he 24th Annual Conference of Ahmadi Muslims in New Zealand concluded on the 27th Jan 2012. This year’s conference was attended by hundreds of members of the community from all over New Zealand. The morning session on the 2nd day was open to external guests, and a number of parliamentarians attended and spoke at the session.
The theme for this year’s conference was ‘Muhammad’, highlighting the life and character of the Holy Prophet of Islam.“Today’s world has witnessed an unprecedented number of attempts at maligning the character and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad by some elements in the Western countries. In part this has been brought upon by the action of a small number of extremist Muslims, who portray Islam as a violent religion while nothing could be further from the truth”, said Mohammad Iqbal, the National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in New Zealand.
“The holy founder of our community, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had made it very clear to all his followers over a hundred years ago that differences with followers of other religions should never lead one to vilify the founders of the community, as they have been granted this status by God Himself, and smearing their names will achieve nothing except causing anguish amongst their followers. This is the teaching that we as Ahmadis want to spread to all of New Zealand and throughout the world”.
Rev Rob McKay of the Anglican Church while speaking at the convention said, “The Ahmadi community’s work in translating the Holy Quran to Te Reo Maori emphasizes the inclusive nature of the Islamic religion – and negates the wrongly held belief that Muslims and Islam cannot integrate well into the society”.
A number of Parliamentarians addressed the annual convention and acknowledged the effective role the community was playing in creating a culture of peace and harmony. “I would like to congratulate the tireless efforts of the leadership and the community on the integration work they are doing” said Hon. Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi MP.
Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres took the opportunity to recognize the community’s years of working with the Ethnic Communities, “The work of the Ahmadiyya Jama’at in bringing different communities closer together certainly makes the job easier for us at the Race Relations Commission”.
The speeches during the two day event concentrated on various aspects of the life and teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, and the need to ensure that this true picture is conveyed to the world to help remove the misconceptions associated with his holy character.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a worldwide reformist movement in Islam, with millions of followers in over 200 countries. The community was established in New Zealand in 1989 and is celebrating 2013 as a silver jubilee year with a number of events planned throughout the year. The worldwide head of the community, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (may Allah strengthen his hand), is expected to visit New Zealand later in the year, and inaugurate the first purpose built mosque of the community in Manukau as well as meeting a number of dignitaries.
For more information contact Mr. Eqbal Khan, Head of External Affairs, on +64 21 1336146 or Dr. Nadeem Ahmad, General Secretary, on +64 21 242 2394