Originally published under the title "Leading American Islamist Endorses Violent Anti-Ahmadi Group."
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Hassan Shibly, who runs the Florida branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), has denounced "heretical" Muslims recently demonized by a radical Islamist network last.
Islamist Watch published an article in the Daily Caller last month about a conference in Virginia organized by a group named Khatme Nubuwwat (KN), an international network dedicated to inciting violence and hatred against Ahmadiyya Muslims, a peaceful Islamic sect hated by Islamists. Conference speakers declared that Ahmadi Muslims are "infidels," claimed America is a "land of infidels," and glorified violent jihad.
KN does not, however, just organize conferences. It disseminates leaflets advocating that Ahmadis should be killed, organizes anti-Ahmadi riots in Pakistan, and was reportedly responsible for bringing blasphemy charges in Pakistan against Asia Bibi, a young woman who was subsequently sentenced to death.
The behavior of Khatme Nubuwwat would shock most Muslims. But not CAIR.
After the conference in VA, in response to our article and several others, KN lashed out at critics, and published an audio message by prominent Islamist Hassan Shibly, who runs the Florida branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Shibly endorses KN and its conference. He falsely claims the KN speakers did not advocate violence (despite recordings of the conference revealing otherwise) and refers to Ahmadi critics as "heretical." KN has since removed the audio file, but Islamist Watch made a copy:
Here is the relevant excerpt:
May Allah reward you guys. You guys are doing very important work... and you shouldn't be bullied by somebody who's upset because they have a fringe opinion that is heretical...You are well within your right to do that. You are doing very important work. I am envious of you. ... What a blessing. What a blessing. If there's anything we can do to support you in that effort, you could definitely count on us.
Another prominent Islamist, Georgetown academic Jonathan AC Brown, also denounced Ahmadi activists for the sin of criticizing a group that wants to murder them.
Jonathan AC Brown
Jonathan AC Brown
Writing on Facebook (his profile picture is a Muslim Brotherhood symbol) in response to comments and writings by Ahmadi activist and writer Kashif Chaudhry (whose article we recommend you read), Brown accused Chaudhry of "throwing law-abiding Muslims under the bus" for "exercising their Constitutionally protected freedom of religion."
For Brown, unity under Islamist communal leadership is apparently more important than challenging the murderous hatred directed at minority Muslim sects.
And after denouncing Chaudhry as a "lowlife," Brown also said: "what I find totally beyond the pale with Ahmadi PR operators like Kashif Chaudry is that they call Muslims takfiris [Muslims who accuse other Muslims of apostasy, such as KN] for doing no more than following the consensus position of all Sunni and Shiah scholars."
Some critics might argue that a movement dedicated to murdering Ahmadiyya Muslims is somewhat further "beyond the pale." But no comment from Brown on that.
We also asked Ibrahim Hooper, the media spokesman for CAIR, to comment on this anti-Ahmadi extremism and Hassan Shibly's endorsement of the KN conference. We received no reply.
Sam Westrop is the director of Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.