17 September 2010
The foundation stones for the first purpose-built mosque of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Ireland have been laid in Galway by Mirza Masroor Ahmad, world leader of community, during his first visit to the country. The Masjid Maryam (Mary Mosque) is only the third purpose-built mosque in Ireland and the first in Galway.
Ahmadi Muslims have been living in Ireland for more than three decades. Several hundred members of the Ahmadi community were present at the foundation stone laying, which was followed by a civic reception which local religious leaders from different Christian churches and politicians attended.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in 1889, and it is estimated that there are several million followers worldwide, mainly in a number of African states, Pakistan and Indonesia. Ahmadi Muslims face severe discriminations in several Muslim countries, such as Pakistan where they have been banned from identifying themselves as Muslims since the early 1980s.
One of Britain’s oldest Muslim communities will use its annual gathering this weekend to show how it could provide a model for other Muslims of how to live in perfect harmony with others. This weekend, 30,000 members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community will gather for the biggest annual gathering of UK Muslims. This is the 42nd Annual Ahmadiyya Muslim Convention to take place in Britain and will be based in a huge temporary village of 200 marquees at a site near Alton, Hampshire on July 25-27. Khalifa Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community who is based in London, will invite the world to reflect on the true message of all religions, including Islam. It will be a rallying call for peace, to be replicated by Ahmadi Muslims in 190 countries across the world. Mr Rafiq Hayat, president of the UK Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, said the UK Government, which earlier this year launched a fund to support work that helps individuals, organisations and communities to tackle violent extremist influences, should first look at the good practices that already exist in Muslim communities such as the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. Jon Land reports.