A minority Muslim group walk raised more than £200,000 for charities.
Proceeds from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association’s Walk For Peace are still being counted, with retrospective donations being accepted until October.
More than 2,500 people joined worshippers from Upton Park’s Baitul Ahad Mosque, with 50-year-old Samira Ahmad, who represents female Muslims at the Tudor Road mosque, saying it was important for people of all faiths to join together.“We raised this money to help charities and promote peace,” she said. “We want peace. Islam means peace, we are a peace-loving people and religion spreads peace.“Our prophet was peaceful and forgave his enemies. He would hate what terrorist groups like Islamic State are doing in his name.”
The walk, which began and finished at 1,000 Dockside in Beckton on Sunday last week, also saw mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales and East Ham Labour MP Stephen Timms join fundraisers in a bid to promote interfaith harmony.Samira said the joining together of people from different backgrounds was a cornerstone of her group’s faith, an ethos reflected by the Ahmadiyya motto “love for all, hatred for none”.“We had people from all walks of life come together in harmony, it was very nice,” she said. “Even small children completed the walk and people from other religions helped us.”
Once funds have been counted, the UK’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Association has pledged to match whatever has been raised, with a cap of £300,000.Basharat Ahmad, who leads the Newham Ahmadiyya Association, said Beckton’s Richard House Children’s Hospice and East London charity Saint Francis Hospice will be among the beneficiaries.There are about 30,000 Ahmadiyya Muslims in the UK, with the first arriving in the 19th century from Pakistan, which does not recognise them as Islamic and declares them apostates for believing founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was God’s chosen Messiah.
For details on how to donate, visit charitywalkforpeace.org