More than 500 people gathered at Australia’s largest mosque, Masjid Bait-ul Huda, on Saturday 8th September for annual peace symposium of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to discuss “how to achieve lasting peace?” Members of the state and federal parliament, mayor, councillor, academics, religious and secular leaders also attended the event.
The event provided deeper understanding and importance of decency, tolerance and respect as the basic recipe for lasting peace. The event provided a unique platform to sit under one roof, break bread and discuss different challenges and solutions in establishing lasting peace in society. The event brought communities and leaders together to develop alliances in establishing peace in society.
The National President and Grand Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Australia, Mr. I. H. Kauser said:
“Peaceful teachings must be taught from very young age, we the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community teach our children our moto, ‘love for all, hatred for none’. In relation to teachings of Islam, we are taught that our God and your God is the same, we’re all children of one God. We believe in founders of all religion and scriptures”
Imam Kauser further said:
“If peace is to be established, we need to have respect for one another, safeguard the rights of society and utilise all of our resources to establish peace at every level”
Hon Stephen Bali – Mayor of Blacktown and State Member for Blacktown said:
“As a society, if we all work together, show decency, respect and tolerance to one another, then that’s the first great step in establishing lasting peace. We need to share the good and bad, care for one another and get educated about different cultures and religions”
Hon Michelle Rowland MP, member for Greenway states:
“Our common value is love for humanity, we need to ask ourselves, what kind of society we want to be in? A society which promotes inclusiveness, love, respect and diversity. This is exactly what we see here tonight”
The Sydney Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Imam M. A. Hadi, highlighted the humanitarian work the community is involved in, around the world and in Australia, as a proven model to achieve peace within society. There were six main points in his address, they were:
– No to Terrorism
– Loyalty to Australia
– Separation of State and Religion
– Freedom of Conscience, Speech and Religion
– No to Discrimination
– Power and Equality of women
Imam Hadi States:
“The Ahmadiyya community believes that hate cannot wipe out hate, only love and education can. Therefore, the community has sponsored a new campaign by the name of Muslims Down Under. This campaign seeks to educate Muslims and non-Muslims alike by highlighting similarities and universally accepted principles which are also found in Islam”
Imam Hadi while explaining the ‘Coffee and Islam’ sitting process of this special campaign states:
“Visitors to the website are encouraged to show their support for their fellow Australian Muslims by signing the online petition, they are also given the opportunity to fix a time for a free ‘Coffee and Islam’ sitting, in which they are able to sit across the table with an Aussie Muslim, ask questions about his/her faith or just make a new friend. This service is available in all major cities across Australia.”
The Ahmadiyya Muslim community has been leading a peaceful revival of Islam that stands for education, integration, loyalty and interfaith peace. It is also involved in various efforts to contribute towards charities such as the Red Cross, Clean Up Australia Day, National Tree Plantation, and feeding the homeless, just to mention a few. The motto of the community is “Love for all, hatred for none”.