Food of Love: Muslims plan to curry favour by spicing up village life

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One of Britain’s oldest established Islamic groups, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, to roll out plan to participate in village fetes to benefit local communities

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It means our members can play a part in village life where Muslims may be ‘invisible’ and where people’s impressions of Islam might be influenced by media

The Ahmadiyya Muslim community, that established the first mosque in London, plans to spearhead a new drive for integration.

Village fetes- the quintessentially British occasion with tea, homemade cakes and jams, are to be spiced up with a new ingredient - the samosa and pakora or bhaji as it is commonly known.

Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Elders Association, that is based in nearly 80 cities across the UK, will be instructed to reach out to villages and request selling spicy street food at their fund-raising fetes. All the proceeds will be donated to the charity and all costs will be met by the faith community whose ethos is Love for All, Hatred for None.

The plan has already been trialled in parts of Britain where the community has contributed to village life and local fundraising.

The plan is announced to coincide with the community’s Golden Jubilee annual convention – the Jalsa Salana – marking 50 years of the event in Britain. More than 30,000 people are expected over three days for the event between August 12-14 in Alton, Hampshire.

The event will be addressed by the worldwide Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, and will be broadcast globally via satellite TV.

Ijaz Rehman, President, Ahmadiyya Muslim Elders Association UK, said:
“The ethos of our community is Love for All, Hatred for None and we welcome this opportunity of reaching out to others to promote peace and cohesion.

“We already engage in interfaith work so are well networked with churches, temples, synagogues and gurdwaras. We regularly raise funds for local and national charities, support the Poppy Appeal, and we work with the authorities to support their work to tackle extremism.

“We are very pleased about the prospect of sending our members to support village fetes in their fundraising by selling food we prepare. We would bear all the costs of supplying the food, selling it and all proceeds would go to the local cause.

“It means our members can play a part in village life where Muslims may be ‘invisible’ and where people’s impressions of Islam might be influenced by media.

“It will provide us with a chance to interact with others, to exchange knowledge and ideas- and to help raise funds. We hope to spice things up but hopefully not too much! The aim is to break down barriers and to show support for others in our society.”

Contact details:
Name: Basharat Nazir +447703 483384
E-mail: media(at)
Mahmood Rafiq +447971 060 962
Twitter: @JalsaUK @AhmadiyyaUK

Note to editors:
Ahmadi Muslims – one of the oldest Muslim groups in Britain, accept Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, a 19th century spiritual reformer from India, as the Messiah awaited by all major religions. The Community, now established in some 200 countries, is at the vanguard of the revival of true Islam.

His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Caliph of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, currently based in West London, will host the annual convention and address it on each of the three days.

Ahmadi Muslims are active in their communities; they raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities each year and have their own charity Humanity First that is serving humanity locally as well as in all parts of the world irrespective of colour, race or religion. Ahmadi Muslims are the pioneers of interfaith dialogue. In 2003 they opened the largest purpose built mosque in Western Europe in Morden Surrey, which can accommodate more than 13,000 people. The community also built the first mosque in London in 1924.

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Basharat Nazir