Glasgow’s Ahmadiyya Muslims are to lead a fundraising walk to raise cash for children with cancer in the city.
The religious community – which was hit by tragedy when member Asad Shah was murdered in March – will hold their “peace walk” at Kelvingrove Park on Sunday.They hope to raise £25,000 which will be handed out to charitable organisations including the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, formerly the Yorkhill Children’s Charity.Other beneficiaries include Children’s Hospice Association Scotland and Ronald McDonald House.Ahmed Owusu-Konadu, Chairman of the ‘Charity Walk For Peace Scotland 2016’, admitted this year has been “difficult” for the Ahmadiyya Muslim community.But he insisted it is important that the event goes ahead in memory of Asad Shah.Mr Owusu-Konadu said: “This year we aim to bring together all faith and non-faith groups together for this most excellent cause of peace.
“By marching side by side in peace, (we are) thereby telling all these extremist and terrorist groups around the world that although they wish to divide us, we would never ever let them win because what unites us and what we have in common far outweighs what divides us.“We want to show to the whole world that if we members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Glasgow can initiate this and achieve it, then certainly the whole world can also do it.“So, this year being a very difficult year for us the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Glaswegians as such, we want to try to put it all behind us and unite the whole community under one umbrella of ‘love for all, hatred for none’, which is our motto.
“We hope all Glaswegians, both faith and non-faith groups, will join us for this very worthy cause of uniting the whole community, condemning all forms of extremism, and also raise funds for the needy, the poor and sick in our communities through these charities we are supporting this year who are doing amazing work.”Hundreds of people are expected to gather in Kelvingrove Park before the walkers set off at 10am.Among those joining the throng will be MPs Alison Thewliss and Stewart McDonald MP, and Bailie Dr Nina Baker.She said: “I am always delighted to attend the annual Yorkhill fundraising walk in Kelvingrove Park.“The Ahmadiyya mosque has raised vast sums of money for this great charity over the years and this event is one of their most successful fundraisers.
“In these difficult times it is a cheering thing to see the Ahmadiyyas’ motto of ‘love for all, hatred for none’ put to such positive and practical public benefit.”The first charity walk was held in 1985 and participants have raised around £80,000 for the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity in the last three years alone.Kirsten Sinclair, Director of Fundraising at the charity, said: “We are incredibly grateful to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for their continued support and generosity which helps us provide the best possible care to the babies, children and young people who are treated at Scotland’s largest children’s hospital.
“With more than 450 children from across Scotland being treated at the hospital each day, we’d like to thank everyone involved with this wonderful event which will help to support our young patients and their families.”