Terrorism and Extremism

Notes & Comments

On religious extremism.

January 2002 marks the first centenary of the Review of Religions. This English magazine was started by the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam A h m a d( a s ) of Qadian, India (1835-1908). Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as), who claimed under divine guidance that he was the Promised Messiah(as) and World Reformer awaited by all revealed religions of the world. The twentieth century com- menced with a proposal for the establishment of the Review of Religions. Right from the very beginning, the Pr o m i s e d Messiah(as) had a deep interest in the propagation of Islam in Western countries. It is related that once a follower brought glad tidings of his victory in a debate and the Pr o m i s e d M e s s i a h( a s ) stated, ‘I thought that you have brought the news that Europe has become Muslim’. He had already been a recipient of prophecies pre- dicting that his writings would be published in large quantities in Europe. He was informed that impressed by such writings, hundreds of thousands of Englishmen would embrace Islam even though at that time only a few advertisements and some books had been translated into the English language and had found their way into Europe and America. Nevertheless, this was a significant project. Ever since the commencement of his claim to be the Pr o m i s e d Messiah(as), he had desired that an English language magazine should be launched to spread the voice of Islam in the West in which translations of articles he had penned in support of Islam should be published. After consulting some of his volunteers conversant with the English language, on 15 January 1901, the Promised Messiah(as) announced the establishment of an English magazine under the joint editorship of Maulawi Muhammad Ali sahib MA and Khawaja Kamaluddin sahib, BA, Pleader Peshawar. To set this magazine on a sound footing, the community’s members met on 31 March 1901 and 1 April 1901 in Masjid Aqsa and Masjid 2 Review of Religions – Jan 2002 Editorial Mubarak, Qadian, India. It was mutually agreed that a permanent board called ‘Anjuman Isha’at Islam’ be established for the English magazine and the translation of the books of the Pr o m i s e d M e s s i a h( a s ). The Pr o m i s e d M e s s i a h( a s ) himself was the Chairman and the remaining board was made up of the following: President Hadhrat Maulawi Nuruddin sahib Vice President Maulawi Abdul Karim Sialkoti sahib Secretary Mr Khawaja Kamaluddin Assistant Secretary Maulawi Muhammad Ali sahib Financial Secretary Mr Sheikh Rahmatullah Malik of Bombay House Accountant Mr Mian Tajdin Lahori The board of directors chose the Review of Religions as the name of the English magazine and selected Lahore as its head office. A committee was formed to draft the constitution. The Anjuman also decided on 24 November 1901 that if three hundred subscribers were obtained, an Urdu edition of the Review of Religions would also be launched. These then are the details of the humble beginning of this longest running Muslim monthly magazine in the English language. It was the first publication body established under the supervision of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam. When the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya was established in early 1906, this vehicle along with other departments was absorbed in the new entity. Both English and Urdu editions of the Review of Religions p r o p o s e d by the Promised Messiah ( a s ) commenced in January 1902. Whereas the English edition continued to be published for some time from Lahore, the first edition of the Urdu edition of the Review of Religions w a s published from the Faiz A’ a m Lahore Press and after that began to be published from Mr Shaikh Yaqoob Ali’s Anwaar Ahmadiyya Press of Qadian. 3 Editorial Review of Religions – Jan 2002