IN recent week, terrorism, fear from Muslims and Muslim immigration has again dominated the news not only in Australia but around the world. In reaction, frustration and fear is growing towards Muslims and their presence in Australia. Recently, Sonia Kruger, Pauline Hanson, Andrew Bolt, Jacqui Lambie and many others have expressed their fear from Muslims on the national TV.
Fear exists due to unknown or not being able to manage risk completely. This is why youths from Ahmadiyya Muslim Community are working very hard to bring peace to the world and minimise the fear or frustration. Instead of pointing fingers at others, their only focus is to become part of solution with the motto “love for all, hatred for none”. Five basic points have been listed below as a basic guide for both Muslims and non-Muslims on how we can all make a difference and bring peace to the world.
The truth is that more Muslims have died at the hand of terrorists than any other religion. On a single day (28th May 2010), 94 members of Ahmadiyya Community were killed by terrorists in Lahore, Pakistan. Terrorists do not discriminate when it comes to religions, nationality, gender or age. Their primary objective is to create division and fear within society.
No religion teaches violence; therefore criminals or terrorists do not follow the true teachings of any religion. If Quran would have been the source of problem, there would have been over 1.8 billion terrorists in the world, not just 0.05%. Terrorists do not represent all Muslims as Pauline Hanson does not represent all Australians.
The only way terrorists can truly be defeated is if (and only if) both, Muslims and non-Muslims work together as loyal ‘Australian’ citizens. The international director of Monash University’s Global Terrorism Research Centre Greg Barton has warned that a knee-jerk, anti-Muslim reaction is a threat to our national security:
“Trust between different ethnic and religious groups across Australia and with our security authorities is the bedrock of our security … In many cases where passports have been withheld in Australia, the tip-offs have come through the community.”
Therefore, we Australians (Muslims and non-Muslims) should not fall into the trap of terrorists and be held hostage to their sick narrative. We must always be on guard against terrorism, its out responsibility to band together to defeat not only terrorism but equally important, avoid falling into the Islamophobia trap.
Prevention is always better than a cure. As a caring society we have a duty to ourselves to protect the society we value and to assist those needing help. By acting early and helping to build resilient communities we can address core drivers of violence before they become more powerful.
Ahmadiyya Muslims Community has incomparable track record when it comes to youth radicalisation. In over 125 years, there has never been a single terrorist linked to the community due to the large focus on early education and building love for humanity. Community leaders, workers, family members, friends and work colleagues play the most critical role in this process as they’re the first point of contact. They are likely to notice when someone begins to withdraw and are able to direct attention to potential problems well before they reach dangerous levels.
— AMY Australia (@mkaaus) July 18, 2016
Our first task is to break the ‘fear’ barrier with “Open communication and dialogue”
A positive and respectful communication is the basis of every peaceful society. This is why since its beginning in 1889; The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been busy in interfaith dialogue with all religions. This is like inviting a special guest over for dinner in your home and sharing stories in front of youth, with send a lasting impression on their minds.
Extremism can only be wiped out with education injected with love, as hate cannot drive out hate, only love can, just as darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can. We must teach all around us the following quote:
“Swords can win territories but not hearts, forces can bend heads but not minds”
[Mirza Tahir Ahmad – the 4th Caliph of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community].
Below are some basic points for both Muslims and non-Muslims that can bring a lasting peace in our society.
What Australian Muslims can do?
- All Muslims must understand, teach their kids and friends that violence and intolerant beliefs go against the teachings of Quran. Few verses are highlighted below. We must understand and challenge those who would teach us otherwise.
“…Whosoever kills a person… it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and whoso gives life to one, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind…” [5:33]
“There should be no compulsion in religion…” [2:257]
“O ye who believe! come into Peace wholly and follow not the footsteps of Satan; surely, he is your open enemy.”[2:209]
“O ye who believe! be steadfast in the cause of God, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear God. Surely, God is aware of what you do” [5:9]
- Islamophobia can cause feelings of isolation and depression, know that there are Muslims all over the world who shares your experiences. It is normal for non-Muslims to adopt anti-Islamic views considering what is taking place around the world by terrorists with political agendas. The easiest way to eliminate Islamophobia is through education and our peaceful actions. We should never take law in our own hands.
- Voices against bigotry using only a pen like what Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is doing. Writes letters to editors, articles for the media and academic journals and don’t be afraid to reply any allegation against Islam on social media highlighting true teachings of Islam.
"We've got your back"
— Aqeel I Choudhry (@aichoudhry) July 18, 2016
- Join a charity, local community events or political activities that enable you to put your values and beliefs into positive action legally and peacefully. This will also enable you to make new non-Muslim friends and will keep you busy in your free time.
- Join a sporting club to empower yourself with healthy habits. Taking care of your spiritual, mental, and physical health will help you cope with stress of Islamophobia.
- Report any hate crimes, call law enforcement if you see anything threatening. If this is happening in your workplace or school, report it to HR or student affairs.
What non-Muslim Australians can do?
- Engage Muslims in your life or local community by visiting your local Mosque and introduce yourself. Make sure you feel comfortable standing for your Muslim friends, neighbors and co-workers. Tell them that the news is horrifying and you want them to know you’re there for them.
- Talk to your kids. They’re picking up on the anti-Muslim message. Make sure they know how you feel and talk to them about what they can do when they see bullying or hear hate speech at school. Encourage your children to learn about different faiths, including Islam. It will make them more compassionate and intelligent human beings. If you’re walking your kid’s home from the bus stop, invite their kids to walk with you.
- Call your state and local representatives; let them know that you are concerned about hate speech against your Muslim friends and neighbors in politics and the media. Vote for a candidate who promotes freedom of all religions, not just those who share your faith.
- If you see a Muslim being harassed, don’t be a passive bystander to Islamophobia. If you disagree with the fiery rhetoric, take action, say something, intervene, and call for help. If you see people abusing authority, stand firm against profiling.
- There has been an increase on reported attacks on Muslim women; the fear of being in public for women in particular is increasing every day. Understand why Muslim women choose to wear hijab (in footsteps of Mary, Mother of Jesus). In fact there’s a whole chapter named after her in the Quran.
- Read two books by the thoughtful English writers Karen Armstrong, entitled ‘Islam: A Short History and Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time’, and Globe and Mail columnist Doug Saunders ‘The Myth of the Muslim Tide: Do Immigrants Threaten the West?’ – Watch two documentaries ‘Islam: Empire of Faith’ and ‘Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World’.
Writer, editor of UntoldNews.com.au, expert in Muslim youth radicalisation, Human rights activist, Engineer and active member of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
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