In February, a few anti-Islam groups are gathering in Sydney and Melbourne for an expensive dinner in the name of protecting freedom of speech. They will argue that Islam is on the rise and is extending its oppressive rule across the country. As a Muslim belonging to the Ahmadiyya Community, I disagree that Islam is an oppressive religion.

On the contrary, Islam teaches Muslims to show love, respect and honour for mankind. In his final address to all Muslims, the Prophet Muhammad said that God has made the lives, property, and honour of every man sacred. This is the true message of Islam that I and my fellow Ahmadi Muslims will be displaying throughout the new year.

We condemn every act of terror made in the name of our religion or any religion. On Australia Day this month, we will proudly raise the Australian flag at our mosques We will be inviting non-Muslims to our mosques for a complimentary BBQ, lunch, and dinner to celebrate the freedom and peace this great country has graciously bestowed on us.