Saturday, June 17, 2017

USA: Ahmadiyya Mosque in Chino builds friendships with Ramadan meal


“I am sorry for everything that our president has said and done against communities of color, people that he truly doesn’t understand.”

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: Champion Newspapers
By Marianne Napoles | June 17, 2017

A large crowd flocked to the Baitul Hameed Mosque in Chino at sunset last Saturday to celebrate an interfaith dinner the same day 25 rallies were held around the country to protest Sharia law as a threat to society.

The dinner, called Iftar, celebrates the end of the fast during Ramadan where Muslims abstain from eating and drinking until sunset.

One of the many banners that hung in Tahir Hall contained the words: “love of one’s country of residence is part of faith” with the word “terrorism” covered by the “no” symbol, a circle with a red diagonal line through it.

Ahsan Khan, M.D., president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s Los Angeles east chapter, said the protestors fear that Muslims want a violent dogma to overtake the constitution.

“This couldn’t be further form the fact,” he said. “As Muslims, we believe Sharia simply means a way of living.”

He added, “Sharia is a set of guiding principles all Muslims follow to become closer to their creator, not a set of concrete laws that supercede the constitution or basic laws of this country.”

Dr. Khan said the mosque was built 30 years ago and has hosted guests for Iftar since that time, creating an opportunity to build bridges and friendships with the community.

“We have different beliefs but a common God,” said Chino stake president William Rockwood of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mr. Rockwood remembered when the mosque caught fire in 2003 and the Mormons welcomed them to worship at their church on Philadelphia Street in Chino during reconstruction.

“We also have experienced persecution,” said Mr. Rockwood. “That’s one of the reasons we ended up in Utah.”

Other speakers were Rev. Ryoukyou, a Shinto Buddhist; Imam Ahmad Al Gamal; author Jacki Malec; James Nagao, L.A. County Sheriff’s Special Operations Division, and Ven. Hang Truong who led a meditation.

Rep. Norma Torres, whose district includes Chino, told the audience it was a great honor to represent them in congress, and then remarked, “I am sorry for everything that our president has said and done against communities of color, people that he truly doesn’t understand.”

Ms. Torres said after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, the Pomona community came together and said, “If anybody is going to bring harm to the mosque here in our backyard, we’re going to stand in front of it and make sure our neighbors understand we’re not going to tolerate it.”

Jim Buck of Chino Hills, an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department who bridges relationships between the police department and the Muslim community, said he has been to many Iftar dinners but it was his first time at the mosque in his own community. “We will fight and never let anyone take your religion away from you,” he said.

The women of the mosque watched the program via video from another room and ate separately from the males per Islam tradition.

After a call to prayer was recited, the audience helped themselves to a buffet of food to break the fast.


Public events at Baitul Hameed Mosque

  • Interfaith dinner, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 22, at 11941 Ramona Ave. in Chino.
  • Every Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., questions about Islam answered, coffee and cake served.



Read original post here: USA: Ahmadiyya Mosque in Chino builds friendships with Ramadan meal


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