The Corner

A New Yorker Says Thanks

This afternoon here in NYC, a city bus rumbled past me with a huge poster on its side bearing a welcome and necessary message: “Muslims for Peace / Love for All / Hatred for None.” A Google search unearthed the fact that the campaign is sponsored by the Ahmadiyya sect, which is considered heretical by mainstream Muslims because of its belief in its messiah-founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908). (Many in the West have said that Islam needs a Reformation; Ahmaddiya looks analogous less to Luther’s break from Rome than to Christianity’s development out of Judaism.) Reliable membership numbers are hard to track down, but the most numerous contingent of Ahmaddiya members appears to be in Pakistan (4 million), where 86 of them were murdered in terrorist attacks in May; the most famous member in the West was the great jazzman Art Blakey. (They do have a significant presence in the U.S., in one specific regard: I see copies of their Koran translation, by Maulana Muhammad Ali, all over the place, and used to own one myself.)

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