Muslims united at the heart of the Scottish Parliament to Condemn Extremism and Promote Peace

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Arshad Mahmood, Scotland Correspondent

“O ye who believe! Be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be [always] just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is aware of what you do.” (Surah al-Maidah Ch.5: V.9)

This golden doctrine of the Holy Quran was recited in the Scottish Parliament to mark the opening of our event against extremism, which was attended by a large number of MSPs, representatives of political parties, diplomats, students, teachers and representatives of interfaith groups.

The event, for the first time in history, was held on 20 February 2020, at the Scottish Parliament Edinburgh’s Burn’s Room with a total of 90 Scottish guests from different walks of life participating.

It was hosted by Linda Fabiani MSP, the Deputy Presiding Officer at the Scottish Parliament on the topic “Responding to the Challenge of Extremism”.

This programme was organised by Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Scotland. A number of guests left their impression and views about both the Jamaat and the event, for the benefit of Al Hakam readers, we share these sentiments:

Linda Fabiani, Member of the Scottish Parliament said:

“I am deeply impressed by the peaceful teaching of the Ahmadiyya Community and I have deep links with Ahmadis from all over Scotland. I have been involved in various Ahmadiyya community programs for a long time and always come back to hope for a new world peace.”

Sandra White, Member of the Scottish Parliament expressed:

“Right in front of my office is the Glasgow Ahmadiyya Mission House and Mosque and I have the honour of being involved in most of your programmes. I am well aware that you are doing a tremendous amount of service to humanity such as donating thousands of pounds to charities, food for the homeless, fundraising for hospitals and so on. I was satisfied with the fact that these are the teachings of Islam on which the Ahmadiyya community is based, and today’s most important program, which is against extremism, is an urgent need of the hour.”

Ian Stewart, chairman of interfaith Edinburgh said:

“The problem of terrorism has become a global epidemic, and unfortunately, Nazi-minded groups are taking over the world in some way. The programme by the Ahmadiyya Community Scotland is a bold step and a very effective response to the accusations of Islam.”

In his keynote speech, Fareed Ahmad, the National Secretary External Affairs of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK quoted Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah be his Helper, who said:

“We must unite in our efforts to end all forms of extremism and prejudice, whether religious, racial or of any other kind.”

“…Instead of seeking to dominate others and assert their own rights, I pray that nations and their leaders come to see the benefit of fulfilling the rights of one another. Instead of laying the blame for the world’s problems on certain religions or people of particular ethnicities, I pray that we show tolerance of each other’s beliefs and customs and value the diversity within our societies. I pray that we come to see the best in humanity and use each other’s strengths and skills to build a better world for our children and to cultivate lasting peace in society.”

Below are some of the other prominent guests who attended the event:

Linda Fabiani MSP

Aileen Campbell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities 

Dr Claire Baker MSP

Clare Adamson MSP

Shona Robison MSP

Joe FitzPatrick MSP

Pauline McNeill MSP, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Housing and Equalities

Alison Johnstone MSP

John Mason MSP

Sandra White MSP

Diedra Brock

Jack O’Neil, representing Stewart Hosie MP Dundee East and

Iain Stewart, Chairman Interfaith Edinburgh

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