Qatar ‘can act as bridge between East and West’

 06 Oct 2016 - 0:59

Qatar ‘can act as  bridge between East and West’
Abdul Hameed Jawad, President, Canadian Muslim Youth Federation, and member of the ruling Liberal Party in Canada, speaking to The Peninsula. Pic: Kammutty VP / The Peninsula

By Mohammed Iqbal / The Peninsula

DOHA: The Canadian Muslim Youth Federation based in Canada, is seeking support from Qatari youth forums in introducing Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance to the Western community in general and the Canadian society in particular.
Abdul Hameed Jawad, President of the federation and a member of the ruling Liberal Party in Canada, is on a visit to Qatar to share views and experiences with Qatari youth organisations. 
Jawad is also a member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, chaired by prominent Qatar-based Islamic scholar Dr. Yousuf Al Qaradawi.
“We want to share our experiences with organisations taking care of youth in Qatar. At the same time, we want to explain the reality of Islam as a religion of peace, love and respect to the Westerners. What is going on now in some Arab and Islamic countries does not represent Islam or Muslims,” Jawad said in an interview with The Peninsula. “We as Canadian Muslims like to have strong relationship with our neighbours and our government and we want to exercise the freedom of religion in our country in a nice way,” he added.
Jawad believes that Qatar, with its wise and moderate policies, can act as bridge between the East and the West. “I hope relations between Qatar and Canada would continue and strengthen further. Qatar can play a great role as bridge between eastern and Western countries, especially in this situation (of conflict and turmoil),” he said.
He said the Liberal Party led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that wiped out the Conservative party from power in the last elections has fulfilled its promises to the Canadian Muslim community.
“We have been telling the Muslim community in Canada that Islam is a religion of peace and co-existence and we are part of the Canadian society. We must explain our beliefs to the Canadian society in general. The Muslim community started working with the new Prime Minister during the elections and we gave a strong support. He (the Prime Minister) did what he promised to the Muslims. He welcomed 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada,” said Jawad.
He said there are over 10 Muslim members in parliament and one Muslim woman is a minister. He feels that the peace-loving, multi-cultural Canadian society is not negatively influenced by incidents in the Arab/Islamic world and the resulting media campaign against Islam and Muslims. The impact of Islamophobia is limited to very few areas, he added.
“We try our best to resist the negative media campaign and explain the reality of Islam to the Canadians. We have a lot of Islamic scholars who participate in popular TV programmes. We also use the Internet and social media for this purpose,” said Jawad.