S Mukarram Nazeer, Canada Correspondent
The city of Windsor is located about 370 kilometres from Baitul Islam Mosque, Toronto. It sits across Detroit River from the American city of Detroit.
Since 2008, it has held an Annual Banquet bringing together people from different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. The aim is to create an environment where mutual understanding and partnering in good deeds can grow among the various participants. General Secretary Jamaat Windsor, Kashif Saeed Sahib reported that this year was no exception.
On 7 November 2019, the 12th Annual Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Windsor Banquet was held at Canada Hall, Giovanni Caboto Club – Southwestern Ontario’s largest and oldest Italian Club. The banquet was attended by local and provincial politicians, members of local law enforcement agencies, representatives of various ethnic, cultural and religious organisations, members of Chambers of Commerce, members of academia and the general public.
The event was moderated by General Secretary Jamaat Windsor, Kashif Saeed Sahib. Recitation of the Holy Quran and translation by Aqil Butt Sahib started the formal portion of the event. A five-minute video introduced the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Luqman Ejaz Sahib highlighted the initiatives and activities of Windsor Jamaat in community work in the local counties. Among them was the raising of $45,000 for the Windsor Regional Hospital.
This year, the theme of the banquet was “Love of country is a part of faith”. Missionary of Brampton West, Imam Shah Rukh Abid Sahib was the keynote speaker. He explained the emphasis Islam has placed on being loyal to one’s country. Attendees appreciated the message and agreed with it. Many expressed the desire to be part of future such events.
Omer Shahid Sahib gave a presentation on “Muslims for Remembrance Day”. Member of the Royal Canadian Legion, branch 594 presented the Canadian National Anthem, recited a war poem called In-Flanders Fields, performed The Last Post and led the two-minute silence associated with Remembrance Day.
Tahir Ahmed Sahib introduced some of the dignitaries and invited them to come on stage and say a few words.
Naib Amir Canada, Kaleem Malik Sahib gave the vote of thanks and led the concluding prayers.
For the benefit of the guests, stalls and exhibitions were put up, which included a book stall, Humanity First, Muslims for Remembrance Day, Run for Windsor and the Review of Religions.
The event was well attended with 245 guests and 100 Jamaat members.