A celebration of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Canada is set to take place in Saskatoon Wednesday evening.
Around 1,000 people of the faith live in the prairie city, and will gather to commemorate 50 years of establishment in the country at a big event outside Saskatoon City Hall.
City council proclaimed May 18 “Ahmadiyya Muslim Day”, and a large gathering will take place in Civic Square around 6:30 p.m.
Mubarik Syed, one of the organizers, said the celebration is also a token of thanks for all Canadians have done over the past five decades.
“When we came to Canada we were actually given all the liberties and all the freedoms that were snatched away from us when we were born,” Syed said.
Syed moved from Pakistan 26 years ago as a refugee. He said despite certain people’s sentiments toward those of Muslim faith, Canada remains a safe haven for many.
“When I look at what is happening in many other countries…Canada is a paradise still,” Syed said.
He mentioned negative images of Muslim people in the media inflaming misunderstanding and stereotypes.
“Because of that you do feel some attitude change toward Muslims, but on the whole I would say Canada is still doing much better than many other places,” he said.
Syed said the number of Muslim people in Canada has continued to grow each year over the past five decades.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at has also become a leading contributor to Canadian society through its various humanitarian and peacekeeping initiatives.
Wednesday night’s event will be attended by the National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at, Lal Khan Malik; the Mayor of Saskatoon, His Worship Don Atchison, and other dignitaries.