Peace: the true message of Islam
CORNWALL -- Local Muslim residents and a national Islam outreach program organized an open house on the weekend in order to combat misconceptions of their religion. "Our (Cornwall) community is always growing. We want people to be aware the Holy Qu'ran teaches about peace," said Azizullah, a city representative of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
The open house at the Cornwall Public Library was attended by about 20 participants who were guided through the use of large placards on various aspects of Islam, including the Prophet Mohammad.
The Ahmadiyya Muslims stress that violence has no place in their lives, as written in the Qu'ran, said Abdul Rashid Anwar, an Ahmadiyya missionary serving eastern Canada.
Anwar said it's important for Muslims to teach non-Muslims about the contents of the Qu'ran.
For example, they want to enlighten people's view of what is a 'jihad'.
He said the widely held view in Western Countries that 'jihad' should involve violence, often through terrorism, is wrong.
Mainstream Muslims will resort to warfare as a form of defensive jihad. But Ahmadiyyas take a non-resistant response, treating invaders with love and kindness.
Since last year, the Ahmadiyya community has reached out across Canada to emphasize the true qualities of the Qu'ran.
It was felt a more visible presence was needed in the wake of a widely condemned Qu'ran burning by radical southern U.S. pastor Terry Jones.
Anwar admitted that he hasn't interacted with non-Muslims in the past, but outreach has become more important.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was founded in 1889 by Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, and has grown to tens of millions of people around the world, including Pakistan, India, Indonesia and African. There are approximately 25,000 members of the community in Canada.
By Greg Peerenboom