A FORMER teacher says he has penned his memoirs to spread the peaceful message of his branch of the Islamic faith.
Matiullah Dard’s autobiography, An Ahmadiyya Muslim, charts the journey from his youthful experiences among missionaries in Pakistan to his current role as the vice-chairman of the Bexley and Thamesmead Multi-Faith Forum.
The 76-year-old grandad is a member of the branch of Islam founded in 1889, which has the motto “love for all, hatred for none”.
Mr Dard had a successful career in teaching, working in Birmingham schools for 35 years, where he pioneered the teaching of Urdu.
He was elected as the first Pakistani community representative on the city’s community relations council in 1972 and served on its community health council for eight years.
The book covers Mr Dard’s role in spreading the Ahmadiyya message in Fiji as a young man and his work to help found the faith’s group in Birmingham.
Mr Dard, whose uncle opened the first British Ahmadiyya Mosque in Putney in 1924, spoke out in the1980s against the decision of the Pakistani Government to ban his faith.
He also hit the headlines by issuing a “miracle challenge” to evangelist preacher Billy Graham when he visited Birmingham in 1984.
Mr Dard told The Mercury: “Our motto is love for all, hatred for none, which is the real teachings of Islam.
“We reject terrorism in any form. We aim to bring people the peaceful message of Islam.”
Mr Dard added that his sect has around 200 million members worldwide and By MANDY LITTLE Book spreads ‘real teachings of Islam’ believes in the worth of all the prophets from previous religions including Jesus and Moses.
● An Ahmadiyya Muslim is available fromvarious online booksellers priced from £3
Author: Mandy Little
Taken from Print version of 11th May 2001’s The Mercury