Thursday, May 25, 2017

Greece: Ahmadiyya Interfaith Conference Declares "Manchester Arena Attack -- an Attack on Humanity"


“The need of the hour is for us to knock down the barriers of fear that divide us.  Rather than erecting walls that keep us apart, we should build bridges that bring us closer together…"

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | Int'l Desk
Source/Credit: AMJ Greece
By Press Release | May 24, 2017

“Come to a word equal between us and you”.

Greece: Leaders from Religious, Political, Civic & Academic backgrounds condemned the attack in that took place in Manchester on Monday 24th May 2017 in the strongest possible terms during their speeches at the 3rd National Peace Symposium organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Greece.

The event took place in Divani Caravel Hotel, Athens on 23rd of May 2017. The speakers included Dr. Michalis Marioas, Assistant Professor from the school of Theology in University of Athens, H.E Mr Jan Bondy Ambassador of Czech Republic & Rabbi Gabriel Negrin representing the Jewish Community, Mr. Markos Bolaris Member of Parliament Thessaloniki A & Imam Atta-UlNaseer representing His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, supreme head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

The program started with a recitation from the Holy Qur’an in Arabic by Mr. Waqas Ahmad, Assistant Director for External Affairs of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Greece followed by the translation in Greek by Mr. SakisKapetanidis, a recent Greek member of the Community. A brief introduction of the community was given by Ms. Eva Afentouli.

The first guest speaker, Assistant Professor Dr. Michalis Marioras, who specialises in Islam, spoke about the activities of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Greece & Europe mentioning the need for Muslim community to be well versed in Greek language for better integration.

H.E Jan Bondy Ambassador of Czech Republic addressed the symposium regarding the need of understanding humanitarian efforts and a united humanity for a better future reading from a text of former Czech President Vaclav Havel.

Rabbi Gabriel Negrin spoke about the common origin of all from the same creator. He also highlighted the common belief of all the Monotheistic Religions in Prophet Abraham.

Another main speaker of the event was a senior Greek Politician, Mr. Markos Bolaris MP Thessaloniki, former Alternate Minister for Agriculture. He highlighted the need for understanding the causes of terrorism and highlighted the importance of interfaith dialogue for a better society.  He also spoke about the problem of religion being used to achieve political motives.

The Keynote speaker of the event was Imam Atta-UlNaseer who spoke about the theme of the event “World Peace & Need for Unity” from an Islamic Perspective in the words of His Holiness, Mirza Masroor Ahmad known to the world as the Caliph of Islam. He quoted the Caliph of Islam presenting “golden principle in the cause of peace” in the following words mentioned in chapter 3, verse 65 of the Holy Quran, which encourages people to focus on those beliefs that unite them by stating:
“Come to a word equal between us and you”.
The Caliph further explained in his speech delivered at the 14th National Peace Symposium UK in March 2017 elaborating on this principle that,
“Thus, the Quran has taught us how to build a peaceful multicultural society, where people of all faiths and beliefs are able to live side by side. The key ingredients are mutual respect and tolerance.”
“The need of the hour is for us to knock down the barriers of fear that divide us.  Rather than erecting walls that keep us apart, we should build bridges that bring us closer together… We must stand up against all forms of oppression, hatred and use all our capabilities to try and foster peace in the world.”
“Sadly, with the passing of time, it seems that we are losing our ability to listen and to tolerate opposing views and perspectives. Opening the channels of communication and facilitating dialogue is essential, otherwise the world’s malaise will only get deeper…Instead of pointing fingers and blaming one another, now is the time for solutions.”

Other distinguished guests included H.E Ambassadors of Brazil & Venezuela, representatives from Sikh Community &Focolare Movement of Greece. The event was attended by over 100 guests from various religious, political & civic society.

An exhibition of the Holy Qur’an was also organized which included 40 pull-up banners explaining various key teachings of Islam on Peace, Humanity & Religious Harmony. The event concluded with silent prayers for Peace of the World.



-- Greece: Ahmadiyya Interfaith Conference Declares "Manchester Arena Attack -- an Attack on Humanity"


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