Thursday, June 15, 2017

U.S. Bay area Muslims reach out to explain faith with 'Coffee, cake and Islam'


It is important for those who feel uneasy about Islam in the United States to seek out knowledge from true sources or American Muslims. It is equally important for American Muslims to reach out to their neighbors.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US desk
Source/Credit: San Francisco Chronicle
By Dania Sohail | June 14, 2017

On June 10, during the holy month of Ramadan, there were anti-Sharia law marches in 24 different U.S. cities put on by ACT for America. While a select few chose to march against Sharia law across the country, my mosque in Milpitas held a peaceful Iftar dinner to break fast together. The rallies against Sharia law are misplaced and counterproductive.

Sharia law means the law of the Quran, the Muslim holy book. It outlines the behaviors, morals and beliefs of Islam, which are based on a message of peace and free will. Sharia law is not compulsory. In fact, Islam outlines that there is no compulsion in religion.

It is understandable that there is fear of what is unknown, especially with extremism and terrorism plaguing the globe. Conversation is the first step in building a relationship, and the only way to generate peace among those who might not fully understand each other. It is important for those who feel uneasy about Islam in the United States to seek out knowledge from true sources or American Muslims. It is equally important for American Muslims to reach out to their neighbors.

Coffee, Cake and True Islam is a campaign run by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community that helps do that. As a student, I have many questions about other faiths, including my own, and this learning helps me develop my values and morals. Every Wednesday, Ahmadi Muslims set up at a local coffee shop and invite people to come ask about Islam. It creates a platform for anyone to learn more about their Muslim neighbors in a harmonious way.

I invite my fellow Americans to just ask, because educating ourselves is the best way to have open conversations that will lead to a more peaceful society.

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Dania Sohail is a senior at Mercy High School in Burlingame.


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