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Identity & Community

American Muslim Group Condemns Violence, Celebrates America on Independence Day

As people set off fireworks, wave flags and eat their American flag-decorated cake this Fourth of July, a group of American Muslims is doing some of the same things — with an added message — that their religion is a peaceful one and they are also patriotic Americans.

“We want to spread the message of loyalty to the United States of America, and we want to debunk the myth that Muslims do not stand for peace and justice,” said Adnan Ahmed, Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Pittsburgh.

On Friday, the Fourth of July, all 73 chapters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA will join their communities for parades, picnics and other events. In Pittsburgh, the Ahmadiyya community will host a dinner event with the theme “Muslims for Loyalty.”

“This campaign will raise awareness that there is a Muslim community who actively preach and practice peace and justice and loyalty to their country,” Ahmed said.

Ahmed acknowledged the ongoing issues around the world in places such as Iraq, Syria and Pakistan.

“Unfortunately, wherever terrorism is happening, Muslims are to be blamed for that,” he said. “That has nothing to do with Islam, first of all. These are local, tribal wars and people are using, and different terrorist groups are using the name of Islam because this is an easy commodity to sell.”

Ahmed said Islam is a peaceful religion. The Ahmadiyya Music Community USA was founded in 1920. It’s a reformist movement that believes the messiah has come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) of Qadian, India. The community believes God sent Ahmad to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstate morality, justice and peace.

The “Muslims for Loyalty” dinner is free and open to all in the community. It starts at 8 p.m. at 747 South Ave. in Pittsburgh.