Tackling Islam's Misconceptions

A local Muslim chapter is opening up dialogue around the religion.

EUREKA, Ill. - "It just feels like the faith is being hijacked from us, and it's a scary thought," Najeemdeen Dayisi said.

And those of Muslim faith feel like the hijacking is coming from all sides.

"There are people that are the bad apples. So you would not say one bad apple and the whole orchard as bad," Hanan Shahid said.

He said those bad apples are the extremists carrying out attacks like the ones we saw in Brussels, but there's also the heated rhetoric coming out of this year's presidential race.

"Remember I said we have to do a temporary ban on the Muslims until we find out what's going on, right?" Republican candidate Donald Trump said on the campaign trail.

A local chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community wants to fight back in the only way they know how.

"Create an exhibition to create dialogue and awareness of the holy Quran, which is the holy scripture," Shahid said.

A couple representatives from the mosque spent their Wednesday spreading the Muslim message at Eureka College, and they don't know how to make it any clearer.

"It does not promote violence, it does not promote anything but peace," Shahid said.

He said he's encouraged by the conversation starting in central Illinois.

Aside from this exhibition, the group does a lot of one-on-one meetings to help others understand the religion. And many find it's not too different from Christianity.

"One of the things they find hard to understand is the fact that we have the same roots. We all come from Prophet Abraham and once we explore those roots discussing, 'ok, now tell me more," Dayisi said.

And for those still with questions, Shahid said, just ask.

"Our doors are open at all of our mosques and all of our communities. You are more than welcome to look at who we are."

This is all part of an international movement called True Islam,  which clarifies 11 misconceptions about the religion.


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