Can Muslims Integrate Into Western Societies?
“It is a source of great pleasure to me that Ahmadi Muslims do not remain hidden away and isolated, but in fact, they endeavour to form relations with all segments of society and make efforts to integrate and interact with people from all walks of life. Certainly, such an attitude ought to be the hallmark of every true Ahmadi Muslim.”
These are the words of the Fifth Khalifah (Successor) of the Promised Messiahas, who is the worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, established in 202 countries and that has tens of millions of followers. It is similar message the Khalifah has delivered at numerous functions around the world, explaining that it is based on the true teachings of Islam and the example set by Muhammadsa. More than just delivering a message, the Ahmadis to whom this message refers to, have demonstrated its practical fulfilment, in every country they live in. The Review of Religions has covered numerous events and functions in which non-Muslim guests declare that Ahmadis are model citizens and beacons of integration into Western societies. If, as the Khalifah of the Promised Messiahas has repeatedly expounded, the above message is based on the true teachings of Islam, why then, is there so much furore in the West regarding the lack of integration of Muslims into their societies ? The above message by the Khalifah may appear to be at odds with certain other Muslim leaders, who often advise the Muslims to remain distant from followers of other religions, or with the general perception of the West regarding Muslim integration. It is entirely correct that even many non-Ahmadi Muslims may successfully integrate into Western societies and are undoubtedly good citizens and good people. However, devoid of the fresh interpretations provided by the Promised Messiahas, their successful integration may not be witnessed on a collective level amongst all Muslims, whereas in the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, practically every single member, on both an individual and collective level, does his or her utmost to ensure they fulfil the message quoted at the outset by the Khalifah of the Promised Messiahas. Ahmadis are able to do so without sacrificing their religious values. Here, the context is all important: The Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, proclaimed over 100 years ago that he had come in fulfilment of the prophecies of various religions, which foretold that in last days a Messiah would appear. In Islam, the concept of the Messiah and Imam Mahdi revolved around the moral decline of Muslims. The Qur’an and the Holy Prophetsa prophesised that in the latter days, when the Muslims would largely desist from following the true teachings of Islam, when the Muslims would be divided in a large number of sects, God would at that point send His vicegerent – the Messiah – who having acquired Divine knowledge, would restore the correct teachings of Islam and true belief and faith in the Muslims. The Messiah would explain the underlying philosophy behind Qur’anic verses and the sayings of Muhammadsa and rectify erroneous interpretations of Islamic teachings and the Qur’an – and would do so through presenting rational arguments and with love. In this edition, the Khalifah of the Promised Messiahas explains the true concept of Muslim integration in the West to an audience in Germany. Further, at the opening of the first Jamiah Ahmadiyya in mainland Europe – an Ahmadiyya Theological institute for training missionaries – His Holiness explains the role of Ahmadi Muslim missionaries who will graduate from the institute. We urge our Western readers to ponder over the message of the Khalifah of the Promised Messiahas.