At a Peace Symposium held at the Baitul Futuh Mosque on 20 March 2010 the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, spoke at length about how to achieve global peace. He also presented Lord Eric Avebury with the inaugural Ahmadiyya Peace Prize in recognition his continued efforts to protect human rights across the world.
Various Parliamentarians took the opportunity to praise the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat’s consistent message of peace, tolerance and respect as well as its commitment to serving humanity. Laura Moffatt MP, said that she believed that ‘there cannot be a single soul who does not support the work of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community’, whilst Justine Greening MP, said the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat was actively engaged in ‘breaking down barriers’.
During his keynote address Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad discussed the major obstacles impeding long lasting world peace: the oppression of minority groups; corruption; the failure of governments to prevent cruelty and the failure of the United Nations to work as a united organisation where all countries were equal. The only solution, he said, lay in absolute justice and equity.
Speaking about the Middle East, he said that the Israeli offensive would have grave consequences. Although Palestine may not be blameless Israeli responses were wholly disproportionate. He said:
“Can those innocent children who saw their homes being destroyed; who saw their brothers and sisters being killed without any reason; who saw their helpless parents targeted whilst pleading for their lives; can those innocent children ever erase those horrific scenes from their memories.”
His Holiness went on to criticise the basic failures of the United Nations. By allowing the five permanent members of the Security Council to maintain a right to veto denied absolutely the requirement for justice and equality.
His Holiness concluded by responding to criticism of the Hijab and Minarets. He said:
“Will a woman wearing or not wearing a veil affect the economy of any country or the world? Will the wearing or not wearing of a veil or having or not having a minaret improve or harm the peace of the world? If it does then I will be the first to accept it because Islam teaches that you should be willing to sacrifice something small for the greater good. But no! All these actions are causing hatred.”