Advertisement

Giving Muslims their due

Last week, 41 people were killed and 239 injured in a terrorist attack by ISIS on Turkey's Ataturk Airport in Istanbul. On Sunday, more than 200 people were killed and 175 wounded in an ISIS attack in Baghdad, Iraq.

Fact: ISIS kills mostly Muslims. Terrorists overall kill mostly Muslims. "Between 82 and 97 percent of terrorism-related fatalities" worldwide were committed against Muslims, according to the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center. Yet fatalities due to terrorism in Muslim countries hardly draw any attention from the media, while isolated attacks in the Western world — France and Belgium to name two — lead to great outpourings of sorrow. One can't help but wonder if the only factor for the seeming apathy toward Turkey's and Iraq's victims is Islam.

Advertisement

I, an Ahmadi-Muslim, am a peaceful follower of True Islam (trueislam.com) and a proud American citizen who loves his country. For following my peaceful beliefs, let alone being a normal human being, ISIS would love to kill me if given the chance. Contrary to the distorted picture painted in the media — which is further twisted because of hypocrisy in the "Muslim" World — and contrary to the actions of extremists, my faith, Islam, teaches me to love the U.S.A.

"Love of Country is part of faith," according to The Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. This should not come as a surprise to anyone. I love the U.S.A., my home, more than most, not to mention Baltimore, where I grew up. This is why I wish to point out the reality: Your indifference to Istanbul is so conspicuous. We thought that all human life mattered? Are we wrong?

In the name of morality, fairness, justice and the truth, let's come together and change the narrative on Islam. Let's see what the Ahmadi Muslims and the majority of 1.5 billion peaceful Muslims are doing across the globe, and perceive Islam for what it truly is: a religion of peace, love and goodwill to one's fellow man.

Let's focus on the fact that here in Baltimore, before breaking the fast, hungry Ahmadi Muslim youth made 100 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and dropped them off at Our Daily Bread, a Catholic soup kitchen and employment center. (My dear friends, religions can coexist in peace.) The same hungry, fasting Ahmadi Muslim youth then made another 100 PB&Js to drop off to Catholic Charities. Maybe I should buy a "coexist" bumper sticker? How much coverage did the fasting, hungry Ahmadi Muslims participating in the 4th of July parade in Annapolis, our beloved state's capital, get over the holiday?

Let's pay attention to the fact that one sick, evil person yelling "God is Great (Allahu Akbar)" before blowing himself up gets more attention than 1.5 billion peaceful Muslims saying "God is Great (Allahu Akbar)" numerously throughout the day.

Let's pay attention to the fact that a Baltimore kid through and through, a Gilman school and Johns Hopkins graduate, who's studied, worked, played, and served in the city — and still does — a Ravens and Orioles fan who has been preparing and serving food to his less fortunate "brothers and sisters" in the city for six years since high school and before, is a devout Muslim.

Can we pay attention to the fact that my motivating factor has always been my faith? Given the current bigoted perception of Islam, this is big news.

Adil Agha Khan is a member of the Muslim Writers Guild of America and the Maryland regional general secretary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association; his email is akhan71@jhu.edu.

Advertisement
Advertisement