Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad says Islam guarantees universal freedom of religion and calls for world powers to act with justice
On 6 October 2015, World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, delivered an historic address at a special session of the Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs at the Netherlands National Parliament in the country’s capital city of Den Haag (The Hague) in front of an audience of more than 100 dignitaries and guests.
Upon arrival at 4.35pm, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad was greeted by Harry van Bommel (Member of the House of Representatives and Deputy Chairman of the Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs), who escorted His Holiness to the Committee Room.
The formal session commenced as Mr van Bommel welcomed His Holiness to Parliament and introduced the committee members.
He also welcomed various foreign Parliamentarians, Ambassadors of State and dignitaries representing countries including Albania, Croatia, Ireland, Montenegro, Spain and Sweden.
Thereafter, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad delivered the keynote address during which he deemed the threat to the world’s peace and security to be the critical issue of this era.
His Holiness gave solutions to the problems faced by the world based on the teachings of the Holy Quran. He also called on world powers to support less economically developed nations and to refrain from exploitation.
Speaking about the increasing lack of peace in the world, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“In today’s world we see that certain issues are constantly being highlighted and labelled as the most significant problems of our time. If we analyse the situation objectively, we realise that world peace and security is indeed the most critical issue of our time. Unquestionably, with each day that passes the world is becoming increasingly unstable and dangerous and there are a number of potential causes of this.”
His Holiness said there were various factors affecting the world’s peace and security, including worldwide economic instability; a lack of justice and trust between governments and members of the public; and the increasing discrepancy between developed and developing nations.
The religious leader said that neither Islam, nor any other religion, could be blamed for the violent acts of extremists.
His Holiness stated that the notion that the Holy Quran or the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) ever advocated any form of extremism or terrorism was “an injustice of the very highest order”.
Referring to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s unwavering commitment to peace, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“I, and indeed all true Ahmadi Muslims, are not amongst those people who are creating or partaking in today’s disorder and unrest. Rather, we are the people who desire peace in the world. We are the people who seek to heal the world. We are the people who seek to unite mankind. We are the people who seek to transform all hatreds and enmities into love and affection. And most certainly, we are the people who make every possible effort towards establishing world peace.”
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:
“As a religious leader, I wish to say that instead of blaming and provoking one another, we should focus upon building true and long-lasting world peace.”
Later, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad cited a number of Quranic verses, which proved that Islam stood for religious freedom and universal human rights.
His Holiness also explained that the wars fought by the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and the early Muslims were entirely defensive in nature and were fought in order to protect the principles of freedom of religion and belief.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“In chapter 2, verse 194, Allah has commanded Muslims that they are not permitted to engage in any battle or war where religious freedom already exists. Therefore, no Muslim country, group or individual has the right to engage in any form of violence, warfare or lawlessness, either against the State or its people.”
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:
“Quite simply, in Europe and in the West, the governments are secular and so a Muslim can never have the right to violate the laws of the land, to violently oppose the government or to instigate any form of rebellion or insurgency.”
Speaking about the paramount importance of justice in international relations, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Islam teaches that in all circumstances, no matter how difficult, you must remain firmly attached to the principles of justice and integrity… The truth is that sustainable peace can never be established until there is justice at every level of society.”
Referring to Islam’s commitment to universal religious freedom, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“In truth, Islam guarantees the freedom, liberty and protection of the people of all religions. Islam protects the right of every individual to follow his or her own chosen path or belief.”
Reiterating his concern about the world’s security, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“The world stands in desperate need of peace and security. This is the urgent issue of our time. All nations and all peoples must come together for the greater good and unite in their efforts to stop all forms of cruelty, persecution and injustice perpetrated in the name of religion or in any other way. This includes the mockery of any religion which can incite frustrations and resentment and of course also includes the hateful activities of extremist groups who are falsely justifying their evil acts in the name of religion.”
Concluding, His Holiness called on the major powers to desist from all forms of exploitation of weaker nations.
“Today, we are seeing many first-world countries increasing their investments in the poorer and developing nations. It is imperative that they act with justice and seek to help those nations and not merely utilise their natural resources and cheap labour forces for their own national gains and profit-making.”
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:
“They (affluent nations) should seek to re-invest the majority of what they earn in poorer countries and use the wealth to help the local people develop and to flourish. If the developed countries act in this way, it will not just be of benefit to the poorer nations but will prove mutually beneficial. It will increase trust and confidence and remove frustrations that are building up. it will be a means of improving the local economies and so in turn will elevate the world’s economy and financial health.”
Following the conclusion of his address, members of the Standing Committee were given the opportunity to ask His Holiness his views on a range of issues, including religious freedom, freedom of speech, the refugee crisis and the persecution of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Later, His Holiness personally met various dignitaries and guests and was also given a tour of certain historic rooms within the Parliament.
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…I have been constantly telling people of the world – to the politicians and leaders – that they should change themselves and try to establish true and absolute justice in the world and discharge their duties towards their Creator and their fellow beings.” – Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad more
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His Holiness gives guidance on a range of contemporary issues affecting young people in society more