The Ahmadiyya Muslim community is launching a unique campaign to reach out to the New Zealand public. Entitled ‘Peace on Wheels’, the campaign will see the community’s members take to the road, and covering thousands of kilometres, attempting to reach the far corners of the country. The first of these trips will set off to Northland on the 26th of November, headed by the community’s central missionary, Imam Shafique ur Rehman.
“Ignorance breeds doubt, and opportunists will exploit it to create discord in the society, hoping to turn disagreements into conflicts. In today’s world, fanatics exist in all forms, be it misguided Muslims, or their opponents – the actions of terrorists rightly invite condemnation, but people can sometimes forget to differentiate the action of the person from the teaching of the religion”, explains Mr Bashir Khan, the President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in new Zealand. “Our response is to proactively counter the negative image of Islam created by both these groups by showing what true Islam means. It is to this end that we are launching our latest effort to reach out to those communities where knowledge of Islam and Muslims is limited to what one may find on the news and media. Sadly it is the extremists that get the coverage in media, creating negative misconceptions about the religion of Islam. It is our sincere hope that campaigns such as this one will help us create an environment encouraging peaceful coexistence amongst all races and religions.”
The Peace on Wheels initiative will see a group of volunteers travel across the country holding book stalls, distributing Peace message leaflets, and reaching out to everyone they come across in a hope to build bridges between communities, and answer any and all questions that anyone may have about Muslims and Islam. The first leg of the journey will cover the North of the country, passing through several cities including Warkworth, Whangarei, Keri Keri, Kaitaia, and Dargaville.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a dynamic, fast-growing international revival movement within Islam. Founded in 1889 by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) in Punjab, India, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community spans 210 countries with membership exceeding tens of millions. Its motto of ‘Love for all and hatred for none’ is evidenced through the peaceful actions of its millions of followers. The New Zealand branch of this community was established in 1987 and is a registered charitable organisation that endeavors to be an active and integrated community within New Zealand society.