By Jessica Gould
More than 5,000 Ahmadi Muslims have come to the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia to celebrate their community and promote their message of peace.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has millions of members across the world. Ahmad Chaudhry is one of them, and he says nonviolence is central to the Ahmadi faith.
"That means that Jihad of the sword is no longer applicable," he says. "Instead, it’s about communicating through words and ideas the peaceful nature of Islam."
That’s why, he says, the theme of the community’s convention this year is Muslims for Peace. It’s also the name of a new campaign, which the community launched after the attempted Times Square bombing in May.
Chaudhry says New York City buses now carry Muslims for Peace posters, and young people have been going door-to-door distributing pro-peace pamphlets.
"The overwhelming majority of Muslims are for peace and are of a peaceful nature," he says. "The radical violent form of Islam that is preached is from a small minority. But I also think it’s time for the moderate Muslims to speak up and take back the true essence of Islam, which is a peaceful nature."
Chaudhry says he expects a similar campaign to hit Washington-area streets sometime soon.