Transcript of comments made today at the National Press Club by Naseem Mahdi, national vice president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the U.S.:
“We live in an expanding universe but the world is shrinking daily and it is so highly important for us all to discover and follow the paths that lead to peace.
“I am going to make a few brief comments prompted by the recent attempted bombing in New York, but necessitated by much broader considerations.
“Islam condemns terrorism unreservedly and totally.
“The Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, had declared over 120 years ago that there is no place or justification found in Islam for violence whatsoever.
“He said that Islam requires all Muslims to live in peace and harmony wherever they may be.
“It is thus the duty and responsibility of all Muslims living in the U.S. to be loyal to the flag and to be law-abiding citizens.
“It is clear from the events happening all around that a small, fanatic, extremist minority of Muslims has hijacked the faith and continues to mislead and misguide the Muslims and ruin their total life.
“In my considered opinion, such fanatics present a distorted view of Islam based on false and misguided interpretations.
“For example such people say that it is not necessary for a Muslim to follow any non-Islamic government…This is utterly false..
“If the vast majority of reasonable, peace-loving and law-abiding population of Muslims living in the US do not speak out and speak out loudly this will continue and ultimately ruin the lives, economic and social, of all Muslims and the community at large.
“I am calling today on ALL MUSLIMS IN THE U.S. to join me in condemning all actions of violence and terror caused or carried out by anyone whoever he or she may be.
“I call on all of them to boldly claim and express with their tongue and action that they are loyal and law-abiding and obedient citizens of the United States of America.
“This is fully in accord with the teachings of Muhammad, peace be on him, the Holy Founder of Islam, who said that hubbul watanay minal eeman..
“Love of one’s homeland, one’s place of residence, is a part of the Muslim’s faith..
“It is high time that Muslims living in the U.S. wake up to their responsibilities and declare openly and repeatedly and loudly that they stand for peace and loyalty and are proud of it and that this is in fact what Islam itself requires of them.
“Let me end by being totally forthright.
“I say to those among Muslims living in the U.S. who are not loyal or who do not want to be loyal that they are benefiting and enjoying all that this open, free, country has to offer and yet they say that their loyalties are to another country or government.
“I want to say to such people that they are not only living a false and hypocritical life but that they are thus also ungrateful and my advice to them is to be bold and leave and go and live in the lands where their loyalties belong.”