Titled, I’m a Muslim- Ask me anything, the goal of the seminar is to break down barriers in the community and inform residents about Islam.
Maqbool Sheikh, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at director of advocacy and public relations, MC’d the forum, while Imam Muhammad Afzal Mirza, also with the congregation, was the main panellist.
“The idea of this whole program was really to reach out to the community and offer an opportunity for fellow Miltonians to come and ask questions on Muslims, as opposed to extremists. There is a lot of misinformation out there in the world,” said Sheikh.
“We’re hoping it is a safe, friendly environment where (residents) feel comfortable enough to ask any questions.”
Those who believe in the “true spirit of faith” do not cater to violence because religion begins with human beings, Mirza explained.
There are just more than one million Muslims in Canada, he said, and if one of them becomes a “bad apple,” they garner negative media coverage that can fuel misconceptions.
The imam took queries on United States President Donald Trump’s handling of immigrant children separated from their families at the border, as well as the American Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the president’s travel ban on predominately Muslim-majority countries.
Mirza believes Trump’s plans for both issues will backfire, but, in particular, the travel ban will be ineffective against people from entering the country.
“Maybe he just wants to win some popularity contest in the world and say, ‘I’m a tough guy. I did what I said.’ So far, I don’t see much happening with what he promised to the world or to his own people.”