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Religion and Culture, Global Justice


Contrary to the common notion that Muslims are fundamentalist, anti-modern, and against Western norms (hence their opposition to secularism), this paper argues that Muslims are not homogeneous. Therefore, their approach to secularism is not a matter of their assumed fixed religiosity. One recognises that, after seeing the Ahmadiyya Muslim community endorsing secular values in Canada, the assumption that Muslims coming to the West are anti-secular is misleading. The community’s persecution and loss of religious identity in Pakistan have moderated their approach toward secularism. To prove the hypothesis, Ahmadiyya teachings, addresses by living caliphs, and public statements from Ahmadiyya leaders are used to highlight changes in the community’s approaches toward secularism. The argument is based on the rise of Islamic nationalism in Pakistan, which excluded Ahmadis from the fold of Islam and placed them on the path of persecution. Brief comparative case studies of Alevis and Ismailis are included to strengthen the findings of this paper.

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