Youth association spreads message of peace
Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association canvassing in Orillia Sunday. PATRICK BALES/THE PACKET & TIMES
Orillia was one of 65 towns and cities in Canada to get a better understanding of Islam this weekend.
About 50 youth members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association canvassed the city Sunday, handing out fliers and speaking to residents about Islam, trying to dispel the many misconceptions the religion faces on a daily basis.
The message of Islam Understood was simple.
“Our motive is love for all, hatred for none,” said Sheraz Shafiq, one of the canvassers in Orillia. “We’re out today to distribute fliers of love, peace and unity.”
The flier shows the Muslim belief of one God and the existence of all the prophets found in other religions, from Confucius to Jesus Christ. The prophets lead up to Muhammad, “whom God revealed the universal faith of Islam,” the brochure stated. After Muhammad, God promised a final messiah.
The Ahmadiyya Muslims believe that messiah was Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who founded the sect in 1889. His message was to bring mankind back to God, through Islam.
One of the things that sets the Ahmadiyyas apart from other Muslims is their interpretation of the Qur’an, particularly the definition of jihad.
“We believe jihad is not with the sword; it’s with the pen,” Shafiq said. “You have to educate people…. (Jihad) is like a challenge you have to face in life, a hurdle you have to overcome.”
That education was on display through the canvassing in the city. Shafiq said the goal wasn’t as much to… read more at source.