Source: The Intelligencer
Holy Qur’an questions answered
Eric Thomas believes in the facts of life.
And the president of the Quinte Secular Humanist Association (QSHA) had another occasion to verify and discuss some of those facts Saturday as the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association of Canada (an auxiliary wing of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community) and its speaker, Adam Alexander, held an open house on Islam and the Holy Qur’an at the Belleville Public Library Art Gallery.
Hamilton speaker Adam Alexander offered a chance for Thomas and a dozen other truth-seekers to have some of their questions answered about the Muslim faith.
“The Muslims had a lot of bad press over the last few years and this particular sect of Muslims (Ahmadiyya Muslim) has this specific outreach program, which I thought would be the perfect venue to discuss and show them our respect and consideration,” said Thomas.
The ex-Quinte businessman and 20 members of the Quinte Humanists are a group of individuals with a common interest in secular humanism who meet regularly for social interaction and learning. For Thomas, Saturday’s open house on Islam was a “very” positive initiative to question and understand the religion in terms of the way its members treat women as well as bringing awareness about peaceful Islam.
“They (Muslims) need to beat the bad press,” said Thomas. “We need to understand and make sure that we are involved with Muslims, but also with Christians and other religions. Jehovah Witnesses were in my kitchen last week. I am talking and listening to them, but I don’t really agree with them. And in some cases I am tremendously offended, but they will come back and have more tea and it’s okay. These events and public discussions are about multiculturalism and acceptance.”
Organizer Rizwan Rabbani and speaker Adam Alexander have been canvassing Canadian cities like Belleville for the last year — promoting peace, condemning terrorism and addressing misconceptions regarding Islam and the Muslim religion at large.
From the get go Saturday morning, Alexander let Thomas and others attending the seminar know that he wanted to hear controversial questions. The 27-year-old wanted to share the beauty of his religion, but also hear misconceptions and criticism about Islam.
“I came here this morning with the intention of hearing things that people have learned about Muslim, the Islam, and the Qu’ran from TV, media, friends and family members,” said Alexander, who became Muslim five years ago after reading and understanding the Qur’an, the central religious text of Islam. “And I wanted to be given the opportunity to defend those misconceptions.”
Alexander said the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community promotes people to come forward and dialog with them. The group does expect controversial subjects to be brought up during its series of open houses. From the true meaning of Jihad, banning the Burqa, the woman status in Islam, to slavery, everything Muslim related can be openly discussed during a seminar with Alexander.
“Pretty much all those questions were addressed today and I think we have been able to satisfy everybody with answers,” added the speaker. “I don’t need participants in our seminar to believe it. I just want them to know the different versions of Islam.”