Thousands of people are in Bradford for a summer camp with a focus on learning all about the teachings of Islam.
More than 3,000 Muslim men between the ages of 15 and 40 gathered on Saturday to play cricket, basketball, and sports like human foosball. The events are part of the gathering of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association.
Farruk Tahir, 19, lives in Vaughn and enjoys the wide spectrum of competition offered at the weekend camp.
“Sports are always enjoyable. All of these things I have been playing since I was very young. Aside from that, we also have educational competition such as the recitation of the Holy Quran,” he says.
This is being called the largest gathering of its kind anywhere in Canada and community leaders say the main purpose is to guide young Muslim men away from radical ideas through the peaceful teachings of Islam.
There are many sects of Islam around the world but Tahir Ahmed, the association’s president, wants these young men to make a positive contribution to their community and to Canada.
“The central idea of Islam is to promote love, brotherhood and harmony within society. It is to care for the needy, it is to care for each other, it is to reform others by your own example, by first reforming yourself and that’s what this camp is all about,” he says. “We are trying to teach people that if you want to make a difference and you want to bring about any change you need to change yourself first.”
Reyyan Ahmad, 22, says the vast majority of Muslims around the world are peaceful and misunderstood by Western societies.
“Especially these days where people suffer from so much different things, there should be a good light somewhere so I say that’s is the message for the news ‘love for all hatred for none.’”
Safwan Choudhry says the youth association owns the land and it gives the community a place to focus their energy.
“It’s really inspirational to be around so many like-minded peace loving Muslims and that’s really the message from the Ahmadiyya Youth Association.”
The gathering will continue until Sunday evening; next weekend there will another gathering for the Muslim children and community elders.
Categories: The Muslim Times
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