Youths are happy to chip in

Ah­madiyya Mus­lim group sets goals of help­ing char­i­ties and ‘fully as­sim­i­lat­ing into Aus­tralian so­ci­ety’

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Elisha Pearce

AS BE­LIEV­ERS gath­ered at the lo­cal mosque re­cently to ob­serve Eid ul-Fitr – the fes­ti­val mark­ing the end of Ra­madan – Eh­san Ul­lah Malhi wants peo­ple to know there are Mus­lims in the com­mu­nity work­ing hard to make it bet­ter for ev­ery­one.

Mr Malhi, 25, of Plump­ton, is an Ah­madiyya Mus­lim and ea­ger to talk about how he and the mem­bers of his mosque’s youth group fo­cus on com­mu­nity works.

At the Eid ul-Fitr fes­ti­val, Mr Malhi, along with ev­ery­one in at­ten­dance, do­nated $17 to as­sist the dis­ad­van­taged in the com­mu­nity.

Mr Malhi, a qual­ity as­sur­ance worker, said the Ah­madiyya de­nom­i­na­tion of Is­lam, which be­gan in In­dia, is dif­fer­ent to the Shia and Sunni Is­lam.

Their per­se­cu­tion at the hands of other Mus­lims around the world forms the back­ground for their at­tempts to im­prove the lives of the poor and fully as­sim­i­late into Aus­tralian so­ci­ety.

“We face a lot of per­se­cu­tion in coun­tries like Pak­istan,” Mr Malhi said.

“The gov­ern­ment ac­tu­ally bans and per­se­cutes us.

“A law says Ah­madiyya can’t iden­tify them­selves as a Mus­lim and you can be jailed for two years or fined.”

Re­cently Mr Malhi and col­leagues in Ah­madiyya Mus­lim Youth, a na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion based at a Mars­den Park mosque, raised money for the Red Cross, con­trib­uted the most vol­un­teers per head to Clean Up Aus­tralia Day and went on the Alzheimers Walk around the Ne­pean River in Pen­rith.

“We want to dis­pel the bad ideas of what ter­ror­ism has done to Is­lam,” Mr Malhi said.

Ah­madiyya Mus­lim Youth Aus­tralia pres­i­dent Waqas Ah­mad said the group had con­sciously fo­cused on hu­man­i­tar­ian work this year.

“We want the youth to en­gage ... learn­ing about their re­li­gion at the mosque is one part but se­condly we want them to learn about Aus­tralia and in­te­grate into so­ci­ety,” he said.

Ah­madiyya Mus­lim Youth mem­bers Waleed Khalid, Eh­san Ul­lah, Ah­mad Khan, na­tional pres­i­dent Waqas Ahmed and Ab­dul Wa­hab. Pic­ture: Carmela Roche

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