By Wadood Janud, The Age, July 23, 2022

SYDNEY - One morning when we tuned in, instead of these kids’ classics, we saw two buildings burning.

It was Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The Islam I had loved and practised my whole life was suddenly associated with horrible things. This inspired me to choose a path where I could show the beauty of this faith to my fellow Australians.

One of the most remarkable things I learned in those years was that the commonalities of world faiths outweigh the differences.

For Muslims, this is fundamental. A Muslim can only be a Muslim if he believes in every single prophet and messenger of God, not just the biblical prophets but also the founders of Hinduism, Buddha and Zoroaster among others.

In recent years, Islamophobia has gripped society, leading to discrimination and abuse. Over the years, I have personally experienced hatred and vandalism at my Bait-us-Salam (House of Peace) Mosque in Langwarrin.

In the early hours of June 19, as my wife and two young children slept on the ground floor, my mosque upstairs was attacked by a gang of 12 intruders. Police have charged eight men, aged 18 to 62, with burglary and trespass.

The Koran tells us that the first condition of seeking divine help is patience. However, showing patience and restraint after such an event is easier said than done. We knew we needed to respond the way the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has always done, with the sincere belief that all forms of ignorance can be countered through education. So once again we opened our doors for Mosque Solidarity Day and invited people from all walks of life to our spiritual sanctuary.