Source / Credit: The Leduc Rep
Educating Leduc residents was the goal of the Holy Qur’an open house held at the Leduc Public Library on Nov. 2. The tour has traveled to more than 230 communities across Canada in the past year.
“We want people to know about the Qur’an as much as possible. We’re not here to convert, we’re here to educate,” said Farhan Ahmad, vice director of the Faith outreach department with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association Canada (AMYAC).
The youth group —which is part of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Canada— has been traveling to towns, universities and public libraries across Canada and canvassing all age demographics in hopes of educating people on the Qur’an. The decision to tour across the country came after American pastor Terry Jones claimed he would burn the Qur’an in 2010, saying “Islam is of the devil” in a CNN interview. Ahmad said it was shortly after Jones made the announcement the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community decided to tour across the country and educate people on the Holy Qur’an, including the most recent stop in Leduc.
“Our purpose is not to convert. When we go to communities with our Qur’an in our hands, we’re not asking them to be converted. The only reason is to educate them,” emphasized Ahmad.
But educating people on the Qur’an and Islam can sometimes prove difficult, with many people often having stereotypes associated with Muslim people, said the volunteer.
“I see that they have it —I don’t blame them— media plays an important role to get this image. As soon as people see a beard this big, the natural idea which comes to mind is ‘terrorist.’ It’s symbolized because that is how it’s tagged in the media. I’m not blaming people, it’s whatever information that is given to them, that’s how they are going to react. It’s a very simple idea,” said Ahmad, adding missionaries and volunteers like himself are working to change the stereotypes but it isn’t an easy road to travel down.
“There are a lot of documentaries you see about Muslim extremists and they do the same thing on educating people, but they try to go the opposite of what the Qur’an says. For the amount of damage he is doing, I have to work double, triple to remove this misconception.”
Volunteers plan to return to Leduc in the future for further Qur’an teachings.
“We’re doing this so people are educated: they know what we respect and what we believe. I also want to know what you respect and what you believe. To summarize, love for all, hatred for none,” said Ahmad.
For more information on the group and the tour, visit www.alislam.org.