The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat strongly condemns the attack on a Baghdad church by extremists on Sunday, which resulted in the death of 58 Christian worshipers, including three priests. The Ahmadiyya Community condemns the attack with strongest terms.
The Ahmadiyya Community believes in the Quranic teaching of freedom of faith and worship that: “There should be no compulsion in religion”. It believes in human dignity and condemns their killing for any reason whatsoever; there is no place in Islam for violence. Islam strongly establishes freedom of belief and worship and urges protection of places of worship of all faiths. God the Almighty says:
“Whosoever killed a person — unless it be for killing a person or for creating disorder in the land — it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and whoso gave life to one, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.” (5:33)
This is the clear teaching that the unlawful killing or the shedding of innocent blood of someone is like the killing of the entire human race, that is to say, the taking of a single life is like the massacre of thousands of innocent lives. Now, everyone can very well imagine what kind of sentence would be passed on someone who is found guilty of the taking of thousands of innocent lives. So this is the beautiful teaching given to us by God, and whosoever acts against this, acts against the teachings of God – the Creator.
Muslims are commanded to honour human dignity, and in the early times of Islam when Muslims were given permission for defensive wars, it was forbidden to kill religious leaders – priests or rabbis – in their respective places of worship, and to attack and demolish places of worship. Muslims have been made to promise that they will help defend the followers of other faiths from unjust and cruel attacks as well. For example, in his charter for all time to come addressed to all Christians living as citizens under Muslim rule, the Holy Founder of Islam, states:
“I promise that any monk or wayfarer who will seek my help on the mountains, in forests, deserts or habitations, or in places of worship, I will repel his enemies with my friends and helpers, with all my relatives and with all those who profess to follow me and will defend them, because they are my covenant.
And I will defend the covenanted against the persecution, injury and embarrassment of their enemies in lieu of the poll tax they have promised to pay. If they prefer to defend their properties and persons themselves, they will be allowed to do so and will not be put to any inconvenience on that account.
No bishop will be expelled from his bishopric, no monk from his monastery, no priest from his place of worship, and no pilgrim will be detained in his pilgrimage.
None of their churches and other places of worship will be desolated or destroyed or demolished. No material of their churches will be used to build mosques or houses for the Muslims; any Muslim doing so will be regarded as recalcitrant to Allah and His Prophet.
Every help shall be given them in the repair of their churches. They shall be absolved of wearing arms. They shall be protected by the Muslims. Let this document not be disobeyed till Judgment Day.”
As members of the Ahmadiyya Community, we call on all Muslims to follow the example of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) and work to live in harmony with our non-Muslim brothers and sisters.
We, the members of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat express my condolences to the victims’ families in this difficult time and hope for swift action against the perpetrators of this heinous, inhuman and barbaric act. And we pray to God the Almighty that He makes this world a haven of peace, tolerance, harmony, liberty and universal brotherhood. Ammen.