By Naseem Mahdi
National Vice President
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
An eerie and familiar scene unfolded in New York last weekend when a Pakistani Muslim man allegedly attempted to detonate a bomb in the middle of Times Square. Authorities say his goal was simple: to terrorize and kill as many Americans as possible. Such attempts at American casualties perpetrated by so-called Muslims has led many to ask if all Muslims believe killing “infidels” is taught by Islam. If not, then where are the moderate Muslims who condemn terrorism?
We are right here, and we stand by our fellow Americans in the face of hate and violence to say that terrorism of any kind is unequivocally against the teachings of Islam. As the Missionary Incharge and National Vice President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, I am a Muslim leader and have dedicated over 40 years of my life to the study of Islam, and I emphatically declare that Islam does not condone any form of terrorism.
The Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, declared over 120 years ago that there is no place or justification found in Islam for violence in any form. That is why the members of this peaceful community abide by these teachings of moderation and restraint.
The Qur’an – Islam’s holy scripture – makes it clear on several occasions that Muslims are forbidden to create chaos in society. Muslims are charged with obeying authority and defending the order and peace of society from anyone who dares to wreak havoc and chaos through acts of terror. Reverence for life is a part of Islam, and no excuse can justify taking a life.
While I disagree with Belgium’s ban on the Islamic veil, Switzerland’s ban on the construction of minarets and even South Park’s depiction of God’s prophets, I want to be clear that none of these warrant violence or terrorism. Terrorism simply cannot be justified.
A true Muslim is one who remains completely loyal to the country in which he or she resides. Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, clearly instructed his followers that love of one’s homeland is part of faith. It’s all about loyalty to our nation. We are loyal to the United States of America. It is time that Muslims living in the U.S. wake up to their responsibilities and declare loudly and repeatedly that they stand for peace and loyalty and are proud of it and that this is in fact what Islam itself requires of them.
(For more information about Islam, visit Patheos.com)
Any claims stating that Muslims are not required to follow non-Islamic governments are completely false. I call on all Muslims in the U.S. to boldly claim and express with their tongue and action that they are loyal, law-abiding and obedient citizens of the United States of America. Those Muslims who benefit from the freedoms this country provides but are not loyal to this country, you are being ungrateful. I adamantly say that you are living a hypocritical life and would be better suited to go live in the land where you feel your loyalty belongs.
Fanatics, such as the alleged perpetrators of this Times Square bombing have presented a distorted view of Islam based on their completely false and misguided interpretations. Muslims are allowed to defend their faith through logic and reason only.
I ask my fellow Americans to help the moderate Muslim voice to be heard within the US. Let us work together to overcome this fanatical minority element of Muslims. I ask my fellow Muslims who have strayed away to come back to the true teachings of Islam and to rid themselves of violent tendencies. If you continue this trend of violence and terrorism, you will find no friend with us true Muslims. We will be here to protect the country you are trying to destroy.
Naseem Mahdi is Missionary Incharge and National Vice President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the USA and is based out of Silver Spring, Md.