“The world is passing through very troubled times and the global economic crisis continues to manifest newer and graver dangers.? The similarities to the period just before the second world war continue to be cited and it seems clear that events are moving the world at an unprecedented pace towards a horrific third world war.”
This declaration was made by His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community at the 15th National Peace Symposium hosted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in UK. The event was held on Saturday March 17th, 2018 at the Baitul Futuh Mosque in South London, UK the largest Mosque in Western Europe. His Holiness warned that the world is fast approaching dangers and we need concerted efforts to avert disaster and chart a course to peace. The event, held under the theme ” Fundamentals of establishing lasting peace”, was well attended with about 1000 delegates from 31 countries including 570 non-Ahmadi guests comprising, Ministers, State Ambassadors, Members of Parliament, other dignitaries, guests and Media. The Ghanaian News had the privilege? of being invited to this event in London, UK.
His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad the world head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, the fifth Khalifa (Caliph) said the Ahmadiyya Muslim community would never cease in its efforts to spread peace in the world.? He urged world leaders to “change their priorities” and to help ease the suffering of people, especially in developing nations. His Holiness condemned the?international arms trade?and said that those nations who were producing weapons being used in war-torn countries had ??blood on their hands??. He also said that children born into extreme poverty or in areas of conflict were easy and vulnerable targets for terrorist recruiters. His Holiness spoke of the dangers of extremism amongst Muslims and the increasing threat of far-right nationalists. He refuted claims that Islamic teachings promoted any form of terrorism or extremism. He spoke about the continued efforts of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to spread peace and to promote mutual respect and tolerance,
??Our faith demands us to try and urge people, in all parts of the world, whether rich or poor, whether powerful or oppressed, whether religious or irreligious, towards peace and justice.?? His Holliness continued that, ??People living in the world??s poorest nations do not concern themselves with the environment, or the latest figures on carbon emissions; rather, they wake up each day wondering if they will be able to feed their children.??
Emphasizing the long-term consequences of poverty, His Holiness said:
??We must not consider such hardship as other people??s problems. Instead, we must realise that the result of such poverty has severe implications for the wider-world and directly affects global peace and security. The fact that children have no option, but to spend their days collecting water for their families, means that they are unable to go to school, or to attain any form of education. They are stuck in a vicious cycle of illiteracy and poverty that is seemingly endless and hugely damaging to society.??
???Poor nations must not be looked down upon, rather we should consider them as part of our family ?? our brothers and sisters. By helping the developing nations stand on their own feet, and by giving their people opportunities and hope, we will actually be helping ourselves and safeguarding the future of the world.??
Referring to the rise of nationalism and the threat of the far-right in the Western world, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
???Countless children are seeing their parents being killed in the most inhumane fashion and all they can do is wonder why their parents have been taken away from them. Thousands of women are left widowed, hopeless and vulnerable. What good can come of such devastation? All I see is a generation of children being pushed into the arms of those who seek to destroy the peace of the world.??
His Holiness said that scores of young children and teenagers in conflict-ridden nations were being orphaned through airstrikes. Such youths were bound to react and were being drawn into extremism.
???Instead of being in school, getting an education, so that they grow into decent, law-abiding citizens, the only education an entire generation of children is getting, is how to master grenades or rocket launchers, how to do suicide attacks and how to wreak havoc in the world.??
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad further said: In many instances, it seems that the world has not learned from its past mistakes. It is widely accepted that the Iraq War of 2003 was unjust and based on false pretences, whilst Libya has descended into chaos and become a hotbed of extremism, since Western powers took action there several years ago. Despite this, big powers have not learned a lesson from this. Cities and towns have been razed to the ground. Thousands of buildings have reverted to dust.
??At the beginning, I mentioned that a major focus of the international community is climate change and a desire to keep the air that we breathe clean. Is there anyone who thinks that heavy bombardment has no effect on the atmosphere? Furthermore, if peace ever does prevail in the war-torn countries, their towns and cities will have to be rebuilt from scratch, and this in itself will be a huge industry that will cause an increase in harmful emissions and pollution. Thus, on the one hand, we are trying to save the planet, yet with our other hand, we are senselessly destroying it. In light of all of this, I firmly believe that world powers are being blinded by short-sightedness and tunnel-vision.??
He also spoke of the repeated foreign policy errors made by certain Western countries. He said that the?Iraq War?had soon been exposed as based upon false pretences, whilst the intervention in Libya in 2011 had proven to be a complete failure resulting in the country becoming a ??hotbed of extremism??. He said
During the event, His Holiness presented?Angelina Alekseeva, the representative of Dr Leonid Roshal,?a noted paediatrician from Moscow, Russia and Chairman of international charity?Fund to Help Children in Disasters and Wars, with?the Ahmadiyya Muslim Prize for the Advancement of Peace?in recognition of his outstanding medical and humanitarian services.
Prior to the symposium on Saturday afternoon, there was a guided tour of the Mosque complex and a press conference held by His Holiness with the Media. ?His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor ?Ahmad is the world leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, elected to office in Aril 2003.? He is the 50th Khalifa (Caliph) of the Ahmadiyya Community following the death of the founder in 1908.? He leads the global community that is now established in over 200 countries with tens of millions of members worldwide.
By Emmanuel Ayiku, London, UK