EAST Hampshire residents will walk shoulder to shoulder with Ahmadiyya Muslims in a display of mutual respect and tolerance at a special event next month.
Residents are signing up to take part in the charity walk for peace, arranged by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, on Saturday, September 9.
The five-mile walk, between Bentley station and Alice Holt Forest, will raise money for charity but will also demonstrate the tolerance, diversity and values shared by East Hampshire’s communities.
Rizwan Ullah Khan, of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Elder Association, said: “Our message is love for all, hatred for none. This message is as important in these times as it has ever been. This walk will raise funds to help relieve the suffering of some of the most vulnerable people in our society, but it will also be a display of unity to those who would seek to divide us.
“I hope that everyone who wants to live in peace will come to the event and walk with us.”
Julie Butler, East Hampshire District Council’s portfolio holder for customer relations, said: “The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association is committed to working for peace and tolerance.
“It hopes to raise huge sums of money for charities in East Hampshire, along with supporting other charities elsewhere. They work very hard to support worthy causes.
“The charity walk for peace is a wonderful example of how they bring their message of love for all, hatred for none to life.
“If you want to show the world that we believe in togetherness and peace then join us on the walk on September 9.”
Walks for Peace were launched by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Elder Association in London in 1985 and since that time more than £3.5m has been raised for more than 250 charities.
This is the first time the walk has been brought to East Hampshire and the association hopes residents will turn out in force to support it.
The walk will focus its fundraising on two local charities each year. The primary recipients will be Home-Start Butser and Home-Start WeyWater and the Southern Domestic Abuse Service.