Munir Ahmed, Secretary External Affairs, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Huddersfield
Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Huddersfield North and South jointly organised a Peace Symposium at the Huddersfield Town Hall on 11 February 2023.
The preparation started two months prior to the event with the formation of an organising committee to go over the roles and responsibilities of organisers. My humble self was appointed the coordinator for the event. The topic for the event was “World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace”.
The event commenced with the recitation from the Holy Quran with its English translation, followed by a welcome address and introduction to the event by my humble self.
A video was played providing an overview of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya and its activities, which highlighted the addresses of Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa delivered at various events.
Interfaith members made addresses, starting with Inderapal Randhawa from the Sikh community, Kiran Bali from the Hindu community, and Reverend Canon Rachel Firth, the vicar of Huddersfield Parish Church. They all outlined how interfaith communities could achieve lasting peace, starting at the individual level and moving up to the community level.
Messages of support were read out which were received from local members of the Parliament from Colne Valley, Jason Mc Cartney, Batley & Spen MP, Kim Leadbeater, Bishop of Mirfield, Rev Mark Sowerby, Leader of Kirklees Council, Councillor Shabir Pandor and Mayor of Kirklees Council, Councillor Masood Ahmad.
Other addresses were made by the High Sheriff and DL of West Yorkshire, Sue Baker MBE JP DL, Group Captain Gareth Prendergast from the Royal Air Force, Chief Superintendent of West Yorkshire Police, Jim Griffiths, and Father Oswin Garside from the Community of Resurrection.
Raza Ahmed Sahib, an Ahmadi missionary, gave the concluding speech with an interactive and engaging presentation highlighting how peace can be achieved drawing from the teachings of the Holy Quran, Holy Prophetsa and the Promised Messiahas.
Yousaf Aftab Sahib, President of Jamaat Huddersfield North, brought the event to a close by thanking everyone for attending. The event was closed by a silent prayer led by Raza Ahmed Sahib. 200 members attended the event, out of which over 130 non-Ahmadi guests were present, ranging from the Armed forces veterans, senior officers, majors and lieutenants, interfaith representatives, Community cohesion team members from the council, local councillors, local radio broadcasters, RBL representatives, local charities, friends, colleagues and tabligh contacts.
Short interviews were taken with all key dignitaries, and the whole event was video recorded by MTA UK. Information about the event was posted on social media. Many positive messages were received from the guests about the event, and some guests expressed their desire to attend future events and visit the mosque.