A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

journey-begins2

It is fair to say that I am a cynical person and that I do not trust easily or quickly. On the other hand deep down I really do want us all to get along, to find common ground, and to live and let live.Both of these feelings were uneasily swirling around inside of me when I visited New Zealand’s largest mosque with Pete.

Before the visit I had decided that since I was there at their invitation I would spend most of my time listening. I did ask the questions I had come to ask but I focused on listening and observing. I learned a lot and it cannot be summed up in just one article.

Of the three gentlemen that I met,two of them gave me the impression of being typical Kiwis because of their appearance and manner.I felt comfortable talking to Iqbal Mohammed ( National President ) and Eqbal Khan (General Secretary and Secretary of External Affairs of the community Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nz inc ) by the end I was joking with them. Shafiq ur Rehman who is the Missionary In -Charge was more formal and serious in his manner and speech but he too dressed like a Kiwi.

We talked for a long time and at the end it was clear to me that they are as concerned about extremism and terrorism as I am. In fact they gave me a pamphlet entitled ‘Eradicating Extremism’ and a book titled, ‘World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace. I will read them and give my review to readers when I am able.

The back of their business card says ‘Muslims for: Loyalty, Freedom. Equality. Respect.Peace’

It makes sense that the Ahmadiyya community shares our concerns as in Pakistan you can murder an Ahmadiyya Muslim and take all his possessions and you will not be punished.They know what it is like to be persecuted. Britain has imported some of this hatred and it is not something that we want brought to New Zealand. This video illustrates the unbelievable lengths one Ahmadiyya mosque in Britain has had to go to in order to protect their community from Muslims who do not consider them to be following the correct version of Islam.

Iqbal Mohammed sent me the video to show me how imported extremism is getting worse in the UK. Muslims who are not tolerant of the Amadiyya Muslims and show their intolerance with death threats, violence and murder are Muslims who will equally be a threat to our New Zealand way of life. Iqbal said that extremism is something we must all stand together against in order to safeguard the future of our children irrespective of their colour creed and beliefs and I heartily agree with him.

While they (Ahmadiyya ) are not always made welcome and are in fact rejected by other branches of Islam, anyone from any religion ( including Judaism ) or branch of Islam is welcome to visit their Mosque. They believe that their branch of Islam is ‘true Islam,’ and from what I can tell it follows the peaceful and tolerant verses of the Koran.

Like me, they are  sceptical about the stated reason for the Sunni Egyptian Imams visiting New Zealand. They assured me that they would not allow an Egyptian Imam to take control of their mosque. They do not believe that there is yet a problem with radicalisation in New Zealand and wondered why these Imams aren’t taking care of the problem in their own backyard. This confirmed my suspicion that the Imams aren’t here to ‘reduce radicalisation’ at all but to promote their version of ‘ true Islam.’  I could be wrong but it smells to me like a hostile takeover.  We have already seen an attempt in New Zealand (with violence) to take over the Avondale Mosque when there were two different versions of ‘true Islam’ at play.  Both in Avondale and now with the Egyptian Imams it is Muslims from Sunni Islam that are attempting to take control.

Now before I go any further I know that there are are a few questions you all are dying to ask about the visit.  I packed a scarf inside my bag in case I was asked to cover my hair. I was not asked to cover my hair. The mosque had separate entrances for male and female and separate prayer rooms. Pete and I were taken through the same entrance. I was shown through the male areas as well as the female areas. I was even shown inside the male toilets so we could see the ablution area for washing feet.

When Pete invited himself along I wondered if conversations would be directed towards him rather than me and whether eye contact would be made with him and not me. Shafiq ur Rehman gave me most of his attention and addressed most of his explanations to me.  I did not feel  in any way excluded.  There was one difference however and one that I expected because of my knowledge of Islam. Pete was offered a handshake by the men and I was not.  I was treated with respect by all three men in every other way.

I left the mosque with one clear thought in my mind and that is that I want to be part of the solution. I have spent a lot of time alerting our readership to the dangers as I see them but now I need to focus on solutions.  The men I met at the mosque want solutions as much as I do. They feel very much the meat in the middle. On the one hand they cannot get any traction in the media when they condemn terrorist attacks and talk about what they feel ‘true Islam’ is ( peaceful, tolerant ) and  on the other hand they are on the receiving end of all the negative feeling caused by the actions of Muslims that they do not believe are following ‘ true Islam ‘

The Ahmadiyya  branch of Islam started less than 200 years ago in India. They consider themselves a revival of Islam. Just as the Catholic Church has a democratically elected spiritual head, they too have a democratically elected spiritual leader. This makes them very different from every other branch of Islam. It makes what they believe consistent all over the world. An Imam cannot form a breakaway group with different ideas and still claim that they are practicing Ahmadiyya Islam.

This structure gives me confidence that when they say this is what Ahmadiyya believe, that is what they all believe, not just one Imam’s view or interpretation.  The fact that their spiritual leader is democratically elected also speaks volumes. They explained that anyone who seeks power or who expresses a desire to be leader  will not be considered.  Prospective leaders are nominated by others and it is seen as a position of service that is a burden, not something that one would actively seek out.

I may not believe what the Ahmadiyya  believe but I do accept that they want to protect New Zealand from extremism and what they see as the actions of Muslims who are not following ‘ true Islam.’  We can work together to discuss solutions to protect New Zealand and to help them get heard when mainstream media are only interested in controversy or glossing over the very real dangers. While I may not agree with their version of ‘true Islam’ their actions tell me that their version is not about causing conflict. We have taken the first step by meeting and talking. It was a scary step for both sides I think but one I am glad we took.

 


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  • roblin

    Thanks SB, I am starting see the point here. A small step forward, but it is better than just moaning about Muslims.

    Still I think the biggest enemy is socialist left leaning liberals. I just can’t understand their reasoning. Might be a good idea if we can have dialog with them too.

    • spanishbride

      Maybe through building a relationship with the Ahmadiyya community we may be able to build a bridge to the other side of the political spectrum and find common ground who knows?That would be great but as Whaleoil is very effective at attacking the Left wing and has done them a lot of damage in the past ( so much so that a group of them arranged to have us hacked ) it would be quite a miracle for that to happen.

  • Sally

    Pete was offered a handshake by the men and I was not.

    That is action is also found in other cultures, it is not restricted to muslims.

    I had a lot to with Koreans when in business. My business partner who was male was also acknowledged with a handshake, I was ignored. Quite often if they came into the office and my business partner wasn’t there that would ask for him and leave. This went on until one day I told them I was the boss and made all the decision so if they couldn’t deal with the fact I was a female, that would never get their issues solved.

    I am just pointing out that attitude to females is not just restrict to muslims, it runs through other race and cultures as well.

    • Some of “us” and our own parents are still in that category too.

  • Usaywot

    I really appreciate the fact that you took this step and I think we are all better informed for it. I hope our knowledge and understanding continues to grow and that all muslims are not tarred with the same brush I hope, nevertheless that we also do not take our eyes off the ball as far as terrorism goes.

  • jaundiced

    Genuinely curious. Is their version of ‘true Islam’ (peaceful etc) one which explicitly rejects some of the teachings of the Quran and the example of Muhammad?

    • They believe in the FIVE pillars of Islam. Which quite critically excludes Jihad.

      The pillars are

      – Faith: There is but one god. (no different to Christianity)
      – Prayer: They are expected to pray five times a day. If they miss one, they are expected to “catch up” by lengthening the next session
      – Charity: Those who have accumulated wealth are to do good with their blessings
      – Fasting: (My interpretation), they repeatedly seek to purify the relationship between the person and god by stripping away external needs
      – Visit Mecca at least once in your life

      • jaundiced

        Thanks. I can live with that.
        The exclusion of Jihad makes all the difference. This raises the motivation of the visiting Imams.

      • kereru

        Faith: There is but one god. (no different to Christianity)

        Their ‘one god’ is not to be confused with the God of the Bible, of course. And they would also reject the idea as Muslims, not being able to grasp the idea of the Trinity, believe Christians to be polytheists.

        • I have a Catholic upbringing and I can’t grasp the idea of the Trinity parallel to a monotheistic idea of Christianity. I’ve asked professional Christian clergy to explain it to me, and they have all faltered.

          • kereru

            I’m just an ordinary sheep, and agree that it is a hard concept to understand. One of the better explanations I’ve seen is that the Trinity comprises God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. All are absolutely equal in essence, but differ in role.

            Another explanation is that of water, steam and ice. All are water but different in form. Some explain it as 1x1x1 = 1.
            For a more theological explanation try:

            http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-is-the-doctrine-of-the-trinity

          • I appreciate the attempt, but I’ve got a problem with Jesus hanging on the cross saying “Father, why have thee forsaken me?”

            If 1x1x1=1 then he’s pretty schitzo.

            He sent us HIS son.

            All of the language negates unity.

            It doesn’t say “And he took on an earthy form in the guise of a man, who acted like a son”.

            But, there you go. I don’t have the required “faith” to get past that.

          • roblin

            Pete, Sun, light and heat from the sun can be used to explain the Holy Trinity.
            http://www.gods-word-first.org/trinity-explained.html

          • kereru

            I’m no theologian, but there are answers to all these questions, Pete. To understand why Jesus cried out in agony, ‘Father why have you forsaken me?’, needs an understanding of why God sent His Son to live on earth in the first place. Men were so sinful that they could not atone for themselves – rather like a drowning man who cannot save himself. So great is God’s love for us that Jesus came to show us the Father and and pay the ultimate penalty for sin so that men may be forgiven. Only He had the power and authority to do it. It’s like a judge who has the authority to sentence a man for his crime, but pays the penalty himself and sets the man free. No analogy is perfect, but it comes close.

            Secondly, it’s important to have some knowledge of OT sacrificial practices. In OT times a goat had the sins of men laid on its head by the High Priest and was then driven from the tabernacle and into the wilderness to die. Jesus, as the ‘scapegoat’, was sent out of the city walls to die. Another reference to Jesus is the sinless ‘Lamb that was slain’. A lamb without blemish was a common sacrifice for sin. Psalm 22 foretells His crucifixion in detail, as does Isaiah Ch 53, which was written 700 years before the event.

            The crucifixion of Christ put an end to the OT sacrificial system forever. It had to be repeated constantly because it only covered sin, but didn’t remove it. His last words were “It is finished!”.The work of atonement was completed and all mankind had to do was ‘look on Him and believe’ that He, being God incarnate, had made it possible for believers to have their sins forgiven through His sacrifice. There was and is no need for other intercessors. Only God has the authority and power to forgive sin.

            Finally, the reason why He cried out to the Father is because God, being holy, cannot look upon sin which is abhorrent to Him. In that moment He temporarily broke the close relationship He had with the Son – and turned away. The sky grew dark and Jesus was in the depths of anguish, not just physical but spiritual. It is not for no reason that the word excruciating comes from the Latin word crucis, the cross.

          • I must say that the 1x1x1 = 1 is a clever device

            But so is 1x1x0+1 = 1, where the 0 is the devil (for example)

            And so is 1x1x1x1x1x1x1 = 1

            The cube root of 1 is also 1.

            It doesn’t mean much, but it’s a fun device.

  • roblin

    It is ironic with the Chinese proverb added as illustration here as Muhammad once said “Seek knowledge even in China”

  • niggly

    Thank you SB and Pete for your efforts to promote better understanding of these New Zealander’s and their unique religion.

    Like most religions, there are different strains and I feel for them when they are tarred by the same brush when something “bad” happens. And after all they are human beings, just like anyone else, wanting the best for their families.

    I wonder if they can be approached for comment when something “bad” happens (internationally), to not only correct people’s views/biases, but to correct the perpetrators of any bad acts i.e. point out the error of their ways?

    It would be quite interesting, seeing as they are largely ignored by the MSM? You guys could be on to some good insights and scoops!

  • kayaker

    “The back of their business card says ‘Muslims for: Loyalty, Freedom. Equality. Respect. Peace’”

    I’m interested in your journey and have read both your’s and Pete’s blogs. I understand that in most religions there is lite, moderate and extreme ‘categories’ and that we should not fall into the trap of lumping them all in together as one category.

    I think part of the problem is that a vacuum exists, especially when it comes to Muslims not being perceived as strongly condemning the horror and terrorism meted out by other Muslims. The vacuum exists and rubbish rushes in, then it becomes the truth.

    As for the statement on the back of their business card, I’m having trouble buying into that. Until they respect and treat females equally and until they respect and accept gays as fellow human beings and stop the persecution – for a start – then I remain cynical.

    Will there be an opportunity for you to meet with female Muslim leaders (if they exist) on one of your next visits?

    Edit: add missing word ‘and’

    • Isherman

      I for one applaud the approach that SB and Pete have undertaken, I don’t see any downside to such engagement, leaving aside the views of other muslims to this particular sect. A recurring theme in the comments is the gender issue, and in a society such as ours that is both legitimate and important. That said, I would note that not all cases where there is seperation of men and women are for the same reason, namely that a woman is somehow less equal than a man, and it must be admitted that within NZ as well as elsewhere, we can see seperation in a number of places, though not always for the same reasons. Maori culture, many of the Christian churches (or catholicism at least ) even Masonic lodges all practice some degree of seperation of the sexes for various reasons. In fact we have gender segregated schools as well, and in all these instances we don’t tend to get as incensed about it. Not a critique, just an observation.

      • kereru

        The Ahmadiyyah most likely keep to some Islamic traditions such as separating men and women in their mosques. It would be interesting if SB could meet some of their women to find out more about their lives.

        I know of no churches which separate men and women in their services.

        • Isherman

          Yes it would be interesting to hear. By the Churches I referred to roles rather than services, the priesthood for example, although as time goes by that appears to be changing slowly as well. I remember the debate that the issue of female priests and clergy caused when it arose here.

          • kereru

            The issue of female clergy is still contentious, but depends on how much validity a given denomination gives to Scripture, or whether they’d rather let the secular culture determine the roles in churches. You can’t have it both ways. But, unlike Islam, we don’t come to blows about it. We just agree to differ.

    • spanishbride

      I asked if a woman could lead the prayers in the women’s prayer room and was told that yes they can. I hope to speak to women at a later date. It will be very interesting to listen to how they see equality.

      • Agreed.

        But.

        (And you are entirely welcome to explore any and all interests)

        But.

        I believe the most important thing is to establish as wide a network as we can with the Mulsim communities in New Zealand that share the goal of not importing or incubating radicalism into New Zealand.

        My concern is that we will be easily distracted by issues that are not life and culture threatening.

        I am not a woman, but personally I don’t think the fact that a woman can’t lead the men’s prayers to be an issue that is more critical to work on than the fact we may be importing radical Muslims through immigration, or worse, making home grown ones through isolation and vilification.

        Let’s keep our eye on the ultimate prize: A safe New Zealand with Kiwi values for everyone.

        All that said, I’d love to sit at a table with a number of Muslim women and no Muslim men and have a frank discussion about their lives. But, this is like, day 2 of our project. I’m sure it will happen.

  • KatB

    Thanks for your insight, looking forward to hearing more. I think it’s only right that while you were in their home, you followed their protocols, I wondered would the men shake your hand if they were in a meeting with you on your turf? I guess it’s the things like that, that I’d like to see some give and take on. Are they pushing for Halal products and Halal Mcd’s etc, or are they happy to have things our way and just pray over the food as necessary? Do they too despair at the Muslims seeking special treatment at work or special facilities in society? To me, it’s those little things that I worry will build into bigger things if we let them. Good on you and Pete, there’s certainly nothing to lose from getting a firsthand view on things. We can always learn something from people even if we think we are at completely different ends of the spectrum.

    • spanishbride

      I will write more in another article but none of the Halal money goes to them. Also they self funded their mosque locally. They are not funded by overseas countries like other Muslim groups in NZ.They are also very active doing charitable works that benefit all New Zealanders not just Muslim Nzers

      • kereru

        Am I right in thinking that they are predominantly from India and Pakistan?

        • That’s exactly the question I asked. And the answer was no. And they rattled off about 10 countries. I didn’t make a list, as we weren’t recording the interview, but if it is important to you I can ask them to provide a definitive list.

          Not that I think it has much relevance to the bigger picture of creating a conversation about how Muslim and non-Muslim in New Zealand can work together to stop any radicalisation through importing it or through incubating our own.

          • kereru

            Not that important, Pete – just interested.

  • R&BAvenger

    Great article. The Ahmadiyya sound like good people. The authorities need to me made aware of the problems they face and the problems within Islam. the Egyptian Imam’s should have their visa’s revoked, they are part of the problem, not the solution.
    As far as Pakistan goes, no surprises there.

    • johnandali

      So was that the idea from the start? The Sunni Saudis won’t take refugees, but they are happy to pay for the construction of mosques all over the Western world. Then Egypt (also Sunni) offers to send imams to run the Sunni-financed mosques. And what message will they be sending to muslims who attend those mosques? I suspect it will be a very one-sided message. Very crafty people those Saudi and Egyptian Sunnis. Very crafty.

  • cows4me

    “They believe their branch of Islam is ‘true Islam’ “, oh dear, not a good start. Call me cynical but I’m tied of various branches of various religions calling themselves “true”. A movement/religion should stand on it’s own merits and calling yourselves “true” does nothing but aggravate the other “true” religions. If they claim to believe as they do their actions should be their own self promotion but they shouldn’t claim it is “true”, it’s a nonsense. Perhaps if many promoting lifestyles or religions dropped the truth line many of the problems we now deal with would not be so ugly. I would run a thousand miles from them.

    • kereru

      Perhaps they should have phrased it the ‘original’ Islam in which case they might be correct. Mohammed began peacefully enough but, finding his new-found religion unappealing to the Jews, moved to Medina and began his bloody campaign of conversion by the sword. The ‘peaceful’ verses in the Qur’an have long been abrogated by the violent ones coming from the Medina period, but are trotted out by those who wish to obfuscate and believed by the unsuspecting.

    • nellie

      I love that line out of Industrial Disease by Dire Straits – “two men say they’re Jesus – one of them must be wrong”.

  • kereru

    First, I’m grateful to you and Pete for visiting the Ahmadiyya mosque and community leaders. It’s a very useful first step, but there are some big buts. I posted this info on yesterday’s thread, but I think it belongs here:

    ‘This would put them in a similar category to the Baha’i who believe Bahá’u’lláh is the last prophet. They are also persecuted for their faith and are non-violent. This is why the Ahmadiyyas are considered a cult within Islam.

    I quote:

    ‘According to the tenet of their faith, the Qadianis (Ahmadis) are required to study, accept, and follow the works, “revelations” (wahi), and writings of Mirza Ghulam Qadiani. In his books, Mirza Ghulam Qadiani makes the claim that he is in direct communication with God and ordains it upon his followers to believe in “Islam” according to his revelations. We have summarized here some of the differences between Qadianis (Ahmadis) and Muslims. It should be obvious that most of the beliefs instructed by Mirza Ghulam Qadiani contradict verses of the Holy Quran — not to mention hundreds of authentic Hadith and Islamic doctrine.

    It is unfortunate that many of the people who have been tricked into accepting Qadianism (Ahmadiyyat) are unaware of this aspect of the Qadiani (Ahmadi) doctrine. Since the rituals of Qadianism resembles that of Islam and much of their terminology is stolen from Islam, many Qadianis are under the impression that they are following an Islamic school of thought. They continue to blindly send their donations to the Qadiani (Ahmadi) leadership thinking they are supporting Islam, when in reality they are helping a non Islamic cult. For the most part, the followers of Qadianism neither have a good grasp of Islam nor have access to the complete writings of Mirza Ghulam Qadiani — which are mostly written in Urdu — and are not aware of his various claims.’

    http://www.irshad.org/qadianis

    I fear that their condemnations of Islamic violence will not cut much ice with hardliners in the Muslim community in New Zealand. All the more reason that we should engage with them, and other minorities such as Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Parsis (Zoroastrians) to provide a united front against Islamic extremism in NZ.

    • spanishbride

      Yes, an united front exactly. Together we can be a force for change. If all the minorities and religions and (lets face it, we infidels) band together against those who see us as Kafirs then we have strength in numbers. John Key will listen to a united large group he will ignore small groups.

      • kereru

        Perhaps we shouldn’t overlook the Chinese – they have no time for Muslim agitation in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and deal with it harshly.

        As a footnote, former Muslims who have converted to Christianity are the victims of a two-pronged hatred – Islam and Communism.

  • JeffDaRef

    Its great to see you with the guts and intelligence to go face to face and visit the environment – maybe Labour could walk a mile in your shoes before they launch their next ill-informed attack on a charter school.

    The million dollar question for me is that while the positive aspects of the Ahmadiyya branch of Islam sound all well and good – is that branch the dominant one or is it a tiny minority making no impact?

    • kereru

      I would also be interested in a breakdown of the percentages of the various sectors of Islam in NZ. Is there any information on this?

      But if we’re interested in giving sanctuary to the persecuted as a priority (and I’ve seen nothing to suggest we are), then the Ahmadiyyia would be right up there with Christians and Baha’i. The sect was founded in Kashmir which explains why there is a large community of them in Pakistan. But they are facing increasing persecution because Pakistan has long declared them to be non-Muslim heretics.

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/29/pakistan-council-of-islamic-ideology-clerics-fight-over-ahmadi-sect

    • Dan

      Ahmadiyya is an offshoot of Sunni Islam. The latter making up the bulk of Islam at around 87% give or take. I am guessing that Sunni’s do not rate them highly as hinted in Pete’s post earlier. It is interesting to note that Baha’i is the equivalent offshoot out of Shi’ah although from a religious point of view, they are further away from Islamic teaching than the others Worldwide there are only about 10-20million or 1% of the Muslim population. 4 million of these in Pakistan where they are heavily persecuted as apostates.

      I found this link on how they all play out rather interesting, even though it does not add Ahmadiyya for some reason.
      http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/islamic-sects-schools-branches-movements/

      • kereru

        Very helpful to see it laid out like that. I spotted the Ahmadiyya spelled ‘Ahmadi’ in small print between Maliki and unorthodox on the Sunni branch. It’s designated a ‘movement’ of the unorthodox.

        I would very much like to see a similar breakdown of the Muslim community in NZ. We should be able to know what we’re dealing with. It shouldn’t only be Christians who are required to name their denomination on Census forms.

        • Isherman

          In 2014, the Ahmadi commuity in NZ (also called Qadiani’s) was about 400 give or take, so it will be incrementally higher now, the vast majority will still be Sunni (of various sub-sects). I did have some figures which are a little out of date now but I will post when I find them again.

    • spanishbride

      They are not the majority worldwide but we can use the power of Whaleoil to help them make an impact politically here in New Zealand.I am not talking about promoting their branch of Islam, I am talking about promoting our shared goal to take serious steps towards preventing the importation of extremism and hatred and intolerance into NZ.
      I think the left wing in particular are more likely to listen to Muslims taking about the dangers that other Muslims pose towards NZ’s safety and security than us.

  • JohnO

    The Jihadists move like fish in the water of the Muslim communities.” …Geert Wilders.
    The Muslim scriptures (Koran and Hadith) are a self-evident vile evil lie. This attempt to polish Islam by the Ahmadiyya sect is a well meaning obscuration of the menace of Islam.

    • rexabus

      Well said. From what I can see, these guys are minnows in the real game. Just keep bringing em in and see the real islam and the ripples of its “culture”. Real noticeable increases in muslim population in mt Roskill, auckland in just half a decade or so. Still a long way from from being near tipping point numbers but it’s not like there’s a shortage: Pakistan Population 191,715,847 (2015 est.), India Population of Muslims in India is estimated to be over 180 million in 2015. Turkey population 2016 79,622,062. Iraq population 36 045 584. Indonesia The population of Indonesia according to the 2010 national census was 237.64 million. Yeah, just keep bringing them in and see what happens

  • Duchess of Pork

    I also congratulate you on your
    willingness to venture into previously unchartered territory in an endeavour to
    challenge readers’ beliefs and present solutions to the threat of terrorism in
    New Zealand. As we know with 30-40 individuals on a watch list and the
    development of second generation radicalisation in western countries this
    discussion is urgently needed and must involve the Muslim community. But like
    you, I am an historian by training and the study of Islamic expansionism,
    subsequent attempts to subjugate and rule over Christendom then fledgling
    Europe, endeavours to vanquish India, the genocide of Armenians, current combat
    in many south-east Asian countries and current persecution of Christians in the
    middle East (which is not solely of ISIS origin and which the US has deemed also
    to be genocide) leads me to be somewhat sceptical of the chances for containment of this threat. As
    the Left currently berates western countries for its interference in the Middle
    East and calls for atonement by doubling or quadrupling our refugee quota I
    would be interested to know the view of the Muslim communities you visit on
    whether they also call for some measure of atonement for the historical atrocities and grievances perpetrated by Islamic political ideology..

    • spanishbride

      Yes as a student of history I will never ever ignore the historical facts and modern recent examples of the terrible problems when the Muslim population goes over 2%.

      I am a cynical person by nature and a realist. I have a singular goal and I am prepared to look at more than one way to try to achieve it. Clearly the title ‘Muslim’ is too general to accurately describe what is a religion and a political ideology that is broken into a number of different branches.They are not all the same and I cannot lump them all together. Likewise it is not as simple as saying these Muslims are the good branch and these are the bad branch.
      I think we need to judge people by their actions or lack of action but also take into account the statistics.

  • Eddie

    Great to see this sort of engagement and to learn about the different sects of Islam. These guys do seem like moderates if for no other reason than the way they protect themselves from extremists. Was the mosque you went to also planning to install metal detectors to keep themselves safe in NZ?

    • spanishbride

      No and they want their safe way of life in NZ to stay that way. The only way that can happen is for NZ to do things differently to Britain.

      • Eddie

        Is NZ doing things differently? I see Muslim immigration through students and “refugees” rising and our MPs too afraid of speaking the words “Islamic extremists” so I don’t have much hope we arent following the same destructive path.

        • spanishbride

          I agree that we have the same issues/problems here which is why I am prepared to try something different. We are still a decade or two decades behind other countries so there is still hope but not if I only point out the problem and don’t actively try to do something about it.

  • sandalwood789

    I do find one thing very puzzling (or troubling).

    The Ahmadiyya (and other Muslims) may well speak out against terrorist attacks. However, they (and all other Muslims) follow Mohammad. To put it mildly, Mohammad was a pretty nasty piece of work.
    So, there seems to be a big “credibility gap” when any Muslims condemn terrorism and yet they follow an extremely nasty guy and hold him up as the “perfect man”. I’m interested as to how (or if) they reconcile that situation.

    Just sayin’……..

    • spanishbride

      I will explain more in another article but they have a Messiah who came after the two prophets that they recognise, Jesus and Muhammad. Their Messiah it seems did not agree with a lot of what Muhammad taught. How much I am still to learn but their actions so far suggest a fair bit.

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