The World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, has responded to critics of Islam who claim that the religion justifies terrorist or extremist acts. The Khalifa made the comments during his Friday Sermon on 11 December 2015.During his address, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad cited the examples of certain Western politicians and commentators who have falsely alleged that Islam encourages Muslims to engage in extremism and violence.His Holiness said that the evil acts perpetrated by a well-known terrorist group have not only increased fear amongst the general public, but have also created an opportunity for misinformed or anti-Islamic critics to level false allegations against the teachings of Islam.His Holiness added that the media response to attacks conducted in the name of Islam was entirely different to attacks conducted by non-Muslims.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Whenever a Muslim does something wrong people immediately blame Islam but if a person of another faith commits a similar act he is labelled as ‘mentally unstable’. We openly acknowledge that the horrific acts of certain Muslim groups can only be classed as barbaric, however to unfairly target the teachings of the Holy Quran is entirely wrong and unjustified.”His Holiness said the teachings of Islam offered no justification or licence to those who sought to spread Islam through violence.“Islam has never taught that people should be converted by force. In the Holy Quran, God Almighty said to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that ‘Had God so desired, all who are on the earth would have believed.’ However God said that it would never happen that all of mankind would become believers and so it is clear that there is no compulsion permitted by Islam.”
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:
“The Holy Quran categorically states that the sword must never be raised to force people to accept Islam, rather Muslims should attract people to Islam by presenting the beautiful teachings of the religion and through setting the very best moral standards.”Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad cited chapter 43, verse 90 of the Holy Quran that states: “I swear by his repeated cry ‘O my Lord!’ that these are a people who will not believe. Therefore, turn aside from them, and say, ‘Peace’; and soon shall they know.”
Commenting on this verse, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:“In this verse the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was instructed that even after suffering countless wrongs at the hands of disbelievers, his response should only be to say ‘My only message to you is of peace and will continue to be so for the sake of establishing reconciliation.’ Therefore when the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) himself was instructed to act in this peaceful manner, it is incumbent on all Muslims to forever carry this message and spirit forward. Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said that a lack of justice and fairness were the root causes of the many conflicts witnessed in the world today.
Highlighting the role of certain major powers in fuelling extremism, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Several western media outlets and commentators are now accepting that their own governments played a role in the creation of the extremist Muslim groups due to the effects of the Iraq War or as a result of the Syrian crisis. The root cause of all of these issues is a lack of justice in the world.”.“Where on the one hand the major powers are attempting to defeat the extremists through air strikes, they are also seemingly ignoring those groups or individuals who are trading with the terrorists or providing them with deadly weapons. Thus the peace of the world is not only being destroyed by the Muslim groups who are acting against Islam but also by the major powers who prioritise their own interests above others.”
Concluding, His Holiness said that it was the duty of every Ahmadi Muslim to spread the true and peaceful teachings of Islam and to work towards peace at all levels of society.“Every Ahmadi Muslim must consider it his or her duty to spread the beautiful and peaceful teachings of Islam. The world at this moment in time is standing on the brink of disaster and so every single Ahmadi Muslim must make an effort to save the world from destruction.”