Muslim youth belonging to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community are taking a stand against radicalisation and extremism. In line with the teachings of true Islam, they will be gathering their members across Auckland on New Year’s Day to take to the parks and beaches for a ‘clean-up day’ post New Year’s Eve festivities. They plan to show through their actions, that true teachings of Islam are peaceful and all-encompassing, championing the rights and welfare of all humanity, flora and fauna, and preserving the integrity of the environment.
“We believe a strong Muslim identity is the best defence against radicalisation, particularly for the youth. Regular attendance at the mosque, and engagement in our charitable work and community service allows the youth to see and experience the peaceful and pluralistic teachings of Islam. They become integrated into society, and it becomes impossible for them to be influenced by extremist clerics. Every year our youth are engaged in organising food and clothing drives, blood donations, fundraising for charities and get involved with events in the local community”, says Azeem Zafarullah, the President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association of New Zealand. “Having come to New Zealand over 10 years ago as an immigrant and refugee, guiding our youth to integrate, serve and progress our adopted nation is my duty as a Muslim and a loyal, proud New Zealander. It is also about practising what true Islam preaches”.
The Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Caliph of Islam, His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, has repeatedly emphasized the importance of integration. Regarding the issue of integration of immigrants into Western society, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“For me, true integration is to love the country in which you live and to be completely loyal to it. Thus, all immigrants should be loyal to their adopted nation, they should truly love it, they should honour it, they should be law abiding and work for its prosperity and progress. This is integration.”