June 12, 2016 will be remembered in the history of America as a devastating and sad day for a very long time to come.
This is the day when hatred filled a young man, Omar Mateen, inspiring him to kill dozens of his fellow human beings and injure many others.
Mateen is reported to have pledged allegiance to ISIS prior to committing this act, reminding us of the dangers the world faces from this deviant group and their ideology that has, unfortunately, spread far.
This perverted group of Muslims has caused the deaths of more Muslims than any other faith group.
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As moderate Muslims, we will always speak against the acts of these lunatics and will not allow them to represent us.
They can call themselves Muslims, but their actions can never be Islamic. The Quran teaches that taking an innocent life is as if you have killed all mankind (5:33).
One may not agree with another person’s way of life, just as they may not agree with yours, but no one has the right to kill anyone due to their way of life or belief. This is what Islam teaches.
Barely a week ago, Americans remembered the life of a true American Muslim, Muhammad Ali, who like many Muslims lived by the true teachings of the Quran and the life and example of the prophet Muhammad.
He unequivocally condemned the acts of these terrorists.
True Islam requires that we engage in acts of worship in this holy month of Ramadan and abstain from all indecency.
The Prophet Muhammad said, “If anyone of you is fasting, let him not utter obscenities or act in an ignorant manner and if anyone insults him or wants to fight with him, let him say, I am fasting.”
So even arguing with someone in this holy month is undesirable, let alone pulling a gun to kill dozens of people. Mateen definitely acted against the teachings of the Quran and what the Prophet of Islam taught.
As Muslims, in addition to rejecting the actions of such deviants among us, we have to take steps to rectify these anomalies. Leadership plays a key role in this regard.
This is the reason why the Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the largest Muslim organization united under a single Imam, has discussed the solution to this problem at every opportunity that comes his way everywhere he goes around the world.
Condemning the actions of these vicious people, he recently stated, “We can all see how satanic influences are leading to brutality and murder. Innocent people are being slaughtered and the perpetrators claim they will be rewarded with place in heaven.”
All these wicked murderers who claim to be Muslims are often members of some mosque, and hence Muslim leaders of various mosques across the country need to intensify their clear rejection of terrorism and take steps to teach the youth about true Islam.
As the Ahmadiyya Muslims Community in America, we constantly engage our youth in this regard and are the leading voice in rejecting criminals who claim to be Muslims.
We must come together as a nation, stand in solidarity with each other against violence in any form or shape and work toward defeating the evil intentions of these terrorists, at home and abroad.
Prejudice and bigotry will solve nothing.
Kwabena Osman MD of Henderson is vice president of Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA)-Fort Worth.