On 24 September 2014, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad visited the National Parliament of Ireland, the ‘Oireachtas’ at Leinster House in Dublin.
Upon arrival, His Holiness was received by the Captain of the Guard in Parliament, Comdt. John Flaherty.
Thereafter, His Holiness was received by Sean Barrett, TD, Ceann Comhairle of the Parliament (Speaker) in his official office.
During a 30-minute meeting, the Speaker welcomed His Holiness to Ireland and spoke of his admiration of the peaceful message and positive contribution of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to Ireland. They also discussed the current world situation and various other matters.
Upon hearing that the Speaker had visited Africa on a number of occasions, whilst serving as Minister of Defence, His Holiness recounted his own experiences of living in Africa during the 1970s and 1980s.
Thereafter, His Holiness was escorted to a meeting with more than 20 Irish Parliamentarians including both TDs and Senators.
During the meeting, the Parliamentarians welcomed Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad to Ireland and congratulated him on the forthcoming opening of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s Maryam Mosque in Galway.
Further, His Holiness answered various questions from the Parliamentarians through which he was able to explain Islam’s true teachings to them.
His Holiness said that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believed its Founder, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be the Promised Messiah.
His Holiness explained that due to fact that Ahmadi Muslims believe their Community’s Founder to be the Promised Messiah, they are heavily persecuted and discriminated against in Pakistan and to a lesser extent in certain other countries.
During the meeting, His Holiness spoke about the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s commitment to peace and serving humanity.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Our Community is engaged in humanitarian work and relief projects throughout the world. Despite the fact that we are persecuted and maltreated in certain Muslim countries, we continue to serve and help those countries to the very best of our abilities.”
In response to a question about why so-called ‘Muslims’ are perpetrating terrorist activities, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“We do not believe in the violent Jihad that is being portrayed by terrorists and militants. We do not believe in the Jihad of terrorism or extremism. Such hateful activities are to be absolutely condemned.
Rather, we believe only in the Jihad of self-reformation and improvement; we believe in the Jihad of peacefully preaching the Islam’s true teachings and we believe in the Jihad of preaching peace itself.”
Following his meeting with the Parliamentarians, His Holiness was escorted to the galleries of both the Lower and Upper Houses of Parliament where he observed the Parliamentary proceedings.
In the Lower House, His Holiness observed Leaders Questions.