Sunday, July 16, 2017

Australia: Ahmadiyya Muslims Down Under offers to meet any Australian for coffee and cake

Its national coordinator Najm Sehar said if Muslims focused too much on the harassment they received they became scared of those around them and more isolated.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: Daily Mail AU
By Nic White | July 16, 2017

Islamic community wants to show that they are not terrorists

A Muslim group is offering to meet Australians for coffee one-on-one to give honest answers to questions about Islam.

Muslims Down Under will set up anyone for 'coffee and cake' with a practicing member of the religion in all major cities to improve mutual understanding.

Imam Mohammed Atae Rabbi Hadi, at Baitul Huda mosque in Marsden Park, Sydney, said for too many people, all they knew about Islam what they saw on TV.

'They ask: Is Islam really a violent religion? If it's not, why has violence happened? What does jihad mean?' he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

'Why not meet an Aussie Muslim, and get to know them and see you have so much in common?'

The 25-year-old imam acknowledged extremism was a growing problem but said it was increasing in the far right too, and hoped better understanding could limit it.

The group ran Q&A sessions at Western Sydney University and Imam Hadi was running another in Mudgee in NSW's Central West next week.

Muslims Down Under hopes interacting with everyday Australians directly would reduce Islamaphobia and allow both sides to have positive experiences.

'Instead of learning about Islam from sensationalist news, how about #MeetAnAussieMuslim and #DisscussIslam,' its website reads.

Its national coordinator Najm Sehar said if Muslims focused too much on the harassment they received they became scared of those around them and more isolated.

'When you hear about these reports, it almost encourages us to have phobias of each other,' she told the newspaper.

The group is loosely affiliated with the minority Ahmadiyya branch of Islam that Imam Hadi's mosque follows.

Muslims Down Under's website, where people can book a coffee with one of dozens of volunteers around the country, stressed 'love and education over hate'.

'We present 6 universally accepted human values rooted deeply in the Holy Quran (the true Islamic voice) as common ground in our fight against extremism and Islamophobia,' it reads.

The values were: No to terrorism; loyalty to Australia; separation of state and religion; freedom of conscience, speech and religion; no to discrimination; and power and equality for women.

The group's Twitter last week shared a graphic including a positive-sounding quote by the prophet Mohammad and adding the comment 'women are a source of blessings in every stage of life'.

The group's Twitter last week shared a graphic including a positive-sounding quote by the prophet Mohammad and adding: 'Women are a source of blessings in every stage of life' +5

The group's Twitter last week shared a graphic including a positive-sounding quote by the prophet Mohammad and adding: 'Women are a source of blessings in every stage of life'

Imam Hadi, whose great grandfather fought in World War One, was also one of several young men who attended a Sydney dawn service on Anzac Day wearing a 'Muslims for Loyalty' t-shirts.

'We’re Muslims and we firmly believe that love for your country is part of your faith, to show solidarity with your fellow citizens is something that is part and parcel of our faith so that’s why we’re here today and also be part of the broader community,' he told The Australian at the time.

'It shouldn’t be about us and them, it should be about celebrating our nation’s history and human values.'


Read original post here: Australia: Ahmadiyya Muslims Down Under offers to meet any Australian for coffee and cake


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