Muslims Declare Jihad on Extremism

30,000 Muslims to Stand United in Pledge to Counter Hatemongers

More than 30,000 Muslims are planning to gather in the English countryside, raise the Union Jack and form a human chain during which they will re-affirm their rejection of violence and extremism.

Each member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community will renew a century-old pledge to practice Islam purely as a religion of peace.

Members from more than 50 countries will unite, as they have done annually, to declare that service to one’s country, good citizenship and loyalty are acts of faith.

The three day festival of faith – Jalsa Salana – is the 45th annual UK convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a global Islamic movement that is acknowledged for its commitment to peace. Ahmadiyya Muslims reject violent jihad as a gross misunderstanding and instead view jihad as a moral crusade to improve one’s own faith.

Politicians, faith and community leaders will address delegates at the event in Hampshire which will broadcast live around the world on the community’s own 24-hour satellite TV, MTA International, broadcast on Sky Channel 787.

Members from across the UK will travel to park-and ride sites near the convention centre where a fleet of buses will escort them to the convention. A tented village is erected at the East Worldham site owned by the community and used for the annual event.

Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the worldwide Head – Khalifa – of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, said:

"Those attending Jalsa should always try and enhance the standard of righteousness. We should be grateful to God each moment by remembering His favours on us. And, by engaging in His remembrance each moment and by practicing His commandment each moment we should make each fibre of our being grateful to Him."

Rafiq Hayat, National President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK, said:

"Those coming here do so for their own spiritual advancement. They listen to speeches about Islam and the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to better understand how religion – all religions in fact – can provide people with a moral compass in today’s world.   The emphasis on integration, good community relations and the importance of charity and good deeds fosters a real sense of purpose.

"The occasion is important for building bonds of brotherhood and for reaffirming our belief that faith and national loyalty are certainly compatible."

During the convention, from July 22-24, the Khalifa will address delegates and review the progress the community over the past year.