By Anna Skinner
Muzaffar Ahmad, a speaker with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, and Dr. David Carlson, a religious studies professor at Franklin College, presented “ISIS is not Islam” May 16 at the Carmel Clay Public Library.
Ahmad spoke first, explaining the points of what he calls True Islam.
“The message I’m trying to convey is that Islam is a religion of peace, just like Christianity is a religion of peace and Judaism and Buddhism and any other religion,” he said. “My desire and my passion is to speak and talk to people and tell them that Islam is not related to extremism.”
Ahmad detailed the history of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which began in India in 1889. It is the largest International Muslim organization under one leader.
“Extremists distort the teachings of Islam, so there’s a need to define Islam’s true teachings, which is what we call True Islam,” Ahmad said.
The Amadiyya Muslim Community has spread to 207 nations. To learn more on the 11 points of True Islam, visit trueislam.com.
Carlson presented a detailed history on terrorists claiming to be operating through Islamic teachings.
“I can’t take away the fear of this group, but I can take away some of the misunderstanding about it,” Carlson said.
He spoke about the differences between Sunni and Shi’a Muslims. Approximately 85 percent of all Muslims are Sunni, including members of ISIS. The terrorist group has lashed out in violence against Shi’a Muslims, who have different views of the prophet Mohammad.
“To understand the rage of this group, we have to go back to 100 years ago,” Carlson said, explaining that World War I helped lead to the start of terrorist groups in the Middle East.
For more on Carlson, visit franklincollege.edu/davidcarlson.