During his recent tour of Norway, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, was called on by the Norwegian Government’s current Defence Minister, Grete Faremo and also by twotime former Prime Minister kjell Magne Bondevik. During both meetings the dignitaries welcomed Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad to Norway and congratulated him on the opening of the Baitul Nasr Mosque, which is the largest mosque in Scandinavia.
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad met with Defence Minister Grete Faremo on 30th September 2011 at his office at the Baitul Nasr mosque complex. The talks centred on the recent terrorist attack in Norway that took place on 22 July 2011. The Defence Minister said the response of the Norwegian people to the attacks had been positive and that the people had become more united and committed to democracy in the wake of tragedy. Speaking about the horrific event, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Your country has given a big sacrifice. I understand that many of those who were killed on July 22 were very young. I can realise the pain that your country suffered because on one day in May last year, 86 of our Ahmadi Muslims were killed by terrorists at two of our mosques in Lahore. Those Ahmadis had simply gathered for Friday prayers and were killed in a barbaric fashion.”
The leaders also spoke of the importance of integration. The Defence Minister queried whether the sermons given in our mosques were given in Norwegian or Urdu, to which she was informed they were given in both languages. The Defence Minister said she was pleased to see that the Ahmadiyya mosques encouraged the use of the Norwegian language. On 3rd October 2011, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad met with Mr Kjell Magne Bondevik who has the distinction of twice serving as Norway’s Prime Minister, first between 1997 and 2000 and secondly between 2001 and 2005. Mr Bondevik informed His Holiness that since leaving the office of Prime Minister he had founded ‘The Oslo Centre for Peace and Human Rights’ whose main objective was to work towards achieving peace, human rights and religious tolerance throughout the world. The leaders then discussed the issue of persecution of religious minorities. Mr. Bondevik said that he had come to know well the issue of the persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan and was very saddened by it. He said that he sincerely believed that all humans were born equal and created by God and so there was no room for any discrimination in the world.
Mr Bondevik also expressed his gratitude towards the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. He said that the Ahmadi Muslims had maintained a loving and respectful relationship towards him both during his time as Prime Minister and also after he had left Government. The leaders also discussed the importance of true democracy, whereby each citizen has the right to partake as an equal member of society. Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“For democracy to truly succeed it is essential that democracy is accepted not just in name but also in spirit. I pray that you succeed in helping to bring true democracy and establishing peace and human rights throughout the world.”
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