Leafing through media reports depicting harrowing accounts of the shopping mall attack in Kenya by Islamist gunmen a fortnight ago, Laiq Ahmed Atif was overcome by sadness and grief.
“Ħassejt diqa kbira ġo qalbi,” (I felt sorrow in my heart) the 32-year-old says in fluent Maltese.
“Not just for the fact that they are giving such a bad name to Islam but ultimately for the loss of all those innocent lives – a heinous crime. The word ‘Islam’ traditionally means ‘peace’. Yet their actions can’t possibly be farther from that.
“Islam is in dire need of a reform.”
The soft-spoken Pakistani is the president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta, a Muslim community which has just published a book which discusses, among other things, whether Muslims can successfully integrate into western societies.
The book, World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace, was originally published in the UK but has just been translated into Maltese.
The author is the head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat (community), Mirza Masroor Ahmad who, six years ago, asked Mr Atif to emigrate to Malta as the president of the Ahmadi community.
Ahmadiyya is an Islamist reformist movement founded in the 19th century.
It encapsulates a few million people in more than 200 countries. Malta’s Ahmadi community amounts to a handful of people – around 25 in all.
The golden principles are “love for all and hatred for none” and “love for one’s nation is a part of the faith of any true Muslim”.
“As a Muslim living in Malta, I believe it is my duty and part of my faith to love and to play my role in the progress and prosperity of Malta, said Mr Atif.
He lives with his wife and their two young children, the youngest of whom… continue reading at timesofmalta.com
Softspoken community leader is promoting ‘love for one’s nation’ @ ahmadiyyamalta.org