Canada: Cape Breton a home to celebrate for Muslims

Canada: Cape Breton a home to celebrate for Muslims

Six years ago the congregation purchased a former church hall on Grand Lake Road in Sydney and renovated it, adding a minaret (a feature of Islamic architecture from which the call to prayer is sent out) and trim reflecting Middle East styles.

 

There were 50 good reasons to celebrate peace and harmony in the tiny Cape Breton Muslim community recently.

That is exactly the number of years the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at have called the island home. The celebration centred on the fact the humanitarian sect of eight families has been made to feel welcome in their adopted Cape Breton community.

As Umram Bhatti, the imam (worship leader) of the group, told The Chronicle Herald: “I would say with 100 per cent certainty that the families are very safe and secure in Cape Breton.”

The motto of the group is: “love for all, hatred for none.”

While there have been a few localized incidents and some backlash from some local residents, the small group has been well-integrated into the community.

It was Dr. Momin Khalifa, now 87, who established the congregation when he arrived in Cape Breton in 1966 to work as a family physician in Glace Bay. He is now retired, but occasionally helps at the hospital and walk-in clinic.

Dr. Khalifa said most of the families have a medical background and include doctors working at the regional hospital or the family clinic. A few other families have their own businesses, provide catering services and Pakistani and Indian food.

Six years ago the congregation purchased a former church hall on Grand Lake Road in Sydney and renovated it, adding a minaret (a feature of Islamic architecture from which the call to prayer is sent out) and trim reflecting Middle East styles.

There was a time when Mr. Bhatti, who mans an information table at the Sydney flea market, encountered a rare instance of prejudice against the group. The group distributes free literature at the market and tries to help anyone understand the religion of Islam peacefully and to remove misconceptions and myths about Muslims and Islam.

A young man came in with his wife, looked around, angrily accused the group of being terrorists and made threats before leaving. Mr. Bhatti regrets not being able to have a longer conversation with the man or being able to invite the man home for coffee or some food.

Police heard about the incident and reached out to Mr. Bhatti to let him know the community was there for him and that the group is safe here.

That call and the community welcome both show this is home to Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at and that, after 50 years, it is time to celebrate.

Happiness starts in the home and this small group of Muslims have found both in Cape Breton.

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This content-post is archived for backup and to keep archived records of any news Islam Ahmadiyya. The views expressed by the author and source of this news archive do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of iRabwah. iRabwah is not an organ of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, nor in any way associated with any of the community’s official websites.

Pakistan’s abuse of the Ahmadis makes Donald Trump’s Muslim ban look tame

Pakistan’s abuse of the Ahmadis makes Donald Trump’s Muslim ban look tame

The Pakistani state has established an apartheid system for a religious minority

As the rest of Pakistan commemorated Prophet Mohammad’s birthday, a charged mob of around 1000 men besieged a mosque belonging to Ahmadi Muslims, injuring several people. At least one Ahmadi Muslim is reported to have passed away due to a cardiac arrest as the mob threw stones at the place of worship, demanding the control of the mosque be passed onto them.

Dark as it is, it is an incident which is unfortunately neither unprecedented nor isolated in occurrence, and sheds light on the horrendous discrimination against Ahmedi Muslims in Pakistan, purely on the basis of their religious beliefs.

Ahmadi Muslims believe a Messiah by the name of Mirza Ghulam Ahmed was sent by God in the 19th century to revive Islam, and that this Messiah’s arrival was foretold by Prophet Mohammad in his lifetime. This is considered to be heresy, and there is an almost universal consensus among traditional Muslims on the ex-communication of Ahmadis from the fold of Islam.

Ahmadi Muslims have faced social discrimination since the inception of their sect in 1889, however these attitudes were given legitimacy by the state for the first time in 1974 when Pakistan’s parliament passed a law that officially declared Ahmadis as non-Muslims to appease far-right religious parties which were growing in influence. In 1984, under the rule of the dictator General Zia-ul-Haq, Ahmadis were banned to identify as Muslims in any way, many of their mosques were shut down, and they were forbidden from making the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

Between 1984 and 2016, 27 Ahmadi mosques were demolished, 32 were sealed by the government, 21 have been set on fire and/or damaged, 17 were forcibly occupied and 53 not allowed construction. Such is the fate of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan that they face oppression and persecution both from the state and the populace. In fact, to add insult to injury, it is a legal requirement for every Pakistani – who wants to renew or apply for a new passport – to declare that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was an impostor prophet and anyone who follows him is a non-Muslim.

Naturally, with such demonisation of an entire community – not only going unchallenged but sponsored by the very state that is supposed to protect minorities – Ahmadi Muslims are on the receiving end of numerous hate crimes and allegations of blasphemy (a crime punishable by death in Pakistan). Moreover, it is not uncommon to find, especially in rural areas, banners placed in shops which refuse service to Ahmadis.

“I do not have much hope that the clergy would reform overnight, but the fact that the State sides with their mischief and fails its Ahmadi citizens time and again is hurtful,” says Kashif Chaudhry, an activist from the Ahmadi community. “The State must protect all its citizens and not discriminate based on faith and creed. It is telling that this attack on Ahmadis in Chakwal comes days after the State itself arrested Ahmadis for ‘excessive use of the Quran’.”

It would behove such Muslims to come to the realisation that the fundamental human rights they expect to receive in the West should also extend to the treatment of minorities in Muslim-majority states.

To be absolutely clear, this is an apartheid of the worst kind which has been underway for several decades now. It is incredibly ironic that a country like Pakistan, whose conceptual foundations were built on safeguarding the rights of Muslim minorities in India, now treats its own minorities with such disdain and callousness.

To me, the lack of introspection and critical thought among the general populace is emphasised the most when Pakistani Muslims, who hold discriminatory beliefs against Ahmadis, cry foul of the policies against Muslims put forward by Donald Trump, the president-elect of United States. As horrendous as they are, they can never compare with the systematic wholesale persecution of Ahmadis in Pakistan.

It would behove such Muslims to come to the realisation that the fundamental human rights they expect to receive in the West should also extend to the treatment of minorities in Muslim-majority states. Paying heed to the Golden rule of ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ should take us a long way.

This content-post is archived for backup and to keep archived records of any news Islam Ahmadiyya. The views expressed by the author and source of this news archive do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of iRabwah. iRabwah is not an organ of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, nor in any way associated with any of the community’s official websites.

Pakistan: HRCP demands probe into assault on Ahmadi worship place

Pakistan: HRCP demands probe into assault on Ahmadi worship place

“The police arrived and sealed the building, which has been a practice employed in the past as well. In short, the Ahmadi community has lost their place of worship.”

Lahore, December 14: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed grave concern over the deteriorating treatment of Ahmadi citizens both at the hands of those tasked with security as well as the zealots. It has demanded a thorough investigation into a raid in Rabwah and attack on an Ahmadi worship place in Chakwal.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Commission said: “HRCP must voice serious concern over the assault on an Ahmadi worship place by a mob in Chakwal and over the manner of an apparently unlawful raid by Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) on the offices of a publication for the Ahmadi community in Rabwah on December 5.

“The CTD raid on the offices of the Ahmadi publication in Rabwah appears to be a violation of a Lahore High Court (LHC) order directing that “no coercive measures shall be adopted against the petitioner”. As far as HRCP could gather, the matter is sub judice and no new order has been made.

“From reports received, it appears that the CTD did not have any warrants for the raid and certainly did not show, any despite repeated requests. They took away laptop and desktop computers, mobile phones, office papers and books, for which they gave no receipt. There was no reason to jostle and rough up four people who were arrested. It is for the CTD and the provincial authorities to explain why a raid against peaceful, unarmed citizens needed to be heavy-handed and why were those taken into custody were mistreated.

“The script for the attack on the Ahmadi worship place in Chakwal is unfortunately not very new. A huge mob surrounded the worship place with worshippers inside, who managed to leave the premises, which was then set on fire and furniture destroyed. One of the worshippers died of a heart attack.

“The police arrived and sealed the building, which has been a practice employed in the past as well. In short, the Ahmadi community has lost their place of worship.

“It is hugely distressing that police were not able to protect the worship place. We must stress that it is unacceptable for the police practice of dispersing the mob to be the end of action against the trouble-makers.

“Both incidents constitute a failure on the part of the authorities to ensure protection of citizens’ rights enshrined in the constitution and under international human rights law. It is doubly frustrating when such denial occurs at the hands of agents of the state. HRCP demands a full inquiry into the circumstance of the raid at Rabwah and ascertain whether the heavy-handed tactics employed were part of the directions from above or at the initiative of the raiding party itself.

“A separate probe must look closely into the mob attack on the Chakwal worship place and determine what prompted the assault and what could have led to a conclusion that would not have deprived the Ahmadis of one more place of worship.”

HRCP demands probe into assault on Ahmadi worship place

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Nigeria: Ahmadiyyah proffers solution to nation’s problems

Nigeria: Ahmadiyyah proffers solution to nation’s problems

Ahmadiyya Ameer, Dr. Mashud Aderenle Fashola mentioned that Muslims should exhibit the spirit of hospitality to fellow human, with grace, justice and fear of Allah to succeed in this life and hereafter.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria has blamed Nigeria’s problems on flagrant disregard for the teachings of the Holy Quran.

The National Amir of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Alhaji Dr. Mashud Aderenle Fashola, said the obstacles of materialism, worldliness, ego, widespread immorality and the pursuit of self-interest as opposed to love of God and submission to His will, the pursuit of common interest and the welfare of all humanity is responsible for the calamity in the country.

Fashola said: “True teachings of religion have not significantly reflected in our conduct in Nigeria. We politicise religion, we remain unjust, we lack consideration for others, we are not peace loving. We are too materialistic or worldly in all our affairs, too many people are wicked and arrogant, too many are given to falsehood, honest man and woman are scarce, and integrity is hard to come by,”

He said that solutions to all problems in Nigeria and indeed the world have been provided in the true teachings of religion as presented comprehensively in the holy Quran. Noting that departure from it brings calamities and misery to the people, he said all these teachings are what Ahmadiyya Jama’at has been propagating for the past 100 years in Nigeria.

He enjoined Nigerians to desist from evil act and wrongdoing, even as it berated terrorism by some sect, saying, “Fighting in the name of religion is not Islam, God is not happy with such act. The basic teaching of a religion is identifying with God,”

Fashola mentioned that Muslims should exhibit the spirit of hospitality to fellow human, with grace, justice and fear of Allah to succeed in this life and hereafter.

In commemoration of post hundred years of Ahmadiyyah in Nigeria. The group holds its 64th yearly conference (Jalsa Salana 2016) themed: “Redefining Moral Revolution for sustainable Peace and Development”.

The convention, expected to be graced by dignitaries all over the country and delegate from different parts of the world takes off today, (Friday 16th December to Sunday18th 0f December) at Jamia Ahmadiyya, Illaro, Ogun State.

Read original post here: Nigeria: Ahmadiyyah proffers solution to nation’s problems

This content-post is archived for backup and to keep archived records of any news Islam Ahmadiyya. The views expressed by the author and source of this news archive do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of iRabwah. iRabwah is not an organ of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, nor in any way associated with any of the community’s official websites.