LONDON, March 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
At a National Symposium held in London, the Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad spoke of the increased threat of radicalisation and the mounting conflict in both the Muslim and non-Muslim world, and said that rather than religion, the root cause of today's conflicts was an "unquenchable thirst for power, influence and resources".
His Holiness categorically condemned terrorist groups such as ISIS, Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab as acting completely against the teachings of Islam and quoted verses of the Holy Quran that refuted all forms of extremism, and deemed the January 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris as "horrifying and completely against the teachings of Islam".
His Holiness cited a February 2015 UN-Security Council Resolution targeting the funding of terrorist groups and said that if properly implemented it could soon lead to the downfall of ISIS.
Praising recent comments of certain world leaders, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
"In terms of the reaction of world leaders to terrorism it has been pleasing to see that certain politicians and religious figures have chosen not to add fuel to the fire but have instead made it clear that they do not believe that any terrorist group represents the true teachings of Islam."
"As a religious community we desire only that the world comes to recognise its Creator and that people fulfil the rights of one another. To fulfil these twin objectives we make every possible effort in all parts of the world. We seek to inform others that Islam's teachings have no link with the violence and disorder witnessed in the world."
"Whilst some are saying that another World War is now unavoidable, I believe that even now there is time for the world to wake up to the stark reality it faces and to arrest this threat. To do so, all people and their leaders will need to stop looking only in one direction and caring only for their own interests. Instead, they must seek to fulfil the requirements of justice, fairness and honesty at all levels of society."
Rafiq Hayat, the National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK said that terrorists and extremists were "the polar opposite of what religion stands for".
Siobhain McDonagh, MP and Chair of the 'All Party Parliamentary Group for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community' said: "We must all be vigilant in our efforts to protect the right of all people to enjoy true religious freedom."
Lord Eric Avebury, Vice-Chair, Parliamentary Human Rights Group, said: "We have all joined together to speak against the forces of hatred and aggression."
Dr Charles Tannock, MEP, 'Chair of the EU Friends of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Parliamentary Group' said: "It is extremely evident how prosperous, charitable and courageous the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is in the face of the adversity it faces in certain countries."
Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister for Communities read out a message of support sent by Prime Minister, David Cameron, and said: "The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the voice of peace, the voice of humanity, the voice of integration - it is the voice of true Islam."
Rt Hon Justine Greening, MP, Secretary of State for International Development said: "His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad is a tireless advocate for peace in a conflict-ridden world... The way the Ahmadi Muslims reach out to the wider community is exemplary and so I place great value on my relationship with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community."
Professor Heiner Bielefeldt, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief said: "The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has always stood for religious freedom. In 1948, Muhammad Zafrullah Khan, an Ahmadi Muslim and the first Foreign Minister of Pakistan, took to the podium at the United Nations General-Assembly to fully endorse the principle of religious freedom and the right to change one's belief."
During the event, His Holiness also presented Mrs Sindhutai Sapkal, renowned as a 'mother of orphans' with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Prize for the Advancement of Peace in recognition of her outstanding efforts to personally alleviate the suffering of more than 1400 orphaned children and providing them with food, shelter and education.
Mrs Sindhutai Sapkal said: "The difficulties I faced when I was young have enabled me to do something good with my life and so I hope to be remembered as a person who helped those who were in need."
Notes to Editor
The Peace Symposium was held at the Baitul Futuh Mosque in London on 14th March with an audience of more than 1000 people, including guests comprising Government Ministers, Ambassadors of State, Members of both Houses of Parliament and various other dignitaries and guests. A special guest this year was Professor Heiner Bielefeldt, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief. The theme of this year's Peace Symposium was "Religion, Freedom and Peace".
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Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK
The Baitul Futuh Mosque
181 London Road
Morden SM4 5HF
SOURCE Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK