By Steve Taggart
As ISIS gain 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.
Each Friday His Holiness delivers a live sermon at Western Europe’s largest Mosque to a congregation of 5,000 worshippers, which is also broadcast and watched live by 80 million people around the world.
On the issue if ISIS his Holiness says: “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.”
His Holiness also condemned Muslim leaders and clerics who were calling on Muslim youths to fight in wars and misleading them entirely by claiming that they were doing their religious duty of Jihad.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said: “The Muslim leaders and so-called clerics are not righteous or God fearing and as a result those under their influence are being entirely misguided. The clerics are pushing young people, who know no better, towards evil and cruelty by falsely claiming it will lead them towards God.”
His Holiness also discussed how being British and a Muslim can be reconciled. He says: “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.