On 22 July 2016, British Conservative MP & newly appointed Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling paid a visit to the the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph) of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad .The Parliamentary Under Secretary for State for Transport Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon was also present during the meeting.
The meeting took place at Western Europe’s largest Mosque, the Baitul Futuh Mosque in South-West London. Before the meeting, the Secretary of State was given a tour of the Mosque where he also listened to the Friday Sermon delivered by His Holiness.
According to a statement issued by the Ahmadiyya Community, the MP discussed various matters with the Caliph, including the threat of terrorism and extremism, the ongoing refugee crisis and the future of Britain, in light of the recent EU referendum.
MP Chris Grayling also condemned the persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan and around the world.
In response, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“We, Ahmadi Muslims, do not take revenge or resort to violence in the face of the persecution we face. Rather, we respond only with peace as this is what our religion of Islam teaches us.”
Speaking about the future of Britain and its food security, His Holiness said the British Government should increase investment in agriculture and farming. He said:
“The UK Government should develop its own agriculture so that it is less dependent on other nations. This is something that I am also encouraging our own Ahmadi community here in the UK.”
Regarding the charitable and humanitarian activities of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness said:
“The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has established many humanitarian projects in different countries. For example, we are providing clean drinking water to people living in the most remote parts of Africa by either installing new water pumps or rehabilitating existing ones. Each year we also raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for local charities here in the UK.”
The Secretary of State also offered his sympathies to His Holiness about the fire at the Baitul Futuh Mosque complex in September and thanked His Holiness for the continued positive contribution of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to society.