Guest Comments and Reflections from Sydney and Brisbane Events

No Comments | February 2014

GUEST REFLECTIONS SYDNEY

“It’s absolutely magnificent to be able to hear the true message of Islam as distinct from, sometimes, the aberrations that are put out there. And the peaceful messages that are coming across and the genuine love of the people that is here for each other, for this country Australia and for life itself. The feeling of goodwill makes you always leave these meetings with a feeling that all is really good in the world and that there are people working hard to ensure that we will ultimately bring about peace for everyone and we will be brothers and sisters working together for the good of mankind. It may sound airy fairy, it may sound strong but the reality is that if anyone doubts it, I invite them to come to a meeting and listen to the genuine speech and feel the fellowship and the genuine love for each other that’s here and they will go away changed.”

Dr. John Broadie
Councillor Holroyd City Council, NSW

 

“His Holiness’s words were very important particularly if we reflect on world events today. His message of peace is a very important one and it’s very good to see His Holiness here again in Australia on behalf of the Australian government. It was very good to be here this evening and to hear him speak and be here with the Ahmadiyya Community as they celebrate this very historic event.”

Senator the Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells
Parlimentary Sec. to the Minister for Social Services

 

“His Holiness, his speech was inspirational. You know, we do live in a world where we live in an uneasy peace and as His Holiness said if we are not careful that peace can easily be disrupted and we do need leaders of his caliber to continuously preach the message of peace. We live in a great multicultural society here in New South Wales where we have all faiths, all cultures and we all come together in this great big melting pot but generally why they are able to continue to work, whether it’s here all elsewhere, is if we have ongoing dialogue. With that dialogue is built on understanding. With essential platform is peace.”

Victor Michael Dominello
Minister for Citizenship, Communities and Aboriginal Affairs

 

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to hear from His Holiness I said it in my speech, a privilege I felt and I think a privilege we all were to be in the room to listen to a leader who walks the world stage talking about the importance of tolerance, of faith and peace.  We need more leaders like that now on the world stage talking about those issues because far too often we see conflict emerge, we see extremism and we see that conflict turn to war. What we need are leaders who are prepared to make their voices voices for peace and His Holiness is somebody who does that so well. Events like these are absolutely critical to breakdown ignorance because its ignorance that bridges intolerance and intolerance leads to conflict. We need to break those barriers down and the more we talk with each other, share a meal, the easier it is to break down the barriers of ignorance. I am always aesthetic to come to an event like this, share a meal, share a conversation and get to know each other as fellow human beings. When we break those barriers down we understand that we are all fellow humans; that ignorance disappears very quickly.

John Robertson
MP Blacktown, NSW

 

“His Holiness, in this time of great political, and in some areas, religious upheaval, His Holiness is coming along with a message of tolerance and interfaith harmony which, I think, is the most important message of this age that we need to hear. I think it’s one of the most important things facing mankind at this time and he has come forward and he is going out there not just talking he is actually going around to try and achieve something. Going to speak in the various parliaments of the world is, I think, very important. The more the words of His Holiness can be heard, then the better it’s going to be for humanity and peace. I was really impressed with His Holiness, with the message that he brings of tolerance and human rights. I think he is a man who speaks very sensibly and very responsibly and we are certainly very privileged to have him here in Australia.”

The Hon. David John Clarke
Parliamentary Secretary for Minister of Justice

 

“The message was loud and clear. It was all about peace and harmony and security. And his comments were not just about Australia but global. Peace is the message, peace is Islam and he is carrying the message of Islam to Australia in a way that no others have done. It was just a beautiful message to convey to the wider Australian society, members of Parliament that we have here, the other members of the community to listen to the message of peace from a Muslim leader. Unfortunately we hear and see, right around the globe, messages of war and terror and so forth. That is not reflective or representative of Islam. This is representative and reflective of Islam. So I was delighted to be here.”

The. Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane
Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council

 

“It’s nice to hear a speaker of his caliber and a leader of his significance. Apart from the sermon, again which I will take home, because it’s great advice for all of us actually to be thankful and to say so but to see the extra-ordinary achievements of this Community—in building a place for itself, to learn and keep the faith alive—is quite remarkable. When religions come to a new country, keeping the base strong so that people can grow in the faith in a new country where it is so much smaller than it is in countries of origin is incredibly important. It is important that we have leaders of great significance in our community and it’s extremely important that such leaders visit because faith is cumulative; it has developed over centuries. The knowledge is learned over centuries and when you move it to a new place, you need to bring that knowledge with you.”

Ms Julie Owens
MP Parramatta, NSW

 

“His comments about the true meaning of Islam and the true faith were particularly poignant for me. I also think that it is important for the world to recognise and indeed I think this whole community recognizes that when you have a strong and forthright, international religious leader you really do a great justice to the people who follow you. And I think that is replicated, indeed reflected, by the community that’s here in Western Sydney or beyond Western Sydney. I think it also demonstrates the realm that the Ahmadiyya Community has sort of become a part of the broader Australian community. I have seen the people who were in the audience here tonight at many functions here and it is indeed an event that was on everyone’s social calendar this evening. I think it also demonstrates the power of religion to bring people together rather than divide them and there are people from many different faiths here, many different political backgrounds and many different professions. And the fact that His Holiness can command such respect from such a diverse group is a real credit to him and to the faith.”

Ms Michelle Rowland
MP Greenway, NSW

 

GUEST REFLECTIONS BRISBANE

“Just magnificent. Just the calmness of his voice made it easy to listen to. It was just beautiful. Words can’t describe how it was. It was lovely. It was an honor to have him in our country and it is something that I will cherish.”

Robyn Williams
Yugambeh Elder, Aboriginal elder of the Beaudesert Region

 

“It was amazing. The evening was amazing and the speech was amazing. And I was just quite humbled to sit next to a man so wise and to gain [from] his knowledge that he has. It’s just quite humbling and an honor for me to be here tonight to listen to His Holiness speak and to be amongst these honorable people this evening.”

Michael Pucci
State MP for Logan, LNP

 

“[A] tremendous privilege to listen to His Holiness and to meet him tonight. I was fortunate to sit next to him and be able to speak quite informally about a lot of the issues about the community—both the Ahmadiya Community but also the local community—and I will leave here with very fond memories. I have a tremendous feeling of community spirit and I could sense that people here want to make positive contributions like I do. I think already the mosque is making a tremendous contribution in some of the charity works and community work, setting examples for people right throughout our community. I am very proud to say that I represent a big part of the Ahmadiyya Community because they are such positive contributors, such community minded and community spirited contributors.”

Dr. Jim Chalmers
Federal MP Rankin, ALP

 

“Absolutely fantastic. I am so honored that His Holiness has paid a visit to Logan and that I have got to hear him and meet him. I think he is an inspiration.”

Russel Lutton
Deputy Mayor, Logan City Council

 

“I had come ready to be inspired. [He] just came across as a very gentle man. The whole evening, the whole aura of the place this evening was of peace and togetherness. I know that the politicians spoke about community and what these people have done for the community, I would have wanted to have gone one step beyond that to say that these are the people who make communities. The things that they did, they listed which are all wonderful things; helping with the floods, cleaning up Australia, and all of those things but that’s just the manifestation of the people that I have come to know through the students at my school. They just reflected the things that their homes taught them and the people that they were. Somebody just said to me before that a lot of these people left Pakistan and I said that’s good because it’s Pakistan’s loss but our gain. And that was very very evident there tonight.”

Kerry McLaren
Principal St. Francis College

 

“Look, tonight’s event was a real eye opener for me on sort of many levels. Seeing the infrastructure on the ground here the mosque, it’s a beautiful mosque. That was a new experience for me. Listening to His Holiness, I must say, when you meet someone of his sort of caliber, you have some expectations that they are going to be a very good speaker. But what interested me, what impressed me is that faith aside, His Holiness I think, implied a practical notion to faith, the expectations of faith, and I guess what it means to be Ahmadiyya and I guess put it in such a matter so that the broader community, those who are not Islamic, get some degree of comfort or guess about what your community is about. That impressed me.”

Michael Latter
State Member Queensland Parliament

 

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