Source & Credit:St. Louis Islam Examiner
By Basiyr Rodney | St. Louis, MO
Islam is not a homogeneous faith. Since the origins of Islam Muslims have had varied opinions on aspects of the faith. There has always been a minority of those claiming Islam who act with violence for political ends. In a sense, this minority voice is now speaking loudly and largely with the tacit "support" of the critics of Islam. Those elements who oppose Islam continue to pander to the minority extremists by publishing a stream of news about them continuously. A greater issue is that the Muslim community is now diffused and has no clear leadership, as a result Muslims have little ability to clarify themselves in the court of public opinion.
A distinct group
For the last 100 years the Ahmadiyya has emerged as a distinct group of Muslims. Throughout their existence they have vehemently opposed any violent interpretations of Islam. The Ahmadiyya under their "second successor" Hadhrat (His Holiness) Mirza Bashir-u-Din Mahmud Ahmad (1889-1965) established a series of schemes designed to promote this non-violent view of Islam. Under the New Scheme (Tehrik-e-Jadid) of 1934, and the New Devotion (Waqf-e-Jadid) of 1958, His Holiness committed the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to give special funds on an annual basis. These funds have been used to build schools for girls and boys in India and Africa. Furthermore these schemes continue to exist today and are spent among Muslims and non-Muslims alike in rural areas where lack of education is the norm. It was the vision of His Holiness that these schemes would bring about a peaceful reformation among the Muslim and non-Muslim people of these under developed areas. Based on these schemes, the Ahmadiyya Muslims have contributed to hundreds of schools, clinics, hospitals and development projects around the globe. From the building of Mosques that connect the worshippers to the rest of the world and schools that have prepared leaders of nations, these schemes are directly opposed to the spreading of terrorism and violence in the name of Islam.
The Ahmadiyya are known for their "unusually" high level of multinational organization . It is this quality that allows the more than 20 million Ahmadiyya Muslims to contribute millions of dollars to these giving schemes. John Hanson of Indiana University in his article, Jihad and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, suggests that the Ahmadiyya Muslims see themselves as belonging in the "Muslim vanguard." As a result of this self image, every year the Ahmadiyya Khalifa reports the collections from these schemes indicating which countries the funds came from as well as how they will be spent, assuring complete transparency in all financial dealings. This group remains an enigma to critics and non-critics alike. The Ahmadiyya Muslims appear to be outward looking and defiant of criticisms that are often leveled at the notion of "homogeneous Muslims."
Read here: Do Muslims condemn violence in their religion?