Source: telegram.com | By Paula J. Owen
TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
Local Muslims say they are trying to help spread the message of what Islam really is in response to three days of bloodshed in Paris a little over a week ago that left 20 people dead, including three Islamist gunmen.
Al Qaeda in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack on the French satirical news outlet Charlie Hebdo, saying it was ordered by the Islamist militant group’s leadership for insulting the Prophet Muhammad, according to reports.
Some in the international and local Muslim community are condemning the brutal murder of 12 people at Charlie Hebdo, including four journalists and two police officers, followed by the killing of a policewoman and then four hostages at a Kosher supermarket.
The local Muslim community says those who carried out the senseless violence do not represent their Islam.
“What they are depicting is not right,” said Bashir U. Mehmud, president of the Fitchburg chapter for the international Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a moderate faction of Islam.
Mr. Mehmud and his wife Farida Mehmud moved to the U.S. in 1977 from their native Pakistan, where members of their community are persecuted and imprisoned for their beliefs.
He explained the teachings of the Koran are not taken literally by most Muslims. Muslim leaders of today teach a “Jihad of the pen,” not the sword, he said. Those who place blame on the entire Muslim community for terrorist acts should “listen and read,” he said, to get a better understanding of what being a Muslim is.
“People should read,” Mr. Mehmud said. “The fact of the matter is… read more at telegram.com