Nation’s Longest Running Muslim Convention Advances Campaign for Justice and Peace
U.S. lawmakers and officials, scholars, diplomats, and faith leaders tout Ahmadiyya Muslim Community as a role model for promoting justice, pursuing peace
Prominent civic, political and religious leaders across the country lauded the efforts of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA during its 69th Annual Convention this past weekend in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. More than 8,700 convention delegates, including 200 guests, attended the oldest and longest running Muslim convention in America to discuss efforts to combat extremism and promote the theme of “Justice, Kindness, and Kinship.”
U.S. Congresswoman Norma Torres (D-CA) remarked, “Your Community comes from a position of faith and empowerment, and when I raise my hand and say 'with liberty and justice for all,' that includes the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.”
Amy Lillis, Acting Special Representative, Office of Religion and Global Affairs, U.S. State Department, praised the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community that, “Despite persecution, your Community is dedicated to others. The Ahmadi hospital in Rabwah, Pakistan is world renowned. And Humanity First is performing extraordinary services.”
“In America, we have long valued religious freedom and often call it the first freedom,” said Eric Treene, Special Counsel for Religious Discrimination from the U.S. Department of Justice, “At the Department of Justice, we are committed to ensuring that your Community, and all people, have the right to free exercise of religion.”
Nick Miccarelli, Member, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, commented, “One of the most phenomenal parts of my career has been coming to Jalsa Salana and speaking. You are a remarkable community. I can think of no one I’d rather call a neighbor than an Ahmadi. You are patriotic, hard-working, believe in family and care for our neighbors. You are phenomenal ambassadors for Islam; if you continue to thrive, then there will come a day when people will hear the word ‘Islam’, they will think of the word ‘patriotism’ and not ‘terrorism.’”
Likewise, Erin Singshinsuk, Executive Director, US Commission on International Religious Freedom, who highlighted the plight of Ahmadi Muslim prisoners of conscience in Pakistan, praised the head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Khalifa of Islam, that “His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad courageously leads your Community in fighting extremism.”
Eric Papenfuse, the Mayor of Harrisburg, remarked, “The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is an integral part of the city of Harrisburg and a vibrant part of Pennsylvania since 1920 when the first Ahmadi Muslim missionary arrived in Philadelphia. I applaud your Community’s ‘True Islam’ campaign to fight extremist ideology and protect our national security. You are truly an example of peace and good will throughout the world.”
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA also presented its annual “Humanitarian Award” to three sister organizations of the Lutheran community: Lutheran Services of America, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, and Lutheran Services of the Carolinas. The Community lauded the efforts of these three organizations to provide health care and immigration services to millions of Americans. “We are deeply honored by this award,” said Charlotte Haberaeker, President and CEO of Lutheran Services in America. “We serve others not to gain anything for ourselves but in gratitude for God’s grace upon all of us. We share your Community’s value of benevolence for others.”
“We are deeply humbled to accept this humanitarian award recognizing our work with refugees, migrants and other vulnerable populations,” said Linda Hartke, President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. “We are called to love our neighbors and are grateful for the support of community partners of all cultures and faiths joining together to advocate for just policies and provide protection for those who have fled violence and persecution.”
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA also received official proclamations from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate, along with special messages from the Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, and Governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker. In addition, over two dozen members of U.S. Congress, including U.S. Senators John Cornyn, Marco Rubio, Richard Blumenthal and Cory Booker, sent official greetings for the Convention.
At the special guest dinner, official representatives of the Guatemalan and Sierra Leone governments brought messages praising the work of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to serve humanity and combat injustice.
About the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community:
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a dynamic, reformist and fast-growing international movement within Islam. Founded in 1889, the Community spans over 200 nations with membership exceeding tens of millions. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, established in 1920, is among the first American-Muslim organizations.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the only Islamic organization to believe that the long- awaited messiah has come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) of Qadian, India. Ahmad claimed to be the metaphorical second coming of Jesus of Nazareth and the divine guide, whose advent was foretold by the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad. The Community believes that God sent Ahmad, like Jesus, to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice and peace. Ahmad’s advent has brought about an unprecedented era of Islamic revival and moderation. He divested Muslims of fanatical beliefs and practices by vigorously championing Islam’s true and essential teachings.