Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad
(An Edited Version)
The current state of affairs has become a cause of fear and anxiety for much of the world.
Whilst it is a cause of great regret, I have no hesitation in admitting that much of the disorder that we see in the world today is occurring due to the acts of certain so-called Muslims.
For any peaceful Muslim, who understands his faith, this is a cause of great sorrow and despair. Over the past year, one particular group has viciously spread its network of terror and has become a cause of major concern for the world.
I am speaking of the group of extremists commonly known as ISIS or IS.
The actions of this terrorist group are not only impacting Muslim countries, but also countries in Europe and further afield. We see a disturbing number of Muslim youths from Europe and other parts of the world, who have somehow come to believe that ISIS represents a true picture of Islam and support their ideology.
For these reasons, they have resolved to help and to even fight for them.
It is said that from UK around 500 people, mostly young Muslims, have already travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight for ISIS, in a war that the terrorist group falsely claims is being fought in the name of Islam.
If we look at the numbers of Muslims in Europe who have travelled for this so-called Jihad, we then observe that the proportion of Muslims going from UK to Iraq and Syria is higher than the numbers travelling from Germany or most other European countries.
This is extremely alarming and a cause of major concern for the UK because the agenda and objectives of ISIS and their so-called Khalifa are utterly horrific and barbaric.
It is said that their Khalifa wants to take ‘revenge’ from the world and conquer territories and nations. He says that he wants to make Muslims the masters of the entire world and reduce all non-Muslims to slavery or become the ‘property’ of Muslims.
He says that punitive action should be taken against every person who offends a Muslim in any way and that Sharia Law should apply to every single person in every single land.
He desires to take away the rights of women belonging to other religions or sects; suppress them and turn them into concubines or force them to become their wives.
ISIS seeks to destroy every religion or sect that differs from its beliefs and wishes to remove current Muslim governments and seize power from them.
If all these are true, then their strategy and vision is far-reaching and their basic aim is to destroy the peace of the world.
It is quite absurd to suggest that ISIS or any other extremist group will ultimately ever be successful in taking over the world, because it is quite clear that their plans are completely senseless and based on wishful thinking rather than on reality.
Nonetheless, if they are not stopped, they could cause a great deal of damage and destruction before they die their own death.
We have witnessed in so many incidents the terror and devastation that even single individuals, without any backing or support, are able to cause. For example, every few months there are reports of another school-shooting tragedy in the United States of America, where dozens of innocent children are killed due to the heinous acts of one lone individual.
Consider just how much suffering and ruin can be caused by a terrorist group, which is gathering together frustrated and restless people from all parts of the world who are ready to give their lives for this unjust cause.
This is especially true given the fact that this group does not just have willing individuals, but is also heavily armed with sophisticated weapons, systems and artillery.
Indeed, it is not out of the question that they could eventually lay their hands on nuclear weapons. These deranged groups will not attain permanent or long-lasting success but in the short-term it is quite possible that they could conquer certain regions and cause huge destruction. There is no doubt that ISIS and any of the groups that have similar ideologies pose horrific threat to the world.
The fact that all of this is being done in the name of Islam sincerely grieves and pains all true and peace loving Muslims because such brutal and inhumane ideologies have nothing to do with the religion whatsoever. Rather, in every way, and at every level, Islam’s real teachings are of peace and security for all people.
If you read the Holy Quran and the life and character of Prophet Mohammed, it would become clear that early Muslims never initiated any war or violence.
If ever Muslims took part in a war, it was purely defensive and their only objective was to stop the oppressors from their cruelty and not to assert their own superiority or resort to injustice. They never sought to occupy lands or nations or to subjugate the people.
Some prominent figures have suggested that it will take 30 or even 100 years for this war with extremism to conclude.
I believe that the militant and extremist groups can be stopped in a much shorter period if the world is determined to eradicate them.
We must not think that we are free from our personal responsibilities simply by saying it will take decades to end this war – rather everyone must join in this effort to counter global extremism.
To simply place the blame at the feet of Islam or particular groups will not save us from warfare or free us from our responsibilities.
Thus, all peaceful people should pressurise their governments and certainly all politicians and figures of influence should reflect on this and seek to develop peace in the world by promoting true justice in their respective spheres of influence, by taking firm action to prevent the destruction of world peace completely.
If we want to save the world, then true justice needs to be shown at every level of society and the problems faced in each country should be solved in a fair way that removes frustrations.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad is the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Elected to this lifelong position on April 22, 2013, he serves as the worldwide spiritual and administrative head of millions ofAhmadiyyas spread in about 200 countries across the Continents.
The above is a heavily edited (by us) of a speech that he delivered at the 11th National Peace Symposium of the Ahmadiyya Community held in London on November 8, 2014.
For full text, please visit www.ahmadiyya.org.uk