Tahir Ahmed Bhatti
A long-awaited ceremony took place in Erfurt, city of Germany, where the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat acquired a piece of land three years ago.
For both the media and public, this event got a special focus after right wing political and social elements first raised voices against building a mosque and then started an open campaign against this mosque.
This city has a population of more than two hundred thousand and bears a special historic value. There are seventy-seven churches and two synagogues. In this region, more than twenty thousand Muslims reside.
The German law and constitution guarantees religious freedom for every citizen of the state, so a series of dialogue, talk shows on television and articles in mainstream newspapers and journals was initiated, but the opposition of mosque did not subside.
Some untoward events also occurred like placing pork meat on the piece of land, erecting an eleven-foot high cross and threats received from violent mobs, but our religious freedom was never shaken.
Finally, on 13 November 2018, the foundation stone laying ceremony took place.
The chief minister of Thüringen province, along with the law minister and lord mayor of the town participated in the ceremony.
The Ahmadiyya Jamaat was established in this area by Malik Ibrahim Sahib, immediately after the historic fall of the Berlin wall. This city was blessed by short stopovers of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa.
In 1990, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IVrh blessed this city with his visit and a question and answer session was held in a church hall.
Then in 1997, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh visited again, and on this occasion, our present head of the Jamaat, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa was also part of the entourage.
In 2008, while travelling for the inauguration of Khadeeja Mosque, Berlin, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa blessed the city with a short stopover and led Zuhr and Asr prayers here.
With the prayers of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih, Germany Jamaat saw triumph; in the face of all odds, the Jamaat was granted the opportunity by Allah to start the building process of this mosque and the hearts of the administration and governmental institutions were turned in favour of this Jamaat.
Two national television channels covered the ceremony live, and in total, 42 mainstream television, radio and newspaper representatives covered this event for millions of people in and around Germany.
According to an estimate, 138 million people received the message of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat by mainstream media and government officials issued their statements with photos of the event on social media, thus giving the outreach more depth.