Author: Safwan Choudhry (Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at Canada ) | Date: 08 July 2017
The annual convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at Canada – called Jalsa Salana – began on Friday, July 7. After the Friday prayers, a special press conference was held with Mr. Lal Khan Malik, National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at Canada, and Imam Azhar Haneef, National Vice President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA. Members of the media asked various questions regarding the current state of the Muslim world.
Mr. Lal Khan Malik explained that although claiming to represent Islam, violent extremists have nothing to do with the religion. “They have killed innocents, women, children and have shown not even scant mercy…their very existence is against the tenets of Islam,” said Malik.
Discussing strategies to counter extremist ideology, Imam Azhar Haneef described that youth are most susceptible to extremist radicalization. “Their entire concept of Islam is illiterate. If the youth are provided a true understanding of Islam, they would not commit violent acts.”
Continuing his statement, Imam Azhar Haneef emphasized that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is dedicated to countering youth radicalization through education and outreach efforts. “We have been engaged in outreach efforts for decades, dating back to the very founding of our community. We are a community of peace, love and humanity,” said Haneef.
The first day of the convention also featured inspiring speeches regarding the true, peaceful teachings of Islam. Dozens of non-Muslim guests attended the event, which was catered towards removing misconceptions and fear about Islam. Thousands of Muslim and non-Muslim guests are expected to attend the next two days of the convention.