Mosque Open Day and 16th Interfaith Conference in Ireland

Shahzad Malik, Ireland Correspondent

On 27 April 2024, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Ireland held a Mosque Open Day and 16th Interfaith Conference at the Maryam Mosque in Galway, under the theme “The Prophets: A Covenant with God”, which was attended by over 100 people representing various faiths and ethnicities, including distinguished guests such as the Mayor of Galway, His Excellency Eddie Hoare, TD Éamon Ó Cuív, TD Mairéad Farrell, Cllr. Alan Cheevers, and members of Garda Síochána. Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist leaders also attended the occasion. A highlight of the Interfaith Conference was the international Voices for Peace campaign, which has been actively promoted across Ireland and aims to foster lasting global peace and end the conflict in Gaza.

The formal proceedings commenced with the recitation from the Holy Quran with its English and Irish translations, followed by a welcome speech by Dr Anwar Malik Sahib, President of Jamaat Ireland.

Following this, a presentation was given that introduced the Jamaat and showcased its humanitarian efforts worldwide. Notable charitable activities in Ireland, including annual charity walks and cycles, raise money for local charities. The presentation mentioned the tireless efforts of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, in spreading the message of peace worldwide.

His Excellency Mayor Cllr. Eddie Hoare admired the peace efforts and charitable work of the Jamaat in Ireland and said:

“Your Community is doing a campaign called ‘Voices for Peace’ not only here in Ireland but across the world to stop the current conflict in Gaza and to avoid a third world war. This belief in moderation and restraint has to be commended and indeed admired. […] I have also learned of the great charitable work that your community is renowned for, and this outreach is to be admired and welcomed. From the charity walks that you have organised every year for the last number of years in both Dublin and indeed in Galway and the recent charity cycles in which you raised over 80,000 for Irish charities, that needs to be and should be commended. It’s charitable works such as this that the Ahmadiyya community are involved in, that is helping our society together.”

TD Éamon Ó Cuív remarked:

“I think the thing that stands out is your motto, ‘Love for All and Hatred for None’. Your religion teaches us, as Christianity teaches us as well, that everybody is your neighbour and your friend. One thing that has struck me over the years is how you open your doors so often to all of your friends, to all the newcomers, and to anyone who is willing to meet you. I am delighted to be here. […] At many events, you go out of your way to welcome politicians to integrate with your communities and get involved in community events. So finally, I would like to say, continue to live your beliefs. […] I think we have a lot to learn from your community.”

TD. Mairéad Farrell said:

Assalamu alaikum (peace be upon you) – These words have taken on a greater significance given where we currently are in the world […] unfortunately in very turbulent times.”

Darren Coventry Howlett was a speaker representing the Buddhist faith and mentioned the similarities between his faith and Islam.

Father Ben Hughes and Jimmy McGovern represented Christianity and they mentioned the service provided for the well-being of students at the University of Galway and the wider community.

Jamaat’s missionary, Ibrahim Noonan Sahib, presented how the Holy Quran proclaims that God sent prophets to every nation. He spoke on the role of the prophets and the unique status of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa who was the only prophet who was sent for the whole of mankind with a universal message.

The programme concluded with a silent prayer.

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