Terror attack prompts NZ Muslims to speak out

NZ Muslims are offering clarity on the Islam faith to show it does not condone terrorism. Photo:...
NZ Muslims are offering clarity on the Islam faith to show it does not condone terrorism. Photo: NZ Herald

Muslims in New Zealand say increasing misconceptions about their religion have pushed them to take action.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has organised Wellington's first ever Quran Exhibition for May 6, which will explicitly discuss whether their religion condones or condemns terrorism.

As well as the exhibit there will be three 30 minute seminars, to allow people to ask questions.

Muslim imam Mustenser Qamar said the Quran strongly condemned terrorism, but not everybody realised that.

"There's no form of terrorism allowed in Islamic teachings," he said

"These people, I like to call them 'so-called muslims', because they're not acting on Islamic teachings.

"It's very unfortunate that this is being done in the name of our religion, and it's very unfortunate that we have to go out to tell people, this is not actually in our name."

Even in New Zealand, Mr Qamar said there were "increasing misunderstandings".

"Often people just judge Islam according to what they hear in the media.

"Last year, you might have heard about a Muslim community that bought some land for an Islamic centre in the South Island.

"Some people showed their hatred by throwing a pig carcass there.

"There were anti-Muslim leaflets distributed through Whanganui as well, last year."

Mr Qamar said that it was important to reach out to people and bridge the gap, rather than waiting for the misunderstandings to increase.

He hoped the event would stop the judgment of Muslim people based on the actions of a few.

The Quran Exhibition is being held on May 6, from 10am-4pm, at the Thistle Hall Gallery.

Thirty minute seminars will be held at 10.30am, 1pm, and 3pm.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is also still running its Meet a Muslim initiative, which allows people to ask for a meeting to have their questions answered.

Anyone with further questions about Islam can call 0800 Y ISLAM (0800 947526) to talk to someone.

Five people died in a terror attack in London last week.

A British-born man drove his car into people on Westminster Bridge, before stabbing a police officer.

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