Ahmadiyya Peace Symposium
22 Mar 2016 lucyejwoods
The head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Caliph Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, lent support to the divestment movement on Saturday.
When asked about supporting divestment, Caliph Ahmad said, “yes, of course we should.”
“Fossil fuels are polluting the environment,” the Ahmadiyya leader told reporters at the press conference of the annual Peace Symposium held on Saturday night at the Baitul Futuh mosque in Morden, South London.
The spiritual leader to tens of millions, in more than 200 countries added, “God has given you the resources for energy; one is solar energy.”
Solar energy “is the safest energy source at present,” Caliph Ahmad said, followed by nuclear.
However, the leader later confusingly added: “but the main source of energy will remain fossil fuels”, and seemed to downplay his stance, not recognising the link between warfare, violence and climate change, saying: “peace is more important than climate change.”
But the Caliph Ahmad later linked fossil fuels to terrorism, questioning the trade of fossil fuels to extremist, so-called Islamic groups in his public speech addressing the Symposium:
“It is well known that different groups and even governments are purchasing oil from Daesh [ISIS]. Why has this trade not been stopped? Why have comprehensible sanctions not been proposed to prevent such deeds?”
He called out Heads of State from: Iran, Jordan, America and Turkey for being complicit in allowing fossil fuels, predominantly oil, to be transported to extremist groups such as ISIS.
Until oil trading and supplies are stopped, “We will not see peace and justice in the world,” he said.
An estimated 2-3,000 people attended the Symposium, including: Conservative Mayoral candidate, Zac Goldsmith, the Minister for Transport, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister for Public Health, Jane Ellison, MEPs Jean Lambert and Julie Ward.
Also in attendance were MPs Siobhain McDonagh, Paul Scully, Stephen Hammond, Justine Greening and Dominic Grieve.
The Ahmadiyya Caliph’s words echoed the International Islamic Climate Change Symposium, held in Istanbul, Turkey, in August which stated “urgent” and “radical” action is needed to combat climate change.
The Caliph joins other spiritual leaders in talking about climate change, including the Pope and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim community are most well known in London for advertising the community’s slogan: “Love for all hatred for none” with “united against extremism” on London’s iconic red double decker buses.
The Church of England and the World Council of Churches have already begun divesting from fossil fuels to support the divestment movement, as well as the oil-based Sovereign wealth fund of Norway, many universities (which started the divestment movement), such as Oxford, Edinburgh, Harvard, Princeton and many others, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund which made its fortune in oil, along with other high-profile organisations.
The Ahmadiyya Peace Symposium invites politicians, journalists, academics and others from outside the religious community to see prayers, tour the mosque, view translations of the Qu’ran and exhibits on the Ahmadiyya community’s charitable arms every year.
Caliph Ahmad has a degree in agricultural studies, and Ahmadiyya charities provide solar energy to villages without electricity and support various other environmental causes.