Some so-called "Muslim" nations have a problem.
It is not America, Europe, and no, it is certainly not Israel.
The problem is persecution, and in this case, of Christians. Some fourteen centuries after Prophet Muhammad wrote, "Christians are my citizens, and by God, I hold out against anything that displeases them," Christian persecution has become a norm in these Muslim majority nations. While persecution in even one nation is too much, the problem is far beyond just one nation.
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, a Christian father of two sits on death row, inhumanely incarcerated in Iran for his "crime" of converting to Christianity from Islam. Yes, the Qur'an forbids punishment for apostasy, but tell that to the Iranian government. And though Islam does not sanction the mixing of mosque and state, be careful about saying that out loud -- you may be charged with apostasy.
And the problem persists. Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five sits on death row in a putrid Pakistani prison -- literally tortured -- for her alleged blasphemy of Prophet Muhammad. Yes, the Qur'an forbids punishment for blasphemy, but tell that to the Muslim clergy. And though Islam does not sanction any sort of priesthood, be careful about saying that out loud -- you may be charged with blasphemy.
And the problem still persists. A human rights watch reports that a 12-year-old Christian girl in Pakistan was kidnapped, raped, forcibly converted to "Islam" and forcibly married to a Muslim before she finally escaped. When her parents went to the police, they were advised to "return the girl to her rightful husband," ignoring the kidnapping, rape, forced conversion and forced marriage. Yes, the Qur'an protects the rights of women and children, condemns rape, forbids inheriting women (let alone children) against their will and forbids compulsion in religion. But, tell that to a people who worship the almighty dollar instead of the Almighty Deity. And though Islam demands absolute justice in all affairs, be careful about saying that out loud -- if you cannot be bribed in Pakistan, you might find yourself buried six feet under.
And yet, the problem still persists. In Indonesia, over 50 Christian churches have been forcibly -- and illegally -- closed under extremist pressure. Contrast this with Prophet Muhammad's Charter that states, "No one is to destroy a house of [the Christian] religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims houses." Prophet Muhammad also foretold Islam's spread to Egypt and reminded Muslims that their spiritual grandmother -- Hagar, wife of Abraham -- was Egyptian. As such, Muslims were specifically admonished to respect and honor Egyptian Christians. Quite obviously, Egyptian Coptic Christian persecution stands in stark contrast to Prophet Muhammad's guidance.
This persecution menace demands a Muslim solution.
Over a century ago, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad -- who claimed to be the long-awaited Messiah -- planted the seeds for what has blossomed into the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Now established in 200 nations and with tens of millions of adherents, it is at the forefront of an era of Islamic revival, divesting the extremists "Islam" of fanatical beliefs and practices by vigorously championing Islam's true and essential teachings. Ahmadi Muslims believe in absolute justice (4:136), reject religious compulsion (2:257), are loyal to their nations of residence (4:60), uphold the absolute sanctity and equality of human life (5:33), believe in gender equity and spiritual equality (4:125), condemn religious aggression (2:28) and champion universal religious freedom (22:40-41).
We have a solution.
For Ahmadi Muslims are not alone. Countless Muslims -- regardless of background -- share these over-riding principles of justice, equality and pluralism, all working tirelessly to revive Islam's aforementioned founding principles. This unity in Muslim pluralism was admirably demonstrated in the recent, wildly successful nationwide Muslims for Life campaign that collected over 11,000 units of blood. (See Huff Post article here).
Prophet Muhammad's charter with Christians worldwide concludes, "We defend Christians... no Muslim is to disobey this covenant until the Last Day." Muslims, who hold fast to this covenant, happily oblige and grow by the day.
And as such Muslims grow by the day worldwide, those so-called "Muslim" nations should take note -- you have a problem.
*On October 18th, I appeared on the Jordan Sekulow show to discuss this piece. Follow this link listen to the interview.
Follow Qasim Rashid on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MuslimIQ