I also met an African American guest called Khadeeja who was extremely moved by Huzoor’s words. She said:
“I am crying – you can see my tears. I can’t tell you how overjoyed, happy and emotional I am right now. I did not expect to feel this. I honestly believe that our community will change forever after today because of the powers of your leader’s words. Both during his speech, and also when I briefly met His Holiness afterwards, I was stunned. I have never felt such emotions before, as I did when I met him. No one can deny his spirituality. He is soft-hearted and dignified. His words are drenched in love. The Khalifa is a diamond in the sky. Do you feel emotional too? Or is it just me?”
Another person attending was Senator Sharif Street, a member of Pennsylvania’s State Senate.
After listening to Huzoor’s address, Senator Street said:
“His Holiness has shown us what is needed in this day and age and he showed the people what Islam can be if it is practiced properly. He showed it can be a unifying force in the world and has the power to bring people together. He showed that Islam is not what the media says. It is not what the terrorists do. It is a religion whose core is humanity.”
Regarding the location of the Mosque, Senator Street said:
“Most places of worship are in affluent areas and the fact you came here shows that you are willing to reach out to all people. I have to say it was a surprise for me you chose this location but it shows that you do not discriminate when it comes to places of worship.”
An American man, Michael Ferrin, told me he had recently converted to Islam and worshipped at a local Sunni Mosque.
Commenting on Huzoor’s address, Michael Ferrin said:
“Some people have suspicions of Ahmadis but now they should remove all those suspicions! The way the Khalifa spoke was very appealing – he spoke with compassion about compassion. Many people fear Islam and so I greatly respect the Khalifa for travelling across the world to confront the anti-Islam prejudice directly. He speaks from the heart and with courage. It was an education to be here.”
I met another African American lady, who told me she was struggling to deal with the racial divide she felt was growing in America. She said:
“Sadly, I don’t feel safe in America at this time as a black woman. Our President does not protect us. But I feel safe in this mosque and I feel safe in the presence of the Caliph. He makes you feel safe. I love how he said that this is the city of brotherly love and that Islam is a religion of brotherly love. He speaks to my heart and the only reason I’m sad is that there were only a few hundred people here today. We need the entire city and nation to hear this message.”