Shamoon Rashid has had his heart warmed by the good will shown to Saskatoon’s Ahmadiyya Muslim community in the wake of last week’s terror attacks in Paris.
“It makes us feel very good. It shows the true Canadian values people have in mind. They’re not judging us based on the actions of a few people,” Rashid, president of the local Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, said Friday.
He said their mosque has only received positive messages from the community. A Christian woman stopped by Thursday with flowers and a card bearing a message of peace and friendship. People at a public event the Ahmadiyyas held Wednesday night at the University of Saskatchewan offered encouragement. A church group who had visited the mosque last year sent a supportive email.
“It is very nice to see there are caring people who are looking after each other,” he said.
Rashid said the mosque has always tried to connect with the community and that these efforts may have helped this week. He referenced a sign that sits outside the mosque with the message, “Love for all, hatred for none.”
“It’s not like we just put that up last Friday. We’ve had that sign up for a long time. That’s basically our motto,” he said.
On Friday, Imam Khalid Minhas gave a sermon at the mosque denouncing terrorism.
“We feel that our religion has been hijacked, and we feel we need to speak out. We need to educate the community at large about the peaceful teachings of Islam,” Minhas said after the service.
He also spoke about the need for the Muslim community to watch for anyone who might be straying from what he said are the true messages of Islam and make sure they are reported to the appropriate authorities.
“It needs to be reiterated and reinforced,” he said.
The local congregation will continue to worship and participate in the community as they always have, according to Minhas.
“We don’t need to change at all. We believe in the peaceful teachings and that’s what we practise,” he said.