TUCSON – Representatives from the local Ahmadiyya Muslim Community are in San Bernardino County for an Islamic conference.
Umer Shahid is from Pakistan and now lives in Tucson. He said he has noticed more discrimination since the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.
“Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the biggest ally,” Shahid said. “And we are condemning the terrorism for over 129 years now.”
Shahid, who was going to the conference, said it is time for jihad with a pen, not a sword.
“[The terrorists] do not have anything in their heart for human beings,” he said. “Why we feel sad, because they are using the name of our religion.”
At the convention in Chino, California, the group welcomed San Bernardino police chief, Jarrod Burguan, who said he supported the group’s message.
“I heard the 11 principles they talked about, and I don’t disagree with a single one of them,” Burguan said. “I think it’s the right message that this country needs to hear, that all of us need to hear from a faith standpoint.”
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is launching a new campaign against extremism. The first of their 11 principles is wholly rejecting all forms of terrorism.
Shahid knows some people are afraid of his faith. But he said the mosque doors at 250 West Speedway Boulevard are always open.
“You have any questions, just bring them in, we will be happy to talk to you,” he said. “We will be happy to sit with you and clear your issues about the religion Islam.”
The Ahmadiyya Community is a minority group that is often persecuted by other Muslims. The religion was founded in 1889. They believe in the Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India.