Ahmadiyya holds 2nd Jalsa

The attendees at the Ahmadiyya second annual Jalsa gathered for a group photo during the event at the ICC last weekend. Photo: Hilary Hosia.
The attendees at the Ahmadiyya second annual Jalsa gathered for a group photo during the event at the ICC last weekend. Photo: Hilary Hosia.

HILARY HOSIA

More than a hundred years ago, a man from a small Indian town in Qadian foretold of a new Islamic movement that would reach the farthest corners of the world.

The man, known worldwide as Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, later founded the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, an Islamic group dedicated to peace and humanitarian services.

Although the Ahmadiyya Mosque in Uliga was built in 2012, it wasn’t until last Saturday during the Ahmadiyya second national Jalsa convention at the International Conference Center, that the Marshall Islands government publicly announced its support of the group as part of endorsing religious freedom in the RMI.

Education Minister Wilbur Heine, speaking on behalf of President Hilda Heine who was traveling to New York, said he is aware of tension the group felt when the faith entered a predominantly Christian nation. “I want to say this once and for all because it is stated in our Constitution: RMI government supports Ahmadiyya,” Heine said.

Heine encouraged the attendees and praised them for their continuous humanitarian services in the Marshall Islands.

Public Service Commissioner and former Arno Senator Jiba Kabua, a long time supporter of the group, said during the Jalsa event that it is fitting for him to welcome the new faith the same way his ancestors invited the Christian missionaries.

Avid supporter Rongelap Mayor James Matayoshi thanked the group for their ongoing support, most recently for helping provide light to many Rongelap families under the Humanity First solar project.

Today, there are approximately 180 registered Ahmadi Marshallese, of those, 120 are active members, according to Imam Matiullah Joyia.

Read more about this in the April 22, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.

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