The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Baltimore’s 4th of July Parade in Dundalk was one of three that they participated in this year in the month of Ramadan. Hungry, fasting Muslims went out and marched in these parades not caring for their own condition, and instead only wishing to show patriotism and love of their country. It was the Holy Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (Peace and Blessings of God be upon him) who taught that love of one’s country is part of faith.
We were invited to the Dundalk parade by Senator Cardin. We accepted, not out of of any political alliance, but out of good will, and as an expression of friendship. In a time when other groups are plagued by an unIslamic mixing of mosque and state, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a purely religious, non-political sect of Islam.
For the most part we were met by our brothers and sisters from Dundalk with much love. Of course, we held only “Love for All Hatred for None” in our hearts, as is our motto. However, the reality of today’s growing atmosphere of Islamophobia also reared its ugly head. While turning one corner, we were greeted by a man on the sidelines with a megaphone who, upon seeing us Muslims with American flags, July 4th regalia, and prayer hats said, “What the —- is this?!”. To this, a young member of the Muslim parade group simply smiled at him and said, “God Bless You”- To which the man replied, “You don’t know anything about God” .
Consistent with or teachings, and the example of the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon him) we proceeded on with dignity. Because we are human we felt the bruise of hatred, in that moment, but because we are Ahmadi Muslims we accept such small indignities as the price we are willing to pay to give action to our faith. We returned his sentiments towards us with Love and Prayers and an greater conviction to be there next year to give and take even more if needs be.