As a proud Ahmadi Muslim from western Sydney, I was born in a majority Muslim country (Pakistan).

Over time, the extremists and politicians passed special laws to target my community. Still, I’m not allowed to call myself a Muslim, I can’t greet anyone using ‘Asalam-o-Alikum’ (peace be upon you) and if I do, I can be imprisoned for three years. I can’t call my mosque a mosque or do anything that other Muslims do.

Why? Because my community teaches me “Love for All, Hatred for None” and extremists don’t want us to ‘love all’ but they want the people to hate those whom they don’t like.

I’m lucky to call Australia my only home because Australia has provided me with all I could have ever dreamed of.

I’ll do whatever I can to protect Australian values of justice, respect, equality, freedom of religion and speech because this makes Australia the best country in the world.

Happy Australia Day to all.

Aqeel Ibraheem,
Blacktown,  NSW

Direct Link: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/ct-letters/help–clear-up-australia-day-confusion-20170125-gtypog.html