The Independent: The rise of Isis has raised the threat of terror in the UK and led to a summer of negative headlines about Islam – even pushing leading British imams to call for a fatwa prohibiting Muslims from joining the terror group.
But in a field in Hampshire on Sunday, more than 30,000 Muslims gathered to celebrate a very different face of their religion. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, whose motto is “love for all, hatred for none”, gathered in a specially created tented village for the largest Muslim convention in Britain. Their message was simple: peace, not jihad, is the true meaning of Islam. Sunday was the final day of the Jalsa Salana (annual convention in Urdu). The three day event attracted Muslims from more than 80 countries around the world, who met to reaffirm their commitment to Ahmadi ideals of non-violence, neighbourliness and charity. Jamal Akbar, 34, was among those volunteering at the event. He works in investment banking IT and coordinates Ahmadiyya charity programmes in his spare time. “I am very frustrated at other Muslims who portray this negative view of Islam because it’s not Islam they’re portraying,” he said.