World-leading paediatrician named as 2018 Ahmadiyya Muslim Peace Prize winner

A world-leading paediatrician and hostage negotiator was awarded an international peace prize by a Merton Muslim leader last weekend in recognition of his life’s work.

Dr Leonid Roshal, 84, thanked attendees at the Ahmadiyya Muslim International Peace Symposium, held at the Baitul Futuh Mosque, via a recorded video message after winning the Ahmadiyya Muslim Peace Prize.

The annual event, led by the Ahmadiyya Calif, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, awards the Prize for the Advancement of Peace to individuals whose work reflects the objectives of peace between people of all nations and faiths.

In his acceptance speech, Dr Roshal, who was born in Russia, said: “What has my career lead me to conclude? That there are no bad religions.

“Unfortunately, there are people who use their religion to achieve their agendas.

“More peacefulness is needed, doing good is essential, and we must eradicate evil and eliminate hatred from our relationships.”

Accepting the award on his behalf was his friend and colleague at the Moscow Institute of Emergency Children’s Surgery & Traumatology, Angelika Alekseeva, who travelled from Russia and battled through snow in London to share her thoughts on peace with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

Mrs Alekseeva said: “It is very important for everybody to make every possible effort to strengthen worldwide peace in his own way.

Mrs Alekseeva told the symposium that Dr Roshal had come to the decision to donate his award to a charity supporting children with brain and spinal injuries.

Dr Roshal’s message was shared with over 800 attendees at the mosque, the biggest in the UK, which included MP’s Justine Greening, Chris Grayling, and mayor of Merton Council, Cllr Marsie Skeete.

During a 61-year career, Dr Roshal has worked in his homeland and internationally to improve he lives of children

He has championed the need for peace across faiths and nations, and, as recently as October 2017, spoke to Vladimir Putin directly about the need for more doctors and training across Russia at the congress of the National Medical Chamber.

He has twice worked as a hostage negotiator, first while providing aid during the 2002 Moscow Theatre Crisis, and again two years later at a school in Belsan, Northern Russia.

He has also lent his endorsement to the development of long-distance medical consultations in Russia, reaching remote families with newborn babies through video web chat.

The prize for the Advancement of Peace adds to Dr Roshal’s accolades, including national commendations of the Order of Courage and 2002 Russian of the Year, as well as a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

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