Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad says Muslims should respond peacefully through prayers and praises comments made by Pope Francis on this issue
The World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has responded to the publication of another caricature depicting the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) on the cover of this week’s edition of Charlie Hebdo.
Addressing the issue during his weekly Friday Sermon, delivered from the Baitul Futuh Mosque in London, His Holiness said that such caricatures grieved and pained peace-loving Muslims throughout the world and were to be condemned. However, he said that any form of violent or illegal response could never be justified and was completely against the teachings of Islam. His Holiness also said that taking to the streets in protest was not an appropriate response but rather Muslims should respond by increasing in prayer and by offering salutations to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Remember that Islam never has and never will be spread through violence and bloodshed. Rather, the spread of Islam can only be achieved by invoking blessings and salutations (durood) on the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him). Only by offering durood can we be successful.”
His Holiness said that following the attack on Charlie Hebdo the publication had been given a new lease of life.
“What has been gained by this evil terrorist attack? In the past many Western leaders condemned the publication of such offensive caricatures but after last week’s attack in France, many people and leaders have now changed their opinion and publicly aired their support for this indecent publication.”
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:
“Since the attack (on Charlie Hebdo) the newspaper has received huge financial support from various sources. Previously, its print circulation was just 60,000 and it was being said that the newspaper would soon go out of business but due directly to the acts of these so-called Muslims the magazine has now been given a new lease of life and this week its print circulation is in excess of five million.”
During his sermon, His Holiness praised recent comments made by Pope Francis in which he said that there ought to be limits to freedom of expression – that no faith or religion should be mocked or insulted and that the dignity of each religion should be respected at all times. His Holiness said that the views expressed by the Pope on this matter were “completely correct”.
The Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community said that the world’s media wielded great power and influence and so he called on all media organisations to exercise such influence with due responsibility.
“In this day and age the media has great power – if it is irresponsible then it can fuel disorder and unnecessarily provoke, but if it is responsible then it can play a great role in creating peace and harmony within society.”
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad concluded his sermon by praying for peace in the world and reiterating the need for Muslims to respond to any attempts to ridicule the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) through sincere prayer.
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