The International Literary Quarterly
Contributors

Shanta Acharya
Marjorie Agosín
Donald Adamson
Diran Adebayo
Nausheen Ahmad
Toheed Ahmad
Amanda Aizpuriete
Baba Akote
Elisa Albo
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Rosetta Allan
María Teresa Andruetto
Innokenty Annensky
Claudia Apablaza
Robert Appelbaum
Michael Arditti
Jenny Argante
Sandra Arnold
C.J.K. Arkell
Agnar Artúvertin
Sarah Arvio
Rosemary Ashton
Mammed Aslan
Coral Atkinson
Rose Ausländer
Shushan Avagyan
Razif Bahari
Elizabeth Baines
Jo Baker
Ismail Bala
Evgeny Baratynsky
Saule Abdrakhman-kyzy Batay
Konstantin Nikolaevich Batyushkov
William Bedford
Gillian Beer
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Ilya Bernstein
Mashey Bernstein
Christopher Betts
Sujata Bhatt
Sven Birkerts
Linda Black
Chana Bloch
Amy Bloom
Mary Blum Devor
Michael Blumenthal
Jean Boase-Beier
Jorge Luis Borges
Alison Brackenbury
Julia Brannigan
Theo Breuer
Iain Britton
Françoise Brodsky
Amy Brown
Bernard Brown
Diane Brown
Gay Buckingham
Carmen Bugan
Stephen Burt
Zarah Butcher McGunnigle
James Byrne
Kevin Cadwallander
Howard Camner
Mary Caponegro
Marisa Cappetta
Helena Cardoso
Adrian Castro
Luis Cernuda
Firat Cewerî
Pierre Chappuis
Neil Charleton
Janet Charman
Sampurna Chattarji
Amit Chaudhuri
Mèlissa Chiasson
Ronald Christ
Alex Cigale
Sally Cline
Marcelo Cohen
Lila Cona
Eugenio Conchez
Andrew Cowan
Mary Creswell
Christine Crow
Pedro Xavier Solís Cuadra
Majella Cullinane
P. Scott Cunningham
Emma Currie
Jeni Curtis
Stephen Cushman
David Dabydeen
Susan Daitch
Rubén Dario
Jean de la Fontaine
Denys Johnson Davies
Lydia Davis
Robert Davreu
David Dawnay
Jill Dawson
Rosalía de Castro
Joanne Rocky Delaplaine
Patricia Delmar
Christine De Luca
Tumusiime Kabwende Deo
Paul Scott Derrick
Josephine Dickinson
Belinda Diepenheim
Jenny Diski
Rita Dove
Arkadii Dragomoschenko
Paulette Dubé
Denise Duhamel
Jonathan Dunne
S. B. Easwaran
Jorge Edwards
David Eggleton
Mohamed El-Bisatie
Tsvetanka Elenkova
Johanna Emeney
Osama Esber
Fiona Farrell
Ernest Farrés
Elaine Feinstein
Gigi Fenster
Micah Timona Ferris
Vasil Filipov
Maria Filippakopoulou
Ruth Fogelman
Peter France
Alexandra Fraser
Bashabi Fraser
Janis Freegard
Robin Fry
Alice Fulton
Ulrich Gabriel
Manana Gelashvili
Laurice Gilbert
Paul Giles
Zulfikar Ghose
Corey Ginsberg
Chrissie Gittins
Sarah Glazer
Michael Glover
George Gömöri
Giles Goodland
Martin Goodman
Roberta Gordenstein
Mina Gorji
Maria Grech Ganado
David Gregory
Philip Gross
Carla Guelfenbein
Daniel Gunn
Charles Hadfield
Haidar Haidar
Ruth Halkon
Tomás Harris
Geoffrey Hartman
Siobhan Harvey
Beatriz Hausner
John Haynes
Jennifer Hearn
Helen Heath
Geoffrey Heptonstall
Felisberto Hernández
W.N. Herbert
William Hershaw
Michael Hettich
Allen Hibbard
Hassan Hilmi
Rhisiart Hincks
Kerry Hines
Amanda Hopkinson
Adam Horovitz
David Howard
Sue Hubbard
Aamer Hussein
Fahmida Hussain
Alexander Hutchison
Sabine Huynh
Juan Kruz Igerabide Sarasola
Neil Langdon Inglis
Jouni Inkala
Ofonime Inyang
Kevin Ireland
Michael Ives
Philippe Jacottet
Robert Alan Jamieson
Rebecca Jany
Andrea Jeftanovic
Ana Jelnikar
Miroslav Jindra
Stephanie Johnson
Bret Anthony Johnston
Marion Jones
Tim Jones
Gabriel Josipovici
Pierre-Albert Jourdan
Sophie Judah
Tomoko Kanda
Maarja Kangro
Jana Kantorová-Báliková
Fawzi Karim
Kapka Kassabova
Susan Kelly-DeWitt
Mimi Khalvati
Daniil Kharms
Velimir Khlebnikov
Akhmad hoji Khorazmiy
David Kinloch
John Kinsella
Yudit Kiss
Tomislav Kuzmanović
Andrea Labinger
Charles Lambert
Christopher Lane
Jan Lauwereyns
Fernando Lavandeira
Graeme Lay
Ilias Layios
Hiên-Minh Lê
Mikhail Lermontov
Miriam Levine
Suzanne Jill Levine
Micaela Lewitt
Zhimin Li
Joanne Limburg
Birgit Linder
Pippa Little
Parvin Loloi
Christopher Louvet
Helen Lowe
Ana Lucic
Aonghas MacNeacail
Kona Macphee
Kate Mahony
Sara Maitland
Channah Magori
Vasyl Makhno
Marcelo Maturana Montañez
Stephanie Mayne
Ben Mazer
Harvey Molloy
Osip Mandelstam
Alberto Manguel
Olga Markelova
Laura Marney
Geraldine Maxwell
John McAuliffe
Peter McCarey
John McCullough
Richard McKane
John MacKinven
Cilla McQueen
Edie Meidav
Ernst Meister
Lina Meruane
Jesse Millner
Deborah Moggach
Mawatle J. Mojalefa
Jonathan Morley
César Moro
Helen Mort
Laura Moser
Andrew Motion
Paola Musa
Robin Myers
André Naffis-Sahely
Vivek Narayanan
Bob Natifu
María Negroni
Hernán Neira
Barbra Nightingale
Paschalis Nikolaou
James Norcliffe
Carol Novack
Annakuly Nurmammedov
Joyce Carol Oates
Sunday Enessi Ododo
Obododimma Oha
Michael O'Leary
Antonio Diaz Oliva
Wilson Orhiunu
Maris O'Rourke
Sue Orr
Wendy O'Shea-Meddour
María Claudia Otsubo
Ruth Padel
Ron Padgett
Thalia Pandiri
Judith Dell Panny
Hom Paribag
Lawrence Patchett
Ian Patterson
Georges Perros
Pascale Petit
Aleksandar Petrov
Mario Petrucci
Geoffrey Philp
Toni Piccini
Henning Pieterse
Robert Pinsky
Mark Pirie
David Plante
Nicolás Poblete
Sara Poisson
Clare Pollard
Mori Ponsowy
Wena Poon
Orest Popovych
Jem Poster
Begonya Pozo
Pauline Prior-Pitt
Eugenia Prado Bassi
Ian Probstein
Sheenagh Pugh
Kate Pullinger
Zosimo Quibilan, Jr
Vera V. Radojević
Margaret Ranger
Tessa Ransford
Shruti Rao
Irina Ratushinskaya
Tanyo Ravicz
Richard Reeve
Sue Reidy
Joan Retallack
Laura Richardson
Harry Ricketts
Ron Riddell
Cynthia Rimsky
Loreto Riveiro Alvarez
James Robertson
Peter Robertson
Gonzalo Rojas
Dilys Rose
Gabriel Rosenstock
Jack Ross
Anthony Rudolf
Basant Rungta
Joseph Ryan
Sean Rys
Jostein Sæbøe
André Naffis Sahely
Eurig Salisbury
Fiona Sampson
Polly Samson
Priya Sarukkai Chabria
Maree Scarlett
John Schad
Michael Schmidt
L.E. Scott
Maureen Seaton
Alexis Sellas
Hadaa Sendoo
Chris Serio
Resul Shabani
Bina Shah
Yasir Shah
Daniel Shapiro
Ruth Sharman
Tina Shaw
David Shields
Ana María Shua
Christine Simon
Iain Sinclair
Katri Skala
Carole Smith
Ian C. Smith
Elizabeth Smither
John Stauffer
Jim Stewart
Susan Stewart
Jesper Svenbro
Virgil Suárez
Lars-Håkan Svensson
Sridala Swami
Rebecca Swift
George Szirtes
Chee-Lay Tan
Tugrul Tanyol
José-Flore Tappy
Alejandro Tarrab
Campbell Taylor
John Taylor
Judith Taylor
Petar Tchouhov
Miguel Teruel
John Thieme
Karen Thornber
Tim Tomlinson
Angela Topping
David Trinidad
Kola Tubosun
Nick Vagnoni
Joost Vandecasteele
Jan van Mersbergen
Latika Vasil
Yassen Vassilev
Lawrence Venuti
Lidia Vianu
Dev Virahsawmy
Anthony Vivis
Richard Von Sturmer
Răzvan Voncu
Nasos Vayenas
Mauricio Wacquez
Julie Marie Wade
Alan Wall
Marina Warner
Mia Watkins
Peter Wells
Stanley Wells
Laura Watkinson
Joe Wiinikka-Lydon
Hayden Williams
Edwin Williamson
Ronald V. Wilson
Stephen Wilson
Alison Wong
Leslie Woodard
Elzbieta Wójcik-Leese
Niel Wright
Manolis Xexakis
Xu Xi
Gao Xingjian
Sonja Yelich
Tamar Yoseloff
Augustus Young
Soltobay Zaripbekov
Karen Zelas
Alan Ziegler
Ariel Zinder

 

President, Publisher & Founding Editor:
Peter Robertson
Vice-President: Glenna Luschei
Vice-President: Sari Nusseibeh
Vice-President: Elena Poniatowska
U. S. General Editor: Neil Langdon Inglis
London Editor/Senior Editor-at-Large: Geraldine Maxwell
New York Editor/Senior Editor-at-Large: Meena Alexander
Washington D.C. Editor/Senior
Editor-at-Large:
Laura Moser
Argentine Editor: Yamila Musa
Deputy Editor: Allen Hibbard
Deputy Editor: Jerónimo Mohar Volkow
Deputy Editor: Bina Shah
Advisory Consultant: Jill Dawson
General Editor: Beatriz Hausner
General Editor: Malvina Segui
Art Editor: Lara Alcantara-Lansberg
Art Editor: Calum Colvin
Deputy General Editor: Jeff Barry

Consulting Editors
Shanta Acharya
Marjorie Agosín
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Maria Teresa Andruetto
Frank Ankersmit
Rosemary Ashton
Reza Aslan
Leonard Barkan
Michael Barry
Shadi Bartsch
Thomas Bartscherer
Susan Bassnett
Gillian Beer
David Bellos
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Sujata Bhatt
Mario Biagioli
Jean Boase-Beier
Elleke Boehmer
Eavan Boland
Stephen Booth
Alain de Botton
Carmen Boullossa
Rachel Bowlby
Svetlana Boym
Peter Brooks
Marina Brownlee
Roberto Brodsky
Carmen Bugan
Jenni Calder
Stanley Cavell
Hollis Clayson
Sarah Churchwell
Marcelo Cohen
Kristina Cordero
Drucilla Cornell
Junot Díaz
André Dombrowski
Denis Donoghue
Ariel Dorfman
Rita Dove
Denise Duhamel
Klaus Ebner
Robert Elsie
Stefano Evangelista
Orlando Figes
Tibor Fischer
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Peter France
Nancy Fraser
Maureen Freely
Michael Fried
Marjorie Garber
Anne Garréta
Marilyn Gaull
Zulfikar Ghose
Paul Giles
Lydia Goehr
Vasco Graça Moura
A. C. Grayling
Stephen Greenblatt
Lavinia Greenlaw
Lawrence Grossberg
Edith Grossman
Elizabeth Grosz
Boris Groys
David Harsent
Benjamin Harshav
Geoffrey Hartman
François Hartog
Molly Haskell
Selina Hastings
Beatriz Hausner
Valerie Henitiuk
Kathryn Hughes
Aamer Hussein
Djelal Kadir
Kapka Kassabova
John Kelly
Martin Kern
Mimi Khalvati
Joseph Koerner
Annette Kolodny
Julia Kristeva
George Landow
Chang-Rae Lee
Mabel Lee
Linda Leith
Suzanne Jill Levine
Lydia Liu
Margot Livesey
Julia Lovell
Thomas Luschei
Willy Maley
Alberto Manguel
Ben Marcus
Paul Mariani
Marina Mayoral
Richard McCabe
Campbell McGrath
Jamie McKendrick
Edie Meidav
Jack Miles
Toril Moi
Susana Moore
Laura Mulvey
Azar Nafisi
Martha Nussbaum
Tim Parks
Clare Pettitt
Caryl Phillips
Robert Pinsky
Elizabeth Powers
Elizabeth Prettejohn
Martin Puchner
Kate Pullinger
Paula Rabinowitz
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
James Richardson
François Rigolot
Geoffrey Robertson
Ritchie Robertson
Avital Ronell
Carla Sassi
Michael Scammell
Celeste Schenck
Daniel Shapiro
Sudeep Sen
Hadaa Sendoo
Miranda Seymour
Daniel Shapiro
Mimi Sheller
Elaine Showalter
Penelope Shuttle
Werner Sollors
Frances Spalding
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Julian Stallabrass
Susan Stewart
Rebecca Stott
Mark Strand
Kathryn Sutherland
John Whittier Treat
David Treuer
David Trinidad
Marjorie Trusted
Lidia Vianu
Victor Vitanza
Marina Warner
David Wellbery
Edwin Williamson
Michael Wood
Theodore Zeldin

Assistant Editor: Sara Besserman
Assistant Editor: Ana de Biase
Assistant Editor: Conor Bracken
Assistant Editor: Eugenio Conchez
Assistant Editor: Patricia Delmar
Assistant Editor: Lucila Gallino
Assistant Editor: Sophie Lewis
Assistant Editor: Krista Oehlke
Assistant Editor: Siska Rappé
Assistant Editor: Naomi Schub
Assistant Editor: Stephanie Smith
Assistant Editor: Emily Snyder
Assistant Editor: Robert Toperter
Assistant Editor: Laurence Webb
Art Consultant: Verónica Barbatano
Art Consultant: Angie Roytgolz

 

Imam Marwan Gill

FEATURED INTERVIEW:
Interlitq interviews Imam Marwan Gill
 

 



Interlitq: Working as you do as an Imam of a Muslim Community here in Argentina, can you tell us more about the role and duty of an Imam?

MG: An Imam is essentially an Islamic theologian and I consider myself to be both a teacher and a social worker: in other words, I try to help people –both Muslims and Non-Muslims alike- to find purpose in their lives and how best to find happiness, which in my own belief consists of reunion with Our Creator. Furthermore, as an Imam of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, I am the direct representative here in Argentina of the spiritual leader and Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad.

Interlitq: But is it not the case that all religions claim to show the way to salvation and happiness? What makes you and your community so certain that you can help people to find God?

MG: Islam does not believe that is restricted only to Muslims. In fact, we believe that all established religions are expressions of God and therefore all contain the basic teachings of God. But as a Muslim, I believe the best way to find God and to experience Him in this day and age is by following and practising true Islam – which consists of the teachings of the Holy Quran and the noble example of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Islam does not teach that God used to speak to his creation or show His signs and miracles to his beloved and chosen people only in the past. Rather, Islam claims that God’s attributes of speaking to his creation, accepting prayers and manifesting His signs are His eternal attributes. The perfect example for the existence of God and His eternal attributes in this era is Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad – who claimed to be the Promised Messiah and is the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. By following the Quranic teachings and the noble example of the founder of Islam, he was able to ensure that thousands of his prayers were accepted miraculously and that God spoke to him directly in the form of revelations and prophecies.

Interlitq: What is the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community? Is it a new brand of Islam?

MG: The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) – founder of Islam – prophesied 1400 years ago that a time would come when Muslims would be divided into more than 70 sects. The Muslim clerics would then be the worst creation on earth and Muslims would not practise their religion anymore. When we look at the current fragmentation in the Islamic world, we can witness the fulfilment of such a prophecy. But the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) prophesied also that at such a time God would send a Messiah and Guided-one to reunite Muslims and re-establish true Islamic values. Hence, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to be this Promised Messiah and Reformer of the Islamic faith and founded the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in 1889 in India to revive the Islamic faith. Consequently, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is not a new brand of Islam but sets out to attempt to re-establish true Islamic teachings and values all over the world.

Interlitq: What are your differences with regard to mainstream Muslims and what is their reaction towards the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community?

MG: We believe and follow the same Quran and the same Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as all Muslims. We practise the same 700 Islamic commands as all other Muslims. The only difference is that the majority of Muslims are expecting Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) as the Promised Messiah and are still waiting for his advent from the heavens, whereas we believe that Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) has passed away as all other previous Prophets. Therefore a new person would appear among Muslims with the same characteristics and duties as Jesus Christ and according to our belief this person was Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian.

Nowadays, because we believe in Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as the Promised Messiah and as a subordinate Prophet of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), we are persecuted and discriminated against in many so-called Islamic countries. For example, in Pakistan since 1974 we have officially been declared to be Non-Muslims and so we are neither allowed to call ourselves Muslim and nor can we practise our Islamic faith. Indeed, we face large-scale persecution and discrimination not only in Pakistan but also in Indonesia, Bangladesh and most recently in Algeria.

Interlitq: To which extend does such persecution affect your community’s mission?

MG: I believe that all Divine communities have to face various forms of trials and setbacks. In this connection, we can find clear examples in Judaism, in Christianity and also Islam of how the Prophets and their followers, despite being persecuted, were successful in spreading the message of God. And this is also the case with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community which, despite being outlawed and slandered in several countries, is still determined to spread the message of God and true Islam all over the world. Indeed, every year, thousands of men and women accept true Islam and join the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

Interlitq: What is the greatest challenge for you as both an Islamic theologian and a practising Muslim?

MG: In my view, the world has become very materialistic and people have turned away from God. People are neglecting their responsibilities towards their Creator and failing to find a real purpose in their lives. As for those who do follow a religion, too often their faith is diluted and they pay mere lip-service to their so-called faith.

The other great challenge of this era is an increasing tide of Islamophobia in some parts of the Western world. I believe it is the case that some parts of the media and a segment of ill-wishers in the West are trying to defame Islam by spreading misconceptions about this faith. Sadly, some in the West attribute the evil actions of certain individuals and so-called Islamic organisations to the religion of Islam. And so the barbaric actions of a tiny minority come to taint a whole religion. Another factor here is that some questionable Muslim organisations exist who cloak their worldly and political ambitions behind the pure and peaceful face of Islam.

Interlitq: What are your efforts to remove this misconceptions?

MG: We are trying to remove prejudice and misconceptions by preaching and practising just and peaceful Islamic values. We do not have economic or political ambitions and nor do we want to conquer any territory or land but we want to win over the hearts of people by demonstrating the true Islamic values of love, peace, humanity and mutual respect. Despite having limited resources, my community is striving all over the world to serve humanity irrespective of differences vis-a-vis religion, race and nation. For example, in Africa we have built hospitals and schools and we are also trying to provide to the local people basic needs such as water and electricity. In more than 200 countries, our goal is to build bridges of mutual respect and harmony. We believe that the 700 islamic commands can be divided into two categories:

Firstly one’s responsibilities towards God and secondly one’s responsibilities towards the creation of God. Indeed, one’s relationship as a Muslim towards the creation of God could be summed up by these six words “Love For All, Hatred For None”, this being the motto of our community.

Interlitq: Finally, what message would you like to share with the readers of Interlitq?

MG: It is very important to respect the values and sentiments of others. Instead of building prison walls of hatred and prejudice, we should strive throughout to live in a state of mutual harmony and peace. Islam teaches that all nations and races are equal and Allah is the Lord not of any specific nation or race, but rather that he is the Lord of all mankind. Therefore we should treat all human beings equally and with respect. According to Islam, a Muslim is someone whose hands and tongues others should never have to fear. If we all embrace the precept of mutual respect, this world would soon be transformed into heaven.

Featured Interviews