To the neighbor who stopped by: You are the true American Hero!

It was a usual Tuesday afternoon and a few of us were stepping out of our mosque after our evening prayers and after talking to a TV channel who came to get our response on the latest Donald Trump comments about Islam. Someone just drove up and greeted us. “I am a Christian by faith” he introduced himself. He then explained how much he is disturbed by the divisive messages that are in the air these days. He has known Muslims for a long time and has known them to be peace loving people. And he still believes so. “But I am seeing a division being created with people like you on one side and people like me on the other side. And I don’t want to see that” He was quite emotional as he spoke these words.
He suggested we should put out a full page advertisement on the local newspaper stating our position regarding terrorism and the recent shootings and ISIS etc. “You are good people” he said “but people need to know that”. He even offered us $500 of his own money towards the expense of such advertisement.
Mr. Suhail Kausar, President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Dallas Chapter, thanked him for his concern and his love for unity and explained what we are doing. Ever since its inception, for more than 125 years, the community has focused on the real and true message of Islam, which is peace and serving all creations of God. As the oldest Muslim organization in the USA, established in 1920, we have been in the forefront of building bridges of peace and have been involved in humanitarian activities. And in response to the recent shootings in San Bernardino, we had an all faith prayer meeting at our mosque last week, which was covered by many television channels as well. We hold blood drives nationwide every year to practically demonstrate essence of Islamic teachings of saving human lives and so far more than 118,000 lives have been saved with close to 40,000 pints of blood collected.
Upon hearing all this, I could see the person’s eyes were getting watery. We talked further for some more time and agreed that we should talk more and see how we can help each other. We agreed that a lot more need to be done to keep America thriving on its values of freedom and charity.
As he gave us warm hugs before parting, I commented, “Sir, you are a true American Hero”. I really mean it. We all know the sung and unsung heroes who protect us from enemies outside our borders. But we also need heroes who save us from the brewing enemy within – the biggest threat to the American dream, which is the polity based on hate and divisiveness. May God help us be one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. God bless America.
MUHAMMAD RIYAZ
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