The Walton on Thames branch of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (AMC) gave a donation to the Mayor’s Charity, Sparks, at a function held on Sunday 25 October. The event was the inaugural meeting of the newly formed branch. The Mayor, Councillor Jan Fuller, attended the function and spoke of her delight at attending a Charity Walk earlier in the year.
Commenting on the event the Mayor said:
‘I was delighted to attend the function on Sunday and see such a diverse range of organisations present and I was very grateful to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for the donation to my chosen charity, Sparks.’
A number of local guests and friends attended the event including the Rev Jonathan Andrew of St Peters Church, Hersham, Terri Collins of Elmbridge Community Link and The Counselling Partnership, and Steve Bazley of Surrey Police.
The Reverend Jonathan Andrew, Associate Priest at St Peter’s Church, stressed how important it is at the present time for people of different faiths to engage in respectful conversation with one another. This was not to deny the very significant differences in belief between the faith communities, but to recognise God’s gifts present in all people so that we can work together for the good of all.
Imam Ataul Rashed spoke on the True Face of Islam and he sought to dispel misunderstandings and inaccuracies about Islam. He said that Islam is a peaceful religion which emphasised the importance of all people living in harmony. The Community’s motto is ‘Love for All, Hatred for None’ which is a summary of the teachings of Islam.
Speaking after the event Terri Collins said:
‘I very much enjoyed the event; the delicious food, company and the opportunity to learn more about Islam. As someone who has been brought up within the Christian community I appreciated the message of the Ahmadiyya Community “love to all and hatred to none” and if more individuals throughout all of the faith communities practised this message then the world would be a peaceful place. We must pray that this message prevails!’
The aim of the meeting was to introduce the new branch to the local community and to build links with them so that together we can work for the betterment of our community. About eighty people from all walks of life attended the meeting and over dinner they were able to discuss and exchange views on many different subjects.