The Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association’s annual interfaith women’s event at the Al-Nasr Mosque on Bridge Street has united women from all faiths for almost 20 years.
WILLINGBORO — After 12 years in America, Amtul Wadood is still grateful she can go to the grocery store on her own without receiving stares from neighbors.
Wadood grew up in Pakistan, where she lived in constant fear that her practice of the Ahmadiyya Muslim faith would get her killed. “Here, I can do anything I want to,” she said. “And especially, I can pray. I can tell people how I pray and why I pray and who I am.”
Wadood is president of the South Jersey chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association, and has helped organize an annual interfaith women’s event at the Al-Nasr Mosque on Bridge Street that has been going on for almost 20 years.
The topics change every year to reflect issues prevalent to today. This year’s event, on Saturday, will focus on “Loyalty to One’s Nation,” an ideal emphasized in the Ahmadiyya Muslim faith.
Religious leaders affiliated with the Religious Society of Friends, Catholic Charities, Village Presbyterian Church and Adath Emanu-El in Mount Laurel will speak to women of varying faiths to guide discussions in learning and respecting different beliefs.
The mosque in Willingboro is always open to people of all religious backgrounds, Wadood said.
“Our motto is ‘Love for all, hatred for none,’ ” she said.
Another member said: “Loyalty to one’s nation is not just, ‘I was born and raised in America, so I am more American than anyone,’ ” she said. “Loyalty to one’s nation is how you live in a society.
How are you giving back? Are you doing your civic duties?”
“We come here not to say, ‘I’m right and you’re wrong,’ not to say, ‘My teachings are better than your teachings.’ We are here to build bridges, to learn from each other and to appreciate our differences.”
Before President Donald Trump took office, Wadood said, many leaders in the Ahmadiyya Muslim community were concerned that they would be … READ MORE AT SOURCE WEBSITE.
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