The Muslim community in the region has been very vocal lately, writing letters to Newsday and amNewYork condemning the Paris shootings and the pre-Christmas hostage-taking in Sydney, Australia. At a time when there are calls for Muslims to speak out against a fringe,it's heartening to hear from followers of Islam that they're worried about terrorism done in the name of religion.
From our readers:
When I think about the 10 staff members and two police officers shot to death at the office of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, I realize that I am a lot of things ["A U.S. blunder in terror fight," Editorial, Jan. 13]. I am an attorney who believes very strongly in the freedom of speech. I am a comedian who believes that telling the truth through comedy is a powerful tool. I am a Muslim who loves Muhammad and dislikes those who kill when their feelings are hurt. And I am also sad.
People are dead, scores of family members and friends have had their hearts ripped out, and a nation grieves. The Long Island Ahmadiyya Muslim Community condemns this attack. We pray for those affected by this tragedy and will continue to work to ensure this does not happen in our communities.
Salaam Bhatti, Bay Shore
Editor's note: The writer is a spokesman for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA in Amityville.
After the horrific events in Paris, most of the Muslim world has stood united in its theological interpretation concerning freedom of speech and expression ["How sincere is 'Je Suis Charlie'?" Opinion, Jan. 13].
The cover of this week's edition of French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, shows a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad, sad and conciliatory and holding the banner cry of "Je Suis Charlie." Columnist Cathy Young in her op-ed makes a cogent point that cartoonists also do restrict themselves from ugly stereotypes.
Regardless, Muslims in general desist from drawing pictures or portraits of prophets, even if it's out of sincere love for them. Caricature has a unique place and function in conveying views, but everything is not fair game.
Khullat Alladin, Syosset
Editor's note: The writer is a member of the ladies auxiliary executive board of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community/Long Island chapter.
As I reflect on the horrific attacks on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, I realize that this incident would not have happened if the "Muslim" terrorists knew the meaning of being a Muslim. As a teenager who is learning about Islam, I understand that it's a religion of peace. Islam teaches that the taking of human life is a grave sin.
Compassion is the foundation of religion. Nowhere is it written in the Holy Quran or in any sayings of the prophet Muhammad that mockery is a crime punishable by death. In fact, when people made snide comments about Muhammad in his day, he would stop his companions from attacking them.
Had these "Muslim" terrorists learned Islam from the original sources like the Quran and the sayings of Muhammad, they would not have dared commit such atrocities.
Nabila Kermani, Jamaica
In the holiday season, how must a person feel when one moment he or she is happily purchasing gourmet chocolate, and the next taken hostage and forced to hold up what is believed to be an Islamic State group flag ?
Because of such militant groups, more youth around the world are becoming radicalized. As a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association USA, I recognize this concern and strongly condemn such activities, including the hostage crisis in Australia.
My organization has taken steps to curb this radicalization, such as a symposium in New York City entitled "Islamic Solutions to Muslim Youth Radicalization." United Nations delegates from several countries attended.
With the future in the hands of our youth, we need to come together to deal with these misunderstandings of Islam. The Islamic State group is wrong. Its ideas are un-Islamic. And our youth need to be educated about that.
Niaz Ahmed, Vestal