A small contingent of Muslims from Bucks County are among more than 5,000 people expected to attend a three-day spiritual conference in Harrisburg.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA will lead the annual peace conference, which aims to “reach into Islam’s fundamentals as practiced by Prophet Muhammad to teach how to be a model Muslim in today’s world,” according to the religious group.
The open-to-the-public conference will be held at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg from Friday to Sunday. The conference encourages Muslims and non-Muslims to attend and talk about the religion.
One of the religious group’s goals is to counter Islamic extremism and terrorism by teaching Islam’s “true teachings.”
Naeem Ullah, of Bensalem, said he hopes the convention will show the true spirit of Islam and change some people’s view of the religion, which he said is being misrepresented by Islamic terrorists who are “misguided, misled people” and not true followers of Islamic teaching.
Some of the Bucks County people who plan to attend the conference, including Ullah, are members of the Nasir Mosque in North Philadelphia, since Bucks County doesn’t have an Ahmadiyya-affiliated mosque.
Ullah said he goes to the convention in Harrisburg every year to learn more about his faith and spend time with friends and family.
“We have a few other families (attending),” Ullah said. “Probably around 15 to 20 people.”
Madeel Abdullah, a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s Philadelphia Chapter, said Islamophobia “continues to rise around the country” and Muslims are leveraged “as talking points in the political campaign trail.”
“There is a growing movement among Muslims towards uniting,” he said. “In a show of unity, thousands of Muslims are expected to attend.”
In a recent news release, Dr. Nasim Rehmatullah, vice president of the religious group, said, “We are at a critical point in a conflict-ridden world. The world cries for a solution and we are here to offer that solution through dialogue, education and community.”