UNAIDS Ambassador Salman Ahmad Sends Message of Peace and Solidarity
Salman Ahmad, UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador, lead singer and founding member of South Asia's biggest rock band Junoon, has sent a message of peace and solidarity on the occasion of World AIDS Day. He has sent the following message to the community:
“On December 1, 2008 we marked the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day. As more and more people are globally connected to each other through technology, sharing the power of a good idea can help bring about transformational change on our planet rapidly. As a UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador, I pledge my continuing support to help raise awareness and to shine a light on all the unsung heroes and organisations who have joined UNAIDS to "Lead, Empower and Deliver" the world to a future free from HIV and AIDS. Together we can provide hope, knowledge, treatment and compassion to all people living with HIV and AIDS.”
Ahmad has also expressed his deep grief and shock after the terror attacks in Mumbai. He says:
“We are jolted again by the horrific news of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. No religion or nation, regardless of race and ethnicity, could ever condone the mass murder of innocents without forever condemning their souls to darkness. My heart goes out to the people who lost their lives and to untold others who have been left behind to pick up the pieces from this tragedy. As a Pakistani-American, I have often enjoyed staying at the Taj Hotel and have been welcomed warmly by Indians of all backgrounds. Having performed all over India with Junoon, including earlier this year, in violence torn Kashmir, tonight my heart is with India and its people. Your grief is our grief, your blood is our blood. Only together can we overcome the darkness of our times.
As a global community, we need to be careful in not pointing the blame against any one religion, race or ethnic group. Fanning the flames of hatred at a sensitive time like this is not only foolish but could be potentially catastrophic. It is important that the media discriminate between peace loving Muslims and terrorists who only bow to gods of hate, bigotry, and fanaticism. The sentiment amongst all Pakistanis that I know is of shocked disbelief. As global citizens, I feel we have a greater responsibility to help create an atmosphere of calm and brotherhood in this emotionally charged environment.
In Islam the taking of one innocent life is like killing the whole of humanity and all people of conscience condemn this heinous act.”