Islam is more than what is in media headlines and debated among policitians, which is why one group is travelling to the North Coast to shed light on the religion.
“Islam Misunderstood” will open the discussion on Sunday, Nov. 5 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Prince Rupert Public Library.
Tariq Azeem, the Imam for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in B.C. will speak to the misconception regarding his religion.
“Just because people see and hear things in the media doesn’t mean it’s true,” he said. “We believe this is unfortunate and it’s our duty as Muslims to remove these misconceptions.”
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community hosts events throughout the country. The Vancouver chapter from Abbotsford will be available on Sunday to speak with Rupertites who have any doubts or concerns, and they will do the same in Terrace the day after.
Even though there are few Muslims living in Prince Rupert, Azeem said it’s important to ensure that people in the community are still informed about the religion.
“A lot of times we have the fear of the unknown, something we don’t know or understand we fear it. Despite being a small community in Prince Rupert, we still hear about Muslims on TV. The world has become one village,” Azeem said.
Seven people from the Muslim community will be there for the open house to answer questions on Islam. Some of the most common questions they receive are on Jihad, violence and the status of women and why they cover their face with a hijab.
“Jihad is an Arabic word for struggle. It’s a concept and it means to become a better human being, a better Muslim,” Azeem said offering an example that a struggle would be to offer food to someone who is hungry rather than keep all the food for yourself. Jihad, he said, is an inner struggle.
“It’s very unfortunate that terror and extremist groups have misused this term.”
But, he said some media and politicians have painted a poor image of Islam. Azeem encourages people to bring questions about Islam and he will do his best to answer.
“If we learn about one another we will find there are more similarities between us than differences and we’ll be able to live far more peacefully,” he said.