The Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Newcastle hosted a multi-faith event as people of all religions came together to pray for peace between Israel and Gaza.
The religious meeting at St Peter’s Church in Newcastle was brought together by the Ahmadiyya Muslim community on Saturday in order to unite diverse communities in their condemnation of hatred and cruelty, and deliver a message of solidarity and the hope for peace. The event is a pivotal part in the group’s involvement in the global Voice For Peace campaign, where different faiths and communities offer their prayers.
The gathering primarily focused on interfaith solidarity, with prayers for justice and humanity, values that are shared by all. Muslims, Christians and Sikhs came together to participate, with over 40 members of these faiths in attendance.
The proceedings commenced with a solemn moment, as participants observed a two-minute silence, made to honour and remember the victims of the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. There were two primary speakers at the event; Tahir Selby, missionary of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community North East, and Minhas Younas, the president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Newcastle.
Tahir Selby said: “Today, we gather here for the Payer for Peace event and this is something we are holding across the nation, as these are very worrying days and there is a need of peace. For the past few days war has ensued between Hamas and Israel and as a result woman, children and elderly have been killed and continue to lose innocent lives.
“Even in a state of war Islam does not permit killing innocent civilians, in this recent escalation of the war Hamas made the first move and attacked Israel citizens, leaving aside for a moment the fact innocent people have been unjustly killed by the Israeli Army.
“I urge you to join of peace and to press the UK government to call for immediate ceasefire and release of all hostages. Furthermore as the hunger and diseases loom over the civilians, humanitarian aid must be allowed to reach them. All parties must comply with international laws and more importantly every action much be taken to ensure that a lasting and just peace is secured for the region and the wider world.”
Minhas Younas added: “The world is witnessing a deep distressing conflict between Israel and Palestine that has far-reaching implications. The nature of these attacks and the scale of the conflict is greatly concerning as it is unfolding a humanitarian catastrophe.
“What Hamas did was completely against the teachings of Islam. The action taken by Israel is also exceeding all limits. I hope our Prayer for Peace event will send out a powerful message: peace is core of all faiths and that true believers are united in saving lives and work for peace. This is what Islam and all faiths teach.”