Three day Islamic convention in Hampshire, UK, also included a religious artifacts exhibition and a lecture by Turin Shroud expert Barrie Schwortz.
The Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, delivered a powerful and emphatic response to critics of Islam who blame the world's problems on religion during his keynotes address at the Jalsa Salana on Sunday.
His Holiness, who is the spiritual leader of tens of millions of Ahmadi Muslims worldwide, delivered a series of speeches during the three-day event held in Hampshire, UK, in which he outlined the challenges facing the Muslim world before an enthralled and vocally passionate audience of over 35,000 Ahmadi Muslims attending from over 90 countries.
The Caliph said: “In this day and age it is of great regret that some Muslims have misconstrued the true teachings of Islam to such an extent that the world has become fearful of the beautiful and peaceful teachings of Islam.”
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad explained in detail how these depictions of the faith by extremists are in fact a corruption of the religion.
He said: “According to the teachings of the Holy Quran, the love that a Muslim must adopt for humanity should be such that he or she should become restless upon seeing any other person in discomfort. A true Muslim must always be watchful of the sentiments of others and must sacrifice his own comfort for the sake of the comfort of his fellow beings.”
The Caliph, who has previously addressed numerous parliaments around the world including Capitol Hill, also condemned the use of nuclear weapons – which inevitably target civilians, including women and children, rather than armies – and warned against the dangers of international tensions escalating to war. He stated countries should not envy one another’s wealth and resources, but rather must always act with justice.
— USCIRF (@USCIRF) August 25, 2015
The convention was also attended by numerous politicians, faith leaders and intellectuals from around the world including Barrie Schwortz, a US-based, internationally renowned expert from the Shroud of Turin Research Project.
Schwortz, who was the official photographer in 1978 of the relic believed by some to have been the burial cloth of Jesus, delivered a presentation at the event’s exhibition of religious artifacts, hosted by The Review of Religions magazine, which included an 800-year old Quran as well as one of only a handful of full-length Turin Shroud replicas found worldwide.
Schwortz said: “I have spent more than the last twenty years travelling the world lecturing about the Shroud of Turin. I have travelled to and spoken to every Christian denomination, to secular audiences and to scientific audiences, but never have I ever been to a Muslim organisation – this is my first time.
“That the Muslim community would invite a Jewish man to discuss a Christian relic at a Muslim convention – I am very grateful for that.” -Barrie Schwortz
The delegates at the front await the arrival of Huzur for this historic and special moment of the Jalsa Salana 2015 pic.twitter.com/fQOJgtLV64
— AMA UK Gallery (@amaukgallery) August 26, 2015
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community are a minority sect which originated in India in the 1800s. Having been labelled heretics by some of their co-religionists, Ahmadi Muslims face severe persecution in some countries, in particular Pakistan. The community is highly active in humanitarian projects and holds the motto ‘Love for all, Hatred for None.’