Credit; Chris Abbott
Source; Tillsonburg Independent
The message Saturday was peace.
“It’s a good day today, not too cold,” said Sadqat Chaudhary of Mississauga.
An estimated 293 AMYA volunteers, ages 15-40, visited 17 Ontario cities and towns Saturday, including a dozen who were in Tillsonburg for the day. They brought a message focused on ‘love for all, hatred for none,’ handing out nearly 900 brochures in the north and south ends of town, and for those interested, a flyer advertising an open house at the Tillsonburg Public Library on January 7, 12-4 p.m. – Tribute to Mother Mary, an Islamic Perspective.
“Basically our goal is to knock on 900 doors today,” said Chaudhary, “and hand out flyers that promote peace and harmony among religions. And talk if anybody has any questions about Islam, or any misconceptions they want to get cleared up.”
“It’s a learning experience,” said Javed Mustun, 16, the youngest AMYA to visit Saturday. “I like pass on our message and also I learn about other religions. So it is very nice, very enjoyable. I like it.”
The Ahmadiyya movement was founded in 1889 and has spread around the world. Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community are followers of Hadhart Mirza Gulam Ahmad (1835-1908), a Muslim reformer, who said ‘I oppose to use sword of the faith and the slaying of God’s creatures in the name of religion… I proclaim to all the Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Aryas, that I have no enemy in the world. I love human beings with the love that a compassionate mother has for her children and even more so.’
The mission of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community is to convey to the whole world Islam’s message of peace and love as presented in the Holy Qur’an.
“One of the prophecies that Mirza Gulam Ahmad received was to spread the message to the corners of the earth, and this is what we are doing,” said Chaudhary. “Even a few months back, one of our missionaries, he went all the way to the Yukon territories… which is a corner of the earth.”
“We have been established as a non-profit charitable, religious organization in over 200 countries worldwide with 65 chapters throughout Canada,” said Rizwan Rabbani via email. “We have been promoting peace, condemning terrorism and dispelling myths about Islam as a part of our nationwide campaign for the past year. In last 12 months we have visited 320,078 houses in 238 towns throughout Canada, reaching out to an estimated 1,235,915 people with the help of 2,335 volunteers.”
“This year we are focusing more on smaller communities,” said Chaudhary, observing that, “Generally in smaller communities people are a lot nicer than in big cities. It’s more what our Canadian values are, that’s what you see in small towns.”
“It depends what time you knock the door,” smiled Bilal Ahmad. “Even in the winter, the cold, people will open the door and come out to talk to you. It’s a good thing.”
“You see, Canadians in general, we like peace,” said Chaudhary. “So that a lot of the doors we knock, they’re happy to see us, that we’re spreading a message of peace. It’s good that way.
“People see there are so many wars going on… we want to see more peace. On TV they just show the bad side. We have to go door-to-door to show them what we, as Muslims, believe in, which is peace.”
“The sole purpose of this visit is to educate the general public about the beautiful teachings of Islam and dispel any misconceptions people have about it,” said Rabbani.
“We’re doing events all throughout the year,” said Chaudhary, noting their next door-to-door visit to this area will be in February. “We’re doing a charity (sports) match, food drive, blood donor clinic… these are all planned throughout the year for Tillsonburg. The Mississauga and Burlington volunteers, about 400, will be visiting Tillsonburg (and towns across Ontario). If people have any questions, maybe we can answer them or guide people to our website.”