On Monday 21 July 2014 at the City of Casey Council chambers, the President of the Casey Multi-faith Network Mr. Jim Reiher, Vice President Stephanie Saunders and Acting Treasurer Pam Mamouney OAM welcomed Imam S. Wadood Janud, the first Imam appointed at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association in Langwarrin.
Mayor of City of Casey Geoff Ablett and Vice Mayor Amanda Stapledon along with Councillors Mick Morland and Rafal Kaplon also welcomed him and had the opportunity to make introductions. Imam Janud was accompanied by a delegation of two members: Mr. Rehmat Samiullah (Secretary of External Affairs of Ahmadiyya Muslim Association) and Mr. Aziz Bhatti.
Imam Janud introduced himself to guests and members of the Casey Multifaith Network and said that he has arrived in Melbourne about 4 weeks ago, after receiving his formal training in ‘Islamic Theology and Comparative Religions’ from the ‘Ahmadiyya Institute of Islamic Studies’, located in Maple, ON, Canada. for a period of seven years. After completing his studies, he also had the opportunity to visit Liberia (West Africa) and serve as Imam for six months, and completed his world tour by visiting several other countries before making Melbourne his new home.
Imam Janud said his purpose as Imam is two-fold: to engage with community members from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, working closely with the youth, in matters of spirituality or contemporary issues, and to participate in the wider community by encouraging and supporting interfaith dialogue. Imam Janud said, “My life is devoted to the cause of peace, harmony and ‘Love for all, Hatred for none’, and my doors will always be open to the community members for any help and advice.” He also added that he can be contacted by a member of any faith about any matters related to Islam and/or contemporary issues at any time of the day.
Present at the meeting were 27 guests and members of the network, who meet on a monthly basis at the Casey Council Chambers. For July, the guest speaker was Peter Blair from Urban Neighbours of Hope based in Dandenong who told the participants about the great community work they do with those who have nowhere to go, or need some temporary residence before they can get a home of their own. They also host a dinner on a weekly basis for asylum seekers to provide them a place where they belong and socialize with them. Urban neighbours of hope workers have to take vows of Poverty, Service and Obedience. The presentation was interactive with the participants asking questions and giving feedback.
After the presentation, each member had the opportunity to share information about upcoming events in their faith communities. The next meeting is scheduled for 14 August 2014 at 2pm at the Casey Council. A link to Casey Multi-faith Network can be found on facebook
By Naureen Choudhry
Secretary & Public Officer, Casey Multi-faith Network