Source: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/opinion/commentary-have-questions-about-islam-let-talk-about-them/tAHlHJPPmGrY6XlMaDrdIJ/ | By Ateya Qureshi
Courage is facing fear head on. One does not have to go through heroic situations to show courage; it can be found in the simple everyday actions. In this day and age, when the words “Islam” and “terrorism” have unfortunately become synonymous, I had a unique opportunity to talk to a group of women who wanted to learn about the truth of Islam directly from a Muslim.
Despite their understandable reservations and possible fear, they took the first step of starting a dialogue instead of being passive and believing in what they were told. I am thankful to them — not only for making me feel welcomed, but allowing me to feel as an equal part of the society.
By receiving the invitation from St. John’s Presbyterian Church bible study group, I was not only honored, but my faith in the general American public was restored. I was treated with utmost respect and love and was asked genuine questions to help remove the misconceptions regarding Islam. I was given the chance to explain various aspects of our lives, which follow the true teachings of Islam.
We talked about jihad, which now is commonly perceived as the license to kill in the name of spreading the religion. The literal meaning of jihad is “struggle,” which is first applied in self-reformation. Only after that, when one becomes a portrayal of a true Muslim, he or she can spread the teachings of Islamic faith through his or her way of life and dialogue. I had the opportunity to discuss the rights of women, education, marriage and many other aspects of life as per Islamic teachings. It was no surprise that we found our religions to be quite similar. We follow the same guidelines to live a meaningful life in love and peace, which eventually lead us to finding God.
Our discussions made us realize how much work needs to be done to remove the misconceptions that we have about each other. It made me recognize that people like me cannot be lurking in the shadows for the fear of being judged.
I am thankful for this group of women who pulled me out of my fear and are willing to listen to my story. They want to know how the Taliban and some so-called Muslims have hijacked my faith and have made even the moderate Muslims questionable in the eyes of our neighbors, co-workers and friends…. read more at source.
Categories: Ahmadi Muslim Women (Lajna Imaillah), Ahmadis, Ahmadiyyat: True Islam, America, Americas, Interfaith America, Islam in peace time, Islam: A Religion of Peace, islam: A Religion of Peace, Islamism, Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya, Muslim Television Ahmadiyya, Muslims for Peace, Peace, Peace, Peace and Love, Peace Conference, The Muslim Times, USA