By Imam Shamshad A.Nasir, Chicago
I have been living in this beautiful and great country since 1987 enjoying complete freedom of faith and conscious and above all free to practice all my tenets of my faith, Islam, here in the USA. I stand witness that my fellow Americans are great people.
I’ve lived in different cities across the USA like Washington, DC; Silver Spring, Maryland; Dayton Ohio; Houston Texas; LA California; and now I am the resident of Chicago, Illinois. My experience living in all these cities and towns is the same that the people of this great nation are respectful and helpful in nature.
The problem, I as an Ahmadi Muslim and other Muslims, is facing that the Press and Media have painted all Muslims with the same brush that we all are terrorists. Majority of the people of this great country are getting this negative picture through the media which is making them fear Muslims and hate Islam.
Islamophobia is a negative attitude towards Muslims OR can be defined as fear of Islam created in the minds of Non-Muslims. Islamophobia is actually spread by some of the political powers, Press and Media across the globe and the opponents of Islam.
Yes, as far as some Muslims are concerned, a very small and tiny section of so called Muslims are creating this notion of Islamophobia. History is witness that this is not just restricted to Islam as these kind of extremists can be found in other Religions as well like Christianity, Judaism, Sikhs, and Hindus, etc…
As far as the Islamic Teachings are concerned, the reality is that Islam is the Religion of Peace, Tolerance and forbearance. The very meaning of Islam is “Peace” and Muslims greet everyone with Peace.
The Founder of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that, A true Muslim is one who would never hurt any peace loving people with his hand or tongue.
So I can convey this message on behalf of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community that there is no need to fear Islam and Muslims.
The founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadhrath Mirza Gulam Ahmad of Qadian (peace be upon him) was raised by God Almighty to remove any misconceptions, misunderstandings and fear from the heart of the people about Islam and to establish the same teachings practiced by Prophet Mohammad peace be on him.
On June 27, 2012, a historic event took place at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadhrath Mirza Masroor Ahmad (May Allah be his helper) addressed leading Congressmen, Senators, Ambassadors, White House and State Department Staff, NGO Leaders, Religious Leaders, Professors, Policy Advisors, Bureaucrats, representatives of think-tanks and the Pentagon and Journalists from the media and conveyed the True Message of Peaceful teachings of Islam to them.
He even wrote letters to the former President of USA, Mr. Barack Obama, His Holiness Pope Benedict the XVI, His Excellency the Prime Minister of Israel, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Prime Minister of Canada, King of the Saudi Arabia, the Premier of the state council of the people’s republic of China, to the Prime Minister of UK, to the Chancellor of Germany, to the President of the French Republic, to Her Majesty, the Queen of UK, to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran and to the President of the Russian Federation his Excellency Mr. Vladimir Putin, explaining to all of them the True peaceful Teachings of Islam and requested them to strive their best to prevent the major and minor powers from erupting into a Third World War.
He also mentioned that “if the Leaders and prominent Religious Leaders of these Countries don’t discharge their responsibilities wisely then the effects and aftermath of such a war will not be limited to only the poor countries of Asia, Europe and the Americas; rather, our future generations will have to bear the horrific consequences of our actions as well”.
Social Media and Press also have a great responsibility of spreading Peace in the Nation. Instead of just broadcasting the bloodshed and the evil things done by small and tiny group of people, they should interview the Peace Loving Muslims and broadcast the news covering the True Teachings of Islam. They should broadcast the Humanitarian works done by the True Muslims across the globe day in and day out. If we are not mindful of these issues then Islamophobia will affect all folks of life, younger or older, men or women economically and religiously every where.
If all the Americans, Europeans and others, sincerely desire to uproot Terrorism across the globe then all those Political Powers must stop immediately funding them and do not provide any kind of ammunition to them.These are the only ways to stop islamophobia here and there.