Sameea Jonnud, Aldershot, UK
It is so common these days to hear about terrorist atrocities being committed by extremists and while many right wing groups are also a cause of terror, for a Muslim it is more painful when Muslim extremists kill and maim innocent people and say it is in the name of Islam.
When the 7/7 bombings occurred, when Lee Rigby was murdered, as a Briton I felt sadness at the pain caused to my fellow countrymen. After the Paris and Brussels attacks I felt the same sadness as my fellow Europeans were hurt and as a human I feel the same whenever I hear about terrorists causing death and destruction around the world.
I am not alone in the sadness I feel; the majority of the world shares these feelings because those who are carrying out these acts of terror are an extremist minority. There is a quote attributed to Edmund Burke:
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.”
And so we must act in whatever way we are able, to counter the message of the extremists.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community with a motto of “Love For All, Hatred For None”, has always spoken out against extremist actions, especially when the name of Islam is used to justify terror as Daesh have been doing for the past few years.
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has said:
“It is a dire need of the time to respond to all forms of fanaticism and extremism with Islam’s true message of peace and harmony.”
After the Paris attacks in November 2015 a nationwide campaign was launched by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the UK to show solidarity against extremism. It included features in national and local press and adverts on 100 buses across London.
Rafiq Hayat, National President Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK, said:
“We stand united with all who oppose extremists because our strength stems from our unity. The campaign will send a clear message that IS has nothing to do with Islam and that extremism will never succeed.”
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has always believed in the true, peaceful teachings of Islam and promotes this constantly. The Caliph has taken this message around the world speaking at the Capitol in Washington, the European Parliament and to politicians, military leaders and people from Australia, Japan and around Europe. This is how Ahmadi Muslims counter the hatred spread by extremist Muslims and felt in the hearts of those extremists who oppose Islam.
Unfortunately the need for the message of unity remains and the campaign continues with tomorrow’s launch of the United Against Extremism bus adverts in Scotland. For Ahmadi Muslims there is an added poignancy in this after the recent murder in Glasgow of popular local shopkeeper Asad Shah who was killed by a Muslim extremist because he was an Ahmadi Muslim.
Ahmadi Muslims are used to their fellow believers being persecuted and attacked merely for their faith and the news of murders such as Asad Shah’s are sadly an all too common occurrence. May 2010 saw the incident which wrenched the hearts of all Ahmadi Muslims around the world when terrorists in Pakistan murdered scores of worshippers at their mosque in Lahore during Friday Prayers. 86 people died that day, people who had merely gone to their mosque to Pray. The answer to violence is not more violence and it is telling that the Caliph on that occasion, as on others, advised his grieving Community to react with prayers.
Now the murder of Asad Shah has brought the violence against Ahmadi Muslims closer to home. The fact that a Muslim extremist has killed a fellow Muslim on British soil is bad enough but it is appalling that there are others who hold extremist views and support the actions of the murderer. Those Muslims who openly celebrate the death of an Ahmadi for ‘insulting Islam’ should realise they are complicit to some degree in the extremism that is a blight upon Islam.
The fact is that no person can decide who is or is not a true Muslim; that is between a believer and God. So as Muslims it should be for all of us to join together and condemn the extremist views that are killing innocent people. And as British people of all religions it is up to us to stand united in the face of the extremism that is shattering the peace of this beautiful world and declare that we are United Against Extremism.