Participants take part in a tug of war at last year's Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association Western Canada interfaith conference.

Muslim youth conference this weekend in Hope

The recreation centre is hosting about 400 participants from across Western Canada

About 400 members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association are coming to Hope this weekend for an interfaith conference.

Hope Recreation Centre is hosting the group, which will see participants from local chapters across Western Canada. Event organizer Mubashar Ahmed said AMYA holds these conferences every year to create peace and harmony in society, as well as promote a better understanding of the religion.

“Our motto is love for all, hatred for none,” he said. “It provides our youth a common platform to hang out and saves them from falling into wrong hands. It also makes them better citizens and helpers of society.”

The conference is comprised of educational activities, sports and spiritual training. Planned events include recitation of the Qur’an, poem reading, a speech competition, cricket, ball hockey, volleyball, basketball, races and tug of war. About 10 participants from Vancouver are riding their bikes to Hope as part of the convention activities. In addition, participants will hold a special prayer before sunrise on Sunday for the community.

“These youth conferences are held to train our youth in all aspects of life and to create the spirit of competition in them,” said Ahmed. “A healthy mind needs a healthy body so sports events are as important as educational events. What we teach our kids is that it doesn’t matter if you lose or win – you’re playing for the sake of playing and disciplining yourself.”

Ahmadiyya is a growing international revival movement within Islam that was founded in 1889 under the teachings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, whom followers believe to be the Messiah.