to demonstrate structural Muslim minority discrimination. The media and “counter-extremists” like Khan and Maajid Nawaz perpetuate what they themselves would call the “victimhood narrative” in relation to the Ahmadiyyah. Thanks to public Ahmadi support of neocon policies, they casually overlook what they would consider the secular blasphemy of “Ahmadiyya extremism”.  With regards to Muslims however Khan/PREVENT takes an approach where twisted, distorted or simply out-of-date statements are used to prove an undefined “extremism” (to be covered in detail in a further blog). Within this paradigm, Muslim grievance is also dismissed as devious “Salafi-Islamist” propaganda.

The question for Khan, HnH, PREVENT and the neocons are awkward.  How are the Ahmadiyya messages of peace, love and loyalty to the state (as paraded in the Murdoch press) to be taken in light of global takeover “master plans” buried in the writings of their leaders? Will the state treat those Ahmadiyyas in the political landscape as Trojan Horses out to subvert the state as part of their long-drawn “master plan”? Will Tariq Ahmad also be part of a dedicated forum negotiating the securitisation of his own minority? Will there be an effort to bully the current leader of the Ahmadiyya into “reforming” their faith?  And will Khan, HnH and PREVENT explicitly condemn Ahmadiyya “extremism”?

Khan’s HnH report faithfully treks a path of self-immolation fuelled by utter hypocrisy and political opportunism.  In the process, it has showed up HnH’s poor decision to use propaganda of the state in its counter-hate efforts.


References:

[1] M, Mahmood, Khutbat Mahmood, Vol.17 p.337

[2] Mirza Tahir Ahmad, “The Supreme Plan for the Regeneration of Islam, p.20, URL: https://www.alislam.org/library/books/Regeneration-of-Islam-20080410MN.pdf

[3] Ibid. p.22

[4] Ibid. p.24

[5] Ibid. p.25

[6] Ibid. p.30

[7] Mohamed Arshad Ahmedi, Rushdie: Haunted by his Unholy Ghosts, 1997, p.8, URL http://www.alislam.org/books/rushdie/RUSHDIE_Haunted_by_his_unholy_ghosts.pdf

[8] Ibid. p.19

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2 thoughts on “Sara Khan, PREVENT and the Ahmadiyya “Extremism” Blind Spot

  1. Reblogged this on | truthaholics and commented:
    “The media and “counter-extremists” like Khan and Maajid Nawaz perpetuate what they themselves would call the “victimhood narrative” in relation to the Ahmadiyyah. Thanks to public Ahmadi support of neocon policies, they casually overlook what they would consider the secular blasphemy of “Ahmadiyya extremism”. With regards to Muslims however Khan/PREVENT takes an approach where twisted, distorted or simply out-of-date statements are used to prove an undefined “extremism” (to be covered in detail in a further blog). Within this paradigm, Muslim grievance is also dismissed as devious “Salafi-Islamist” propaganda.”

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