Muslims Commemorate First Muslim Centennial with Nationwide Virtual Iftars
Events draw U.S. Senators, members of House of Representatives and law enforcement in over 50 U.S. cities
On Saturday, May 9 , the nation’s oldest Muslim organization hosted Virtual Interfaith Iftar events across the country in commemoration of its historical centennial year. As the first Muslim organization to accomplish 100 years in America, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA invited Americans across the country to unite together in interfaith virtual iftar celebrations amid the pandemic stay-at-home orders.
More than 120 public officials attended the Iftars across more than 50 U.S. cities. Among these officials included 14 members of the U.S. Congress, dozens of members of state and local governments (including state representatives, state senators, mayors, city council members and assembly members), as well as members of law enforcement. Faith leaders from various religious traditions also joined the virtual gatherings.
The events began by celebrating the historic centennial of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community with a 5-minute video highlighting the 100-year journey since the community was established in America in 1920. Each guest speaker then spoke passionately about how prayer, empathy and togetherness are essential now more than ever.
U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) joined the Iftar in Richmond, VA, and congratulated the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community centennial by highlighting its motto: “Congratulations on the Centennial of 100 years. It must have seemed like a Herculean task to come to the United States and introduce the Ahmadiyya faith to the American public, but the value of ‘Love for All, and Hatred for None’ was not a value that was foreign to the shores. Even if we don’t live that way, the equality principle that all are created equal is very close to the value expressed in the Ahmadiyya [Muslim] Community.” The Senator concluded his remarks with a prayer of his own: “In this time of great challenge, even when we can’t exactly understand why it’s all happening… just don’t abandon your faith and your principles…That’s my prayer for all of us – that we hold to our faith in our religious values and we hold to our faith in the values of this country.”
“You have a 100-year experience here in the United States, and our country has had the good fortune to have you become such an integral part of our communities. But there is no reason at all that in countries such as Pakistan – which at times claims to be an American ally – that you should be subjected to any type of persecution, never mind the horrible kind of persecution that you are forced to deal with,” remarked U.S. Representative Pete King (R-NY) while speaking at the Long Island Virtual Iftar about the persecution the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has faced in different countries around the world. “At a time when there are terrible disputes going on in the world and divisions between people, religions, countries and ethnic groups, no one has been more stalwart in the defense of the United States than the Ahmadiyya [Muslim] Community. So, I am proud to call you my friends. I look forward to continuing working with you.”
U.S. Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) was among the many members of Congress to also join a virtual Iftar, this one in Portland, Oregon. “Ramadan under quarantine is very different but still very meaningful. It’s important to distance ourselves physically, but we must not distance ourselves socially, culturally, or spiritually, which is why I so appreciate this Interfaith Iftar…I know the Ahmadiyya Community has always worked for unity, for peace, for equality…Love for all, and hate for none.”
In the end, thousands of Americans of various faiths joined the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for the Centennial Interfaith Iftars around the country.
“There is no better way to commemorate our 100-year history than joining with our public officials and friends of different faith communities in a recognition of how prayer and unity are essential to persevere through this pandemic together,” said Amjad Mahmood Khan, National Director for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA.
About the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community:
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a dynamic, reformist and fast-growing international movement within Islam. Founded in 1889, the Community spans 213 countries with tens of millions of members. Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, established in 1920, is the oldest American-Muslim organization.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the only Islamic organization to believe that the long- awaited messiah has come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) of Qadian, India. Ahmad claimed to be the metaphorical second coming of Jesus of Nazareth and the divine guide, whose advent was foretold by the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad. The Community believes that God sent Ahmad, like Jesus, to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice and peace. Ahmad’s advent has brought about an unprecedented era of Islamic revival and moderation. He divested Muslims of fanatical beliefs and practices by vigorously championing Islam’s true and essential teachings.