Promoting religious harmony
Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association of Canada
Credit: Jeff Tribe
Source: Tillsonburg News
A dozen volunteers from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association of Canada (AMYAC) will be visiting Tillsonburg Saturday to promote religious harmony and understanding.
“Sunshine or snow, they will be there on Saturday,” said AMYAC National Executive Director Rizwan Rabbani.
The AMYAC is an auxiliary wing of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (AMC) which has 65 chapters throughout Canada and has been established as a non-profit charitable religious organization in over 200 countries.
The mission follows up the success of an earlier AMYAC information open house held at the Tillsonburg Public Library.
“It went very, very well,” said Rabbani. “There was a very positive response from Tillsonburg.”
The community will be one of 17 visited Saturday including Lindsay, Parry Sound, Chatham and Paris by a combined team of 293 high school and university-aged volunteers. The volunteers go door-to-door with pamphlets condemning extremist acts, promoting understanding and religious harmony and providing a telephone number for those who have more questions.
The effort is part of a nationwide campaign designed to condemn terrorism, promote peace and dispel myths about Islam through understanding of its central tenets.
Rabbani points out the Holy Qur’an clearly forbids violence against any human as violence against all mankind and also promotes respect for other faiths. According to its teachings, extremists who commit violence are not true Muslims.
“They do not read the holy book,” said Rabbani.
Last year 2,335 AMYAC volunteers visited 328,078 houses in 238 Canadian towns reaching out to an estimated 1,235,915 people.
Rabbani says canvassing during Canadian winters can be particularly effective.
“When people see our volunteers out at 20 and 30 below, that tells them this person is serious.”
The process is a two-way street says Rabbani, productively occupying youth volunteers while also challenging their faith-based knowledge. If a volunteer is asked a question he cannot answer, the typical process is to go home and research the issue further.
“It’s a way of educating themselves too,” said Rabbani.
Based on Saturday’s response, the AMYAC hopes to return for a unique event held in conjunction perhaps with a Christian church, says Rabbani, encouraging and reinforcing the effort’s central mission.
“At the end of the day we can all live together in peace in this beautiful world with different faiths,” he concluded.