The World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat and Fifth Khalifa, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has spoken at length about the perilous state of the world and the impending threat of a nuclear war.
Whilst delivering the keynote address, on the occasion of the 10th Annual Peace Symposium at the Baitul Futuh Mosque in London, His Holiness warned of catastrophic consequences if true justice at all levels was not observed. He said the risk of a nuclear war was real and was the biggest threat to today’s civilisation.
The event attracted an audience of more than 1,000 people, including Government Ministers, Ambassadors of State, Members of both Houses of Parliament and various other dignitaries and guests from all walks of life. The theme of this year’s Symposium was ‘The Pathway to Peace’.
During his keynote address Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad spoke about the need for peace and justice; the escalating conflicts in the Far East; the war in Syria and the increasing risks of a global, nuclear war. He also offered a solution for global unrest based on the teachings of the Holy Qur’an.
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad began by speaking about the pressing needs of the time. He said:
“To strive for peace is a noble ambition and is something that the world has always stood in great need of. If we look at the situation of the world today, we realise that now, more than ever, it is a pressing and urgent need of the time for us to seek and pursue peace and harmony in the world.”
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said that whilst Islam advocated fairness, equality and justice at all levels, even the majority of the world’s Muslims had forgotten these teachings.
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad appealed for change to save society:
“If we want true peace and if we want to save the world from destruction then we must act with justice, integrity and be ever faithful to the truth.”
The global Muslim leader spoke of his concern about escalating conflicts in the Far East, particularly between North and South Korea and between China and Japan. He said the Western world was not immune from the effects of such conflicts and that the United States was already directly involved in both of these disputes due to its close alliances with South Korea and Japan. He said that North Korea had not been shy in threatening to use its nuclear weapons and did not seem to care about the consequences of its actions.
In terms of the continuing devastation taking place in Syria, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, warned that assuming the overthrow of the Government would lead to instant peace was not supported by recent history.
He said that the “so-called revolutions” that had taken place in Egypt and Libya showed that regime change did not necessarily mean peace and better international relations.
In terms of a solution to Syria’s unrest, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said a recent proposal by Israel’s President Shimon Peres to send a United Nations peacekeeping force made up solely of Arab soldiers should be considered. President Peres said that if Western nations or soldiers were to become directly involved it would be viewed as a Western invasion or as Western imperialism.
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said that it was not certain that warfare would remain restricted to Asia but due to strained financial circumstances unrest was developing in Europe as well. He appealed for peaceful and fair talks between nations as a means to curb rising tensions and the threat of war.
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“It is the duty of all powers to fulfil the requirements of justice and to unite together. All parties need to increase dialogue and open the lines of communication so that they can peacefully discuss the best means to solve the problems of the world.”
The Khalifa of the Promised Messiah(as) pledged to continue to counsel all parties towards peace and justice. Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“I will, God Willing, always continue to carry out my task and my responsibilities of promoting peace, tolerance, justice and compassion to the corners of the world. I will continue to tell all people that in order to be relieved of the pain and suffering that we face today, we must adopt true justice and equality.”
Before the keynote address, various dignitaries spoke about the importance of peace and the means to achieve it.
Rafiq Hayat, the National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat UK, said 2013 was an historic year for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community as it marked its 100th anniversary in the United Kingdom.
Siobhain McDonagh, MP and Chair of the UK ‘All Party Parliamentary Group for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’, said:
“In the past several years I have learned a great deal about Islam from your Community – I have learned that Islam is built on the rights of life, equality, tolerance and justice.”
Stephen Hammond MP said:
“I know that in the next month His Holiness (Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad) will have been Caliph for 10 years and what a 10 years that has been. The spirit of volunteering which we see in your Community is the spirit of peace.”
Dr Charles Tannock MEP and Chair of the European Parliament’s ‘Friends of Ahmadiyya Muslims Group’ said:
“I had a remarkable opportunity to host two events in the European Parliament, the last of which was in December, when His Holiness (Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad) graced us with his presence. It was a very well attended and extremely successful event.”
Dr Andrew Bennett, Canadian Ambassador for Religious Freedom said:
“Just one month ago, I was announced by Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper as the first Ambassador for Canada’s newly created Office of Religious Freedom at the Ahmadiyya Mosque in Vaughan, Ontario… At the February 19 event where the office was announced, we emphasised that Canada would be a faithful friend of the Ahmadi Muslims around the world.”
Rt Hon Ed Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change said:
“I would like to start by thanking and paying tribute to Your Holiness for inviting us all and for holding your 10th Peace Symposium and showing the leadership you do, both here in the UK and around the world, to bring people together of all faiths to champion peace. You help everyone understand each other better and you teach us to look into our hearts to make sure love is in our hearts. And that religious leadership you give and that message is very welcome and we thank you for it.”
The 4th Annual ‘Ahmadiyya Muslim Prize for the Advancement of Peace’ was presented by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad to Dr Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, in recognition of his outstanding work in the promotion of peace through his life-changing medical work that has provided hope and a future for thousands of people in the developing world. Accepting the award in person, Dr Boachie-Adjei said he was “deeply honoured and humbled” to receive the award and also said it was of great importance for all people to “to remember our roots and give back”.
Both before, and after the conclusion of proceedings, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad met personally with various dignitaries, guests and held a number of meetings.