Whitnash mayor joins hundreds at religious event

Mayor of Whitnash Cllr Parminder Birdi at the Conference of World Religions at the Guildhall in London. Picture by Tariq MC.
Mayor of Whitnash Cllr Parminder Birdi at the Conference of World Religions at the Guildhall in London. Picture by Tariq MC.

Religious leaders from all faiths and people from 26 countries - including the Mayor of Whitnash - gathered for a Conference of World Religions in London.

Cllr Parminder Birdi was among 500 delegates invited to the event, which took place at the Guildhall on February 11, hosted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association in the UK to celebrate its centenary year.

With the theme ‘God in the 21st century’, the conference was introduced by the worldwide heard of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (the Khalifa of Islam), who said: “The urgent and critical need of the world today is to establish peace and faith in God. If the world understood this reality, then all countries, whether large or small, would not, in the name of defence spending, allocate millions and billions of dollars to expand their military capabilities.

“Rather, they would spend that wealth to feed the hungry, to provide universal education and to improve the living standards of the developing world.”

Speaking afterwards, Cllr Birdi said: “There were a lot of good speakers. The message of universal ‘one-ness’ was quite appealing. In this time and day, much more of that is needed.

“I found it very interesting and there was a good exhibition on as well. I learnt a lot.

“The speakers were talking about the need for all the religions to work together.

“Lots of other civic dignitaries were there - it was a prestigious evening and I was pleased to have been invited.”

Cllr Birdi had met members of the Leamington branch of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association after being invited to attend an event they organised at the Leamington mosque last year.

The branch’s president Mohammed Salim said: “In a world of tension, it was an evening of religious harmony and one that I hope will help us work together to create peace both in Leamington and beyond.”

As well as being attended by many faith leaders, the conference also received messages of support from the Queen, the Dalia Lama, the Archbishop of York, the Archbishop of Wales, the Vatican and Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Ahmadiyya Islamic movement, founded in India in 1889, has branches in more than 176 countries in Africa, North America, South America, Asia, Australasia, and Europe.

To find out more, visit www.ahmadiyya.org.uk