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Muslim Group Calls For Global Unity At Annual Convention

• Several hundred attended the convention including Members of Parliament, dignitaries and community leaders

• “Unity Among Nations” was the main theme; the event aimed to highlight the need for unity in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Almost 500 people, including an array of prominent political, community and faith leaders, gathered at Alfriston College on Saturday 23rd January to participate in the 32nd Annual Convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community New Zealand. The event featured various presentations on a variety of religious and social topics centred around the theme of “Unity Among Nations”, and provided an opportunity for dialogue on the problems faced by the world in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

During the guest session, several dignitaries addressed the attendees. The Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan (MP for Maungakiekie, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities, Minister for Youth, and Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment) said of the event:

“The theme you have chosen for today’s convention… speaks highly of your commitment to promoting mutual understanding across faiths and cultures, and global solidarity.”

MP for Mt Roskill and Minister of Transport and Workplace Relations and Safety, the Hon Michael Wood, also commended the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, stating:

“I want to acknowledge the leadership of the Ahmadiyya Jama’at here in New Zealand for your work – putting on this convention, the Peace Symposium that you hold every year, and everything else that you do not only to serve your own community but the causes of peace and justice here in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

The keynote address, delivered by Imam Mustenser Qamar, discussed the Islamic perspective on creating unity in the world and emphasised different communities and nations working together. Presenting an example of this he said:

“After the Holy Prophet Muhammad migrated to the city of Medina, he formed a covenant with the Jewish people whereby the Muslims and the Jewish citizens would live together peacefully and with a spirit of mutual sympathy, tolerance and equity. The covenant proved to be a magnificent charter of human rights and governance and ensured peace between the different communities living in Medina… freedom of belief and freedom of conscience were cornerstones of that treaty. Unity underpinned the agreement.”

The formal proceedings concluded after the addresses with a silent prayer, and the programme finished with lunch.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a dynamic and fast-growing international revival movement within Islam. Founded in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in Qadian, India, the movement now spans over 213 countries with membership exceeding tens of millions. Its motto of “Love for All, Hatred for None” is evidenced through the peaceful actions of its millions of followers. The New Zealand branch of the community was established in 1987, and is a registered charitable organisation which strives to be an active, integrated community within New Zealand society.

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