A group of 25 cyclists from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community took part in a 600-mile charity cycle from Glasgow to London. They reached London last Sunday where they were escorted by 200 local cyclists including a large number of London Metropolitan police officers and welcomed by Justine Greening MP and local leaders before praying for peace and honouring the fallen as part of the D-Day commemorations nationwide.
The Ride4Peace event was organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association to celebrate its 100 years of existence. Along the 600-mile route the cyclists stopped at 13 mosques, the Bailiff Bridge First World War Memorial and a Commonwealth Memorial graveyard to pay their respect to the fallen, raising an estimated £100,000 for the British Heart Foundation and Humanity First.
This is not the first time the Ahmadiyya has organised charity events. Last month, members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association undertook the “three peak challenge“, scaling the highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales, raising £7,500 for the Red Cross.
Lead cyclist Dr Hammad Khan said: ”We left Scotland with a wealth of fond memories that will remain with us. The country’s spectacular scenery was only matched by the warmth and kindness of its amazing people.
”When we were in the heart of the Scottish Borders, without a phone signal for forty miles, one of the cyclists took a wrong turn. He found himself in a village with no money or signal to reach the main group. It took several hours to find the cyclist. As you can imagine, it was a very worrying situation for us.
“However, when we located him he was warm and well fed. A local couple had invited him into their cafe, fed him for free and stayed with him after they closed the shop until he was picked up. That was one of the many incredible demonstrations of human kindness we encountered across the 600 miles.”
Dr Khan continued: “Not only were we able to show people across Scotland and England the positive contributions being made by Muslims, but we also developed an even greater appreciation of the great tolerance and kindness found in people of all faiths and backgrounds.”
In an interview with STV before the cycle, Dr. Tauseef Khan, organiser of the Ride 4 Peace, said: “We want to showcase that British AMYA Muslims support peace. Acts of extremism or terrorism or barbaric acts that happen supposedly in the name of Islam are not at all representative of ordinary British Muslims.
Dr Tauseef Khan continued: “Our values are in total consonance with the British values of brotherhood, charity, loyalty to one’s country and tolerance for human beings no matter their colour, creed or religion.
“I am proud to be in this country. We have no issue at all being a loyal British citizen and retaining our identity as a Muslim.“