by Imam Sheharyar Shaikh
Sunnis and Ahmedis: Brothers in faith? ? was the topic of a debate that occurred on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at Tahir Hall ? a three-storey complex located in the Ahmediyya neighborhood in the city of Vaughn. Before an audience of hundreds, Ansar Raza (Ahmedi) and Sadat Anwar (Sunni Muslim), dealt with a subject that is usually avoided in public forum.
The event started at 5:48 pm with the Quranic recitation (that ominously ended with “And give us victory over the Kafirin.”) and continued until 9:30 pm including a 15-minute Q and A session. A final address by Mubarak Nazir, the principal of the Ahmediyya missionary college, formally concluded the evening.
The audience interest was clearly palpable; those who could not find chairs preferred to remain standing the entire time. Young well dressed Ahmedi volunteers led the incoming audience to their seats without hassle. The event was well organized, timely and had no hooting, jeering, name-calling or untoward disturbances. Not only each member of the audience was provided free Ahmediyya literature, but the evening ended with snacks and refreshments amid a lively, open yet civil discussion on the main differences between the two faiths (The debate can be viewed at http://new.livestream.com/accounts/1970046/events/2627938