Source: The Record –
Religious misconceptions addressed at open house
Misconceptions about Islam, some perpetuated by recent events, were addressed at an open house on the Holy Qur’an held at the Fort Saskatchewan Public Library March 17.
“The idea started when Pastor Terry Jones burnt the Qur’an,” said Noman Khalil, a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association’s national executive committee of Faith Outreach.
“The feedback has been really, really great,” he said, adding that youth from local chapters have been instrumental in facilitating the cross-country exhibition, which visited 10 towns in 10 days across the three Prairie provinces. Fort Saskatchewan was the last stop.
Khalil said the message of the Qur’an is one of peace, but the information provided to the public via colourful posters, books and personal testimonials allowed people decide for themselves.
“The purpose is to promote peace, promote religious harmony and dispel the myths that people have about Islam,” he said, adding that one of the largest myths concerns Jihad, or Holy War. “Jihad is actually a word that means struggle, a struggle within yourself to become a better person.”
Other topics addressed included honour killing, women’s rights, monopoly on salvation, and compulsion in religion.
“You can’t force your faith upon anybody because it’s a belief,” said Khalil. “No compulsion in religion puts an end to extremism, terrorism, oppression. Any kind of force used in faith is not used in Islam.”
The format of the open house was not fixed, with visitors free to peruse on their own, listen to a lecture, or receive a guided tour through the information.
“We have 100 more of these planned for the rest of the year,” said Khalil.
More information can be found at www.quranopenhouse.ca.