UK: Ahmadiyya Muslim leaders welcome government minister as MoD aims to diversify British Armed Forces

Lord Howe said his visit aimed to build relations between the Armed Forces and the Muslim community, whom he believes share common values and principles.

Two south west London mosques welcomed a government minister earlier today in a show of unity and as part of the MoD’s bid to improve diversity in the Armed Forces.

Minister of state for defence, Rt Hon Earl Howe, visited the Baitul Futuh mosque in Morden – the largest mosque in Western Europe – and was shown around by Imam Qudoos.

Following a brief tour of the Muslim Television Ahmadiyya studios adjacent to the Baitul Futuh mosque, Lord Howe met with His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad at the London Mosque in Southfields.

Lord Howe said: “The message I would take away is of the really good work that Muslim leaders are doing in this part of London and indeed broadcasting all over the world the messages of peaceful Islam.

“Amidst all the negative press we read on Islam, I think it’s important to counter that with statements about what people are really doing and what they really believe.”

Lord Howe said his visit aimed to build relations between the Armed Forces and the Muslim community, whom he believes share common values and principles.

It is part of an ongoing effort within the Ministry of Defence to increase the proportion of Armed Forces recruits from a black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) background to 10% –  in line with the society it serves.

Lord Howe said that they are focusing on the Muslim population in particular, and that he hopes the Armed Forces could inspire the best in the children in the community.

He said: “We are living in very dangerous times, perhaps more dangerous than they have been for some years and it is up to these good community leaders and people such as me to trump it with what is positive.”

Source http://www.swlondoner.co.uk/

UK: Murderer Tanveer Ahmed inspires Pakistani hardliners from Scottish jail

Support for Tanveer Ahmed was not as widespread as that for Qadri – but Ahmed was held in particularly high esteem for having killed someone accused of blasphemy in a non-Muslim country.

When Tanveer Ahmed was sentenced to a minimum of 27 years in jail for murder last August, Judge Lady Rae said he had committed a “brutal, barbaric and horrific crime”.

Ahmed stabbed to death Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah – who belonged to the persecuted Ahmadi sect – because he believed he was committing blasphemy by uploading online videos in which he claimed to be a prophet.

But in Pakistan, Ahmed is developing a growing number of supporters who see him as a “defender of Islam” for having killed someone they believed to be disrespecting the Prophet Muhammad.

On Monday evening, about 400 gathered outside his family’s home in the city of Mirpur, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir for a rally in his honour. The crowd chanted slogans praising Ahmed as “brave” and “courageous”.

One man attending said: “Because of what he did, the whole of Pakistan knows who he is.”

Another speaker told supporters Ahmed could help mediate their prayers.

“You should close your eyes, raise your hand towards the sky and pray, making Ghazi [warrior] Tanveer your representative,” he said.

The event was organised by the anti-blasphemy religious lobby group Labaik Ya Rasool Ullah (Here I am present, o Prophet of Allah).

The same group has championed another killer – Mumtaz Qadri – who in 2011 shot dead a high profile Pakistani politician for trying to reform the country’s blasphemy laws.

Blasphemy is an emotive issue in Pakistan, where it is legally punishable by death.

After Qadri was executed last year, tens of thousands of his supporters attended his funeral, and a shrine housing his tomb has been built in Rawalpindi.

Hardline cleric Khadim Rizvi is one of the leading figures in Labaik Ya Rasool Ullah, and is the most prominent supporter of Tanveer Ahmed.

As well as images of Mumtaz Qadri, Rizvi now uses images of Ahmed to promote his rallies and talks.

Ahmed had cited Qadri as his inspiration for killing his victim, and their supporters often compare the two killers.

In a BBC interview Rizvi said support for Ahmed was not as widespread as that for Qadri – but that Ahmed was held in particularly high esteem for having killed someone accused of blasphemy in a non-Muslim country.

Over the past few months a Facebook page run by Rizvi’s followers has released a number of audio messages from Ahmed whilst in jail. The messages included Ahmed justifying his own actions – and repeating slogans that “the penalty for blasphemers is for their heads to be cut off”.

Rizvi was prevented from attending the rally in Mirpur by police, but I met him earlier this month after another rally.

He said that until recently he would talk to Tanveer Ahmed on the phone “every couple of weeks”, and that he was proud of his friendship with him.

“I’m proud of the fact that we are in contact – and this pride will remain until the day of judgement and beyond.”

Rizvi added that his conversations with Ahmed included discussions on the topic of blasphemy, and chants in support of the Prophet Muhammad.

After a BBC report in January 2017 on Ahmed’s audio messages from jail, the Scottish Prison Service banned him from using the phone.

Rizvi said since the ban he had not spoken to Ahmed – but was confident they would resume contact.

“God willing it won’t change anything – phonecalls have been banned – letters haven’t – he will write to us.”

Rizvi, Ahmed and Qadri all come from the Sufi Barelvi sect of Sunni Islam, one normally associated with more spiritual interpretations of the religion.

Rizvi, for example, is vocal in his condemnation of recent attacks in Pakistan, and of militant groups like the so-called Islamic State.

But in Pakistan, Barelvis have been at the forefront of anti-blasphemy campaigns.

“A Sufi is someone who devotes his life to the Prophet Muhammad – if someone insults the Prophet and they just let it go – they are not a real Sufi,” Rizvi said.

Other Sufi Barelvi scholars strongly disagree with Rizvi’s position – but he is an influential figure in Pakistan.

At the mosque in Glasgow that Asad Shah used to attend, there is concern at how hardline views on blasphemy from Pakistan are being spread in the UK.

Abdul Abid, former president of the Scottish Ahmadiyya community, said: “Pakistan has got a problem – and this problem is being exported outside of Pakistan.”

Now it seems Tanveer Ahmed – from a jail cell in Scotland – is helping strengthen the anti-blasphemy movement back in Pakistan.

Source http://www.bbc.com/

Australia: Canberra’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Condemns Vandalism of Jewish Cemeteries

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has experienced similar attacks and acts of vandalism on their graveyards in the past hence the community can relate to these incidents.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Canberra stands in solidarity with Jewish Americans in particular & the Jewish community across the world and Australia in general as a second cemetery in the last two weeks was vandalised in the USA. This act is cowardly and unconscionable!

Reports indicate that over 100 gravestones were damaged and overturned at the Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Philadelphia, PA a week after more than 100 gravestone were damaged at a Jewish cemetery in St Louis, Missouri.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is deeply troubled by these rising and ongoing attacks on our Jewish brothers and sisters. The members from our Philadelphia chapter have already assisted in the clean-up at the subject sites. We call upon all Australians to stand united against this hatred and extremism.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has experienced similar attacks and acts of vandalism on their graveyards in the past hence the community can relate to these incidents and the grief our Jewish brothers and sisters are currently experiencing. We hope that the perpetrators of the cemetery vandalism will be brought to justice. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is ready to serve and protect our Jewish brothers and sisters against acts of intolerance and hatred, and pray for their safety.

Contact: Ahmed Munir
0415 689 286
Ps.canberra@gmail.com

http://www.newsmaker.com.au/

Sierra Leone: Ahmadiyya School Gets Mariatu Kargbo Foundation Boost

“We make a living by what we get and make a life by what we give. With the efforts of other ex-students all over the world we will make our school better and serve as role models.”

Ahmadiyya Muslim Secondary School and other nine Secondary Schools in Freetown have received donations from Mariatu Kargbo Foundation and Global Group of Companies.

The donation which took place at the Ahmadiyya School compound, Kissy Dock Yard on the 28th February 2017 brought together nine more secondary schools in Freetown under one roof as they received smart phones from the two groups.

Mariatu Kargbo is an ex-pupil of that school. The donation to the school ranged from emergency cell phones, sport jerseys and musical instruments.

Before making the donation, Mariatu Kargbo thanked the principal, staff of the school and the other visiting principals of different schools that graced the ceremony. She said she was a daughter from the school, and was pleased to have gone back to her alma mater to give them what she described as a small token.

Mariatu Kargbo Foundation and Global Group of Companies believed that education is the act of learning through a medium that both educates and entertains. She urged the students to take their studies seriously. ‘If one wants to touch the past, touch a rock, wants to touch the present, touch a flower likewise if one wants to touch the future, touch a life,’this she said is her belief.

She challenged the pupils that it takes them to make a difference.

“We make a living by what we get and make a life by what we give. With the efforts of other ex-students all over the world we will make our school better and serve as role models.”

She also thanked the Chinese Government and the Government of Sierra Leone for their endless support in improving education in both countries.

The Principal of the Mariatu Kargbo Junior Secondary School, Alhaji Karimu Sesay also thanked Mariatu and her team for such a wonderful donation.

He said that it was not the first time she was donating to the school.

Source http://news.sl/drwebsite/