29th ‘Jalsa Salana’ concludes with commitment to peace
The 29th Annual convention of New Zealand’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Community concluded with a commitment to the establishment of a peaceful society. Hundreds of Ahmadi Muslims from all over New Zealand attended the event, entitled ‘Social Justice and Peace’. Started over a hundred years ago by the community’s founder, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the convention is an annual event in the Ahmadiyya Jama’at’s calendar worldwide.
‘The choice of theme for this year’s convention represents how much importance we as a community place in our quest for the establishment of peace in the society’, says Mr. Bashir Khan, the President of Ahmadiyya Community in New Zealand. ‘The worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya community has personally met with several heads of states and emphasized the importance of social justice and its role in establishing world peace – we are making sure that this message is conveyed to everyone in New Zealand.’
The Ahmadiyya Caliph’s special representative Mr. Bilal Atkinson, while chairing the special session for external guests, highlighted the core Islamic teachings relating to peace and social justice, and how by following these principles, Muslims can make a positive input while living in Western societies.
Minister of Ethnic Communities Hon. Jenny Salesa, and Race Relations Commissioner, Dame Susan Devoy, addressed the gathering. The Minister, while acknowledging the Ahmadiyya Muslim community for its humanitarian efforts, emphasized the need for ensuring peace and social justice as integral for the peaceful and prosperous society that we are fortunate to have in New Zealand.
Dame Susan Devoy especially recognized the ‘True Islam’ initiative being undertaken by the Ahmadiyya community aimed at removing misconceptions about Islam, and said that such initiatives make her job of improving community relations much easier.
Other notable guests included members of Parliament – Hon. Priyanca Radhakrishnan and Hon. Melissa Lee, as well as a number of representatives of other faith groups and members of public.
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 over 210 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 this community was established in 1987. It is a registered charitable organisation and endeavors to be an active and integrated community within New Zealand society.