On 18 October 2013, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat and Fifth Khalifa, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad officially opened the ‘Khilafat Centenary Hall’, built next to the Baitul Huda Mosque in Sydney, with the keynote address at an Inauguration Reception.
The event was attended by more than 200 non-Ahmadi dignitaries and guests, including a range of Federal and State Parliamentarians.
During his keynote address, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad spoke about the misrepresentation of Islam in today’s world; he spoke about the objectives of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and he spoke once again about his grave concerns that the world was heading towards a devastating global war.
His Holiness also offered his personal sympathies to the people of New South Wales over the raging bushfires that were causing huge damage to parts of the State.
The Khalifa began his address by acknowledging the damage caused to Islam’s reputation by the acts of extremists and terrorists who had wrongly associated themselves with the religion.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Some so-called Muslims have conducted the most horrific terrorist acts and killings both in their countries and abroad. No doubt they have created a state of fear, which is terrifying the non-Muslim world, whilst at the same time defaming the pure name of Islam.”
In contrast to misguided extremists, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was constantly engaged in promoting the real teachings of Islam throughout the world.
His Holiness said:
“The Ahmadiyya Jamaat is a peace-loving community that acts entirely in accordance with the true teachings of Islam. It is a community that not only promotes peace but whose every act and activity is conducted in an entirely peaceful manner.”
Speaking about the defining character of Ahmadi Muslims, His Holiness said:
“Ahmadi Muslims can literally be described in just two lines – as those people who fulfil the rights owed to God and those who fulfil the rights owed to God’s Creation. Without acting upon these teachings a person cannot claim to be a true Ahmadi Muslim.”
The world leader said that the new building had been named the ‘Khilafat Centenary Hall’ and that the name signified that all those who entered it would attain only peace and security.
Speaking about the Khilafat of the Promised Messiah, His Holiness said it could only ever be a ‘source of peace’ for both Ahmadis and non-Ahmadis alike.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“All of the Khalifas who have led the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community have always advocated for peace, unity and a sense of mutual brotherhood.”
Speaking about his concern at the current state of the world, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“The state of the world today is clearly indicating that we are on the brink of an extremely dangerous global war. Such a war will include countries that possess nuclear weapons and whose leaders are trigger happy and do not care about the horrific consequences of their acts. As a result of their carefree attitudes the world may come to witness a truly devastating destruction.”
Concluding, His Holiness appealed for all parties to work towards peace and understanding. He said there was an urgent need for all parties to set aside their personal and selfish interests for the sake of the common good.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Do not consider the problems and conflicts of today’s world to be minor or insignificant but instead strive your utmost and make every possible effort to establish peace… Thus, I ask all of you to raise your voices with justice against all forms of cruelty, corruption and disorder so that the world can be saved from destruction.”
Earlier in the evening a range of dignitaries also addressed the audience.
Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, representing Prime Minister Tony Abbott MP, welcomed Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad to Australia and said she had been particularly pleased to listen to a previous address given by him in Germany calling for “loyalty and faithfulness to one’s nation.”
Victor Dominello MP (Minister for Citizenship and Communities) read a message from NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell welcoming Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad to the State. In his message he said it was a great honour for New South Wales to host such a ‘venerable spiritual leader’. His Holiness then presented Mr Dominello with a cheque for $20,000 to help those affected by the bushfires.
Phillip Ruddock MP (Federal Member for Berowra) said:
“I want to assure His Holiness that his flock is very welcome here in Australia. The presence of so many MPs here tonight is a demonstration of the respect that Ahmadis are held in here in Australia. Your Holiness, we will happily welcome you back many, many times.”
Ed Husic MP (Federal Member for Chifley) said:
“Your Holiness it is an honour to spend time with you and to welcome you to Australia. When you leave Australia you can be rightly proud of your community here because the Ahmadis are exemplary citizens of this country. Your visit will be remembered and treasured for years to come.”
John Robertson MP (Leader of the Opposition & Shadow Minister for Western Sydney) said:
“It is an absolute honour and privilege to share time with Your Holiness because he walks the world stage with a very powerful message of faith and peace. You are so well respected across the entire globe for calling for peace and tolerance. It is leaders like you who will impact the future of the world. We need more leaders like you because only through voices like yours will stability develop in the world. You are the voice of peace, of hope and of courage.”
Kevin Conolly MP (State Member for Riverstone) who received Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad at the airport on 1st October 2013 said:
“It is memorable for New South Wales to be able to receive a leader of the stature of His Holiness. Certainly, Ahmadi teachings emphasising ‘Love for All, Hatred for None’ are very welcome here in Australia.”
David Clarke MLC said:
“Ahmadi Muslims are good and Godly people and they are good because they are Godly. We praise and honour Your Holiness for conveying the message of peace across the world… In Australia there will always be full freedom for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Never will we tolerate even a single hair on the head of an Ahmadi being harmed. God bless the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.”
Upon the conclusion of the event, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad met personally with non-Ahmadi guests many of whom expressed their appreciation at the keynote address and requested a photo with the spiritual leader.