'Luton on Sunday' newspaper bows to Luton Taliban
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is 125 years old this year, and Prime Minister David Cameron sent them his sincere congratulations on reaching this milestone. He praised their work for peace, their charitable endeavours and their efforts on behalf of the environment. "This is true faith in action," he wrote, acknowledging that they have also endured fierce persecution for expressing that faith. This gesture clearly touched a number of Ahmadiyyans all over the world, mindful that in some countries to be Ahmadi is a crime, punishable even by death. For the Ahmadiyya, jihad is not violence, which they repudiate: it is the peaceable struggle against the flesh in a never-ending quest for the peace that passes understanding. And blessed are the peacemakers.
In commemoration of this anniversary, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community took out a two-page advertisement in a number of local newspapers. Luton on Sunday agreed to publish this advertisement (pp4-5):
They then received a complaint from one Dr Fiaz Hussain, who is co-ordinator of the Preservation of Finality of Prophethood Forum (PFPF):
Followed by a delegation of 'Community Leaders':
And then Luton on Sunday issued this swift disassociation and apology (p4):
This is yet another example of Muslim intimidation of the media into conforming to a narrow interpretation of sharia. The advertisement was accepted by the newspaper, and there is no editorial compulsion to endorse the content or message of any such promotion.
Notwithstanding this, Luton on Sunday felt the need to issue an apology for offending "the Muslim community in Luton", as though the offence caused by such a repudiation to the Ahmadiyya community is of no consequence at all, which, of course, it isn't.
One doubts that this delegation made violent threats or even intimated that the Luton on Sunday offices might be firebombed or their staff harassed. But clearly the newspaper came under some sort of pressure to "completely dissociate (themselves) from the content of the advertisement", and this could only have come from a persuasive if not forceful assertion of the sort of narrow Sunni-sharia orthodoxy that is in force in Pakistan (via the malignant Wahhabi-Salafi strain), and which is being incrementally imposed upon or adopted by the British media.
The Ahmadiyya call themselves Muslims, and clearly some other Muslim groups are offended by this because the Ahmadiyya believe that other prophets followed Mohammed: he was not the 'final seal'. This sort of religio-identity dispute is, of course, nothing new: the Church of England calls itself Catholic (and Reformed), which irks one or two (Roman) Catholics. But newspapers and other media are not exhorted by sundry zealous priests and cardinals to dissociate themselves from advertisements which might contain this historic assertion of Anglican belief. It is surely not for Luton on Sunday or any newspaper to take a dogmatic view of the deeply-held sensitivities of one religious denomination, or to impose a moral view of religious blasphemy when Parliament has abolished the concept.
It is to be observed that the Luton on Sunday statement of apology refers only to 'The Ahmadiyya': the Islamic inquisition has clearly determined that they may not be referred to as 'Ahmadiyya Muslims', for the Preservation of Finality of Prophethood Forum (PFPF) has weighed their theology and found them quranically deficient if not heretical.
And so, once again, we observe the adoption of a sharia blasphemy code, which His Grace noted as far back as 2007. The UK now has a de facto blasphemy law which protects the Sunni-sharia assertion of Islamic doctrine vis-à-vis Allah, Mohammed and the Qur'an. And now, in Luton, the views of the Ahmadiyya can go hang with the sensitivities of Christians. Shame on Luton on Sunday for tacitly supporting their persecution.