In the wake of the terror atrocities in France, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Woking have moved to promote harmony and dispel misconceptions about Islam.
Recent terror attacks at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris were condemned in the strongest terms. Addressing an audience of about 90 at Sheerwater’s Parkview Centre, as well as a four-member panel representing the Muslim community, Abdul Qadir Farooqi denounced terrorism in all its forms in his opening speech.
“Love of one’s country is a fundamental teaching of Islam,” he said. “If a person or group has any grievances with Government policies they should air them through the proper democratic channels by contacting their MPs, politicians or councillors.
“We need common sense and mutual respect to prevail from both Muslims and non-Muslims. This is the key to peace.”
Group President, Hameed Ahmad, established that the Prophet of Islam was a ‘messenger of peace and the community follows his commandments.’
Dr Zahid Ahmad Khan, the event’s keynote speaker, then spoke of Prophet Muhammad’s patience in the severest trials and hardships which he and his followers had to endure because they declared that their God was ‘One’.
Visitors were told that the Prophet of Islam was an embodiment of kindness and peace even for his enemies. His compassion was not just limited to human beings. “Even animals were treated with respect and mercy in light of his teachings,” said a spokesman.
Responding to the questions on Jihad and the role of the media, Dr Khan explained that real Jihad could only be for the promotion of peace, harmony and to fight against poverty and illiteracy by joining hands with governments and international organisations. He said that the media could also play a more positive role by giving more coverage to events that promote peace in society.
The event concluded with a complementary dinner for all who attended.