2:216. Fighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you. But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And God knows, while you know not.
3:138. This [Qur’an] is a clear statement to [all] the people and a guidance and instruction for those conscious of God. 139. So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] believers.
Imams Sabah Al-Zafar, right, and Mustenser Qamar spoke answered questions about Islam in Nelson.
Muslims hoping to dispel myths and misconceptions about Islam brushed off hostility on the first day of their South Island road show.
Over the afternoon, having arrived in Nelson on Wednesday morning, five people wearing “I’m a Muslim, ask me anything” shirts wandered the streets of Nelson and invited people to sit down over coffee and ask whatever they wanted to know about Islam.
They were met mostly with open curiosity, and refused to let a few incidents of anti-Islamic hate detract from an otherwise “great day”.
Imams Sabah Al-zafar and Mustenser Qamar, based in Hamilton and Wellington respectively, said though they do frequent similar events in the North Island, they wanted to extend their reach with the upcoming anniversary of the March 15 terrorist attack.
Qamar said the North Island events were started after a study found that the more people followed the news, the more anti-Islam beliefs they had. He said it was also an important part of an imam’s job to educate.
“Even though New Zealand is a very safe place, and I still believe that it is, we used to still feel some Islamophobia, so we started these meetings in 2017.
“We thought we would to a special tour [this year] down to Christchurch.”
He said they had intentionally limited numbers for the coffee and chat events, to keep the meetings smaller and more open to discussion.
Over about an hour four people came to find out more about Islam, from questions about the difference between Sunni and Shia to the Muslim population of Hamilton, while three Muslim volunteers walked the town with leaflets.
Their message, “love for all, hate for none”, was not always welcomed. Over the course of the day they were met with intolerance and abuse, but despite this Qamar said it was a “great day”.
“There is no place for Islam in NZ”
Just some of the comments we heard today in Nelson. Thank you to all those who stood with us against the Islamophobe.
Other than that we had a great day with some wonderful #MeetAMuslimNZ sessions over Coffee.
Next stop Blenheim pic.twitter.com/YURwUKra1I
— Mustenser Qamar (@MustenserAQamar) March 11, 2020
Al-zafar said during his time sporting the “ask me anything” shirt, he had faced questions ranging from what sports team he supported through to questions about women’s rights, and several misconceptions about the religion, but the majority of his interactions were positive.
“It’s really mixed questions. Sometimes people are really reluctant to ask, even with the shirt.”
He said the linking of Islam with extremism was one of the most common misconceptions he came across, but was something which went directly against the religion.
“There have always been throughout history elements that exploit religion for their own reasons,” he said.
“The Koran says [in chapter 5, verse 32] that killing one man is tantamount to killing the whole human race.”
ISW edit: [unless they oppose Muslims then they can: be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. [in chapter 5, verse 33]
The general rule of Islam is to kill all who resist submission, and it is blatantly dishonest for anyone to suggest otherwise.]
The next destinations for the tour is Blenheim on Thursday March 12, Kaiapoi on March 13, then Christchurch on March 14. Bookings can be made for a coffee and cake at the True Islam Facebook page.