Sunday, December 13, 2020

Malta: Ahmadiyya Muslim Community presents hampers to Dar il-Kaptan residents

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Bt Times of Malta

Imam Laiq Ahmed Atif, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Malta, together with community members, presented gift hampers to the residents of Dar il-Kaptan.

Silvan Magro, operations head of the Foundation for Respite Care Services, received the hampers on behalf of Dar il-Kaptan.

Imam Atif said: “The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community wished to show solidarity with the members of Dar il-Kaptan during this difficult time we are going through because of COVID-19. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community truly believes in serving humanity. It is always committed to serve those in need, because serving humanity is an integral part of our beliefs.”

Magro thanked the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community on behalf of the residents for their gesture of solidarity. He also briefed them about the services being provided at the residence and about the activities held during the year.  

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Macron's Islamophobia

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    photo - Daily Al Sabah

By Attiya Ghani

French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a speech to combat "Islamic separatism", by announcing that Islam was in a state of "crisis" worldwide and defending disrespectful cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad under the banner of "freedom to speak, to write, to think, to draw."

On one hand, Macron said that “All forms of racism and anti-Semitism are against the law in France” while on the other hand, he planted the seeds of racism and hatred by calling the religion in which billions of Muslims follow peacefully in crisis. In an attempt to remove the gap between people of different faiths, Macron has increased the societal division by allowing people to draw an insulting cartoon about Prophet Muhammad. This is, in fact, the opposite of demolishing the gap between religions, as this gap is nurtured by this hatred and flourishes under the words of Macron. This is a sign of weakness and clear, distinguishable hypocrisy.

Furthermore, the president goes on by saying that “if you take the last forty years in the world, over 80% of the victims of this terrorism have been Muslims.” Being an Ahmadi Muslim, I would suggest, if that is the case, then Macron should provide a platform for victims (Muslims) so that they can speak for themselves.

Radical Islam, Muslim terrorists, religion in crisis, and derogatory cartoons of the Holy Prophet of Islam are all false and offensive statements for Muslims. If someone is eager to learn about Islam then they should read the Holy Qur’an first. It is time to stand up against racism by avoiding hurting other people’s sentiments. We will have to mutually respect sacred figures then we will be able to see the future we want to see.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Pakistan: Ahmadi doctor killed for his faith

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Jamaat Ahmadiyya's Nazarat Umoor e Aama in Pakistan this morning informed that unknown assailants violently attacked a house in Murh Balochan in District Nankana Sahib Punjab that left one Ahmadi -- 31-year-old Dr. Tahir Mehmood -- dead and 3 others seriously injured, including his father Tariq Mehmood (who is fighting for his life).  The attack happened when members of the family gathered for Juma prayers earlier today at their own home. 

Ahmadis in Pakistan are suffering unspeakable cruelties and persecution.  Violence is rising, and 4 Ahmadis have been killed in the past 4 months.  

Monday, November 9, 2020

Ahmadi man, 82, shot dead by gunmen in Pakistan’s Peshawar

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A spokesman for Pakistan’s Ahmadi community said he believed Mahmoob Khan was killed because of his faith.

Gunmen shot and killed an 82-year-old Ahmadi man on the outskirts of Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar, officials said on Monday, the fourth-such alleged targeted killing of a member of the minority group in recent months.

The attackers shot Mahmoob Khan on Sunday as he stood at a bus terminal, said Saleem ud Din, a spokesman for Pakistan’s minority Ahmadi community.

Ud Din said he believed the gunmen had attacked Khan because of his faith. He demanded that the government must take “decisive action” against perpetrators.

“One after another, Ahmadis are being targeted in Peshawar while the government has repeatedly failed to protect and stop the violence against the members of the Ahmadiyya Community,” the spokesman said in a statement sent to Al Jazeera.

Police confirmed the shooting took place but declined to offer any motive.

Last month, a professor from the Ahmadiyya sect was killed by his colleague following arguments on religion.

The Ahmadi faith was established on the Indian subcontinent in the 19th century by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, whose followers believe he was a prophet. Many Muslims claim Ahmadiyya beliefs are heretical to Islam because they believe Muhammad was the last prophet.

Pakistan’s parliament classified Ahmadis as non-Muslims in 1974. Ahmadis have repeatedly been attacked by armed groups since the law was passed, drawing condemnation from human right groups.

Scientist Abdus Salam who was also from the community, who shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics, has largely been ignored in Pakistan due to his religious identity.

Human Rights Watch  (HRW) in May called the Pakistani government’s exclusion of members of the Ahmadiyya religious movement from a commission on safeguarding the rights of minorities “absurd”.

“The Ahmadis are among the most persecuted communities in Pakistan and to exclude them from a minority rights commission is absurd,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at HRW, a US-based rights group.


Monday, November 2, 2020

UK: Slough Muslim Community's Peace Symposium

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The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Slough has stepped up its efforts to support the local community by doubling their regular food donations to the town's local support groups.

President Atiq Ahmad Bhatti said: “With the second National Lockdown starting later this week we are doubling our donations to local support groups to help as much as we can during these challenging times. We are here to help and serve and will continue to do so, whatever the situation.”

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Slough has stepped up its efforts to support the local community by doubling their regular food donations to the town's local support groups.

President Atiq Ahmad Bhatti said: “With the second National Lockdown starting later this week we are doubling our donations to local support groups to help as much as we can during these challenging times. We are here to help and serve and will continue to do so, whatever the situation.”

ALSO VIEW Lockdown live updates: Boris Johnson announces new measures

Meanwhile Slough Ahmadiyya has held its 14th annual Peace Symposium - on Saturday October 24.

The theme was 'true justice and peace' and the Symposium was held ‘virtually’ due to the coronavirus pandemic and attended by over 150 participants.

Guests included the High Sheriff of Berkshire Mary Riall, the mayor of Slough Cllr Preston Brooker, as well as representatives from Thames Valley Police, Slough Outreach, Slough Borough Council, Burnham Parish Council and the Royal British Legion, Burnham.

President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Slough & South Bucks, Atiq Ahmad Bhatti, told guests: “I am truly humbled by the large number of participants who attended our Virtual Peace Symposium. It is always such a rewarding platform where so many different faiths, communities and community leaders are able to come together and speak about commonalities amongst one another and how we can continue to make a difference to those who need our help and support."

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Major Development at UK's Largest Mosque Following Fire

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The iconic Baitul Futuh Mosque Complex in Morden has undergone a monumental redesign of the front entrance following a terrible fire.

The immense mosque in Morden was originally built in 2003 as the largest mosque in Western Europe, accommodating over 10,000 worshippers. The construction cost of £15 million was covered entirely by donations from members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association and it is their central complex in the UK. AMA UK has been established since 1914 and their motto is ‘Love For All, Hatred For None’.

On 26 September 2015, tragedy struck as a huge fire tore through the administration block of the complex. Half the ground floor, as well as the first floor and the roof, were ablaze. The fire took 70 firefighters and 10 fire engines to be brought under control and continued burning for 30 hours. The main prayer halls were thankfully unaffected and miraculously there was no loss of life.

Irfan Qureshi, AMA National Secretary for Properties, recounts how they sprang into action to keep things operational when the crisis hit: “we had to accommodate all the offices that were in the main building into cabins at the back of the site. All the major offices were back up and running in 48 hours!”

Complex demolition work had to be undertaken during 2017 as a result of the extensive structural damage when the heat of the fire had buckled large girders.  In 2019 work began on repairing and rebuilding the front of the complex. Mr Qureshi explained the new structure, “the front, which is the facade, is made from moca cream limestone from a quarry called LSI Stone in Portugal. The stonemasons place it on steel brackets which is fixed to the main structure.”

At first glance, the reconstruction is notably larger than the old administration block. “We have two large halls: one on the ground floor and on the first floor the hall can be split in two. The second floor is essentially all offices for the UK administrative block, but above that we have two further floors of guest space for people who come and visit His Holiness, the worldwide Head.”

Members of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community have also contributed generously to this project. “When the appeal was launched by His Holiness in his Friday Sermon, the appeal was made worldwide, although the UK community is contributing to the bulk of the funds.”

The new building will be an ideal complement to the future plans to rejuvenate Morden Town Centre. “The external structure is complete so we have got another 9-10 months before the reconstruction is complete.”

The Baitul Futuh Mosque is the largest mosque in the UK and Spectator Magazine voted it as one of the ‘Top 50 Buildings in the World’. As a result, “the worldwide attention on this mosque is quite immense,” said Mr Qureshi. “Baitul Futuh means ‘House of Victories’ and its name signifies how the UK Ahmadiyya Community has increased in all its efforts in trying to bring the world to one creator”.

“It’s a huge religious focus from our point of view and the mosque is well known in political circles - it’s really on the world map now.”

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Ahmadiyya-Muslime starten Missionsarbeit

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Die Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat-Gemeinde in Delmenhorst startet eine Kampagne für ein friedliches Miteinander und gegen Rassismus

Fällt in der Öffentlichkeit das Wort Islam, geht es oft um Fundamentalismus oder Extremismus. Statt in Dialoge einzutreten und die Kommunikation zu suchen, setzen sich Ausgrenzungen, Hass und auch Gewalt durch. Dieser gesellschaftlichen Entwicklung will die Ahmadiyya-Gemeinde entgegenwirken. Laut Selbstauskunft zählt die islamische Reformbewegung in Deutschland über 45 000 organisierte Mitglieder, die in rund 60 Moscheen zusammenkommen, weltweit sollen es mehrere zehn Millionen in mehr als 200 Ländern sein. Ihre Gemeinden sind hierarchisch organisiert und werden von Kalif Hadrath Ahmad, dem fünften gewählten Nachfolger des Gründers Ghulam Ahmad, von London aus geführt. Seit 2013 besitzt die Gemeinschaft den Status einer Körperschaft öffentlichen Rechts und ist damit den christlichen Kirchen weitgehend gleichgestellt.

Für Delmenhorst gibt Ahsan Khalid als Gemeindevorsitzender die Zahl der Ahmadiyya-Muslime mit 186 an. Seit 2010 verfügt man in Delmenhorst über einen eigenen Gebetsraum. Ahmadiyya-Muslimen sei es ein wichtiges Anliegen, sich ehrenamtlich in der Gesellschaft zu engagieren: Es würde Blutspendeaktionen geben, man organisiere Spendenläufe und besuche die älteren Menschen in Seniorenheimen.

Während des Beginns der Pandemie erklärten sich Jugendliche der Gemeinde bereit, für Senioren Einkäufe zu erledigen. „Nicht der Kalif wird uns besser machen, wir selbst können uns durch unsere Taten verbessern“, sagte Syed Salman Shah, Imam der Ahmadiyya-Muslime. Unter dem Motto „Muslime gegen Rassismus“ wollen sie in den kommenden Wochen verstärkt an die Öffentlichkeit treten. Geplant sind eine Plakatkampagne sowie eine Infostandaktion. Im Januar soll eine Ausstellung in der Markthalle gezeigt werden.

Die Aktion soll ein Leuchtfeuer sein für ein friedliches Miteinander, zu dem sich die Ahmadi-Muslime aufgrund ihrer Glaubensgrundsätze verpflichtet fühlen. „Barmherzigkeit und universelles Mitgefühl sind uns wichtig. Wir verfolgen keine politischen, sondern nur spirituelle Ziele“, erklärte Shah bei einer Pressekonferenz. Mit ihrer Informationskampagne sollen Vorurteile abgebaut werden. „Wir sind auch ein Teil Deutschlands“, spielte der Theologe auf eine Formulierung des früheren Bundespräsidenten Christian Wulff an. Ihre Eltern seien hierhergekommen und nun sei es für sie an der Zeit, dem Land und seinen Menschen etwas zurückzugeben.

Muslime würden nicht herrschen wollen, sie strebten nach Harmonie. „Liebe für alle – Hass für keinen – so verstehen wir die Kernbotschaft des Koran“, sagte Shah. Den Glauben zu leben, bedeute immer, das, was man sage, auch selber zu tun. „Ein Weißer ist nicht besser als ein Schwarzer, noch ist ein Schwarzer besser als ein Weißer“, zitiert Imam Shah seinen Propheten. Mit ihrer Kampagne „Muslime gegen Rassismus“ wenden sie sich gegen tradierte Klischees und wollen die Verständigung fördern. Zu ihrem nächsten Informationsstand laden die Ahmadiyya-Muslime für Sonnabend, 31. Oktober, von 10 bis 14 Uhr, in die Lange Straße vor C & A ein.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Canada: Lloydminster Muslim community leader moving on to new ventures

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“Despite the politics and the incidents happening around the world, including the recent one in France, and the elements of racism and islamophobia, I have not come across any of them in Lloydminster."

Imam Mansoor Azeem is saying goodbye to Lloydminster, but says he will be taking the lessons learned from the rural community to his next destination.

Azeem says he’s accepted a new position with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Organization in Vaughan, Ontario. He says it’s a big opportunity as he will be working with the largest Muslim youth organization in the country.

Before he came to the Border City in 2017, Azeem travelled to different cities across the world as part of his religious training. He was stationed in Mexico City before serving as Imam of the Baitul Amaan Mosque in the Border City and describes the transition as a huge change in his life.

“The very first experience, the very first thought was this is a small town and I had never lived in a small town ever before so it was a little bit worrying at first. But, after a few years this town has been so fantastic, so wonderful, that I’m kind of sad to go away from Lloydminster.”

He was born in Sebha, Libya, and spent time in several larger population cities including Rabwah, Pakistan and London, England as well as Hamilton and Toronto. Since moving away from the bigger cities, Azeem says he’s also moved away from their fast paced lifestyle and embraced a new way of living.

“Everything was so fast over there and you barely had any time for family or anything at all. Almost all of my life it was in the fast lane and in the first few months of living in Lloydminster I was like, where are all the cars and the people? Afterward, the beauty of this town is you have so much time to spend with family and pursue your hobbies that I was never able to do before.”

Azeem points at the volunteer initiatives such as the New Year’s clean up, the highway clean up and the Run for Lloydminster fundraiser as highlights during his time in the city and says those are what will be remembered and representative of the Lloydminster Muslim community in the future.

“Despite the politics and the incidents happening around the world, including the recent one in France, and the elements of racism and islamophobia, I have not come across any of them in Lloydminster. I think the Lloydminster community is very supportive, positive and respectful for all we do and the stuff we have done.”

Azeem says his replacement will be chosen by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community at their headquarters in London, England. He doesn’t know when a new Imam will be posted in Lloydminster, but says he will do his best to make things work.

“We’ll try to have the transition period as smooth as possible and next time he will be the one contacting the people and leading the programs the way he might. I’m very optimistic that he may excel in many ways from me as well.”

Before leaving, Azeem says he hopes to the community continues sharing the message of “Love for all and hatred for none in every aspect of our life.”

“I pray for the well-being of my community and the whole town. I know the job situation has been pretty intense especially with COVID-19 and the oilpatch so I pray for them and wish them best of luck and there will be one more voice in Ontario supporting the oilpatch.”

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