Barrie Schwortz, a leading expert on the Shroud, spoke at the event
More than 30,000 Muslims gathered in Hampshire this weekend to hear Barrie Schwortz, an Orthodox Jew, discuss the significance of the Shroud of Turin, a Christian artefact.The Jalsa Salana UK Convention is run by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which believes the Shroud of Turin bears the image of Jesus, alive in the tomb after his crucifixion.
A life-sized replica of the Shroud of Turin was one of many exhibits on human rights and the Koran on display at the convention.A leading expert on the Shroud of Turin, Mr Schwortz participated in the 1978 in-depth scientific examination of the cloth by STURP, the Shroud of Turin Research Project.
Initially doubting its authenticity, he changed his mind after seeing no brushstrokes on the Shroud and has since toured the world giving talks attesting to its authenticity.In the Jewish tradition, to which Mr Schwortz adheres, Jesus and his mission are completely rejected.
While most Orthodox Muslims believe Jesus was a righteous prophet, who was never crucified and, instead, ascended bodily to heaven, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes he was crucified but survived after his friends restored him to health with healing ointments and herbs.
Dignitaries, diplomats and academics from 100 countries attended the convention in Hampshire, which aims to highlight the peace, tolerance and loyalty of Islam and show how it contradicts the message of extremist groups. The Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, who is based in London, also addressed the convention.