On 18 May 2013, the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat and Fifth Khalifa, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, addressed a Special Reception held to celebrate the opening of the Baitur Rahman Mosque in Vancouver, Canada.
During his address, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad reassured the audience that they had no reason to fear Ahmadiyya Mosques because they were built only for the worship of God and for the sake of serving humanity.
Speaking about the new Mosque, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“I would like to proclaim and declare that this Mosque will prove to be a source of spreading love, affection, peace and brotherhood for all people irrespective of whether they are Ahmadi or non-Ahmadi or whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim. The doors of our Mosque will always be open to the people of all religions, because this Mosque is a means of manifesting God’s Grace, Mercy, Love and Compassion for mankind.”
The Khalifa also addressed the issue of Jihad by explaining that when permission for defensive war was given to the early Muslims, it was given as a means to protect all religions and all places of worship.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“In essence, it can be said that the first ever ‘Charter for the Protection of Religion and Religious Rights’ is found in the Holy Quran and it has been associated directly to the Mosque. In other words, whenever a new Mosque is built, a new chapter for religious freedom is opened.”
The world leader also used his address to congratulate the Canadian Government for recently opening an ‘Office of Religious Freedom’.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“In my view, the Government deserves praise and congratulations for opening a designated ‘Office of Religious Freedom’. We fully support the Government of Canada in this endeavour. We will fully cooperate with them in every possible effort to establish religious freedom throughout the world.”
Prior to the keynote address a range of politicians and dignitaries also took to the stage.
Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Associate Minister for Defence, read out a message on behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper congratulating the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat on the opening of the new Mosque.
Dr Andrew Bennett, Ambassador of Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom said he was amazed “by the message of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat and its commitment to Love for All, Hatred for None.”
Lois Jackson, Mayor of the Corporation of Delta said the Mosque had become “an instant landmark”. She said it was “a great honour to have Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad in the city.”
Mobina Jaffer, Senator from British Columbia read out a message from Justin Trudeau, leader of Canada’s Liberal Party in which he called the Mosque “a welcome addition” to British Colombia and Canada at large.
Judy Sgro, Member of Parliament, said the fact that so many dignitaries were in attendance illustrated “the love and respect we all hold for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.” She said the Ahmadiyya Community was “an example for the entire world.
Jinny Sims, Member of Parliament, said that if the Ahmadi motto of ‘Love for All, Hatred for None’ was adopted by all “the world will be a better place”.
Jim Karygiannis, Member of Parliament, said that the persecution faced by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat “should not be forgotten.” He said it was imperative that all parties worked together to ensure religious freedom for all people.
Rob Norris, Member of Legislative Assembly, said he was “humbled and honoured to take part in the celebration.” He said that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat “enriches our entire country”.
Manmeet Bhullar, Member of Legislative Assembly, said meeting Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad marked a “profound moment” in his life. In a message to the Ahmadiyya Community he said “we are with you, just as you are with us.”
Marilyn Iafrate, Councillor City of Vaughan, said the local community was “very blessed” to have Ahmadi Muslims amongst them. She said the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat was “totally devoted to giving back to their community.”
Ron Starr, Councillor City of Mississauga, announced that his Council had decided to recognise May 18 as “Ahmadiyya Day”. He said that in Ahmadi Mosques there is “peace, hope and a recognition that by working together will make the world a better place.”
Prior to the event, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, answered questions during a 30minute press conference.
Amongst the media outlets included were ‘CBC’, ‘CTV’, ‘Global TV’ as well as ‘The Province’ and ‘Vancouver Sun’ newspapers.
Related: Reception Video