Lords, MPs and heads of charities and embassies were among the 70 guests at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association’s (AMYA) annual Mercy for Mankind Parliamentary reception on Wednesday March 2.Mercy for Mankind, a charity campaign set up by AMYA, has raised more than £400,000 for 42 different charities in the past year, bringing their total to more than £2million.
National AMYA president Mirza Waqas Ahmad said the Mercy for Mankind volunteers wanted to fight negative stereotypes through their work.He told guests: “The motivation for our work is our religion, Islam, but today Muslims are in the press for the wrong reasons and our religion is being hijacked by those who profess to follow it but nothing could be further from the truth.
“The truth is that Islam has taught us that serving others is a great means of getting God’s love and nearness.”Through their fundraising efforts — which have included store collections, a Paris to London cycle, a hike in the Bavarian alps and 10km runs in Manchester and London — AMYA hope to give young Muslims a chance to spread goodwill and harmony across the UK.
At this year’s reception, held in Parliament’s top functions venue the Cholmondeley room, the group presented Royal British Legion, Barnardo’s, British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross, Save the Children, Marie Curie and Great Ormond Street Hospital with donations.Speakers at the event were full of praise for the humanitarian and community work carried out by AMYA’s 5,000 volunteers.
Justine Greening, MP for Putney, Roehampton and Southfields and international development secretary, said: “In many respects the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association is one of the hugely bright spots of our community.“Whether it’s the day to day work that the youth association is doing or the works that the youth do for raising money, we can be really proud of that.
“I think it’s a fantastic demonstration of British young people showing what they can do and the role that they’re playing in our community. I’m very proud to be a part of tonight.”MP for Kingston and Surbiton James Berry praised the work of AMYA in south west London.He said: “We have a vibrant AMYA branch in Kingston and I’ve been out with them on action days, cleaning up the streets in Surbiton and New Malden.“They are a really important part of our community and really showing the way in terms of voluntary work and charity work.”