More than 30,000 Muslims pledge support for Britain after spate of terror attacks

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MORE than 30,000 members of a Muslim sect will pledge allegiance to Britain today in a bid to reverse the negative image of Islam after terror attacks in London and Manchester.

Jalsa Salana

More than 30,000 members of a Muslim sect will pledge allegiance to Britain today

Up to 10 million Ahmadiyya Muslims will declare their loyalty to their respective countries around the world at 1pm GMT.

In the UK, members will do so at a three-day annual international convention, called the Jalsa Salana, being held at a tented village near Alton in Hampshire.

This year they are taking a stand against extremism after the terror attacks, and challenging perceptions by showing what Islam really stands for. It is the Muslim version of Glastonbury. We’ve even packed our wellie

Farooq Aftab, of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, said: “There will be more than 30,000 people in a field pledging their allegiance to the Caliph and their respective countries. It will be huge, it is a massive event. It is the Muslim version of Glastonbury. We’ve even packed our wellies.

“We want to show the true Islam, which means peace, loyalty to your country, being integrated and looking after each other. This is very important in fighting extremism. It is vital to break down barriers.”

The Ahmadiyya Community is known for promoting peace and inter-faith relations.

Members will meet at a three-day annual international convention, called the Jalsa Salana
However, they are banned in Pakistan from referring to themselves as Muslims.

Last year Ahmadi shopkeeper Asad Shah was killed in Glasgow by Tanveer Ahmed, 32, for “disrespecting Islam” when he wished his customers “Happy Easter”.

The Muslim Council of Britain condemned the attack but claimed Ahmadis are not Muslim.

“This was not helpful,” said Mr Aftab. “If we want to create an inclusive society we need to work together. Only God can decide who is Muslim and who is not.”

The festival is to reverse the negative image of Islam after terror attacks in London and Manchester
The sect has no recorded instances of radicalisation and Mr Aftab believes this makes them well placed to help stop it.

He added: “We have not had one instance of extremism so clearly something is working. As Muslims it is our duty to distance ourselves from extremist terrorists.”

Their leader Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has previously called for mosques to be more open and transparent to tackle extremism.

Ahead of the festival he said: “The only thing the terrorists are achieving is to completely violate the teachings of the Holy Quran and of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

“They are not practising Islam, rather it seems as though they have invented their own hate-filled and poisonous religion.”

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/834661/Jalsa-Salana-uk-2017-alton-muslim-terror-attacks

atharMore than 30,000 Muslims pledge support for Britain after spate of terror attacks