Dr Qasim Akinreti, London
The Tahir hall Baitul Futuh mosque London the largest mosque in Western Europe was filled to the brim. The event was the celebration of 25 progressive years of satellite broadcast of the true Islam from the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, owner of the Muslim Television Ahmadiyya MTA International.
The world head of the Ahmadiyya community Hazrat Masroor Ahmad Khalifatul Masih V walked in at 6.30pm local time for the commencement of the celebration. Ali Munhanda Sahib read from the glorious Qur’an Suratul Al- Fatih chapter 26 verse 29-30.Brother Shamir Coordinator MTA Mauritius translated the passage. Sonorous poem in Urdu followed and the entire hall was spiritually moved to ecstasy for another journey of international broadcast in the coming years.
MTA which started broadcast in 1994 at the Morden mosque with a mobile studio now transmit across 10 satellites around the world on Galaxy19, SES 2 in the Americas , Astra 2G, Hotbird 13A, Astra2F, Hotbird 13B , SES -5 , EUtelsat 70B and Asia sat 7 to Africa, Asia, Middle East and the Far East. The last satellite Hispasat 1E is directed to the Oceania and the pacific region.
This satellite model of broadcast is instructive as Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V, Masroor Ahmad remarked” unquestionably, MTA is playing a great role in spreading the true teachings of Islam to all parts of the world”, 16 languages of broadcast notably Arabic, English, French, and Urdu among others make the MTA brand unique in international broadcast from London, the headquarters, Germany in Europe, Ghana in West Africa and Mauritius off the African coast , Pakistan , Qadian and Bangladesh in the Far East , Kababir Middle East, USA and Canada for the Americas as well as Australia. Hausa, Yoruba and Chiwi local languages are expected to come on from the Ghana studio for MTA International Africa Channel.
The stations coverage span through great events including the k Friday sermons of the Khalifatul Masih V, special speeches transmitted live from the Baitul Futuh mosque or other locations around the world where the Huzur (Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community) visited. In the last few years , the Huzur has visited the British House of Commons, U.K. Parliament, the meeting with the Mayor of London, the tour of Canada in 2016, the European Parliament, the German military headquarters, Dutch parliament, official visit Mauritius, Fiji , Singapore, India, Nigeria , Benin Republic and Ghana among others.
MTA International global broadcast has been enhanced with the establishment of MTA 3 Al – Arabia in 2007, and MTA International Africa in 2016 for 24 hours .
With this 24 hours global broadcast, the Chinese news agency,XHINUA came visiting and rebroadcast programmes agreement were reached with national and private television stations across the world. Ghana television, Sierra Leone TV, Uganda TV and MITV in Nigeria offer their services. MITV in Nigeria broadcast 90 minutes programmes on Friday 4.30pm – 5.00pm, 11.30am-12noon and 7.30am- 8.00am local time. 18 hours of live telecast of the U.K. Jalsa Salana were broadcast since 2015.
The station’s range of quality news and programmes were divided into Tabligh (preaching), Taleem (Islamic education) and secular – documentaries, feature and discussions programmes. The Taleem programmes included Tilawat and Tarjmatul – Quran classes, admonitions to children and women, discussions on faith matters. Specifically, the following programmes were delights for viewers – Faith Matters, Journey To Islam, Contemplation, Inspirational Africans, The secular programmes are documentaries on Islam, Huzur tours, homeopathy (alternative health) classes to mention a few.
According to the Managing Director, MTA International, Munir ul Din Sham , these quality programming were made possible by dedicated staff and pool of volunteers, motivated by the unique guidance of the Khilafah and service to humanity. He enthused “Each year has unique experiences with an outstanding milestone achieved by young and old “. The dead colleagues were duelly acknowledged, names reeled out and solemn prayers made for the repose of their souls.
Munir recalled with nostalgia that Huzur had predicted that it will be a unique history for the International Islamic station in the later years. At 25 the prediction has come to pass as the Television station now boost of five channels with latest equipment for global broadcast.
In appreciation for the spiritual guidance and moral assistance to the MTA International as it turns 25, a special gift was presented to the Huzur and a short documentary on the glorious years of an enviable international broadcast to millions of viewers was broadcast to spice the occasion.
The documentary was an elixir for the keynote address of the spiritual leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community Hazrat Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V. His speech centred on the prophesy of the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community and promised messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad about the technological advancement in media industry including TV, radio as well as
the social media towards the propagation of true Islam. He stated that MTA International has come to fulfilled the prophesy in its unique role of spreading the true teaching of Islam.
At 25 years, the Huzur was emphatic. “MTA has adapted the latest technology and utilize social media platforms to get the message of Islam to reach all the corners of the world. The unique style of presenting Islam especially to the Arab World and the world at large has changed the negative narrative about Islam as a religion of violence but that of peace and total submission to the will of Allah (SWT)”.
He commended the efforts of volunteers and professionals.
Today the staff of MTA International stood at 328, comprising of volunteers and paid staff. The staff are paid salaries that are not competitive in the international broadcast industry. Remarkably the staff and volunteers had shown the true spirit of determination and sacrifice needed for the growth of an enviable International Islamic broadcast organisation. He prayed for the continued progress of the MTA International.
The guests across the world including Nigeria, Egypt, Mauritius, Australia, India, USA, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Belgium, and France among others graced the occasion.