Frasat Ahmad, USA
Today we mark the 20th anniversary of a truly sombre day in American history. On this day, an evil and vicious terrorist attack was perpetrated by scoundrels who have been condemned and disowned by all decent and peace-loving Muslims, especially members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. I condemn the attacks and my prayers are with all of the victims and their families.
The memory of that day still haunts me. I can hear the exact words.
‘A plane just crashed into the Twin Towers!’
Silence immediately fell upon my 7th grade class as our teacher shared this news. Minutes later, we found out another plane had crashed into the Towers. As I sat mere miles away from Ground Zero, I peered across the river helplessly as black smoke engulfed my city. Little did I know that the black smoke would also taint my religion.
In the days, months, and years after, I was bombarded with questions about Islam.
‘Why do your people hate us?’
‘Does Islam really encourage bloodshed?’
‘Why don’t you Muslims condemn 9/11?’
20 years later, I and my fellow Muslim Americans are still presumed guilty of the heinous crime that is 9/11.
Those who presume us guilty perhaps have no idea that that the bulk of the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims find militant Islamist groups despicable. Most prominent among them, the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community have vigorously denounced all terrorist attacks committed in the name of Islam, including 9/11.
The Worldwide Head of the Community, His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) has traversed continents, met with world leaders, and has spoken to international bodies about Islam’s true and peaceful teachings, and has declared:
‘The evil acts conducted by extremists claiming to be Muslims, have nothing to do with the real teachings of Islam…The very meaning of ‘Islam’ is peace, security and giving a guarantee of protection against all forms of harm and evil.’
Time and again, he has reiterated the same message of peace:
‘The question cannot even arise in the heart of a true Muslim that he should bear enmity, ill-will or hatred towards any of God’s Creation.’
His Holiness derives this message of universal peace directly from the Holy Qur’an, which states:
‘Whosoever killed a person, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and whoso gave life to one, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.’ 
A sceptic might say that actions speak louder than words.
‘What are you people doing to actually fix the problem?’ you may ask.
Well, Ahmadi Muslims in America are shedding their blood to fix the problem, not to take life, but rather to save it. And we have saved 180,000 lives in just the past 10 years.
On the 10-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks in 2011, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in America launched the ‘Muslims for Life’ Campaign. We have partnered with national and regional blood centers to host several thousand inter-faith drives across America.
To date, our blood drives have yielded a collection of over 60,000 pints of blood and have helped save as many as 180,000 lives.
Let’s put that number into perspective. Since 9/11, 3,658 Americans have been killed worldwide by terrorist attacks. 7,057 U.S Service members have been killed in post 9/11 operations. That totals to 10,715 total Americans that have been killed since 9/11.
Let’s compare that to the blood donated by a small Muslim community to save the equivalent of 180,000 American lives. Ahmadi Muslims have ensured that for every American killed since 9/11, nearly 20 American lives have been saved.
Recently, the American Red Cross said that there is a ‘severe blood shortage in America’ and that every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. Whether you are Muslim or not, we can all agree about the sanctity of human life.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him, certainly advocated for it. He declared, ‘God has made your blood, your properties and your honor sacred to one another.’ 
So let’s make the effort to find a local blood drive near us and preserve the sanctity of life that our collective enemies are trying to take from us.
About the Author: Frasat Ahmad serves as an Imam at the US National Headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
 Holy Qur’an 5:33
 Sahih al-Bukhari Kitab al-Adab Hadith #6043