As ISIS gains new territory and funds with which to establish an Islamic state and ‘’Caliphate’’, they are perhaps unaware that the institution of Caliphate is already in existence here in the UK.
The UK first became the home to a world-wide Caliphate in 1984 when His Holiness, Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the fourth Caliph, migrated from Pakistan to England. Today, the leafy streets of Southfields, South-West London, are home to his successor, the fifth Caliph and worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (AMC), His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, who lives on the site of London’s oldest Mosque.
The Caliph is the spiritual leader to tens of millions of Muslims spread across 204 countries. There are more than 30,000 Muslims in the UK, from Aberdeen to Cornwall, who have pledged allegiance at the hand of the Caliph.
On the subject of Caliphate, His Holiness said:
“Extremist Islamic groups and the so-called Caliphate that extremists are trying to establish in the Middle East are a complete betrayal of the true peaceful teachings of Islam and will never succeed. These groups have attached their own cruel ambitions to an institution (Caliphate) that in reality seeks to champion the rights of all people.”
“Let me make it clear that the institution of Caliphate leading the Ahmadiyya Community has no interest in power or government. Rest assured that true Khilafat (Caliphate) has no worldly or political objectives.”
Each Friday His Holiness delivers a live sermon at Western Europe’s largest Mosque to a congregation of more than 5,000 worshippers, which is also broadcast and watched live by 80 million people around the world. Today tens of thousands of worshippers will gather in Morden and at Mosques across the UK to denounce ISIS and extremism. This week also marks the beginning of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and the AMC will be calling on ISIS to use Ramadan as an opportunity to put a halt to the current hostilities.
Commenting on ISIS, His Holiness added:
”The actions and statements of ISIS and other extremists who pretend to represent Islam, whilst all the while spreading hatred and violence, run entirely contrary to the peaceful teachings of Islam.”
“If some of the local people are unhappy and feel the Iraqi Government has been unjust and cruel, it still does not justify any form of terrorism or extremism in response. Islam does not permit you to respond to cruelty with further cruelty. All cruelty is wrong and to be condemned.”
“The life of the Prophet Muhammad, the holy founder of Islam who such terrorists claim to represent, is filled only with countless examples of peace, tolerance, respect, and a deep love for humanity.”
Discussing the how being British and a Muslim can be reconciled, His Holiness said:
“Britain has provided a home for people from across the world. As Ahmadi Muslims, we give thanks to Queen and Country for allowing us to practice our faith freely. Islam teaches us to be loyal to the country in which we reside and as Ahmadi Muslims we believe it is our duty to serve the country, to contribute to society and promote peace and good citizenship.”
The community is also launching an advertising campaign this week on buses in Cardiff to counter extremism. This follows a national youth gathering hosted by the youth wing of the AMC, which brought together 5,000 young British Muslims in the Surrey countryside last weekend to pledge allegiance to Great Britain and raise the Union Jack.