CERTAIN deeds of some Muslim groups, which are contrary to the teachings of Islam and which are committed in its name, portray Islam in a bad light.
That was the word from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at Fiji on the occasion of Prophet Mohammed's Birthday on Monday.
Subsequent to the misdeeds of some Muslim believers, opponents of Islam try to find faults and means to defame the religion, national president Fazal Ullah Tariq said in his closing address at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at Fiji in Samabula.
"The Muslims who carry out such misdeeds have given so much ammunition to the anti-Islamic groups that they are taking advantage of this and using the media to project Islam in the wrong light," he said.
Mr Tariq said it was unfortunate that certain so-called Islamic groups, and certain others, had portrayed Islam in such a way that the faith comprised people of uncivilised, extremist and aggressive nature.
"Just hearing the name of Islam leads to an impression of swords, bombings and suicide attacks.
"It is our claim that the Ahmadiyya community alone presents the real picture of Islam to the world today," he said.
Mr Tariq said a major allegation laid against Islam is that it was spread by the sword.
"There were very few wars for religious purposes and those that were fought were done so out of a state of necessity. And whilst the Holy Qur'an permits the use of arms to defend against the enemy, it gives reasons for this," he said.
In his closing address in Suva earlier this week, Mr Tariq said the average man on the street did not question or query what he was told, and was given to presume that the propaganda against Islam must be true.
He thanked guests at the gathering for attending for reasons which included their good impression of the Muslim community.
"Your presence shows that, irrespective of differences of religion, you have come here to maintain good relations and share human values," Mr Tariq said.
Speaking about the age of fast communication and electronic media which was upon us, Mr Tariq said in the modern world, one did not have to go to too much trouble to assess the true nature, manners and conduct of any peoples.
"In other words, a secret is no longer a secret. At the very least, there is nothing hidden about the character of a people or a nation, and in fact, through very little research all becomes easily apparent," Mr Tariq said.
From a religious point of view, those who spread evil have a stronger effect than those who incline others to goodness, he said.
"Here, the majority of people disregard this, and unfortunately, the number of such people who do not honour religion or their Creator is on the increase
"And that is why God sends His prophets and chosen people to the world, to highlight the evil ways of mankind and to draw people towards good deeds," he said.
Mr Tariq said Islam did not permit bloodshed in the name of religion or any form of extremism.
"The words and deeds of those who are rightly guided speak for themselves. They need no force to spread their faith," he said.
And the people whose hearts are not won over take their revenge when the opportunity arises and, whilst remaining within the faith, they fail to offer any sacrifices, Mr Tariq pointed out.