Source: Press Desk AMJ-UK
Deputy Prime Minister, Secretaries of State and Parliamentarians welcome Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad to Westminster
The World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat and Fifth Khalifa, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, was welcomed to the Houses of Parliament by the Deputy Prime Minister and various Secretaries of State and Parliamentarians on 11 June 2013.The Khalifa was visiting Westminster to deliver the keynote address at a special reception hosted by Rt Hon Ed Davey MP (Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change) and the ‘All Party Parliamentary Group for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’ in recognition of the 100 Year Centenary Celebrations of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in the UK. Prior to the formal proceedings, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad held private meetings with the Deputy Prime Minister Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, Home Secretary Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Energy Secretary Rt Hon Ed Davey MP, Shadow Foreign Secretary Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP, Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP and Siobhain McDonagh MP.
The formal proceedings began at 1.05pm with a brief welcome address given by Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. This was followed by short addresses by the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, by Douglas Alexander, the Shadow Foreign Secretary and by Theresa May, the Home Secretary.
Rt Hon Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change said:
It is a real privilege for us to host the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community today. We know well the amazing work His Holiness (Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad) does for the cause of peace and also the members of the Ahmadiyya Community. Thus it is absolutely fitting that so many MPs are here to thank you for being loyal and hard-working members of society.
Rt Hon Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister said:
The most important values and ethos which the Ahmadiyya Community has steadfastly communicated to millions of people around the world is of course one of peace, of love and one of reconciliation and that is a message which is enduring, powerful at all times – amongst all ages and in all communities… We all join with you, whatever background, political party or religious background, in celebrating the presence of your community here over a hundred years but also to celebrate the message the community has so quietly, steadfastly and with dignity been spreading and communicating for so long – one of peace, love and reconciliation.
Rt Hon Douglas Alexander, Shadow Foreign Secretary said:
In a world of ever greater diversity and challenges that message of reconciliation is needed more than ever before. I want to place on record our admiration for the leadership you (Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad) have personally shown and collectively your community has shown, for the work you have done, the difference you have made and the service you continue to do not just for the members of the Ahmadiyya Community but being a powerful voice for tolerance, reconciliation and for peace. ‘Love for All, Hatred for None’ is a philosophy from which we can all benefit and from which we have a lot to learn in the years ahead.
Rt Hon Theresa May, Home Secretary said:
His Holiness (Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad) has shown and continued to show that the only effective way of persuading extremists out of their poisonous convictions is peaceful dialogue. That is a message that you are giving around the world and it is a message we should all listen to and heed. I know that you have been targeted as a community yourselves, particularly in Pakistan, where it is a criminal offence for Ahmadis to call themselves Muslims, and where you have been subjected to some horrific attacks. I am absolutely committed to tackling all forms of extremism wherever it occurs… I have every confidence that in another 100 years there will be a group of people celebrating 200 years of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Britain. Thank you for all that you have contributed here in the United Kingdom and not just here but also the message you are giving around the world.
During his keynote address, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad spoke of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat’s commitment to peace and tolerance; he spoke of the importance of loyalty to one’s country as a part of Islamic faith; he strongly condemned the recent brutal killing of a British soldier in London; he absolutely rejected the concept of a violent Jihad in today’s world and he appealed for justice in an effort to safeguard the world from warfare and conflict.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad began his address by addressing directly all people associated with the Houses of Parliament by saying:
It is my sincere hope and prayer that all of the departments and people who work within this beautiful and grand building are able to fulfil the rights of serving this country and its people. I also hope and pray that they are able to work in the best possible manner towards fostering good relations with other nations, to act with justice and so make decisions that are of benefit to all parties. If this spirit is adopted then it will reap the very best fruits, which are of love, affection and brotherhood and will lead the world towards becoming a true haven of peace and prosperity.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said that loyalty to one’s country was an essential part of Islamic faith and that it had been “emphatically ordered” by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He said that all Ahmadi Muslims living in the UK desired “the progress and prosperity of this great nation.” His Holiness also praised the British public for welcoming immigrants to the United Kingdom and allowing them to become “part of the fabric of British society.”
The Khalifa continued by stating that throughout its 100 year existence in the United Kingdom the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat had always promoted peace and rejected all forms of extremism.