Here’s where a total membership of Ahmadi Muslims exceeding 200 million was claimed in 2003. The reality: closer to 20 million only. pic.twitter.com/YgiWY5M0ar
— Reason on Faith (@ReasonOnFaith)
Here’s the first archive snapshot (Aug 2006) where the figure got restated to “tens of millions”. That’s anything from 20-99 million. pic.twitter.com/VV76HiLs99
— Reason on Faith (@ReasonOnFaith)
I live in a country (the UK) where the tabloid press is hysterical. It points out every weakness and every flaw in every person and then amplifies its complaints with a screaming, raging vendetta until some individual found at fault is forced to resign.
Respectfully, I feel like you’re strawmanning here, and in the bulk of your response above. Who said that I’m asking for a raging vendetta? You are needlessly escalating criticism to asking for blood, and then rightfully dismissing that strawman. That has nothing to do with what I’m asking for.
I don’t want an anonymous Ahmadi on Reddit telling me, “hey, we made a mistake and then fixed it.” I simply want a press release acknowledging that a mistake was made, how it was made, why it wasn’t caught earlier and what the Jama’at did to rectify it.
To acknowledge you made a mistake is a mark of humility and honesty. I’m not asking for heads to roll. That is an administrative issue for the Jama’at to work out. But if they made a huge deal of bai’at figures in the tens of millions in single countries in single years alone, some official explanation is warranted.
Unfortunately this attitude of unforgiving, relentless and disproportionate complaints seems to have become part of our culture. But it has not become part of Jamaat culture.
I’m not asking for it to become part of Jama’at culture. See my earlier point about strawmanning.
When Huzoor was told of this comment, he said (I paraphrase): “I do not want resignations. Rather, I want them to reform themselves.”
That’s great. Seek to rehab instead of be punitive. I have no issue with that.
This stand-off lasted for six months, until Hazrat Ali finally took bait.
You are assuming that Ali truly believed Abu Bakr was in the right. That may be a comforting narrative for Ahmadiyyat, but plenty of historical sources (notably those of the Shia) are going to dispute this. I do think they have a strong case, with Fatima still holding a grudge against Abu Bakr. I see it as Ali fuming, but putting the Ummah above a situation he was powerless to change. Neither you nor I can see into his heart and say “he made a mistake and realized it” or “he was still mad and didn’t believe Abu Bakr deserved khilafat, but he gave bai’at anyways, to preserve unity.”
In the entire 128 year history of our community, there have been reporting errors on the converts on perhaps four occasions over a period of three years (summer 1999-summer 2002). The years before that could potentially be correct, but even if we include the years from 1996 onwards, there were errors made on only 7 occasions out of 128. That’s an error rate of 5%, hardly terrible and not especially damaging: nobody died, nobody was hurt, nobody lost money and we got things right at least 94% of the time, if not more.
Here’s where you’re using statistics in a misleading way, IMHO. I don’t believe it reflects a forthright picture of what happened. Let me put it another way:
Right now, the best estimates are that there are 10-20 million Ahmadi Muslims worldwide. Let’s go with 20 million. At the peak, there was a claim to 200 million Ahmadis. Therefore, the numbers were inflated by 900% at the peak of bad reporting that spanned over half a decade.
It’s not the numberof times reporting was off (5%) that anyone cares about. It’s the magnitude (900%).
Remember, the mistake largely originated from third-world countries such as India.
I’ve stated in earlier comments where bad counting of 1000 might give you 995 or 1004, but not ten million. I stand by that assessment of incredulity.
Now, to bring this back to our modern culture of complaining: there has been no organisation in history which was free from mistakes.
You’ve brought this up before, and I’ve already stated that’s a strawman response. The Jama’at doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to acknowledge a big mistake, only because it had no problem with blasting the faleshood with pride when the numbers were originally reported. Even newspapers publish errata and corrections. The Jama’at seems unable to officially say, “we made a mistake and we acknowledge it.”
If we get into the habit of clinging on to one mistake forever, even after its publicly rectified, even once any long-term damage has been avoided
Misdirection, IMHO. You can easily move on from mistakes by (1) admitting them, (2) explaining what happened, (3) apologizing for the misinformation. Simple. Unless there’s arrogance involved. Again, heads don’t need to roll for someone or some organization to say, “We’re sorry. We were mistaken.”
Nobody, no organisation, will ever live up to this standard. Not even close.
I’m only asking for a standard of humility and honesty. I know the reason why this is something the Jama’at doesn’t want to touch: Ms. Haneef’s short coverage on this issue and the implications on Khilifat are awkward to bear.
Publishing a press release about the mistake would bring the issue to the attention of Ahmadis, the majority of whom passively are encouraged to believe such gross exaggerations over extended periods of time are not possible under a divinely guided Khalifa.