One may ask: Why hold a Peace Symposium?
Al Hakam reported on the 15th Peace Symposium of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in the very first issue that came out on 23 March 2018.
A gist of the keynote address by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa was given in the news story while a link to www.mta.tv was provided so that readers could listen to the full address.
Huzooraa opened his address by voicing a question that many guests or viewers of MTA could have had: Why is this Peace Symposium organised every year when there seems to be no improvement in circumstances? Huzooraa answered this question before moving on to the actual topic of the address.
On the very same day as when the first issue of Al Hakam came out – 23 March 2018 – the Ministry of Justice published the sentencing remarks by the Honourable Mr Justice Haddon-Cave against Ahmed Hassan at the Old Bailey i.e. the highest court of England. Ahmed Hassan was charged with attempting to blow up a District Line train at the Parsons Green station in London. This bomb only partially exploded injuring 51 passengers, but luckily, there were no fatalities.
He was tried by the justice system of England and was handed his sentence on 23 March 2018. Ahmed Hassan was found guilty of attempted multiple murders by a jury at the Old Bailey and his sentence was handed to him by the Hon. Mr Justice Haddon-Cave.
Evidence and investigation revealed that Ahmed Hassan was out to kill members of the British public in the name of Islam. The sentence was detailed and lengthy; forty-eight points on eleven pages. I would like to quote here the final point titled “Final Remarks”:
“Finally, Ahmed Hassan, let me say this to you. You will have plenty of time to study the Quran in prison in the years to come. You should understand that the Quran is a book of peace; Islam is a religion of peace. The Quran and Islam forbid anything extreme, including extremism in religion. Islam forbids breaking the ‘law of the land’ where one is living or is a guest. Islam forbids terrorism (hiraba). The Quran and the Sunna provide that the crime of perpetrating terror to “cause corruption in the land” is one of the most severe crimes in Islam. So it is in the law of the United Kingdom. You have, therefore, received the most severe of sentences under the law of this land. You have violated the Quran and Islam by your actions, as well as the law of all civilized people. It is to be hoped that you will come to realise this one day. Please go with the officers.”
(Courtesy of www.judiciary.gov.uk, The Queen vs Ahmed Hassan, as viewed on 25 March 2018)
These “remarkable” remarks by the Hon. Mr Justice Haddon-Cave clearly show that the voice of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa is not going unnoticed. In a time when so-called Muslims have painted the bleakest picture of Islam, in the very name of Islam, the only voice that carries the true and peace-loving teachings of Islam is finally being heard.
A top-brass politician attending the Peace Symposium this year is reported to have said that he felt that the message of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa was getting more straight-forward every year. As Huzooraa addressed the political powers of the West in a very straight-forward manner, referring to their wrongdoings in the underdeveloped and war-stricken areas, the politician seems to have felt the heat. His remarks seem to represent the majority of western politicians.
The approach taken by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa is unique. Huzooraa very powerfully, yet peacefully, points out any wrongdoing by anyone, whosoever. In his address, Huzooraa clearly stated that Muslims were partly to be blamed for the chaos created in the world but western powers were not completely innocent. While Muslims needed to mend their ways of practising Islam, the West should also look into revising their diplomatic and economic policies.
Among many journalists in attendance at this year’s Peace Symposium was Tegan. She published her thoughts about the keynote address by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa on her blog www.theclimatelemon.com
…“it was interesting to learn that this faith group exists and to hear about their views directly. I think most people in the UK and US are pretty ignorant about Muslims – I don’t even mean bigoted necessarily, but just in terms of not knowing much. Many people think they are violent or at least regressive in their views, so Islamophobia is rife… But we usually don’t know much about the religion and its different sects and internal complexities.”
Thomas Carlyle is quoted to have said, “The merit of originality is not novelty; it is sincerity.” But in the message of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, we find both; both making a huge deal of “original” contribution to understanding the true Islam.