Cumberland mosque members host celebration at city hall
Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, based on Dunning Road in Cumberland, gathered at city hall on April 5 to celebrate 50 years in Canada.
The group is a sect of the Muslim religion, with a Canadian headquarters in Vaughan, Ont., and mosque in a former school building in the east end of Ottawa.
The Ottawa celebration drew people from Toronto, as well as local politicians of all levels, and Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau.
Iman Imtiaz Ahmed said the anniversary will be marked by landmark events, mostly charitable campaigns and fundraisers. In Vaughan, the community donated $100,000 to a new hospital to mark the anniversary.
In Ottawa, there have been fundraisers and collections for the local food bank.
The mosque is also a community partner for a variety of events in Cumberland, and provides free space for annual Christmas and Easter markets.
“That was a source of pride for not just myself, but the broader community,” said Cumberland Coun. Stephen Blais, speaking at the anniversary about the Christmas market. “(Their) principles are principles that Canadians from coast to coast embrace everyday, and one of those is charity.”
Orléans MP Andrew Leslie also spoke, providing a message from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulating the community on its anniversary.
“I’m here to say thanks for being wonderful and gracious members of this community, focused on community activism,” Leslie said.