Thousands of young Muslims gathered in Surrey earlier this month to organize a mass peace convention to condemn religious extremism in the United Kingdom and across the world. Approximately 5,000 members from the most popular Muslim youth group in Britain, Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA), took part in the yearly event at Tilford where they promoted the importance of peace and religious tolerance.
The three-day event comprising exhibitions, sporting competitions and screenings of the World Cup, was also attended by members of the British armed forces, police, medical services and fire brigade.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the current caliph of the international Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, attended the event, saying, “Britain has provided a home for people from across the world… As Ahmadi Muslims, we give thanks to queen and country for allowing us to practise our faith freely. When we say Islam means peace, we practice that very factand demonstrate it with our actions. Our ethos is ‘Love for all, hatred for none’.”
With the fear of Islamist infiltration within Britain’s education system in the background, the recent event at Surrey stressed on the need to keep schools largely secular.
“While everyone has a right to a more in-depth religious education if they choose, we feel that it should take place outside school. A generic religious education syllabus aimed at creating general awareness and understanding of other faiths and cultures, inclusive of the beliefs of people of no faith, is healthy,” said Adam Walker, spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
AMYA has reportedly worked with thousands of young British Muslims for decades to instill a sense of peace, tolerance and respect within them and condemn religious extremism in general. Earlier this year, 24 cyclists participated in a charity event, stopping by at 10 mosques along a 600-mile route starting from Glasgow and going up to London, to raise as much as £100,000 for various philanthropic causes.
“This volunteer work represents an essential part of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community's really important contribution to UK national life whether through helping to raise wider awareness and understanding of the Islamic faith, or fundraising and feeding the homeless, donating blood, and other charitable acts,” said Nick Clegg, deputy Prime Minister of the U.K.
Photo Credit: International Business Standard