SHOREWOOD – By spreading the word about Islam teachings this weekend in Shorewood, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association hopes to counteract religious propaganda fostered by the Islamic State terrorist group.
In the aftermath of recent ISIS terrorists attacks in Brussels, Belgium, educating the public and dispelling myths is all the more important, said Iftekhar Ahmad, assistant national outreach director of the association.
“We felt a need to provide the public with opportunities to learn Islam and what it teaches. Not what we see in the news every day. Not what ISIS says,” Ahmad said.
Anti-Islamic groups and ISIS often cite fragments of verses to justify violence or portray Islam as a violent religion, he said. But it is a very peaceful religion in which members do not agree with the actions and motivations of ISIS, he said.
AMYA’s Chicago Southwest Chapter will hold a Holy Quran exhibition from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Shorewood-Troy Public Library Central Library. The goal will be to introduce Islam teachings and “show some of the commonalities” among all religions, he said.
“The vast majority of the major religions in the world, whether it’s Islam, Christianity, Muslim, Buddhism … they are much the same,” Ahmad said. “Nobody condones murder, stealing or adultery, and yet we focus on that 10 percent where we are different.”
Ahmad referred to Quran 5:32 to condemn the recent deadly ISIS terrorist attacks on Brussels.
“Whoever kills a person, it is as though he has killed all mankind,” he said.
The attacks in Paris; in San Bernardino, California; and more recently in Brussels were “cowardly acts,” Ahmad said.
Those who attend the exhibit will be able to ask any questions they may have about Muslims and Islam, according to a news release from the group. Representatives will be on hand to discuss the Holy Quran, Islam and other aspects of the religion.
AMYA actively engages local communities in presenting the peaceful message of Islam by removing common misconceptions and misunderstandings, according to the organization.
The exhibit will also feature a new anti-propaganda campaign titled “True Islam” that launched in December. The campaign is designed so people can distinguish between the Islamic religion and extremists that misinterpret Quran readings.
The campaign’s website is trueislam.com.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Holy Quran exhibition from the Chicago Southwest Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Shorewood-Troy Public Library Central Library, 650 Deerwood Drive, Shorewood