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COMMENT – Seeking a Free World

2 The Review of Religions –April 2007 Tommy Kallon – London EDITORIAL Truth Prevails As with all other prophets of God, the Promised Messiah(as) was to meet with stern opposition from the very people he had been commissioned to guide back unto the right path. The Holy Qur’an is full of examples where the righteous have become victims of physical violence and verbal abuse at the hands of their adversaries who shield their iniquity under the guise of zealous religious piety. In the case of the Promised Messiah(as), however, his opponents went a step further and waged a campaign to discredit him in the eyes of the uninformed. Not only were there personal character attacks which embodied a shocking violation of the Islamic sense of decency and morals in social intercourse, his teachings were deliberately traduced and he was falsely accused, amongst other things, of being sponsored by the then British Government in his claim to prophethood and that, God forbid, he repudiated the status of the Holy Prophet(saw) as Khataman Nabiyyeen – the Seal of the Prophets. Even after the demise of the Promised Messiah(as), such utterly false allegations which unfortu- nately all too often gain the assent of the unthinking multitudes have continued to be made against the Ahmadiyya Community dissem- inating far and wide the seeds of prejudice, ignorance and error. Especially in Pakistan where the Community has its Headquarters, it has repeatedly had to defend itself against such outrageous and baseless accusations made through the media and nourished from the pulpits of pseudo-clergy across the nation. The Community has been accused without the least shred of evidence of being agents of the Zionist state of Israel; it has been accused of changing its Qiblah from Makkah to Qadian; it has been accused of altering the text of the Holy Qur’an; it has been accused of altering the Islamic credo – There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah – by substituting the name the Holy Prophet of Islam(saw) with that of Hadhrat Ahmad(as), its Holy Founder. The authorities in Pakistan have accorded the Community no protection – legal or otherwise – from these false accusations. On the contrary, they have been complicit in the storm of vituperation and wave of perse- cution against the Community caused by such fabricated allegations because, according to the authorities, they hearthen feelings of ordinary Muslims. The controversy caused by the Danish cartoons caricaturing the blessed person of the Holy Prophet(saw) and the protestations they drew from Muslims of all denominations around the world is still fresh in our minds. Some of these protests regrettably were violent, others, as in the case of the Ahmadiyya Community, were peaceful condemnations. But where Islam and its Holy Founder(saw) strongly admonish against the falsehood, there should be no need, in a so-called Islamic state, for the Community to have to defend itself against fabri- cations. Islam regards the telling of lies as a major sin. The Holy Qur’an goes as far as to impute idolatry to falsehood. Says the Holy Qur’an: Shun therefore the abom- ination of idols and shun false speech. (Ch.22: V.31) The Promised Messiah(as) explains this juxtaposition of falsehood alongside idolatry. Falsehood is an idol, he maintains; he who relies upon it ceases to trust in and hence loses God. No true Muslim therefore can resort to such inveracity as we find obtaining amongst the hostile opponents of the Ahmadiyya Community. 3 EDITORIAL The Review of Religions – April 2007 4 The Review of Religions –April 2007 Seeking a Free World Slavery has been a horrid chapter in human history and historically a part of human life pretty much the world over. People of all faiths and cultures have both suffered and perpetrated slavery at one time or another. In Islam, Prophet Muhammad(saw) gave clear direction to free slaves, yet subsequent generations lost sight of this noble message of equality and liberty and reverted to trading in slaves placing their greed over their morals. Without doubt the commendable efforts of the likes of Wilberforce that resulted in the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in 1807 in Britain provide some reassurance and faith in humanity. Yet it is disheartening to see, that two hundred years on, his vision of a world without slavery is still not a reality. Sadly even today slavery exists – from physical slavery that is sometimes disguised as bonded labour, to social and economic slavery whereby poorer nations are trapped by political manoeu- vrings of wealthier nations. There is also slavery in the developed world itself in the form of human trafficking (with women being sold into pros- titution) and farm and factory labourers (commonly migrants from Eastern Europe who are forced to work ghastly hours simply to pay off extortionate loans taken out for the ‘privilege’ of such work). It seems that those who perpetrate slavery today, as with those who perpetrated it in the past, have little regard for compassion and justice provided they can either escape the law, or mask their crimes in legal terminology and political debate. It is too easy for us to lose sight of these issues in our daily life Notes & Comment Fareed Ahmad – Devon and Cornwall, UK

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