SASKATOON – Many believe the aftermath of recent terrorist attacks in Jakarta, San Bernadino and Paris have left a wake of “Islamophobia” in Canada. In response to these attacks, the Ahmadiyya Muslim community has started a national campaign called ‘Demystify Islam’.
“What they see on TV and other outlets they are miscarried and they are misinformed about Islam,” Ahmadiyya Muslim Imam Khalid Minhas said.
During the campaign, the community will hold over 130 open houses and make almost 300 visits to 35 towns across Canada. By engaging the public in peaceful discussions and education, the Muslim community is hoping to prevent future hate crimes.
“Give them the opportunity to meet a Muslim person, have a conversation over coffee and get to know each other and realize Islam is all about peace,” media spokesperson Noman Hassan said.
“After clarifying their misconceptions they were actually very surprised that ‘this isn’t what we heard. This is very contrary to what we’ve known so far,'” Minhas added.
John Butcher, a Martensville resident, came to the open house Saturday and said it was the perfect opportunity to get the facts for himself.
“I think some people are pretty nervous, we’ve heard a lot of bad news. There have been politicians who have said bad things. It’s better to come to this and actually get the facts. Find out what people really believe,” Butcher said.
The Demystify Islam campaign will continue throughout 2016. The community says their next stop is Warman, Sask.