(Original post by The Epicurean)
You are more than entitled to debate the legitimacy of Ahmaddiya's and whether or not they are Islamic, but these debates rightfully belong in debate threads. Likewise, people should be free to discuss the same about Shias too. But these topics should not belong in a society like the I-Soc. If it was a Sunni society, you would have a point. But the I-Soc is not a Sunni society, and therefore the Sunni stance on whether or not someone is a Muslim cannot be our criteria for defining who is or isn't a Muslim. It isn't a "Sunni and Shia Society" either. And so we cannot have one or two groups taking charge and saying this is and this isn't Islam.
To me, or rather should I say to most Muslims, an Islamic society is a sunni society because sunni Islam is authentic Islam to us. You think sects are all different forms of Islam who perhaps hold similar weight in authenticity. We do not believe that. Basically you are applying a non-Muslim understanding to Islam and expecting us to take the same understanding. And that's where we disagree. Therefore we don't accept pluralism with groups like ahmaddiya.
Some people from minority sects may agree with you and say the same thing, as some have actually done so on this forum. But that's because they need to. They need to preach pluralism and acceptance for all, otherwise their beliefs themselves would go under extremely rough critique on a regular basis if they tried to call out the vast majority.
But you are speaking "Islamically" from a Sunni point of view. But is it not the case that Shia, Sufi or whoever, sometimes have a different point of view of which Islamic beliefs may be unislamic.
But it's only a sunni point of view to you. To us, it is the Islamic view. I know that you know that already but you don't understand the implications it has. Sufis are sunnis, even if you can't tell with some of them nowadays. In Islam we do not accept every view under the sun. If the views of these people go against Qur'an and sunnah, then it is rejected there is no "oh but that's their version of Islam".
Whether they are good Muslims or not is another debate. The British Islamic community is still the British Islamic community, whether or not they follow Islam correctly.
Also, the concept of "Islamic" is vague. In the English language it carries a very far reaching meaning. For example, the concept of art. In Christian Europe, only art with specific Christian imagery is considered Christian art. However, part from the Islamic world, whether or not they are religious, are grouped under the term "Islamic Art." The same is also the case with "Islamic Science." This term encompasses non-Muslims as well as Muslims, engaging in tasks often with no relation to Islam, and yet this collection of science is referred to as Islamic. Whereas we don't call science from Christian Europe, "Christian science." We don't really know in what sense the author of the article was using the term Islamic.
I never said non-practicing Muslims weren't part of the Islamic community.
If a Muslim says something like Islamic science, it most likely means a scientific discovery made by a Muslim. From the religious stance, you can't really say "Islamic" is vague. To Muslims, it is definitely not vague. We look to Qur'an and Sunnah and judge "Islamic" from that. There may be differences here and there within Islam (talking about sunnis, assume when I say islamic it means sunnis unless otherwise stated) but for the most we have the same beliefs. Of course as time goes, maybe more sub groups appear because people start making up their beliefs but then we go back to Qur'an and Sunnah, and then judge them using that. But Islamic is definitely not vague to Muslims.
What you define as "practicing Muslim" is vague. If the definition of Muslim is like the Hadith I have posted many times, namely someone who prays like a Muslim, faces Qibla and eats Halal meat, then many Muslims I know pass that test, although I will admit I know many who wouldn't pass that test also (as they don't pray all the daily prayers).
Islamic forums are not a great representation of the average Muslim in the UK. By the same logic, the majority of students in the UK get A's and A* based on TSR. TSR attracts a certain type of student. Likewise, Islamic forums like Ummah for example, tend to attract certain types of Muslims.
I don't think I've ever actually defined practicing Muslim properly to you. Whenever I've talked to you, I've most diluted it in my head to someone who follows all the obvious obligatory stuff (e.g 5 prayers) and they believe and agree with the laws in the Qur'an and hadith (e.g. alcohol haram, hadd punishments etc). Of course I would go further and add sunnah prayers etc.
With all due respect, you were misusing that hadith to argue ahmadiyyas are Muslim. So you didn't think of the consequences of your interpretation. I know Muslims who eat haram meat but your interpretation would wrongly count them out too. Anyway I am not arguing that those Muslims you know in real life aren't Muslim. I am saying that perhaps they aren't the best Muslims or they are lacking in some parts of Islam (some parts perhaps through ignorance and other parts through laziness).
It may not be a good representation of the average Muslim. But I'm talking about the practicing Muslim not the average Muslim because the average Muslim is not a good source to find about Islamic beliefs. Islamic forums would be a good representation of young practicing Muslims. If you want to see more practicing Muslims and check their views, you go ask in a mosque, you go to a shaykh and see his students, you go ask in an uni's ISOC etc. Not every practicing Muslim will be found on a forum or in an ISOC ofc, nor will everyone on there be fully practicing, but practicing Muslims are normally more passionate about Islam than the general Muslim populace so they gather together in such places. Being passionate means they take time to learn more about Islam and thus they tend to know more about Islam than the average Muslim. And so their views are more likely to be correct (not all correct but they should have all the basics and obvious stuff nailed down) . You think ummah attracts a certain type, in your mind you're thinking "extreme types" probably but it's just Muslims who are trying to follow Qur'an and sunnah properly and they wish to interact with other like minded Muslims.