I just read Nate McCullough's column ("Muslims must help fight enemy within their religion to win war," April 27, 8A), and I totally agree with the title.
It's a shame that people like Justin Lansford ("Local soldier injured by IED," April 26, 1A) who spend their lives serving their country have to go through so much suffering. My thoughts go to his family and prayers for his speedy recovery.
As a peace-loving Muslim I also agree with McCullough that terrorists have "hijacked" my religion and continue to bring shame to it by going totally against its teachings of peace. The Quran emphasizes, "Create not disorder on this earth."
The name Islam means "peace" and the practices of its founder Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of God be upon him) only teach tolerance, kindness and forgiveness but actions of a few tend to destroy this image.
To all the terrorists who call themselves Muslims, I say, "Stop defaming Islam."
Just like McCullough, I too am offended when somebody blows himself up and the news comes that it was a Muslim who did it. As a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community that bears the motto, "Love for All, hatred for none" and abiding by it everyday, I am offended when they say it's "jihad" to uplift the status of their faith. "Jihad" -- by definition -- means "to strive" and there is much more to it than beheading somebody or taking innocent lives. In fact, the best form of Jihad is to strive to protect one's soul against the negativity and evil thoughts. Had these misguided individuals understood the true meaning of Jihad, they would have realized that creating disorder or to take innocent lives is not just.
However, I do not agree with McCullough when he says that millions of Muslims all over the world support al-Qaeda or its agenda. Only a few months ago, it was a Muslim who tipped the cops about a would-be bomber in Florida and there have been other Muslims in New York who played their parts as well. Most Muslims are peace loving and do not agree with the atrocities these terrorists are committing to distort that image. Although I agree that not many have been very vocal about it, my community has been particularly active in bringing the true picture of Islam all over the world and to disassociate with any form of terrorism.
In an effort to promote peace, our Caliph (Worldwide Spiritual Leader), his holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, recently sent letters to the prime minister of Israel, the president of Iran and also to President Obama urging them to come up with a resolution to their conflicts in order to avoid any circumstances which could trigger a third world war.
In the last few years, my community launched Muslims for Peace, Muslims for Loyalty, and Muslims for Life campaigns to convey that the true teachings of Islam are to promote peace, show loyalty to the country of residence, and last year we collected more than 11,000 units of blood to save 33,000 lives.
I do not agree with any laws made to punish anybody for offending a faith since the prophet of Islam was persecuted not only verbally but also physically for years and his response was of patience and tolerance. In fact he forgave them and wars were waged only in defense.
Our Muslims for Life campaign (www.muslimsforlife.org) which was launched to negate terrorism is back. Beginning Aug. 11, we are planning to conduct blood drives all over the country to promote peace not violence.
To every peace-loving individual, I say, come join us and show the terrorists that they don't stand a chance when we stand together as Americans, regardless of faith, color and religion.
Saima Ahmad is pursuing an interior design degree at Gwinnett Technical college and resides in Suwanee with her husband and three children.