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10th June 2014
PRESS RELEASE

Al-Mahdi Mosque, Neufahrn, Munich inaugurated

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad delivers keynote address at special reception

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The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is pleased to announce that on 9 June 2014, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad inaugurated the Al-Mahdi Mosque in the German municipality Neufahrn, 20km from Munich.

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More than 260 guests attended a special reception held at the Oskar-Maria-Graf School including various dignitaries such as Franz Heilmeier, Mayor Neufahrn, Erich Irlstorfer, Member of the Bundestag Freising and Professor Heiner Bielefeldt, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion at the United Nations.

Prior to the ceremony, His Holiness officially inaugurated the Al-Mahdi Mosque by unveiling a commemorative plaque and offering a silent prayer in thanks to God Almighty. 12 white doves were also released into the sky marking a local Bavarian tradition. Thereafter, His Holiness led the Zuhr and Asr prayers at the new Mosque.

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Later, the special reception began with a welcome address given by Abdullah Wagishauser, the National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Germany, during which he informed that the site of the new Mosque had been purchased in 1986 and had thereafter been used as a prayer centre. He said that its conversion into a Mosque begun in 2013.

During his keynote address, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad spoke about the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s continued commitment to promoting interfaith dialogue.

His Holiness said that the community organised events across the world in an effort to foster mutual understanding amongst the people of all beliefs.

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As a recent example, His Holiness cited the Conference of World Religions, organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which took place in February at Guildhall in London.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“During the Conference the representatives of various religions spoke about their respective faiths in front of an audience of around 1,000 guests and I also got the opportunity to speak about Islam. The Conference took place in a very peaceful and cordial atmosphere.”

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Continuing, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“The Holy Quran says that there should be no compulsion in religion and so no one has the right to speak ill of any other person’s belief or faith.”

His Holiness also responded to a small local protest comprising a handful of people against the building of the Mosque that was taking place simultaneously. He said that Ahmadi Muslims would not respond with counter protests or rallies but only by peacefully raising its slogan of Love for All, Hatred for None.

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Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Islam has taught us to respond to curses with prayers; it has taught us to respond to those who grieve us only with love and care and it has taught us to respond to arrogance only with humility.”

During his address, His Holiness also spoke of the recent martyrdom of Dr Mehdi Ali Qamar, a US-Canadian citizen in Pakistan. His Holiness informed the audience that Dr Mehdi had travelled to Pakistan to volunteer his services at a hospital but had been target killed only because he was an Ahmadi Muslim.

His Holiness said that the body of Dr Mehdi was flown to Canada where it was draped in both the American and Canadian flags before burial and members of both Governments paid great respect and honour to the deceased.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“When Dr Mehdi Ali Qamar was killed we Ahmadi Muslims did not protest or take to the streets and nor will we ever stop serving humanity. Rather more than ever before we will seek to help those in need or those who are vulnerable. Wherever Ahmadi Muslims exist they seek only to serve mankind. This is our spirit and this is our way.”

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Earlier, visiting dignitaries took to the stage to offer their congratulations to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

Franz Heilmeier, Mayor Neufahrn said:

“Today is a very significant day whereby we are all joining together to inaugurate this new Mosque. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has made a home for themselves here and I hope and pray that you live here in peace and harmony.”

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Joseph Hauner, District Commissioner Freising said:

“It is a great honour that His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has come here to Bavaria and I thank him for this. Certainly, you preach the values of tolerance and mutual respect.”

Reiner Schneider, ex-Mayor Neufahrn said:

“Today is a very significant day not just for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community but for the city of Neufahrn and its people because His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has come to this area… This Mosque is not just for you but for all people.”

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Heinz Grünwald, Regional President, Lower Bavaria said:

“I have known the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for more than 20 years and from the outset I have developed great respect for you and considered you as a friend.”

Tobias Eschenbacher, Lord Mayor Freising said:

“The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has always excelled in terms of promoting dialogue through which the fears or reservations that are caused by a lack of understanding are removed.”

Erich Irlstorfer, Member of the Bundestag Freising said:

“Your new Mosque is a source of pride not just for you but to all people in this country. I wish you peace and prosperity.”

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Professor Heiner Bielefeldt, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion at the United Nations said:

“Whoever believes in freedom of religion must know about the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community because they are the most persecuted religious community. In Pakistan their members are killed or jailed. Pakistan is no longer the Pakistan of the late Zafrullah Khan (ex-Foreign Minister, an Ahmadi Muslim) but rather what we see today is extremism and terrorism.”

Following the conclusion of events, the Neufahrn Rifle Club gave a special exhibition in honour of the visit of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad to Neufahrn.

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