by Dr. Irtiza Sheikh
The Prophet Muhammad said, “Love of one’s country is a part of faith.” Throughout the many decades that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been a part of American society, it has embodied this principal of Islam.
This community believes that this love should be expressed by engaging in services to uplift our fellow Americans, such as blood and food drives, and help during disaster recoveries. It also emphasizes participation in community activites such as Independence Day Parades. While many may see this sort of thing as merely superficial displays, it is an important symbol of the love and loyalty the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community holds in its heart for this country we call home.
These activities also serve as a reminder regarding the freedoms and liberties that we have been bestowed as citizens of the United States. It is these same freedoms that, as Ahmadiyya Muslims, we are denied in much of the Muslim world. Presently in Algeria, Ahmadi-Muslims are being rounded up and imprisoned simply for the crime of practicing their faith. Over the years, hundreds of Muslims have been killed or imprisoned in countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Indonesia.
The freedoms of this country are products of sacrifices that we hold close to our hearts. Keeping that in mind, we request our fellow Americans to remind our elected leaders and institutions of this closely held loyalty when they choose to vilify Muslims through their rhetoric. This sort of unreasonable fear mongering is based on a narrow sensationalized sample set and is far from reality. The reality is what the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community represents: love, loyalty and service.
Next time you see us in your local parade, your local blood drive, or your local food kitchen come join us and help celebrate this reality.