Mass Muslim Convention in English Countryside to Celebrate Freedom of Faith

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30,000 people from over 90 countries gathering at the Islamic festival to renew their annual pledge at the hand of their Caliph, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the worldwide spiritual leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. They will pledge to follow Islam purely as a religion of peace and to counter all forms of extremism and intolerance. They will thank Britain for providing freedom of faith and for treating its citizens with equity and justice.

Caliph, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the worldwide spiritual leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

The Holy Quran says that there should be no compulsion in matters of religion

A tented village, rows upon rows of stalls, fluttering flags, tens of thousands of people and an organised programme of events – all the hallmarks of a country festival.

But the Jalsa Salana of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is no ordinary event – it marks over 100 years of the community in Britain. It also tells the story of a community in exile - persecuted in lands where extremists hold sway.

The 30,000 plus people from over 90 countries gathering at the festival from August 21-23 come in the spirit of fraternity and to renew their annual pledge at the hand of their Caliph, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the worldwide spiritual leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslims.

Together, they will pledge to follow Islam purely as a religion of peace and to counter all forms of extremism and intolerance. And they will thank Britain for providing freedom of faith and for treating its citizens with equity and justice.

But despite severe persecution abroad- Ahmadiyya Muslims are flourishing in Britain and many other parts of the world, so the annual convention will be an opportunity for thanksgiving for the freedom of faith that they have been allowed.

His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Caliph Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Worldewide, said:

“It is a universal truth that religion is a matter of the heart and no-one’s heart can be forced to believe in a particular religion. It is for this very reason that the Holy Quran says that there should be no compulsion in matters of religion.

Islam is completely against compulsion and extremism; rather, it advocates peace and harmony at all levels of society.”

Rafiq Hayat, President Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK, said:

“We have much to be grateful for in Britain which has allowed over 100 years for our community to prosper and contribute to British life. We count ourselves proud to call ourselves British and Ahmadi Muslims.

“Despite persecution, the abiding message of our community is Love for All, Hatred for None. The efforts of extremists have not dented our message of peace which prevails in through our actions and we continue to counter hatred, terror and prejudice with strength of faith and purpose. When we say Islam means peace-we practice it by example in our everyday lives and through our contribution to the well-being of the nation.

“As the world rallies against the onslaught of extremists, the example of our community demonstrates that peace will always find a way to triumph over adversity.”

The event will be attended by numerous Government Ministers, parliamentarians, faith and civic leaders and see the Union Jack raised alongside the community’s flag. Hosted at a 210 acre site in Hampshire it will be home to 30,000 members with many staying on site for the duration of the three days.

Ends

Note to editors:
Dates: 21-23 August 2015
Venue: East Worldham, Alton, Hampshire GU34 3AU

In London, we are offering opportunities for interviews, filming and photography in advance of the convention.

Also, Ahmadiyya Muslim branch offices located in all major towns and cities of Britain, from where the majority of the UK conference delegates would arrive, are available for direct media contacts. Please ask for contact information.

Ahmadi Muslims – one of the oldest Muslim groups in Britain, accept Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, a 19th century spiritual reformer from India, as the Messiah awaited by all major religions. The Community, now established in some 200 countries, is at the vanguard of the revival of true Islam.

His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Caliph of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, currently based in West London, will host the annual convention and address it on each of the three days.

Ahmadi Muslims are active in their communities; they raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities each year and have their own charity Humanity First that is serving humanity locally as well as in all parts of the world irrespective of colour, race or religion. Ahmadi Muslims are the pioneers of interfaith dialogue. In 2003 they opened the largest purpose built mosque in Western Europe in Morden Surrey, which can accommodate more than 13,000 people. The community also built the first mosque in London in 1924.

Contact details:
Name: Basharat Nazir +447703 483384
E-mail: media(AT)ahmadiyya.org.uk
Mahmood Rafiq +447971 060 962
Twitter: @JalsaUK @AhmadiyyaUK
http://www.alislam.org/
http://www.loveforallhatredfornone.org/

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Basharat Nazir