Islamic Circle Of North America (ICNA) Sisters Edmonton group has put up a billboard at 106 Avenue and 101 Street in Edmonton emphasizing that Islam is a religion of peace, encouraging those with questions about Muslim people to contact them directly so they can work to dispel hateful misconceptions after anti-Muslim pamphlets have been delivered to Edmonton doorsteps.
By Claire Theobald, Edmonton Journal
An Islamic women’s group is hoping a new billboard will encourage Edmontonians to meet their Muslim neighbours.
“We have been trying to combat misconceptions about Islam. Lots of people are misinformed, and there are some negative stereotypes about Islam which we, as practising Muslims, don’t see,” said Afshan Fatima, with the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Sisters Edmonton. “For us, it is all about serving God through serving humanity.”
The billboard, located at 106 Avenue and 101 Street, reads “Muslims condemn all violence,” with a quote from the Qur’an: “To save a life is to save all humanity,” encouraging those who see it to contact the ICNA for more information.
“If you have any questions, ask us rather than asking others,” said Fatima. “When you go to people who practice the faith, you get the correct answers, you get the correct message and it really goes a long way to dispel misconceptions.”
The ICNA sisters have already been active in community outreach, organizing community events to meet with and talk to those interested in learning more about what Muslim people believe, but said their work is even more important after anti-Muslim flyers started appearing in mailboxes in Edmonton.
“Ignorance breeds hatred, so we are trying to inform people so there is more communication between us and more harmony between peoples,” said Fatima, adding that Islam is, above all, a religion of peace.
“To the individual people, there is nothing in Islam that says you have to kill innocent people or that it is good to kill innocent people. In the contrary, it protects general humanity, it protects people, and it says it is better to save lives than to take lives,” Fatima said.
Those interested in learning more about Islam, or for free educational materials or copies of the Qur’an, may call ICNA at 1-800-662-4752.
Article Courtesy: Edmonton Journal