The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association hosts an open house on Jan. 24 at the Lindsay library as part of a nationwide campaign to promote understanding of Islam
Kawartha Lakes This Week
(LINDSAY) A Muslim Youth Association is hosting an open house to further a better understanding of Islam, in the wake of acts of extremist groups.
Imam Umar Akbar, spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) says holding an open house in Lindsay provides a platform “to come together and better understand” the Holy Quaran.
He says because of the recent terrorist acts of extremist groups such as ISIS and Al Quaida, which launched attacks on Parliament Hill in Canada last October and Charlie Hebdo magazine in France earlier this month, it is important to dispel misconceptions about Islam.
And, he added, while Canadians are “very tolerant; we are very blessed to live in this country”, Islamophobia as it is known is on the rise.
“This is Canada, our home and native land,” he said. “We all have to stand against [terrorist acts]. But, Muslims have been targeted in some places; there is a concern that Islamophobia is growing.”
Mr. Akbar said a misunderstandings and a lack of education about Islam is a factor when Muslims are targeted. And, because extremist groups often focus on young people for recruitment and radicalization it is crucial to dispel misconceptions about Islam, he added.
The AMYA (the youth group of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a non-profit charitable religious organization with 86 chapters in Canada) has started a nation-wide campaign hosting open houses on the teachings of Islam.
Mr. Akbar said the open house will allow residents to learn “what the Holy Quran truly teaches about the Islamic faith”, which does not justify terrorist acts.
“A lot of people have questions; those questions are natural,” he said. “This is an opportunity for a better understanding…we are all human beings and brothers and sisters. It is important to have these dialogues.”
Free copies of the Holy Quran will be available at the Open House which takes place Saturday, Jan. 24 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Lindsay Library.