True Islam campaign discerns peaceful religion from extremists’ distortion

Caleb Beck

Paranoia towards the Islamic faith in Western culture has led to a blurred perception of the fine line between non-violent Muslims and religious extremists like ISIS.

The True Islam campaign met in Loyola University’s Saint Charles Room on Tuesday, April 12 to define the peaceful tenets of Islamic teaching and to contrast them with the distorted views of terrorism that directly feed on the confusion.

Primary speaker Mobashir Solangi addressed the substantial Muslim population in the United States, and offered a mission statement for the True Islam campaign.

“More than three million Muslims are living in the United States as doctors, lawyers and engineers,” Solangi said. “Once the misconceptions and misunderstandings can be removed, we can reach harmony.”

A series of videos were played to highlight what the Quran deems as true within the Muslim faith. Among these declarations are the beliefs in a non-violent jihad, the equality and education of women, freedom of religion and speech, and separation of mosque and state.

Representing the FBI, Jeffrey Sallet, Special Agent in Charge, took the podium to speak for the government’s support for a clear perception of the Muslim faith while defending the country from the threat of radicals.

“Your religion is not about hate,” Sallet said. “Your religion is about peace.”

Mubasher Ahmad, a member of Ahmadiyya Muslim, spoke in disbelief of the warped morality of the extremists, which he explained stems from inconsistent Muslim leadership.

“The very word Islam means submission to the will of God, or peace,” Ahmad said. “How could the prophet Muhammed, who was very influential on a secular and religious level, support hatred?”

Kenneth Polite, U.S. Attorney, explained his plans to work with the True Islam campaign to fight back against ignorance towards the faith.

“Groups like ISIS perpetuate falsehoods to try to engage America in a war with Islam,” Polite said. “By the end of the month we will be instituting training sessions with the help of the FBI across Southeast Louisiana to instruct how to identify acts of terror and how to
respond promptly.”

The universal ideal that exists at the core of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community is simple and utopian: “love for all, hatred for none.”