Ahmadiyya INC has a process wherein any and all topics can be discussed at the National level of any country, inside the Ahmadiyya movement that is.  This is a comical attempt to essentially sell people Chinese democracy and pass it off as democracy. The jamaat’s shura system is not an openly deliberative method of decision-making, it’s a place for older men to make minor changes at a time, method and speed of their choosing. After all, this poster and so many others (including Mirza Masroor Ahmad) have made clear so many times that the jamaat is not a democracy, but a divinely-guided institution that doesn’t really care so much about what people want.

Its institutions aren’t set up to care about what people want. Anyone who actually wants to change the jamaat is going to be brow-beaten, pressured and harrangued. Anyone who’s there is really only going to be concerned with minor changes. This is a body for and by older men. If you think that separate shura for lajna and khuddam mean anything, why not agree to a separate Parliament in the UK for Muslims or a separate National Assembly in Pakistan for Ahmadis? This Ahmadi National Assembly in Pakistan could then make non-binding recommendations to the actual Assembly which it would promptly file in its circular cabinet.

All Ahmadi shuras are an attempt to give people the illusion that the jamaat is an organization with institutions that is responsive to change and open to discourse. It’s not, at least not with those who want meaningful change in how it operates. It’s interested in going through the motions of this to make some tiny, cosmetic changes, or larger ones if they’re retrograde or if they wouldn’t be out of place in late nineteenth-century Punjab.

Some examples
In the early 2001/2002 time frame, when outlandish bai’at (conversion) numbers were being announced in the tens of millions each year, it was suggested at a local Shura to submit this issue to the national shura (i.e. some kind of recount/investigation into this, to validate the numbers). The local Aamila member who made this suggestion was shot down by another Aamila member who got up incensed at the suggestion that numbers and progress relayed by Huzur in conversions, would even be questioned. It died right there. It never went to Shura for discussion, since it failed at the local level.

A year later, over in another city, this was raised at a local Jama’at meeting, and dismissed as off topic. The local Sadr then privately approached to indicate that he too, had some questions about the conversion numbers, but didn’t want to voice these in front of the flock, as that would put questions in their mind and have potentially destabilizing effects on their faith.