CT Muslims and ex-Islamophobe unite to counter extremism

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Zahir Mannan photo

Zahir Mannan, Ted Hakey Jr. and Dr. Jeffrey Cohen

Our new brothers Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, Esq. and Ted Hakey Jr., a former marine, are thrilled to join this year’s Jalsa Salana USA alongside myself, Dr. Mohammed Qureshi, our families, and the entire Ahmadiyya Muslim Community CT from Baitul Aman “House of Peace” Mosque in Meriden.

The Ahmadiyya Community USA, the nation’s largest and oldest Muslim organization, will host the 68th annual three-day conference to spiritually rejuvenate Muslim Americans, young and old, rich and poor, male and female.

It would be Cohen’s and Hakey’s first time attending, if Hakey gets the green light from a judge, and would serve as a historic example of interfaith harmony and answer to prayers for not only us, but our fellow Americans as well. A once Islamophobic neighbor who shot at our mosque, Hakey miraculously transformed through prayers, mercy, love, education of true Islam, and support from his friend Cohen.

He now now joins our annual gathering to meet the nationwide membership who are eager to convey greetings of peace and embrace both in brotherhood. They have been hoping to meet and speak to the national, and one day international, Community of Messiah believing Muslims unified under a single spiritual, not political, leader called the Khalifa of Islam.

Jalsa Salana USA is actually the longest running American Muslim conference which aims to reach the true Islam as revealed and preserved in the Holy Quran and practiced by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). We reunite in collective prayer, learn from one another, and teach how to be a model Muslim in today’s world, especially in our beloved country.

The recent despicable attacks in San Bernardino, Orlando, Istanbul, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh and Iraq show how much the world is in darkness about Islam’s true teachings, including so-called Muslims themselves.

Distorted teachings by extremists have promoted fear and misunderstanding worldwide.

In response, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community — peace-loving Muslims who believe the Messiah has returned in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian — has spearheaded a non-sectarian campaign entitled “True Islam and the Extremists.” The campaign to educate others on Islam’s true and essential teachings and provide a living example of the religion of peace is under the guidance of the Khalifa of Islam Mirza Masroor Ahmad.

The goal is to enhance the country’s national security through a proven model that saves people from the path of ignorance and extremism and guides them to moderation and enlightenment.

“We are at a critical point in a conflict-ridden world,” said Dr. Nasim Rehmatullah, National Vice President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA. “The world cries for a solution and we are here to offer that solution through dialogue, education, and community.” Praying together in unison is an essential ingredient for that deliverance.

As a Muslim American who believes the Messiah and Mahdi of our age has already come in the person of Ahmad and in the same fashion Elijah returned metaphorically in the person of John the Baptist at the time of Jesus, I recognize the Lord of all works in powerful ways.

God Himself has assembled His diverse creation in love and on American soil manifesting the true story and illustration of interfaith action via a Roman Catholic Neighbor and former marine, a Jewish doctor and lawyer united with Muslims for loyalty who believe in the Mahdi Messiah.

The Mahdi Messiah has been offering practical solutions for over a century, as does his spiritual Caliph today. Their progressive practice and healing message of nonviolent intellectual jihad, recognition of our Creator, the sacredness of all life, and unbiased service to humanity is reaching hearts and actually changing narratives.

So come with us and feel the love for yourselves at Jalsa Salana USA, the perfect setting to experience true Islam in America. Talk about a peaceful inner revolution for righteousness bearing rhetoric revering fruits.

The educational conference will be presided over by newly elected national President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, Dr. Mirza Maghfoor Ahmad, and held at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA, which virtually becomes our Mosque, from July 29- July 31.

Thousands of Muslim and non-Muslim Americans spanning the country and beyond are expected to participate in the empowering gathering, which is open and free to the public. We can’t wait to reconnect, re-energize and re-equip our spirits with the tools of peace, justice, love and prayer alongside thousands of diverse Muslims and compatriots.

Next stop is the International Annual Convention in the United Kingdom in mid-August were tens of thousands of Ahmadiyya Muslims from all corners of the globe unite in a unique spectacle unseen in any worldly commitments by coming together to refresh our spiritual oath of allegiance to the peace-loving Khalifa of Islam, and promise to live by it.

In a world exuding hatred, strife, and bloodshed, we sorely look forward to being a part of another moving demonstration “love for all, hatred for none,” and hope to bring that promising remedy to the rest of Connecticut.

Zahir Mannan is Internship Director, Head Teacher at The Early Learning Program, Inc. at Central Connecticut State University.

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