The Lloydminster Ahmadiyya Muslim community wants to make its message clear in the wake of the terrorist attacks that happened in Paris last Friday.
Tariq Azeem, Imam and missionary of the Ahmadiyya community, said he categorically condemns the actions of those responsible for the mass killing.
“When I heard that the attacks happened I knew right right away, being a Muslim, that I had to condemn the attacks because people often confuse these two things, ISIS and Islam, and I wanted to make sure that people understand that ISIS is not Islam,” he said.
There were seven coordinated terror attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, carried out by militants, killing at least 129 people.
The first attacks were launched simultaneously, with two explosions four miles apart close to the Stade de France.
The attacks included mass shootings, suicide bombings, and hostage-taking.
The deadliest attack took place at the Bataclan theatre, where attackers took hostages and faced police in a stand-off, which ended Nov. 14.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Azeem said most Muslims are non-violent and, like him, follow the Holy Quran.
Azeem said he believes every word of the text to be true, and pointed out there is not a single place in the Quran that promotes killing people.
In fact, he said quoting part of the text, it’s the exact opposite: “If you kill a single person it’s as if you have killed all of mankind.”
The Ahmadiyya Muslim community is mourning with the rest of the world but Azeem said there is also worry about what Friday’s events might bring to the rest of the Muslims around the world.
He mentioned a recent attack in Peterborough, Ont. Saturday night where someone tried to set a fire in one of the city’s mosques.
Because of such retaliation it makes it more important for the Muslim community to send out the real message of Islam so the rest of the community sees they stand for peace.
“In Canada, overall, the people have been very kind to Muslims. But at the same time we try to give the real picture of Islam to people.”
Those who are close to their local Muslim communities understand Islam teaches peace but Azeem fears people who aren’t familiar with their teachings will develop anti-Islam sentiments after events like the one in Paris.
This makes the job of spreading the true word of Islam more difficult but Azeem said despite this, they will continue to do their job in helping people understand Muslims are against violence.
Azeem said he is praying for the people who were killed in the Paris shootings and hopes God grants patience to those who were injured.
He also hopes the perpetrators are brought to justice as soon as possible.
“We should remember we should be united,” he said.
“We should not be divided at this time as our community lives by the motto: ‘Love for all, hatred for none.’”