"Differences of Faith Should Create Love" - The Reykjavik Grapevine

“Differences of Faith Should Create Love”

Published November 1, 2010

Two representatives of a relatively recent Muslim group in Iceland spoke to Vísir, emphasizing what they consider to be Islam’s real message: peace and love.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Society of Iceland plan to hold a conference in the middle of November to create an interfaith dialogue and to, in the words of spokesman Shakoor Khan, “defeat prejudice.”
He says that a common misconception of Muslims is that they intend to spread their faith by force. “This is not in accordance with the Koran,” he says. “Islam stands for peace, even if many people equate it with something else. This is why we put great emphasis on our slogan: love everyone, hate none.”
Although the Ahmadiyya Muslims, who formed in Iceland in 2008, are not directly connected to other Muslim groups in Iceland, they are on good terms with them. Kahn says he has had an especially good contact with other Icelanders as well.
“When I explain that the image of Islam that has been brought up in the media is wrong, nearly everyone agrees with me,” he says, and adds that he especially enjoys speaking with young Icelanders. “They want to read the Koran. Whether or not they end up adopting the faith is unrelated. But they want to get the information, and read what is written there for themselves.”
When asked about the goal of the conference, he says, “We want to bring people together. That is our goal. People have differences of faith but rather than that inciting hatred, it ought to create love.”

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