Restoring the Sacred

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Never too Late: A Muslim Speaks Out Against Radical Islam

Just when it seemed it would never happen, a prominent Muslim has decided it was time someone who practices the Muslim faith, and believes in the Koran, took a public stance against the radicals who have hijacked their religion and used it as an excuse for violence against non-Muslims.

That's Naseem Mahdi, the national vice president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. He spoke at the National Press Club yesterday, and condemned radical Muslim fanatics who are violating the basic beliefs of the Muslim faith.

Here are some of his remarks to Fox News about why he decided to speak out.

It was painful for me but I had to say what I said yesterday. You see, for a very long time, a small minority of Muslim clerics, they have hijacked the faith of Islam. It's not a problem of Muslims, it's universal, it's an international problem. I consider Islam the most beautiful religion because it teaches us to live in harmony with Christians and Jews. And when I see these people promoting hatred, I feel pain in my heart. That is painful to me. And what I said was not a pleasure to say because, a vast majority of Muslims are moderate, peace loving and abiding by the laws of the countries they live in. And they are being labeled as if they are all fanatics.

The second point I highlighted in my talk on Tuesday is loyalty to homeland. And this is not, I repeat, a political statement of mine. This is my religious duty. This is my faith. That we should be loyal to the country we live in. The Prophet Mohammed has said love of homeland is part of faith. So how could I think otherwise. If I live in the United States this is my religious duty. This is painful to me -- that people are living in the most beautiful country in the world, getting all of its benefits and then they are saying they are not loyal to this country? That's not only against religion, it's against common courtesy.

To read the rest of his remarks about his speech and a transcript of his speech at the National Press Club, go here.

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