France/Italy: Muslims go to Catholic Mass across France to show solidarity

France/Italy: Muslims go to Catholic Mass across France to show solidarity

In a gesture of solidarity following the gruesome killing of a French priest, Muslims attended Catholic Mass in churches and cathedrals across France and Italy. A few dozen Muslims gathered at the towering Gothic cathedral in Rouen, near Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray where the 85-year-old Rev. Jacques Hamel had his throat slit by two teenage Muslim fanatics on Tuesday. “We are very moved by the presence of our Muslim friends and I believe it is a courageous act that they did by coming to us,” Dominique Lebrun, the archbishop of Rouen, said after the service.

Some of the Muslims sat in the front row, across from the altar. Among the parishioners was one of the nuns who was briefly taken hostage at Hamel’s church when he was killed. She joined her fellow Catholics in turning to shake hands or embrace the Muslim churchgoers after the service.

Outside the church, a group of Muslims were applauded when they unfurled a banner: “Love for all. Hate for none.” Churchgoer Jacqueline Prevot said the attendance of Muslims was “a magnificent gesture.” “Look at this whole Muslim community that attended Mass,” she said. “I find this very heartwarming. I am confident. I say to myself that this assassination won’t be lost, that it will maybe relaunch us better than politics can do. Maybe we will react in a better way.”

Many of the Muslims who attended the service in Rouen — including those with the banner — were Ahmadiyya Muslims, a minority sect that differs from mainstream Islam in that it doesn’t regard Muhammad as the final prophet.

Similar interfaith gatherings were repeated elsewhere in France, as well as in neighboring Italy. At Paris’ iconic Notre Dame cathedral, Dalil Boubakeur, the rector of the Mosque of Paris, said repeatedly that Muslims want to live in peace.

“The situation is serious,” Boubakeur told BFMTV. “Time has come to come together so as not to be divided.” In Italy, the secretary general of the country’s Islamic Confederation, Abdullah Cozzolino, spoke from the altar in the Treasure of St. Gennaro chapel next to Naples’ Duomo cathedral.

Three imams also attended Mass at the St. Maria Church in Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood, donning their traditional dress as they entered the sanctuary and sat down in the front row. Mohammed ben Mohammed, a member of the Union of Islamic Communities in Italy, said he called on the faithful in his sermon Friday “to report anyone who may be intent on damaging society. I am sure that there are those among the faithful who are ready to speak up.”

Source/Credit: dnaindia

Malta: Ahmadiyya Muslim Community condemns desecration of Holy Quran at Mater Dei hospital

Malta: Ahmadiyya Muslim Community condemns desecration of Holy Quran at Mater Dei hospital

Several copies of Muslim holy book the Quran kept in Mater Dei hospital’s multi-faith room were desecrated yesterday, the Ministry of Health said this morning.

Slices of pork laid inside copies of the holy book, according to photos posted to Facebook by the Islamic Community of Malta.

Vandals also left behind a printout featuring a photo of Father Jacques Hamel, a Christian priest whose throat was slit by Islamic State terrorists in Normandy earlier this week, under the heading ‘Victim of Islam’.

Hospital authorities have reported the case to the police.

In a statement this afternoon, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Malta categorically condemned the act.

Source/Credit: timesofmalta

Our America: Remarks To The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Our America: Remarks To The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

These are the prepared remarks “Our America”: Brian Levin; Director, Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism, California State University, San Bernardino for the Annual Jalsa Salana Conference in Harrisburg, PA; July 30, 2016

A Star in The Constellation of American Faiths
Distinguished hosts and all my dear friends and neighbors in the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, thank you so very much for the privilege of sharing in your annual Jalsa Salana conference.

My address today is entitled “Our America” and my name is Brian Levin. For almost two decades I have directed the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino, a community that has endured the evil scourge of violent hatred by extremists who distorted your faith and claimed to be Muslim.

But, as his holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad explained, “If a person does not follow a particular teaching properly whilst claiming to subscribe to it, then it is he who is in error, not the teaching.”

Indeed, for over a century your community has been a shining star in our twinkling constellation of American faiths, from veterans on foreign battlefields, to scientists and medical doctors, and of course your incredibly outsized contributions to the uniquely American art form of jazz music.

Source/Credit: huffingtonpost

Pakistan: Two Hindu teenagers shot in communal tension, one succumbs to injuries

Pakistan: Two Hindu teenagers shot in communal tension, one succumbs to injuries

Two Hindu teenagers were shot in Pakistan’s Sindh province over allegations of Quran desecration, on Wednesday, while another was arrested for blasphemy. One of the victims, 17-year-old Dewan Sateesh Kumar, succumbed to his injuries while his friend Avinash is in a critical condition, Dawn reported.

Tension ran high in Mehran Samejo village in Ghotki district after a Hindu man, Amar Lal, who was said to be mentally unstable, allegedly desecrated a holy book.According to reports, Amar, who has been arrested, was a drug addict and was living in a mosque after converting to Islam a few months ago.

After the incident, local religious leaders along with several agitated people took to streets.

During a protest, some men riding on motorbikes fired at two Hindu youths who were sitting outside a tea stall in Mirpur Mathelo area.

In the attack, one of the youths, Dewan Sateesh Kumar, 17, was killed while another was critically injured, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Masood Ahmed Bangash said.

Sateesh was a businessman.

Local leaders of the Hindu community have demanded the protection of their lives and properties in the wake of the tensions.

Bangash said that police with the help of Rangers are trying to diffuse the tense situation.

According to reports, all towns of the Ghotki district remained closed today.

Leaders of local religious parties have demanded severe punishment for Amar, who has been booked for blasphemy and shifted to an undisclosed location by police.

Sindh has the biggest population of Hindus in Pakistan.

Source/Credit: newsnation

Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community condemns terror attacks in Europe and calls for peace in the world

Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community condemns terror attacks in Europe and calls for peace in the world

  • Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad addresses disintegration of Muslim countries
  • His Holiness praises Pope Francis for saying today’s atrocities do not equate to a religious war

The World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has called on Muslim nations around the world to return to Islam’s true teachings of peace.

Speaking during his weekly Friday Sermon delivered at the Baitul Futuh Mosquein London, His Holiness said that the world was facing incredibly precarious and challenging times in light of recent terror attacks in Europe, which he deemed as completely against the teachings of Islam. His Holiness also addressed the increasingly volatile situation in Turkey and other Muslim nations.

Speaking about the increasing instability in the Muslim world, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“With each day that passes, the power and strength of the Muslim nations is continuing to decrease. The fundamental cause is that Muslim leaders and their so-called religious scholars are blinded to Islam’s true teachings and are leading their nations on a destructive and ruinous path.”

His Holiness continued:

“We see chaos and disorder in every Muslim country because the leaders are prioritising their self-interest over and above the rights of their people and the progress of their nation.”

His Holiness also added that the disintegration of Muslim countries benefitted only those who opposed Islam and so instead of destroying one another, Muslims should unite in peace.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“The Muslim world and its governments have not learned the lessons of the very recent past. They have seen what has happened in Iraq, Syria and Libya and how those countries have been torn apart and how the future of those nations has been destroyed. The Muslim leaders should urgently reflect upon these examples and ask themselves who it is that benefits from turmoil and disorder in the Muslim world?”

His Holiness also responded to the recent spate of terror attacks in Europe. He said that such attacks were a complete deviation of Islam’s teachings. For example, he said that the recent murder of Father Jacques Hamel in France was “abhorrent and entirely opposed to Islam’s teachings”.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Recently, terrorist organisations have started to regularly commit the most barbaric atrocities in Western countries by taking the lives of innocent people. The terrorists have no knowledge of Islam because otherwise they would realise that the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) forbade the murder of innocent people under any circumstances. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited the targeting of innocent children, women, elderly people and he forbade the targeting of religious leaders and places of worship such as Priests and Churches.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“The only thing the terrorists are achieving is to completely violate the teachings of the Holy Quran and of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Let it be clear that they are not practicing Islam, rather it seems as though they have invented their own hate-filled and poisonous religion.”

Speaking about the meaning of the word ‘Islam’, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Allah the Almighty has named our religion as ‘Islam’ which literally means peace and so even the name itself rejects all forms of terrorism, extremism and compulsion. Rather, Islam is that religion that champions peace, freedom, love and security for all mankind.”

His Holiness also praised recent comments made by Pope Francis in which he said that whilst the “world is at war, it is not a religious war”. His Holiness said that the Pope was right to make the distinction that today’s warfare was not motivated by religion but by greed and a desire for power and wealth.

Concluding, His Holiness said that in today’s turbulent times the onus lay upon Ahmadi Muslims to counter the extremist narrative by spreading the true and peaceful teachings of Islam, through both their personal conduct and through the media and other relevant platforms.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Spread peace to all parts of society. Spread love amongst all of mankind. Bring people towards God Almighty and the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) by winning their hearts through the power of love, grace and compassion.”

His Holiness said there was an urgent need for Ahmadi Muslims to pray for peace in the world.

Source/credit: khalifaofislam