Laiq Ahmed Atif, President, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Malta
On 25 March 2023, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Malta, together with the local council of Msida, the parish church of Msida and the Moroccan community, organised an open interfaith event to understand the concept of fasting in different religions, to celebrate fasting together and to foster mutual respect and harmony. This unique event was very well attended by around 250 guests from all walks of life and religions. The event was held on a large scale in an open space; this was a unique event in Malta’s history and has proved to be a wonderful example of interfaith and intercultural harmony and a magnificent display of mutual respect, friendship and unity.
The former President of Malta, Her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, the mayor of the local council of Msida, Ms Margaret Baldacchino Cefai, the president of the Moroccan community, Ms Dounia Borg Lakehal, the archpriest of the Msida church, Mario Mifsud and my humble self delivered speeches during this event.
In her address, the former President of Malta congratulated the organisers for this unique event and said that it is a very wonderful initiative in which followers of different religions have an opportunity to gather here to celebrate fasting together. Today, the fundamental human right of religious freedom has been manifested and has brought to light the importance of how we can live together with mutual respect, love, brotherhood and peace. She also extended her greetings of ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ to all Muslims.
I had the honour of speaking about the philosophy of Islamic fasting.
After the speeches, the guests were entertained with Maltese, Moroccan and Pakistani traditional foods, and meanwhile, Jamaat members had the opportunity to talk and interact with them, which led to further introductions and outreach.
The guests were also presented with Jamaat’s literature on the subject of fasting in Islam. The members of Jamaat were wearing shirts with Jamaat’s name, logo, motto and website printed on them, providing a constant source of introduction.