Cristina Maza, Newsweek, November 22, 2017
Groups of Sunni Muslim extremists gathered in a Holiday Inn in northern Virginia over the weekend and called for followers to wage jihad — or holy war — against infidels.
The radical extremists didn’t call for violence against Jews or Christians, but instead used the so-called Final Prophet Conference to rage against another group of Muslims that, like most American Muslims, doesn’t support violent jihad.
The Pakistani-American imams who led the event bashed the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a religious movement founded in 19th-century India, according to one participant who attended the event. Among the main complaints was that Ahmadi Muslims criticize violence and forbid waging jihad against non-Muslim governments.
The conference organizers were Idara Dawat-O-Irshad and Khatme Nabuwwat Center, two Muslim groups registered as corporations in Virginia, just a short drive from the U.S. capital. The groups are working to export their extremist ideology and intolerance into the United States, critics say.
Ahmadiyya Muslims say that groups like the ones in Virginia give Muslims a bad name at a time when the Trump administration is already demonizing many Muslims and painting them as extremists.
“These groups are influential in places like Pakistan, but I’d bet 99.9 percent of American Muslims reject these guys,” Rashid said.
Ahmadi Muslims believe that the messiah has already arrived in the form of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, a reformer who lived in India in the 1800s. Ahmad aimed to reform Muslims whose concept of jihad had become too violent. In response, extremist clerics in countries like Pakistan have banned the Ahmadi Muslims, and members of the group can be fined or even face capital punishment in Pakistan.
Ahmadi Muslims say it is their message of peace that offends the hardline extremists most.