Peace Conference 2016

On 18 November 2016, Majlis Ansarullah Nederland (Ahmadiyya Muslim Elders Association) organized its annual “Peace Conference”. The event was held at the Mubarak Mosque in The Hague, Nederland with an audience of more than 100 people, including more than 45 external guests comprising members of NGO’s, the mosque, synagogue, church, Hindu, Buddhist, and Sikh temples and various other dignitaries and guests. The theme of this year’s Peace Conference was “Perspective of Peace in Faith”.

The Peace Conference was Chaired by Dhr. Hibatun Noer Verhagen, President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the Netherlands. The speakers were drawn from the six major practiced faiths in The Netherlands.

Dhr. Zubair Akmal moderated the Conference, introducing the efforts of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat International he said “Ahmadiyya Muslim Community worldwide continues to engage all faith groups to find means to achieve global peace. The conference today was a small step on our long journey towards that goal.

The Ahmadiyya community needs to be recognized for their commitment to peace between all religions. Today faith leaders from several mainstream religions joined hands today to find ways to achieve peace. Leaders representing the Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, and Islamic faiths all will highlight how religion can play a positive role in promoting peaceful co-existence, and increasing cohesion in the society.

Opening the Peace Conference Dhr. Mirza Fakhar Ahmad, the President Majlis Ansarullah Nederland highlighted the efforts of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at international’s efforts with regards to peace. He introduced the Community, its founder the Promised Messiah (peace upon him), and read excerpts from speeches by His Holiness, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, who is the fifth and spiritual head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Community.

The first speaker of the Peace Conference was Mr. Dolf Langerhuizen from Roman Catholic Church who said people are mostly peaceful by nature, however it is always a small group of people who for their personal gains pollute the atmosphere of harmony and peace.

The second Speaker of the day was Mr. Arjinder Singh representing the Sikh Gemeenschap Nederland. He spoke about the Sikh religion and that is also in principal accepts all the religions of the world and teaches to live with peace among people of all faiths, it is merely a group of few people in almost every community who create differences among people for their worldly profits.

The Jewish view of peace was presented by Rabbi Harry Z. Knot as the third speaker representing Liberaal Joodse Gemeente. Rabbi Knot expounded the peaceful teachings of Judaism, and explained that the life of all prophets is full of making peace in their communities, so was the life of Prophet Moses (peace upon him) and the book of Torah, that he left behind for his people.

Pandit Avi Sharma of Lord Shiva Temple, Amsterdam representing the Hindu faith spoke how peace starts from one’s own home which takes small steps in neighborhood and moves to the city, country and world at large.

The last guest speaker was Dhr. Guan Her Ng of Fo Guang Shan’s Buddhist temple in The Hague who explained the importance of Peace in the Buddhist faith, he said:The Buddha saw that all people have a Buddha-nature and are interconnected. Also, that all things are impermanent and therefore in a circle of cause, condition, effect and result. Therefore, peace starts with oneself. Without being peaceful, how are you going to influence peace to your family, friends, colleagues, and the rest of the world?”

Islam was represented by the Moulana Hamid Karim Mahmud a missionary of the Ahmadiyya Moslem Community. He highlighted the teachings of Islam from the Holy Quran, Hadith, Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) and the Caliphs of Ahmadiyya in order to maintain Peace in the community, society and world at large.

The President of the Ahmadiyya Community in Netherlands concluded the event by appreciating the keen interest shown by all especially the guests, the organizing team. All speakers were presented with a bouquet of flowers and a gift as the symbol of gratitude on behalf of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Elders Association.

The last segment of this event was a panel discussion with the audience which generated such a great interest that the time was extended to almost one hour from 30 minutes. A documentary highlighting the World Tours of His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad was also shown and watched with great interest by all who were present.

The event was closed with the silent prayers, led by Missionary Naeem Ahmad Warraich of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in The Netherlands. The guests joined us for dinner at the conclusion of the event.