As the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is preparing for its 14th annual peace symposium on Saturday, members of the Leamington Spa mosque and others around the country condemned Wednesday's "barbaric attack" in Westminster. The aim of the symposium is to "promote a deeper understanding of Islam and other faiths," seeking to inspire "lasting peace." The theme of the symposium for 2017 is, "Global conflicts and the need for justice." There are thought to be between 15,000 and 20,000 Ahmadi Muslims in the United States.
The Ahmadiyya movement was founded in 1889, in Punjab, British India by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and is led today by Caliph #Mirza Masroor Ahmad.
Following his 2003 election, Mirza Masroor Ahmad was forced from Pakistan, by the nation's strict anti-Ahmadiyya laws. Pakistan forbids Ahmadis from practicing their religion, or identifying themselves as Muslims, with penalties that include "fines, imprisonment, and potentially capital punishment." The Caliph currently resides in London, England, where the Ahmadiyya Community maintains its home.
Ahmadi Muslims face persecution worldwide
The mission of Ahmadi Muslims is to "revive the peaceful teachings of Islam and engender in people’s hearts the love of God and the duty to serve mankind." Even in the United Kingdom, members of the Islamic sect face oppression and violence from other Muslims. In March 2016, The Telegraph reported on the "barbaric" murder of 40-year-old Asad Shah, an Ahmadi Muslim, by Tanveer Ahmed, a Sunni Muslim. Asad Shaw was reported to have fled Pakistan in 1991, fleeing the persecution of the Ahmadiyya Community.
"Love for all, hatred for none," is what Ahmadi Muslims are reported to stand for.
Members of the faith can be found in 206 nations. Mirza Masroor Ahmad regularly travels, meeting with the members of the faith, and the public, worldwide. The Caliph made headlines in October 2016, during an interview with Peter Mansbridge, of the CBC, while in Canada. He predicted that the Muslim ban promised by U.S. President Donald Trump would never happen, and that "civil war" would result if it did. So far, it would appear that the Caliph has demonstrated a much higher level of knowledge with regard to the workings of U.S. law than the U.S. president, with two of the president's attempts to enact scaled-back travel bans failing.
Peace and security is the 'urgent issue of our time'
Mirza Masroor Ahmad will be speaking at The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK National Peace Symposium on Saturday evening. The event is being held at The Baitul Futuh Mosque; registration for those wishing to attend has been completed for 2017. A statement from the Caliph regarding his keynote address reads, "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."