Ahmed and Ahmad both have the violent "prophet" Muhammad and sharia in common
Although Sunni muslims may not consider Lord Ahmad a muslim at all because he belongs to the Ahmadiyya sect, from Klevius Human Rights perspective he ticks all the boxes.
Here's a view on Ahmadiyya muslims by Swedish Dispatch International
Maryam Namazie and I took part in a debate with two members of the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam; the motion being “Sharia Law Negates Human Rights”. You can watch it in full here On the other side of the debate were Ayyaz Mahmood Khan and Jonathan Butterworth, both Ahmadiyya Muslims.
Following the speeches, the first question raised from the audience was on the matter of “wife-beating”, and the fact that this is sanctioned, indeed commanded, in Sura 4:34 of the Koran. Rather than reject the sentiments of this verse, Ayyaz Mahmood Khan attempted to deny it with the usual “out of context” apologism. He attempted to brush aside the consequences of the verse by stating that men who beat women “are rotten people who were going to beat their wives anyway”.
While this is undoubtedly true, it doesn’t quite address the fact that the Koran allows them to do it, or what this says about the position of women in Islam. Khan then goes on to say that beating his wife is essentially a man’s last resort. He claims that the “beat her” command only applies when a wife becomes violent. The example he provided was “if she beats her husband, she raises her hand, then she begins to hate her husband, and begins to have illicit relationships outside the home”. Finally, he added that when beating a woman “no marks should be left on the body”.
There is much about this explanation that simply doesn’t wash, the most obvious being that unfortunately for Khan, the Koran doesn’t actually say any of that; it simply says “beat her”, he has added the rest. Secondly, to his mind, if a woman “begins to hate her husband” or “have illicit relationships”, it is then perfectly legitimate to launch into physical abuse. I, and most truly moderate or civilised people, reject male violence of any kind against women, and do not present a list of occasions in which it is acceptable.
Furthermore, there is no difference between Khan’s misogynist acceptance of violence and that of Sa’d Arafat who, on Egyptian television in 2010, also described violence against women as a last resort. Arafat outlined all of the steps (admonish her, don’t share her bed) a man must take to “discipline” his wife, before it becomes acceptable to beat her. When he does decide she has been disobedient enough, “the beatings should not be hard”. The fact is that there is no difference been Khan and Arafat, and yet Khan – being Ahmadiyya – is praised as a moderate, whereas Arafat would no doubt be condemned for those views by many of the same people.
I’ve heard it said, more than once, that the Ahmadiyya community are widely maligned, oppressed and persecuted across the Islamic world because of their message of moderation and peace. This is not strictly true though. The Ahmadiyya are persecuted because they are deemed to be blasphemous. On their UK website, they state that they are “the only community of Muslims to have accepted” the “Promised Messiah” Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
In Pakistan, a law introduced in 1984 has been used to persecute Ahmadi members there for “posing as a Muslim”. In 2013 a British doctor was arrested in Pakistan for just that offence, and as Reuters reported “some mullahs promise that killing Ahmadis earns a place in heaven”. Might this persecution go some way to explaining their call for freedom of religion, while also calling for restrictions on those of who criticise it?
There is some credit due to the Ahmadiyya community in Britain for their efforts to integrate to mainstream British life, and indeed for their charitable work. Moreover, the persecution of this group is appalling and deserves unequivocal condemnation. However, it is difficult to see any distinction between many of their core beliefs and those of other Muslims who we might label extreme. Some prominent representatives have opposed non-believers’ right to criticise or mock religion, have lied about stoning, and attempted to apologise away misogynist violence. Perhaps we need to be rather more careful before applying the label of “moderate” to men who stand in such positions.