I believe in love for all, hatred for none

Qasim Rashid - Richmond, Virginia
Entered on August 3, 2010

I am a Muslim. I believe in peace. I believe in love for all, hatred for none.

Though I was born in Pakistan, a country that persecutes me only because I am a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, I believe that experiencing this reality taught me that I needn’t wait to receive peace to give peace. For example, last May in Lahore, Pakistan, when terrorists brutally murdered 86 members of my faith, I believe that my peaceful response of the pen was the only acceptable response. I believe that the world appreciates the fact that I am a writer, not a fighter.

I believe that my purpose in this life is to do everything in my power to stop the persecution of any person of any faith. I believe that the Qur’an’s guidance and Prophet Muhammad’s example give me the necessary tools to make this belief a reality. I believe that both declare and demonstrate that there is no compulsion in religion, and that freedom of conscience must reign free.

I believe that extremists have hijacked Islam, and I, as a Muslim, have unfortunately let them. I believe that this is my failure, and for this I owe my fellow non-Muslims an apology. Indeed, I am sorry. Looking forward, I believe that at this time in our world when Islam has a deplorable reputation, I can be the voice of comfort and reason to my fellow non-Muslims. I believe I can assure them that Islam forbids violence, terrorism, or coercion. I believe that I can continue to demonstrate this not through words alone, but through actions.

I believe that I can declare to mankind with a louder voice and from a higher mountain that enough is enough! I believe I can win Islam back from the hands of extremists and once again make it a religion of comfort and prosperity. I believe that mankind is waiting for me to do so, and is willing to respond to such a reasonable and sincere embrace.

I believe that I am in a battle, not of land, power, or control, but of the hearts and the minds. I believe in the words of my mentor who said, ‘Swords can win territories but not hearts, force can bend heads by not minds.’ I believe that as a Muslim who believes in the Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, I will win this battle because I believe in peace. Because, I believe in love for all, hatred for none.