Southall Mosque Opening Interviews

“It has been a wonderful evening and a very special time to share with the local Ahmadiyya Community. I think the address of His Holiness(aba) was very impressive tonight, and also how you brought people of all different faiths together, along with the representation from dignitaries of the local area. And I think that the message from His Holiness(aba) was an important one about peace and humanity and how Southall is a place where people live alongside one another, enjoying and appreciating diversity with the right to express themselves in an environment of understanding and acceptance. So I think those messages are incredibly important for today’s world and I also believe the contribution of the Darus SalaamMosque, the beautiful mosque that is being inaugurated tonight, towards peace will be a success. 

I think when we listen to His Holiness(aba) , as we have tonight, the leadership, the compassion, the love that is shared by the whole Community is very much in the image that he has and the values that he shares.”

Seema Malhotra – MP for Feltham and Heston

It was a really powerful message from His Holiness(aba) about peace, of unity and how we all need to come together as one. Also, what a beacon of light the new mosque will be for the whole community for all of Southall and for all the Borough of Ealing! So as the leader of Ealing, I am really proud and delighted to come to the inauguration of the new mosque.” 

Julian Bell – Leader, Ealing Council 

“The event was really fantastic, we enjoyed it. A lot of people came from all nationalities, all faiths, all walks of life. It’s enjoyable, all-inclusive, multicultural, multiracial. It was a very enjoyable evening, which shows that Southall is almost the centre of the universe in terms of living together, peacefulness, diversity and enjoyment. So you can see the harmony. The temple people were there, the church was there, the synagogue was there, you name it – they were there. So that really made it enjoyable. You are leading us to real peace, and that is what we have in Islam. Islam is peace, not war.”

Dr Abdullah Gulaid – Mayor of London Borough of Ealing

“I think that the keynote address itself was very inspirational because His Holiness(aba) was talking about how to remove negativity and to come together in harmony and peace and love. And also, what the true message of Islam actually is. And something that I think people all over the world need to understand a lot more about. I think the mosque in itself is a symbol and it will continue to be a symbol of peace, and I think the name itself is brilliant – The Darus Salaam Mosque – the Abode of Peace. What better name could you have!”

Shirley Brooker – Wife of Deputy Mayor of Slough

“I think for me what inspired the design, I try to introduce features if you like, that connected with your beliefs. So the crescent roof is very much at the forefront of that with the minaret and dome of course, which is always there. 

It is very good to be here, very worthwhile because it is always an opportunity to meet people from different walks of life and different communities, and talk to them which I think that your Community promotes. And I think that is really important and it doesn’t happen enough really. So these events are a wonderful opportunity to do that.” 

Paul Beech – Architect for Darus Salaam Mosque

“I am here to congratulate the Ahmadiyya Community for a wonderful building that they built to bring harmony to the diversity of Southall. As we saw and heard today, your Community is a very peaceful one just like ours. We all want to serve the community in peace and harmony. 

His Holiness’(aba) speech is for humanity. Every religion speaks for humanity. Every religion speaks of the spirit to go to the Super Spirit. You may call it Allah, we call it Waheguru, someone else calls it Ram – but the motive is the same which is that humans have to meditate and look for humanity and give love and peace and help other human beings who are the creation of God.”

Avtar Singh Buttar – Representative, Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Southall

“For several years we have been coming to his various annual events: the new year’s day event, the civic ceremony, and we enjoyed it. And this is something very special for us, your inauguration. We enjoyed your Holiness’(aba) speech. I only wish that his words were heard by people outside the Community because everyone here today would agree with him. It’s a shame that his words can’t heard more amongst other communities. So I hope that having this large mosque here fosters good feelings amongst neighbours and perhaps encourage other people to come in. So I think it was very well organised this evening. Food was wonderful and very plentiful! You seem to have almost as many volunteers here as visitors! So thank you very much for the kind invitation. We are honoured to accept. Thank you!”

Andrea Batsman – Ruislip Synagogue

“I have been invited to quite a few Ahmadiyya Muslim events in Slough. I was invited to this and was delighted to come. I had a good look at the mosque from the outside, I am hoping to get a good look inside at some stage. 

The evening went very well. I was very interested to hear the Worldwide Leader of the Ahmadiyya Community, and I was very interested to read about how the Ahmadiyya sect has actually developed in Southall over the years. I am very pleased that it has gone so well. You have gone from a very small sect in Slough to such a big sect with its own home. I have visited many mosques and temples and Gurdwaras and I have even visited a Synagogue recently as well, even though I am a devout Christian, I firmly believe in sharing other people’s faith and understanding where they come from. Thank you!”

Preston Brooker – Deputy Mayor of Slough

“It’s has been special to come for this inauguration. I think the mosque is superb and I think it’s such an addition to a community, any community. It’s a beautiful building, people will recognise it and admire it. People who worship there will use it a great deal and I think it’s a great thing to have. 

The address was very moving and we have been to one or two other events like this before and its’ always very special to listen to his words of peace, love and unity and that’s a good message for everybody.”

Sue Beech – Wife of Architect for Darus Salaam Mosque

“I am delighted that after six years we have been able to have a mosque built for the Ahmadiyya Community in Southall. It is a very important function of bringing the entire community together and the address of His Holinessabawas very inspiring. He talked about the common values of humanity by bringing people together, looking out for each other and reinforcing the values that this mosque will not only serve the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, but also the entire community at large. That’s the message we need, one of unity, of friendship and of holding each other’s hands rather than being aggressive or against anyone else. So I think there is a very good message, a very positive message in that. I am delighted that His Holiness(aba) was able to come and personally inaugurate the mosque. 

He comes across as a spiritual person who does not only preach but practises what he says in life. He has a strong presence and he speaks for all the Ahmadiyya Community across the world and his achievements are very inspiring to all of us. I knew the Fourth Khalifa(rh) also in London. I have been watching what His Holiness(aba) has been doing for the Ahmadiyya Community and he has been very inspirational and a divine light for all of us.” 

Dr. Onkar Sahota – Member of London Assembly for Ealing and Hillingdon

“As soon as we see His Holiness(aba) , all our tension is gone, [he is] full of positivity, full of blessings, full of reassurance.

While these Godly messengers are here to guide us, we shouldn’t worry and we should listen to whatever their teachings are.

 The main thing is that His Holiness(aba) has got so much positivity, so much energy and so much feeling that you are part of a family. You don’t feel any hesitation at all. They will make you feel at ease. They will read your mind, even [if there is] something I want to say and I’m hesitating, he will know.” 

Umesh Chander Sharma – Chairman, Hindu Council, UK

“I have no words to express my joy and my feelings when I met His Holiness(aba). We are really transformed to the other world when we are in the presence of the Caliph, you feel completely energised.”

“He is the only light who is to guide the world and who is to take the world out of the present-day turmoil.”

“I am so blessed that I had a chance to receive blessings of His Holiness(aba) at the time of the inauguration of the mosque.”

Anurag Sood Convener, All Religions Good Will Committee, Hoshiarpur, India