The Times May 1970 – The man who is considered to be ” the grandson of the promised Messiah ” by his disciples, spiritual leader of millions of Muslims, a Caliph in direct communion with Allah arrived in London yesterday and held a press conference in the faintly improbable Edwardian setting of the Cafe Royal.
Hazrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad a Balliol man, is leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Movement, a proselytizing sect of Islam which his grandfather founded 80 years ago. As a Hafiz he is one of the few who know the Quran by heart. His election as Caliph of the movement seems to fulfill a prophecy of the Talmud: ” The throne of the Messiah descend- ing to his grandson “.
Aged 61, married, with five children, the caliph is a gentle ,quiet, impressive man. wearing a snow-white Pagri and beard, and sporting a sense of humour. Beaming, he shook both hands warmly with the gentlemen but not the ladies of the press, saying that he wanted to break the ice but not the coffee cups.
The room bristled with Jinnah caps, including one on the head of an English Imam of the movement.
Mr. Bashir Orchard, who runs its Glasgow mission. He was converted to Islam in 1945 after serving in the far East during the war. The Ahmadis have about 4,000 members, 21 branches, and one mosque in the United Kingdom. In the chair was the president of the International Court of Justice at The Hague. Sir Mohammed Zafrullah Khan.
The caliph startled the Afro- Asian press by saying firmly that the British had every right to refuse to allow foreigners to settle here. “They even have a right to ask those who have already settled here to leave, but they should ask them to go as friends, not as enemies.”
“I should not like it if a million European came to Pakistan and wanted to settle there. If we fail to win the hearts of the British, we have no right to stay among them, if we win their hearts, they will not turn us out.”
Pressed for his views on South Africa and Rhodesia, the Caliph again sent an unfashionable frisson of surprise through his audience.:
“When the so-called colored people – it is a beautiful color in my eyes – get power in South Africa, I hope they will treat the whites there very nicely as equals and full citizens”
Speaking to the youth of Britain, the Caliph sounding more than ever Socrates said “Young people are not living a human life. They are living like animals to my mind. I may be wrong. But that does not mean that i hate or despise them. I have sympathy for them, because they are the losers. They should know themselves.”
He uttered a prophecy, calculated from the Quran that within 23 years there would be a revolution in which the world would become a quite different and much better place. But if the world did not come back to Allah, there would be a great catastrophe.
His prophecy and message of love, peace and smiling at people suffered the usual fate of such simple thing, and was greeted with surreptitious, sheepish and condescending smiles by the press. One of these days a prophet is going to startle them all by being right.