By Dr Nadeem Ahmad , media-release

Over a hundred and fifty Kiwis had a chance yesterday to break fast with the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. Held at the community’s Bait-ul-Muqeet mosque in Auckland, this annual event brings together people from all faiths and backgrounds to experience the breaking of the fast, or ‘Iftar’, and to see first hand some of the customs and traditions of Islamic faith.

Speaking at the event, Mr Bashir Khan, the President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat New Zealand said, “With the negative perceptions portrayed about Islam, we feel it is essential to open our doors to the wider community, and give them a chance to come and see for themselves how true Islamic teachings differ from what the actions of some fanatics may suggest. If we understand each others perspective, then that will surely lead to a more peaceful coexistence.’

Addressing the gathering Hon Michael Wood MP said, ‘I appreciate your community’s commitment not only to establishing Peace and tolerance, but also your commitment to openness …as a way to increasing understanding and harmony among different people. By knowing each others customs and faith, we would become better at living side by side as we all want to.’

Amongst the attendees was British Counsel General Robin Shackle. Appreciating the Ahmadiyya Muslim community’s response to the recent terror attacks in UK he said, ‘As a practising Christian who has been to the inside of the mosque to observe prayer service for the first time, I am struck by the similarities between religions, and the great spiritual axiom that runs between them with love as a common theme.’

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 over 209 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.