SHAFAQNA – The Muslim Youth Association is going to hold 100 Holy Quran Exhibitions across Canada as part of the Islam Understood campaign.
A number of Muslim youth will be canvassing Collingwood neighbourhoods on Sunday as part of a campaign to teach others about Islam.
They will be joined by thousands of others who will fan out across 65 towns across Canada in addition to core downtown intersections in major Canadian cities.
“In light of our teachings we are going to reach out to as many Canadians as possible,” said Imam Farhan Iqbal, a spokesperson with the Muslim Youth Association. “We are going to canvass these towns and knock on doors, deliver flyers and get people engaged in conversations about Islam.”
Iqbal said the idea of the canvassing is to remove misconceptions and false notions people may have about the religion of Islam, especially in light of a recent rise in anti-Islamic rhetoric in North America and abroad.
“As Canadians we like to believe we are very tolerant and to a large extent that is true,” said Iqbal. “The recent attack on a mosque in Quebec City I think reminds us that there are people who are extremists and are less tolerant, even in Canada.”
On Jan. 30, a mass shooting during evening prayer at the Centre culturel islamique de Quebec, left six men dead and many others injured. Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, was charged with six counts of first-degree murder.
Iqbal said the youth with the association want to reach out to others and remove false ideas of Islam they may have.
“The word Islam means peace, the everyday greeting among Muslims is as-salamu alaykum, which means peace be upon you, so in light of that we want to deliver that message that Islam is a peaceful, tolerant religion,” said Iqbal. “Islamic values are not very different than Canadian values.”
Iqbal said it is important to educate others that extremists who carry out attacks in the name of Islam are not following the real teachings of the religion.
“They have other motivations, but religion is not what motivates them to do what they are doing,” said Iqbal.
The youth association, which will be in other towns and communities including Barrie, Orillia and Owen Sound will deliver their flyer, which will provide information including a phone number and website where more information can be found. If someone wants to engage in a conversation with the youth they will be willing to do so, Iqbal said.
The youth association has held events in Collingwood in the past, including open houses at the Collingwood Public Library. Another part of the Islam Understood campaign is to hold 100 Holy Quran exhibitions across Canada.
“The idea is to reach out to as many Canadians as possible,” said Iqbal.
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