A Saskatoon Muslim group is reaching out in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.
Noman Hassan and Wajaht Ahmad were among members of the Ahmadiy’ya Muslim Students’ Association who spent most of Wednesday on campus promoting an inter-faith dialogue event and making themselves available to answer questions about their faith.
“It’s very important, because the only other way (people) are getting information about what Muslims are is through the media – and it’s not a very good picture of us in the media right now,” said Ahmad.
Hassan said his reaction was similar to many others when the first reports of the Paris attacks started coming in.
“It was definitely a cause of anger, or devastation moreso, as to ‘why is this happening?'”
But he said the horrible events also left him feeling as though he had a responsibility as a Muslim-Canadian.
“But then again, it is an opportunity for us to educate as many people as possible so that we can create that peace and harmony and better understand each other, and that is one of the Canadian values that we are proud of,” he said.
Ahmad said efforts to get out and connect with people will only become more important as Saskatoon sees more and more people come to live here from abroad.
“We’re a loving community. We want to create social harmony between different groups. Saskatoon has many different cultures, many different religions and it’s a growing city. We’re trying to provide a platform for people to come, have a dialogue, meet people and get to know them, so we can have a more peaceful society,” he said.
Ahmad added that he wanted people to understand that the actions of terrorists like those that attacked innocent people in Paris don’t reflect his religion.
“The word Islam means ‘peace’ and we believe in a God that is a peaceful and loving God. And, you know, for me to do a bad action, I can’t do it, because I know I’ll be answering to that God and facing that God,” he said.