I’ve been having an ongoing dialog with several members of the highly oppressed Ahmadiyya community. You might wonder, “Who?”. OK, let me explain, they claim to be Islamic, but most Orthodox Muslims consider them to be heretical and non-Muslim for a number of reasons (if curious, click here to find out more from Wikipedia). The result is that they face a considerable degree of persecution. To illustrate, last year 98 Ahmadi worshippers were slaughtered by terrorists while they prayed in mosques in Lahore, and that’s just once example of many.
This is a modern form of Islam that has evolved beyond its more traditional form (they have a newer prophet) … they believe in rationality, they accept evolution as a fact (or so they claimed when in dialog). OK yes, they still hold supernatural beliefs as well; my point is that they are not as insane as the more Orthodox and older variation of Islam.
What rather surprised me is that for a group of folks who are opposed to the oppression of minorities, and suffer from such oppression, they actually openly practice and preach oppression as well. During one recent dialog, one person commenting on some other topic equated being gay with rape and murder. I responded by pointing out that this was both highly offensive and deeply immoral. In response I’m advised by several folks …
- Being gay was neither moral, nor natural
- They hate the sin but not the sinner … (yea really, they played that card to justify their homophobia)
- “Truck drivers for instance indulge in it alot because they have to drive lengthy routes without companionship”
- “there is not enough scientific evidence to conclude that this behavior is normal.”
I persisted in pointing out the facts, and I’m then told,
- “you continue to lie to my face”.
- And apparently I’m ... “talking in the accusatory tone of Mullahs and Priests”
- And I’m also told … “you are an INTOLERANT ATHIEST with athiesm being your religion” (yea, they can’t spell atheist even when they have an on-line spell checker to hand)
- Oh and also … “if homosexuality is so great I’m sorely disappointed that your parents weren’t”
What these folks simply don’t get is that their stance causes considerable harm to others, yet they would rather cling to a belief and don’t give a damn about the facts or the real harm it does. It is quite frankly appalling that they deem some of their fellow humans to be in the wrong simply because they have been born with a different sexual orientation. Nor do they truly understand that ignorant rhetoric such at theirs leads to a high rate of harassment and violence directed toward lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals – given that this belief community itself experiences religiously motivated discrimination and violence, I’m quite frankly astonished that they in turn behave like this. (But then this is a religious belief, so perhaps I should not be so surprised).
Does everybody in the Ahmadiyya community believe this and behave like this. No not all, one very commendable believer commented, “If this is the kind of ‘dialogue’ that goes on here then I am utterly sorry that I can no longer cope with this… So its goodbye from this forum… I am signing off…” and with that, he left the group. I applaud him for being an honorable decent human who refused to indulge in such rhetoric and was prepared to swim again the tide. And you know what, he is right. I’ve called them on their homophobic bigotry, so it is now time to move on and not waste any further dialog on folks who choose to embrace belief driven prejudice and discrimination.