Don’t fear Islam. Try to understand it


Originally published in CantonRep

On Saturday, March 11, I and hundreds of other Muslims participated in a nationwide campaign known as “Meet A Muslim”. Recently, the Pew Research Center conducted a poll and found (to all of our amazement) that 62 percent of Americans had never met a Muslim!

Our goal for this campaign can be summed in one quote by the famous polish physicist Marie Curie, who said, “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

 So, I and five other Muslims from the Cleveland chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association embraced the freezing cold for hours on end at Tower City in downtown Cleveland with signs in our hands saying “I am a Muslim, ask me anything”. We, however, were not the only ones.

In 80 cities nationwide, such as New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, etc., Muslims from their respective chapters were doing the same thing!

In Cleveland, we were well received, carrying out conversations and trying to dispel people’s concerns for our religion that promotes life and the well-being of all.

We received a lot of nods, high-fives, and congrats for the work we were doing. I myself was simply comforted in knowing that my fellow Americans do accept me as their own in this country that we all love so much.

We don’t want people to fear Islam, we want them to understand that we are as peace-loving as our fellow Christians, Jews, Hindus, etc. We want them to understand that we are completely against ISIS because what they practice is the opposite of Islam. We want them to understand that our religion is not a violent one, it is a peaceful one. We are all a part of this planet and it is about time we existed peacefully, together.

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Safeer Ahmad
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By Safeer Ahmad