WOKING’S mosque played host to about 200 distinguished guests and academics on Tuesday when all faiths pulled together under one roof to mark UN World Interfaith Harmony Week.
Kicking off its 125-year anniversary, and in recognition of the First World War centenary, the Shah Jahan Mosque, along with Woking People of Faith, themed their event The Great War: Commemorating Forgotten Heroes.
Among the many present were Head Imam Hafiz Hashmi, High Commissioner of Pakistan His Excellency Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Woking MP Jonathan Lord, Lord Lieutenant of Surrey Dame Sarah Goad, Chairman of Surrey County Council David Munro, Mosque Trustee Shamas Tabrez, Woking Borough Council’s Dr Zafar Iqbal, Co-Chairman of the Mosque Management Committee Riasat Khan and Mayor Anne Roberts.
Also in attendance were Vicar of St Andrew’s Church Canon Richard Cook, Rev Pippa Ross-McCabe and Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner Shiraz Mirza.
Jahan Mahmood delivered an illustrated talk looking at the Indian contribution to the Great War, which was followed by Director of the Curzon Institute, Hugo Clarke’s lecture entitled The Role of Commonwealth Soldiers in WW1. Brigadier Mark Abrahams OBE gave a talk about the role of faith in the Army.
Mr Lord said: “I was delighted to learn an enormous amount about the incredible contribution Commonwealth personnel gave to help the British war efforts. In fact the Great War was the first truly global conflict. As we try to ensure our current multi-cultural society works, we’d do well to reflect on the sacrifice and bravery of Commonwealth soldiers who helped this country in the past century.”
An exhibition was put together by organiser Asad Jamil, helped by Mr Mahmood and the council’s Marketing Communications Manager Andy Denner. Asad said: “We had pictures from The Lightbox, Surrey History Centre, Woking People of Faith. We managed to pull it together and it went so well – it was a great team effort.”