Ahmadi Muslims Convene at U.S. Congress to Call for a Ceasefire in Gaza

New 'Voices for Peace' Campaign draws U.S. Lawmakers, Academics to end Israel-Hamas Conflict.

“The path the war is on will only make it more and more impossible to reach a political solution that can lead to peace.” 

Congressman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts made this powerful statement at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA’s Voices for Peace event at Capitol Hill on Dec. 4, where he forcefully called for a ceasefire in Israel’s ongoing war on Gaza. 

“Kids deserve to grow old,” said Rep. McGovern, referring to the devastating loss of life in Gaza, 40% of which is children. “We should have a ceasefire at this moment … What we’re seeing right now, in my opinion, cannot be justified.” 

Rep. McGovern, who serves as the co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in U.S Congress, joined academics and faith leaders at the event on Monday to discuss how to de-escalate the conflict in Israel-Palestine. 

More than 125 people, including staff members from various U.S. Congressional offices, participated in the timely, hour-long discussion at the historic Rayburn building, which featured speakers that included Rep. McGovern, Dr. Craig Considine of Rice University, and Imam Azhar Haneef, missionary-in-charge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the United States. Journalists and other special guests also attended the panel discussion. 

The highlight of the afternoon was a video featuring the message of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. 

“As a result of the war between Israel and Hamas, the martyrdoms of innocent Palestinian women and children continue to increase,” he said in the recorded message from one of his recent Friday sermons. “The swiftness with which the conditions of war are increasing and the policies which Israel and the major governments of the world are adopting make a world war an imminent reality.”

His Holiness added that “until someone does not have the courage to try to bring an end to this war, they are responsible for leading the world toward ruin … Thus, along with prayers, you should try to spread the message around you that injustices must be brought to an end.” 

Dr. Craig Considine also echoed the need for a ceasefire. “The number one most important thing when we talk about peace, which is nonviolence, [is] literally the absence of killing. This should be a priority,” he said. “Stop the killing.” 

Karim A.A. Khan, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, sent a video message to attendees. “This is a perilous moment the world is facing,” he said. “The ICC is actively investigating situations around the world, including the Palestine situation … This is a time for action … it is a time for people to feel the shelter of the law.”  

The final speaker was Imam Azhar Haneef, who spoke of the wisdom and guidance from the Holy Quran.

“It says, ‘Oh People of the Book! Come to a word that is equal between us and you.’ At this time, what is equal between us and our fellow believers, who are Christian or Jewish of faith?” he said. “I believe that it is this overarching desire and determination that there should be peace in this world. And there should be an absence of inhumanity toward any and all people. All Christians, all Jews, all Muslims, and all people, believers, or having no belief as they may desire.” 

He reaffirmed the message of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. 

“We stand allied with those who, all around the world at this moment, are giving voice to this message of peace. And we are echoing those voices far and wide throughout the world in these very humbled conferences — Voices for Peace.”

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