Qur’an open house aims to dispel stereotypes
(From left) Outreach/youth coordinator Muhammad Noor, Adman Ahmad and Abdul Khawaja of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Canada held a Qur’an Open House at the Camrose Public Library with the objective of dispelling stereotypes about the Muslim faith in Camrose on Saturday. Josh Aldrich/ Camrose Canadian
Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association were in Camrose on the weekend hoping to dispel inaccurate stereotypes and characterizations of their faith.
The group held a Qur’an open house at the Camrose Public Library on Saturday afternoon, giving interested members of the public an opportunity to ask questions about their faith and any misconceptions they may have.
“Our goal here today is to present the true teaching of Islam and the Holy Qur’an,” said Abdul Khawaja, a missionary with the group. “We’re here to spread the true message.”
The group had a 15-minute presentation and translated copies of the Qur’an on hand. It was a unique opportunity for Camrosians to find out a little more about the religion and some of the inter-faith issues the world is dealing with. There are 24 churches listed on the City of Camrose website, but the closest mosque is in Edmonton.
Ahmadiyya is a sect of Islam that is established in over 200 countries around the world.
The biggest misconception they deal with on a regular basis is that they are terrorists and on jihad.
Khawaja says reality is quite the opposite.
“The Qur’an does not advocate terrorism or anything of that sort. Whenever it does discuss fighting or warfare, the context is in self defence,” he said. “Nowadays, the clergymen … have misunderstood the teachings of the Qur’an and they’re trying to get their self-motives filled. They’re polluting the minds of the public, which is why you hear about suicide bombers and all of those attackers.”
He adds that this perversion of the Qur’an had been foretold, as something that will happen in the later days of the world after the arrival of the Messiah, who they believe came to the world in the early 1900s with Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
“This is a prophecy of the Holy Prophet, he said that a time will come when there is nothing left of Islam, except for the name and nothing will be left of the Qur’an except for the name.”
He says the Messiah’s teachings was that there is no more need for jihad, and that the message of Islam should be spread through the pen.
“The motto of our community is love for all, hatred for none,” said Khawaja.