On 23 March 2019, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Japan held its first Tokyo Interfaith Symposium to commemorate Religious Founders Day.
Religious leaders and scholars delivered speeches on Founders of My Faith as Role Models for Peace. Speakers included Imam Anees Ahmad Nadeem National President and Missionary In-charge Japan, Rabbi Binyomin Y Edery Chief Rabbi of Japan, Fr Paul Koroluk Archpriest Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Rev Yoshida Nikko Chief Priest Shinshojoji Buddhist Temple, Hon Peter Kell Acting Ambassador of New Zealand to Japan alongside scholars from Shintoism, Hinduism and Jainism.
The event was dedicated to the memory of those slain in the Christchurch terrorist attack, to their loved ones and to the wider community of those mourning in New Zealand and around the world.
The symposium commenced with the recitation of the Holy Quran. The symposium was hosted by Imam Hizqeel Ahmad.
Whilst condemning the attacks, I read quotes of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa and the statement in which he had also praised the response of New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Government and its public to the terrorist attack targeting mosques in Christchurch.
Imam Anees Ahmad Nadeem in his keynote speech introduced the principles and practical examples set forth by the Holy Prophetsa for establishing peace.
A vigil was also held at the event to pay tribute to the victims of Christchurch shooting at the mosques. A silent prayer and moment of silence was led by Imam Anees Ahmad Nadeem.
It was a rare sight at the event seeing political figures, academics and religious leaders from all the major religions of the world united under one umbrella for the soul purpose of restoring peace and enhancing interfaith harmony.
This initiative of organising an event like this by the community was widely respected and appreciated by the esteemed panel of speakers who expressed the need to hold more of such events in the future.