There's something remarkable taking place in the British countryside this weekend. Tens of thousands of Muslims from over 100 nations worldwide are convening at Jalsa UK to pledge allegiance to His Holiness the Khalifa of Islam, Mirza Masroor Ahmad.
The month of Ramadan is upon Muslims once more. A month described in Islamic literature as better than a thousand months, when Satan is locked in shackles and the doors of Heaven are wide open -- for those who wish to enter.
An Ahmadi Muslim shopkeeper, Mr. Asad Shah, was recently stabbed to death in Glasgow, UK. Mr. Tanveer Ahmad, a Sunni Muslim of Pakistani origin, claimed he committed the act because Asad had "disrespected Islam."
Muslims claim their religion teaches peace, harmony, love and goodness while the actions of some so-called adherents to the faith prove contrary. How can it be that on the one hand, the religion teaches good while some Muslims commit evil?
While I support the chant of 'Je Suis Charlie' to stand for those who lost their lives, I believe that we should use freedom of speech to promote peace and tolerance, not create more conflict and hatred.
You're seven times more likely to be shot by a right wing extremist in the United States than you are to be shot by a Muslim extremist. But I guess facts don't stop many Americans from being deathly afraid of all Muslims.
Imagine a local bookseller in the United States being arrested by the federal government in his own bookstore and being charged with a federal crime. His crime: the sale of books deemed hurtful or hateful to another religious group's beliefs. His punishment: eight years in prison.
We cannot allow the terrorist acts of a few individuals demonize our view of an entire group. The solution is slow but comes down to the simple commitment we each must make to reach out to one another and dialogue.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been leading the peaceful revival of the true Islam for 126 years now and constantly warns the world of the dire consequences of turning away from Godliness and good morals.
We must understand that the only way to defeat the ISIS narrative is by providing a reformist counter-narrative that is based on intellectual honesty and truth. Such a narrative exists. Let us support it, not fight it.
There is another leading figure in the Muslim world, who along with his followers is forging a path of reconciliation in these perilous times. He too is a Khalifa, but the Khilafat he represents is very different to the one of ISIS.
The rise of the educated Ahmadis who profess a pluralistic, peaceful version of Islam is problematic. The power of the Mullah rests on getting people riled up, ready to give their lives for their faith.
I am an American. I have a full-time job in one of Greater Boston's renowned institutions as a medical professional. Yet, I just travelled out of the United States a few days ago to renew my pledge of allegiance to the caliphate.