Source: Your Ottawa Region –
Jesus Christ is mentioned more times by name in The Holy Koran than is the name of the Prophet Mohammad.
While it isn’t a numbers’ game – though Jesus is mentioned by name 20 times to Mohammad’s four – it is an example of just how many well-known figures from The Holy Bible also feature in The Holy Koran as well.
“Islam is the most misunderstood religion of all,” said Bilal Khokhar, a Muslim missionary from Ottawa, during a public open house hosted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association of Canada (AMYA) at the Perth and District Union Library on Saturday, Jan. 14, as part of a national tour. “A religion should not be judged on sinners, but on saints.”
Khokhar noted that Islam is a religion of peace, and that Christianity, too, has been hijacked by extremists in the past.
“Jesus came to establish peace,” Khokhar pointed out. “He didn’t say go and do the crusades.”
“We are targeting a lot of the smaller towns (to hold open houses),” said Saadat Ahmad, the AMYA’s director of industry and trade. “People have a lot more interest in religion and the development of the world (there)… (and we want) to dispel myths and misconceptions about Islam.”
So far, the campaign has hit 254 towns across Canada, reaching more than 1.3 million people.
Along the way, Ahmad has found people to be “pretty open and receptive to the message. They ask very intelligent questions.”
Many of the questions surround Islamic Sharia law, and just where the hijab, burqua and other head and face coverings for Muslim women fit in to their faith.
“We are not in favour of implementing Sharia law in to (Canadian) law,” said Ahmad. “The Prophet Mohammad did not impose Sharia law in Mecca.”
“Even if the ruler is Muslim, he cannot enforce Sharia law,” added Khokhar. “We believe in the separation of church and state, or state and mosque.”
The issue of face coverings for Muslim women has also been in the news of late with the Canadian government’s decision that women who are taking part in the citizenship ceremony should have to show their face.
“It is correct,” said AMYA volunteer Armaghan Chaudhry of the ministry of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism’s decision. “When it comes down to an identification of a person, how do you validate that?”
Ahmad agreed that “whey you have such a situation, it is OK,” that women reveal their face.
“The full-face cover, that is more of a cultural thing, it’s totally cultural,” added Ahmad.
“There is no compulsion in Islam as far as clothing goes,” said Chaudhry, who added that if he sees someone doing something he deems to be sinful, “I have a right to tell them not to do it, but that is it.”
Another concept that non-Muslims have understanding jihad.
“Jihad is just a struggle,” said Ahmad. “It does not mean you go out and commit suicide,” through suicide bombings.
“Jihad is a struggle within yourself,” added Khokhar.
The presentation in Perth last week also paid special attention to St. Mary, also known to Christians as the Virgin Mary, and presenting her life story from a Muslim perspective.
“The Holy Koran also confirms that she is a virgin mother and talks a great deal about her,” said Ahmad. Indeed, the Koran devotes an entire chapter to her, a fact Ahmad says surprises many people he speaks to.
“They think it (the Koran) is all about the Prophet Mohammad,” Ahmad said.
“That is what every Muslim aspires to be, like Mary,” added Khokhar.