Ahmadi Muslim spokesman Qasim Rashid is a one-man cottage industry of deception and hypocrisy, churning out article after article purporting to prove that the Muslims who are killing, enslaving, and terrorizing people all over the world in the name of Islam are really misinterpreting their faith.
Rashid believes that his minuscule group – the Ahmadiyya constitute no more than three percent of Muslims worldwide, if that, and is mercilessly persecuted as heretical in Pakistan and Indonesia – represent the true, benign, peaceful Islam.
Rashid’s latest deceptive piece in Salon is especially cynical. Not only does he claim that Islam is something other than what its most devout adherents claim it is every day, but instead of trying to show those devout Muslims where they’re wrong, he points the finger at those non-Muslims who have dared to tell the truths he’s trying so desperately to obscure.
Rashid claims – linking to his earlier exercises in deception – that Islam champions free speech and secular governance. Rashid is thus claiming that the overwhelming majority of Muslims worldwide, including the world’s foremost Muslim leaders, have no idea what their religion is all about. If Islam champions free speech, why has the 57-government Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the largest voting bloc at the United Nations, endeavored for years to compel the UN and Western governments to enact “hate speech” laws that would effectively criminalize criticism of Islam? Why has no Muslim government, and not even any Muslim cleric, denounced that endeavor?
If Islam is for free speech, then why, after the Charlie Hebdo jihad massacre of Muhammad cartoonists, did we see protests in Pakistan, Iran, Chechnya, and other Muslim countries against the cartoonists, and not a single protest by Muslims anywhere in favor of the freedom of speech?
If Islam calls for secular governance, why were there no secular governments at all anywhere in majority-Muslim countries until the 20th century, and the foremost one, Turkey, is now rapidly re-Islamizing?
Rashid’s entire piece is full of distortions. He takes issue with Jeffrey Tayler’s characterization of Muhammad as a “triumphant warlord leading military campaigns that spread Islam throughout Arabia,” saying it’s “but one example of the numerous historical fantasies he writes.” Rashid is counting on his readers never hearing of Muhammad’s role in the Battle of Badr, the Battle of Uhud, the Battle of the Trench, the Battle of Tabuk, and many other battles. He knows most of his readers won’t know that Muhammad says in a hadith: “I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah” (Sahih Muslim 33).
Rashid calls me “internationally recognized hatemonger Pamela Geller.” Internationally recognized by whom? Islamist supremacists, Islamist apologists, and their leftist lapdogs.
I submit that the majority of the world, certainly the free world, supports my defense of freedom, as evidenced by the many awards and accolades I’ve received from numerous pro-freedom groups and organizations. I stand for the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, the equality of rights of all people before the law, and individual rights, and so to the enemies of all those principles, I’m a “hatemonger.”
Rashid’s hypocrisy is outrageous. He says in Salon that he supports the United States’ “proud free speech model” — but at a conference in 2013, he called for using cyber-bullying laws to limit speech and expression critical of Islam.
While Rashid dissembles in Salon, I am flanked by a team, a phalanx of security guards 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for the crime of telling the truth.
Rashid claims that “‘Christian’ terror groups like the Lord’s Resistance Army and CAR militias commit terrorism that is as bad or worse” than that which is committed by ISIS. Really? What nation-sized territory do these groups control? What threats have they issued to perpetrate terror attacks in the U.S. and Europe? Where are their sex slaves?
Qasim Rashid is a spokesman for the Ahmadis, who are all too frequently slaughtered by mainstream Muslims. Why is he carrying water for the very ideology that slaughters his own people?
Rashid anticipates my criticisms here when he writes:
Critics dismiss the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community by claiming we are a ‘minority’ or because extremist Muslims consider us heretical. These arguments are specious. I find it peculiar that such critics point to the roughly 30,000 members of ISIS and the past year as ‘proof’ Islam is violent, but ignore the tens of millions members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community living progressively in 206 nations for well over a century as ‘a minority’ that ‘doesn’t represent Islam.’
Tens of millions out of 1.5 billion: less than three percent. And his argument is specious in other ways as well. We don’t cite merely the members of ISIS as proof of the Islamist threat. No, we cite the thousands of jihad groups worldwide and the millions of Muslims who are waging holy war in the cause of Islam. And we note how they use Islamic texts and teachings to justify their actions and make recruits among peaceful Muslims.
The Ahmadiyyas changed Islam, which mainstream Sunnis believe is something more egregious than blasphemy. The Ahmadis said that Muhammad was not the final prophet. The horror! Rashid calls me a hatemonger for holding an art exhibit, yet what he practices is the most reviled in a long line of prohibitions in Islam. So if I am a hatemonger, he is a loathsome, vile heretic and apostate. Maybe even an “Islamophobe.”
And ultimately, why is he talking to Jeffrey Tayler, Bill Maher, and me? Why isn’t he talking to the millions of Muslims who subscribe to the view that he is the one who is deviating from authentic Islam?
Why is Rashid taking it up with the targets, rather than with the targeters? Why is he taking it up with the victims? Why isn’t he going to the imams and the mosques that support ISIS and criticizing the Muslim publications that are pro-ISIS and pro-al-Qaeda?
We aren’t the problem. They can kill and kill and kill the victims, and attacking those same victims is still not going to solve the problems within Islam, unless everyone converts — and that’s what they want. Muslims have to solve their problems, and Qasim Rashid has to stop blaming the targets.
He’s part of the problem, not the solution. And shame on Salon for repeatedly running this kind of tripe without giving us a chance to respond.
Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of PamelaGeller.com and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. Follow her on Twitter here. Like her on Facebook here.