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AHMAD: Islam is peace, not terrorism

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.

Comments

charlesg 2 years, 7 months ago

"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"

Here, alas, is where the rose-tinted glasses of historical revisionism rear their ugly head. Wars are wars; mutually agreed-upon pacts of destruction. Wars held in AD 630 involving martial control of others are the same as they are today. Regarding legal punishment, I'd ask you, if you are as proud of American ideals as I am, to not only disagree with rules punishing faith-offending sayings or behavior, but rather to fight against them, legally ,professionally, or socially, wherever they stand, especially when it involves your faith. When will you be first in line to defend South Park's artistic freedom from members of the Muslim community?

I am glad you do shine some light on the intricacies between peaceful ideals within Islam, as it becomes easy to incorrectly judge a large group of people based on the behaviors of a volatile few. Your solicitation for peaceful unity does invite meaningful discussion, and I thank you for that. I'd simply advise that an olive branch built on transparency is more inviting than one based on sacred censorship.

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Ahmad 2 years, 7 months ago

First of all, I must tell you that Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the oldest Muslim presence in USA and you might not have heard of it since we are a peace loving community which involves itself in community service instead of creating chaos and mayhem. I agree wars are wars and they should be avoided at all costs but a Prophet is an obedient servant of God and with divine directives, the prophet of Islam fought wars which should not be confused with the so called Jihad of today’s Muslim Extremists. I do feel that freedom of speech is essential but people’s faith or practices should not be ridiculed in the name of artistic freedom. Everything in moderation is acceptable. Having said that, I do not believe that bloodshed is the way to express distress and disappointment every time somebody offends you or your faith. I stand by that blasphemy laws have no place in Islam. The Holy Quran states: Those who believe, then disbelieve, then again believe, then disbelieve and then increase in disbelief, Allah will never forgive them nor will He guide them to the right way. (4:138) This verse proclaims that persons who renounce Islam have the opportunity to re-enter Islam if they so choose. This verse disproves the assertion that according to the Holy Quran an apostate should be put to death. Were death the automatic punishment for an apostate then there arises no question of having the opportunity to join Islam again. This verse mentions apostates who again accept Islam. Just like Christianity, the Islamic faith has many sects (73 in total) and although the basics are same (like belief in oneness of God, belief in all Prophets, all angels, all of his books and the Day of Judgment) there are different schools of thoughts and ways of practicing it. What clerics of other faiths say or do, I cannot speak of. I can only go by what our spiritual leader tells us and that is never to take law into our own hands, even faced with tough persecution or death. And that is how my community behaves, not only here in the US but all over the world because we want to practice Islam in the most pristine form. The prophet of Islam had prophesized that “clerics of the latter days will be the worst creatures on earth” and looking at what is happening all over the world, I see it coming true in front of my own eyes. When the clerics call killing of Salman Rushdie or when Yusef Nodorkhani is sentenced to death for being an apostate or even when the Saudi grand mufti calls for demolition of all churches in the Arabian Peninsula, I know, he was right because all such clerics are only causing disorder and calling for bloodshed.

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richtfan 2 years, 7 months ago

sorry, but Islam advocates the destruction of Israel. That is NOT peace. Blowing up the world trade center was wholly done by Muslims. Was that an act of PEACE?

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FordGalaxy 2 years, 7 months ago

Did you not read the article? She calls otu those who perform these violent acts and says that they defame Islam. Would you say that Christianity is violent simply because Timothy McVeigh blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City and he was Christian?

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richtfan 2 years, 7 months ago

It's not up to me to decide ultimately, but I have a hard time believing Timothy McVeigh was a Christian. You say that she calls out those who use violence and that they defame Islam. Where are the Islamic leaders on this issue? Why have no Imams spoken out against the bombings? I've never heard of any leaders of Islam, either here or worldwide, call out those radicals and say that what they did was NOT what Islam teaches. And don't lump Christianity in with Islam. There have been NO buildings that I know of bombed by Christians. Christians are the first to speak out against their own when things are taken out of context. They fall over backward trying to apologize. Where are the apologies from Farrakhan? How many IEDs were built by Christians? Was the USS Cole bombed by Christians? None of these atrocities were instigated by Christians. And you cannot justify what Islam has done by saying that one whacko, who claimed to be a Christian, defines Christianity. Christ never advocated destroying your enemies. The Koran does advocated doing this. The two are not even remotely alike.

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SanityCheck 2 years ago

richtfan,

Thanks for speaking your mind and letting your feeling known. Dialogue can be used constructively if we approach it candidly and with respect.

"but I have a hard time believing Timothy McVeigh was a Christian"

Exactly! Now replace Timothy McVeigh with UBL or other terrorist and Christian with Muslim and those are my feelings.

Kindly visit alislam.org and read 'Murder in the Name of Allah'. It was written in 1950s before terrorism came to the US OR 'Jihad and British Government' from the 19th century OR listen to their Imam address US reps earlier this year or address the EU Parliament earlier this month. Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been an advocate against bloodshed, terrorism, killing in the name of religion from day one. Since 2001, other Muslim groups have come forward as well. Obviously such groups don't make headlines. But there are plenty who condemn this behavior.

Christianity did go through its violent period. Even today there are plenty who advocate violence (think: which party is at the same time war-mongering party and associated itself with religion!). Only the tools have changed but there is plenty to point fingers at.

Koran doesn't advocate senseless bloodshed or persecution of innocent; quite the opposite. Islam is different from Christianity in that defending yourself is allowed and that is what Koran advocates.

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notblind 2 years, 7 months ago

For radicalized muslims their favorite target is a jew. Their next favorite target is an outspoken moderate muslim. It has been a policy of radical muslims to murder moderate muslims since early in the 20th century. This is why there are so few muslims willing to speak out.

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kevin 2 years, 7 months ago

I wouldn't trust one as far as I could see one.

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