Ibrahim Bonsu, President Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Leicester, UK
On 18 November 2023, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Leicester held their annual Peace Conference at the Baitul Ikram Mosque. The event was attended by many guests including the Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor of Leicester Dr Susan Barton, the Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police and various Councillors. Other dignitaries in attendance were representatives of faith groups, the neighbourhood policing team, the Leicestershire Fire Service and members of the general public who had registered their interest prior to the event.
This year’s theme ‘Foundations of True Peace’ was adopted from the theme of this year’s National Peace Symposium which was held at the Baitul Futuh Mosque earlier in the year. The main speaker for this event was Mansoor Clarke Sahib, a missionary with the UK Jamaat.
The reception prior to the commencement of the event included a tour of the mosque and an exhibition made up of a Jamaat literature stall and pull-up banners display, showcasing the beliefs and tenets of the Jamaat.
The formal event started with the recitation from the Holy Quran with its English translation, followed by a welcome address by my humble self which highlighted the objective of the Peace Conference and why it is so important for communities to come together in this critical hour where humanity stands at the brink of global catastrophe and the critical need for each individual to strive for peace. The welcome address was followed by a two-minute silence to remember the victims of war.
A short video presentation on the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the role of Khilafat and the global peace efforts of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa was relayed to the audience.
The first guest speaker for the event was the Right Worshipful Lord Mayor of Leicester Dr Susan Barton. The second speaker was the Chief Constable of Leicestershire Rob Nixon. The third guest speaker was Councillor Deepak Bajaj (former Lord Mayor of Leicester).
This was followed by a video presentation of an excerpt from a speech of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa at the 2023 National Peace Symposium which was held at the Baitul Futuh Mosque.
The video was followed by the fourth guest speaker of the event, Tony Nelson, a Jewish representative from the Leicester Hebrew Congregation.
This was followed by a speech by Mansoor Clarke Sahib who addressed the topic of injustice as a fundamental root cause of social agitation with references to the atrocities going on in Palestine. He elaborated how injustice can be tackled if all individuals take it upon themselves as their responsibility and do not neglect it as the responsibility of someone else.
The vote of thanks was presented by Muneeb Ur Rahman Sahib, the local missionary, after which, dinner was served.