Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Takes Message of Peace to the Doorstep

Group going door-to-door with a direct message about faith

ByABC News
September 2, 2010, 11:01 AM

Sept. 9, 2010— -- A controversial new ad on New York City's buses depicts a plane flying toward the Twin Towers and the words "Why There?" over a rendering of the proposed Islamic community center two blocks from Ground Zero.

Yet, that same fleet is also running an ad seemingly in contradiction. "Muslims for Peace," it proclaims, on a hundred buses throughout the city.

As debate intensifies over the lower Manhattan location, a cabbie is stabbed in an apparent hate crime, and members of a church plan to burn copies of the Koran on Sept. 11, a Muslim group is going door to door across the country with a direct message about faith.

Along with the bus ads, members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community have handed out about 250,000 "Muslims for Peace" brochures in locations as diverse as Michigan's Rochester Hills suburb, a busy street corner in San Francisco, and a state fair in Wisconsin.

"A minority have hijacked the message of Islam," said Naseem Mahdi, national vice president of the community. "The vast majority of Muslims are peaceful."

The message in the two-page, double-sided brochure is conveyed with the imagery of a dove, the word "terrorism" crossed out and a verse from the Koran: "Whosoever killed a person ... It shall be as if he had killed all mankind." A toll-free number and Web link is included as well.

This distribution is one among several outreach efforts by many Muslim groups, including open houses at mosques, community service projects planned for Sept. 11, and a public service announcement launched just this week featuring Muslims of diverse backgrounds. Three more PSA launched last week, one of which features Muslim first responders of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.