Hundreds of Kiwi Muslims will gather at their south Auckland mosque over the Auckland anniversary weekend to celebrate the annual Ahmadiyya Convention or ‘Jalsa Salana’. An event first started over a hundred years ago by the community’s founder Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in the small Indian village of Qadian, the ‘Jalsa Salana’ has become a worldwide event, celebrated by the Ahmadi Muslims in hundreds of countries the world over. This year’s convention will be the 30th consecutive annual event for the Ahmadi Muslims in New Zealand.
“A topic that is often highlighted in the media nowadays is Islam’s alleged denial of basic human rights, especially to women and non-Muslims. We chose the theme for this year’s convention, ‘Islam and Human Rights’, to investigate the truth behind the common misconception that Islam as a religion does not grant the same rights to everyone”, says Mr Bashir Khan, the National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community New Zealand. “Unfortunately, some Muslim governments because of their own political agendas, do not practice true Islamic teachings. Various restrictions on women in Saudi Arabia, and the treatment of non Muslim minorities in some Muslim countries is a case in point. In fact, the Holy Quran goes into great detail about how the rights of all individuals are to be cherished, with special emphasis on women, granting them many basic rights such as the right to inherit – which were only given to them in the Western world well over a thousand years later”.
A special session will be held on Saturday the 26th January starting at 11 am. Hon Jenny Salesa, Minister for Ethnic Communities, will be the chief guest for the session. Open to members of all faiths, this session will provide an opportunity for guests to express their views - the event thus forms part of the Ahmadiyya community’s continuous desire to increase understanding between all faith groups.
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 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. It is a registered charitable organisation and endeavors to be an active and integrated community within New Zealand society.