Be Aware of Differences

February 6, 2014

In reference to the article regarding the new mosque on Park Heights Avenue (“Coming Together,” Jan. 31), I think it is great that we welcome them. Ultimately, it is not our business who our neighbors are as long as we treat each other with respect. We should be aware that the Ahmadi group, the sect of this mosque, is considered by Muslims a “non-Muslim minority,” the same category as that applied to the Druze community, and that Pakistani law forbids their identification as Muslims.

An Ahmadi British citizen was even recently arrested in Pakistan for the simple act of reading the Koran in public. The Ahmadi U.S. organization makes it sound like it is part of the normative Islamic community, for whatever reason.

The Jewish community is very familiar with internal rifts and disagreements within a faith community. Responses to those disagreements do not go so far as the extremes we unfortunately see in the Muslim world, thank God. We should be aware of these differences within the Muslim community, so we and they can be better neighbors.

Harold Lehmann
Baltimore

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