“The most telling aspect to me was the emphasis on putting others first”: Slough Jamaat peace symposium

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Atiq Ahmad Bhatti, President Jamaat Slough

Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Slough held their 14th annual peace symposium on 24 October 2020, on the theme of “True Justice & Peace”. It was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic and was attended by approximately 140 participants.

The proceedings began with the recitation of the Holy Quran and its English translation, followed by a welcome address by Regional Amir Middlesex, Muhammad Sohail Qureshi Sahib, who introduced Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya and its objectives, to the guests.

The local president of Jamaat Slough, Atiq Ahmad Bhatti then introduced the local Jamaat’s “local community welfare & support initiative” which has been running since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March. This presentation covered the support that is being given to the local communities in Slough, including regular food donations to the NHS and the homeless community, the distribution of face masks to care homes and other projects being undertaken.

Some distinguished guests then proceeded to briefly speak on their friendship with the Slough Jamaat and the humanitarian work done by the Jamaat. Speakers included Bob Slater President of the Burnham Royal British Legion, Councillor Preston Brooker, the Mayor of Slough Marg Rhiall, the High Sheriff of Berkshire and Shin Dother founder of Slough Outreach.

The keynote address was delivered by Rabeeb Mirza Sahib, Regional Missionary Middlesex. He spoke on the true Islamic teachings for establishing justice and peace. He spoke about the teachings of the Promised Messiahas in this regard. He then presented some excerpts from addresses of Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa, delivered around the world on this subject.

Some feedback is as following:

“I found it interesting. Thank you for inviting Shirley and I.” (Cllr Preston Brooker, the Mayor of Slough)

“It was my pleasure. It was absolutely wonderful to see so many people. The guest speaker was great. Everybody enjoyed and learned more about the work you do for the diverse community. Love for all, hate for none. So proud to be associated with you.” (Karnail Pannu, from the Windsor & Maidenhead Interfaith Community Forum)

“Thank you … I did indeed find it informative. It was good to hear about all the good work you have been doing. The messages of peace were also good to hear in these very divisive times.” (Keith Greenough, President Burnham Beeches Rotary Club)

“It was indeed an honour to be included as usual … I pray that you and your community remain well and be blessed by God in all that you do. With every blessing.” (Rev Margaret Dudley, Thames Valley Methodist Circuit)

“Thank you for the invite. It was, as always, very informative. Stay safe; stay blessed.” (Rev Jason Griffiths, Vicar, St Andrews Church Burnham)

“Thank you for a rewarding seminar. The most telling aspect to me was the emphasis on putting others first. I will keep that thought with me. Every blessing.” (Andrew Fleet, from Churches Together)

“It was an honour to be in attendance with you today. Thank you so much for the invite. It was great to see so many likeminded people on there. I learned so much about your wonderful community. Love and peace to you all.” (Shin Dother, Founder Slough Outreach)

“Smoothest Zoom meeting I have ever participated in. It was an honour to be invited. Thank you for inviting us. Warmest wishes.” (Cllr Jackie Slater, Burnham Parish Council)

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