Trudeau stops by Ahmadiyya Muslim convention in Bradford

“When families are afraid to go out for a walk in the evening in the neighbourhood and when mosques are getting vandalized, that’s unacceptable. An attack on a Muslim Canadian is an attack on all Canadians,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s annual convention in Bradford on Saturday

Rob Paul
about 15 hours ago

  • Paul Novosad for BradfordToday

1 / 10 Paul Novosad for BradfordToday

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s annual convention, Canada’s largest and longest-running Ahmadiyya Muslim Convention, in Bradford on Saturday.

The 44th Jalsa Salana Canada saw thousands from across Canada and around the world in attendance for the three-day gathering—it is the only gathering of its kind in Canada

“After being apart for two years isn’t it wonderful for us all to be gashing for the Jalsa Salana?” asked Trudeau. “The Ahmadiyya community is an important part of helping us build a strong diverse Canada. I know so many are community-minded and therefore have been there for each other and for your fellow Canadians throughout this difficult past two years.

“In Calgary, Ahmadiyya youth launched the Neighbourhood Helper campaign and delivered groceries and prescriptions to those throughout the city, many of you were on the frontlines as health-care workers and essential workers, so many of you were involved in community organizations and community leadership to help Canadians be there for Canadians alongside each other through this pandemic.”

With recent acts of Islamophobia in Canada, Trudeau emphasized the government’s investment in a new anti-racism strategy in the national action plan combating hate which includes funding for grassroots organizations that are fighting racism, intolerance, and Islamophobia in communities across Canada.

“We’ve seen an unfortunate rise in hatred and intolerance of particularly Islamophobia these past few years,” Trudeau said. “When families are afraid to go out for a walk in the evening in the neighbourhood and when mosques are getting vandalized, that’s unacceptable. An attack on a Muslim Canadian is an attack on all Canadians. Intolerance and hatred undermine everything we have built in this country and mostly everything we continue to build, so we have to continually step up and do more as a country.

“Canada is a place of openness and respect, and we need to keep it that way. Hatred and intimidation should have no place here. Everyone needs to be free to pray how they want and be who they want. The promise of Canada is a promise of respect, hope, and of freedom. That’s what we gather here for and that’s what you dedicate your lives to.”

Trudeau also announced the government is in the process of appointing Canada’s very first special representative on combating Islamophobia.

“It will serve as an expert advisor to the government on how we can combat Islamophobia, religious intolerance, racial discrimination, and more,” he said. “They will step up in ways to address barriers facing Muslim communities here in Canada. We know we all have work to do, but Canada is a country that didn’t happen by accident and won’t continue without that effort. By working together, we can and we will build a stronger, fairer, more inclusive Canada.”

The goal of the annual convention is to facilitate greater spiritual awareness among community members, strengthen ties, and promote peace.

“Love for all, hatred for none” is the Ahmadiyya slogan. 

“We have a message that all the world needs, all the Canadians need the message that we have, that message is that Islam is a religion promoting peace and love,” said La khan Malik, national president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at. “This conference will be used to propagate this message of love and compassion for all human beings.”

After purchasing the land on 10 Sideroad in 2003, this year was the first time the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community held its annual convention in Bradford after working with town council.

“The Ahmadiyya community is such a wonderful addition to our town, from their focus on community volunteering and fundraising, to their work as small business owners in the community,” said Bradford Councillor Jonathan Scott. “We’re thrilled the Jalsa has now come to Bradford, to host this national conference. I’m so glad we were able to work together to make this major event happen this year and going forward.”

The first convention was held by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in Qadian, India in 1891 where just more than 70 people attended the event, since then, the convention has grown into a worldwide event where tens of thousands of members gather.

This was the smallest Jalsa to date, as the group transitions to larger events post-pandemic restrictions, with $145,000 spent on local suppliers to help pull it off. 

source https://www.newmarkettoday.ca/local-news/trudeau-stops-by-ahmadiyya-muslim-convention-in-bradford-5592968

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