On Saturday the 1st of April 2017, Women's Auxiliary of Canberra Ahmadiyya Muslim Association organised their first ever Interfaith Symposium at Griffin Centre in Canberra Civic. The theme of the symposium was "How faith can help in building peace in our society".
The event was chaired by Dr. Salma Karim. The chief guest was Ms. Elizabeth Kikkert MLA. The event was attended by local female Ahmadiyya members, several Ahmadiyya representatives from Sydney and several distinguished guests from the wider community. The speakers were:
- Dr. Salma Karim, President of Ahmadiyya Women's Auxiliary ACT
- Pastor Jude Hatfield, Mosaic Baptist Church
- Ms. Emilia Edellatorre, Buddhist Community
- Ms. Roslyn Harper, City Uniting Church
- Rev'd Dr. Jeanette Mathews, Charles Sturt University
- Ms. Gillian King, Multifaith Organiser
- Ms. Elizabeth Kikkert MLA, Shadow Minister of Multicultural Affairs; Shadow Minister of Families, Youth and Community Services
- Mrs. Kanza Agha, Ahmadiyya Women's Auxiliary ACT
- Diana Abdel-Rahman, Order of Australia Medal for multicultural community work
The speakers explained based on their faith how their faith can help in building peace in our society. The guests were appreciative of the Interfaith Symposium as a platform for interfaith understanding and harmony.
Regarding the need for a place of worship, Elizabeth Kikkert said:
"Deep inside of us there is need to have a place of refuge. Where peace and serenity prevails. A place where we can set, regroup and re-energise to prepare for future."
Dr. Salma Karim said:
"Ahmadiyya Muslim Community since its inception in 1889 has been leading a global effort to revive the authentic and true message of Islam as taught by the Holy Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) and revealed to him by God Almighty in the Holy Quran. The ethos of our community are summed in our motto “Love for all Hatred for none”.
On behalf of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Canberra I extend our deepest condolences to all those affected by the recent terror attack at Westminster. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of London for the tragedy.
I am thankful to all the speakers who represented their faiths and practically demonstrated beautiful teachings of peace. We all wish to promote peace , love and harmony in our society."
A book exhibition at the event attracted a lot of attention from the guests. The exhibition included translation of the Holy Quran in various languages and other books on religious and social topics.
Refreshments were served after the speeches and the ladies used the opportunity to connect and network with each other.