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Britain is among the safest places for people to worship freely and in peace, an Islamic leader has said at the opening of a new GBP900,000 mosque in Feltham, west London.
His Holiness Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Caliph of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, made the remarks before MPs, councillors and worshippers at the new Baitul Wahid Mosque. His comments were broadcast around the world via the community’s own satellite channel.
In the wake of attacks on mosques and other places of worship by hardline fanatics in a number of countries including Pakistan and Indonesia, he spoke about his admiration for British values of justice and equality.
Speaking about how planning permission for the mosque was granted upon appeal, His Holiness said:
“Ultimately we were granted permission to build this mosque and this was because, as I have said many times, that here in the UK the system of governance is just and one which affords citizens their due rights. We, who are Ahmadi Muslims, always pray that God Almighty enables just and fair governments to be established throughout the world.”
The Caliph highlighted how acts of revenge following burnings of the Holy Quran were sheer acts of criminality that ran counter to the very teachings of the book that zealots claimed to ‘defend’. His Holiness said:
“The Qur’an calls for the establishment of peace. It calls on Muslims to act compassionately towards all of mankind.”
And he highlighted the fact that the establishment of places of worship augmented peace in the community:
“This Mosque has been built only for the worship of God, and as a means to develop love, affection and peace. We have no other purpose, and we never will. Any true Muslim can never desire injustices or suffering for any other person because that would run entirely contrary to what the Qur’an and the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) have taught.”
The National President of the UK branch of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mr Rafiq Hayat, said:
“We welcome this ringing endorsement of the purpose of mosques, which is to instil inner peace and to spread a message of peace.
“That is why the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is active in cities across Britain to raise funds for charities and to hold interfaith activities, blood donation drives and to serve our neighbours. We are also in the midst of a nationwide peace campaign to counter Islamophobia and highlight Islam’s message of Love for All, Hatred for None.”
Mary Macleod, MP for Brentford & Isleworth, offered her support for the wide ranging work being undertaken by Ahmadi Muslims and praised the community’s role towards building a peaceful society. Seema Malhotra, MP for Feltham & Heston, highlighted the interfaith work of the community and said that the community’s values were an example for others.
The Mayor of Hounslow, Councillor Amrit Mann, called the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Hounslow ‘a model community’. He praised the community’s motto of ‘Love for All, Hatred for None’ and its commitment to humanitarian efforts. Mr Jagdish Sharma, MBE, Leader of Hounslow Borough Council, said Ahmadi Muslims had the distinction of being ‘law abiding and tolerant’.
The mosque was funded entirely from donations for the community itself with some members donating tens of thousands of pounds.
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