Sane voices from all religions must come together in respect and harmony

The attacks in Brussels, Paris and Ankara are a sad reflection of the times we live in. Peace and tolerance have become a myth and are on the verge of extinction. These dark ages show the need for sane voices within the folds of every religion, country and world. The head of worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, is one of the rare and prominent voices in Islam who doesn’t only condemn any violence in the name of religion, but also propagates interfaith dialogue and religious harmony. As a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, I strongly condemn these attacks, and my heartfelt prayers and condolences go out to the families of those who have lost their lives, and to the people of Belgium.

No religion, whether it is Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, nor Judaism, preaches its followers to kill in the name of religion. Islam is widely misunderstood in that regard. The literal meaning of the word “Islam” is peace. Islam likens the killing of one innocent human being to the killing of all humanity (5:32). It is just mind boggling to imagine that a person like “Salah Abdeslam,” the alleged mastermind of Paris and these attacks, and whose name literally means “Righteous Servant of Peace,” can go on from being a drug dealer and bar owner to being a religious fanatic in a space of no time. These sort of people have nothing to do with Islam, or with any religion.

This is the time when more organizations such as Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, whose motto is “Love for all, Hatred for none,” should come forward and condemn violence in the name of religion. Rather than dividing ourselves on the basis of religion, we should come together, and cultivate an environment of tolerance, respect and harmony.

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