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Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to discuss Freedom of Speech

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in New Zealand will hold its annual Peace Symposium on the 21st of September 2019. With an increasing scrutiny of what constitutes freedom of speech, the theme for this year’s symposium has been chosen as ‘Free speech or hate speech – where do you draw the line?’. A panel of speakers featuring Labour MP for Mt Roskill, Hon Michael Wood, Journalist Paula Penfold (Stuff Circuit Investigative Unit), Dr Rob Kilpatrick - Director of Traidmission, and Imam Mustenser Qamar, Minister of Religion, will try and tackle what may be considered appropriate, and what may constitute stepping over the line.

The annual Peace symposium is a regular event in the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s annual calendar, bringing together people from all walks of life representing different faith groups. By discussing topical and sometimes controversial issues, the symposium aims to address the difficulties faced by individuals in the society. Similar symposia are organized by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community the world over, with an aim to bring communities closer, and to encourage dialogue for peaceful coexistence.

“Since we held our last peace symposium a year ago, New Zealand has faced one of the biggest challenges in the life of this young nation – namely the extremist attacks on innocent people in Christchurch”, says Mr Bashir Khan, the President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in New Zealand. “The diversity that is our strength, has been tested to its extreme by a faction of the society we didn’t think existed. It is in this back drop that we as a community decided to discuss this controversial topic – namely what freedoms can one enjoy in the modern world without endangering the peace in the society.”

This year, the annual peace conference will be held at 10 am on the morning of 21st of September at the Fickling Convention Centre, Three Kings, Auckland. Invited speakers and scholars will discuss the chosen theme in the light of the current issues. Attendance is through invitation only, but anyone interested in attending can contact Mr Eqbal Khan on 0211336146 for details.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a dynamic, fast-growing international revival movement within Islam. Founded in 1889 by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) in Punjab, India, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community spans 210 countries with membership exceeding tens of millions. Its motto of ‘Love for all and hatred for none’ is evidenced through the peaceful actions of its millions of followers. The New Zealand branch of this community was established in 1987 and is a registered charitable organisation that endeavors to be an active and integrated community within New Zealand society.

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