Hundreds of Ahmadi Muslims gathered together over the Auckland anniversary weekend to celebrate the community’s 30th annual convention. Bait ul Muqeet, the largest purpose-built mosque in New Zealand, saw Muslims from all over the country converge to celebrate the ‘Jalsa Salana’, an annual event started over a hundred years ago in the small town of Qadian, India, by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s founder Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
“We chose the convention’s theme of ‘Islam and Human Rights’ because of the attention this topic gets in the media nowadays, and the controversy sometimes associated with these discussions. We want to stress that contrary to what some people may believe, Islam actually champions upholding of Human rights. We have seen a number of charters introduced over the last few centuries in an attempt to address abuses of human rights, but Islam introduced the concepts of equality amongst all humans well before these.” National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community New Zealand Bashir Khan said addressing the gathering.
“Prophet Mohammad’s farewell address laid down very clearly the high expectations he had of Muslims as far as dealing with their fellow human beings was concerned – this is something that all Muslims and Islamic governments need to strive to achieve if they want to truly follow their religion,” he added.
Minister of State for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa was the chief guest for the special session held for external guests on Saturday, January 26.
AMJNZ National President, Mr Bashir Khan (Image: Supplied)
The Minister highlighted the ethnic diversity of not just her local constituency, but of New Zealand as a whole, and stressed on the steps the government is taking to ensure equality for all ethnicities and religions. She lauded the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for the positive role it has played over the years in serving the society irrespective of any religious or cultural differences, and especially in the integration in society of the newly arrived refugees in the country.
Guests at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at’s 30 th Annual Jalsa Salana
Hon. Melissa Lee MP also addressed the attendees of the convention. A number of representatives of other faith groups and members of public attended the sessions and had a chance to see the mosque as well as meet the members of the community.