Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community addresses refugee crisis during historic address in Sweden

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad delivers keynote address at Reception held to mark his first visit to Stockholm

On 17 May 2016, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad delivered the keynote address at a special reception held to mark his first ever visit to Sweden’s capital, Stockholm.

Over 60 dignitaries and guests, including various Members of Parliament attended the evening reception, which took place at the Sheraton Hotel in Stockholm city centre.

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During his address, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad spoke in detail about the refugee crisis that has caused uncertainty and instability to spread in Europe during the past year.

Whilst praising the Swedish Government for its “generosity” in accepting tens of thousands of refugees, His Holiness said it was essential that the refugees remained loyal to their adopted nations and sought to contribute to society as soon as possible. His Holiness also called on the United Nations and major world powers to act with justice and to strive for true and long-lasting peace in the world.

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Speaking about the sudden influx of refugees into Europe from Syria and Iraq, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“The refugees escaped their previous lives in the search of peace, and so now having been granted shelter and security here, it is incumbent upon them to live here peacefully and to abide by the laws of the land. All immigrants should remain entirely faithful to their adopted nation and should use all of their abilities to help their country advance and prosper.”

His Holiness said that refugees should not be given preferential treatment over local citizens as this could lead to resentment and frustration amongst the wider society.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“The Swedish people have long been known for their generosity and open-hearts but any discrimination against them could trigger a change in attitude that would undermine and threaten the peace of society. Instead of reaping the positive effects of integration and immigration, it could lead to a rise in conflict and hatred.”

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Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“Absorbing so many refugees is a very delicate issue and must be handled with extreme caution and care because if there is any resentment on the part of the local people it could lead to an extremely dangerous chain reaction. The local citizens could become hostile to the refugees and in turn this could lead to the marginalisation of the immigrant population and that sense of isolation could leave some refugees vulnerable to radicalisation by extremists. If, God forbid, such extremists were able to radicalise even just a few people it would gravely threaten and undermine this nation’s peace, security and prosperity.”

His Holiness also called on Muslim clerics to play a responsible role in guiding refugees about Islam’s true teachings.

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Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Islam requires Muslims to love their country, to be loyal to it and to abide by the laws of the land. This is the message that Imams and Muslim clerics should be voicing to all of the Muslim refugees who are coming to the West. They should be reminded that they have been given a second lease of life and the opportunity to raise their children in a country that is free from war and disorder and so it is incumbent upon them to value and cherish their new home.”

Later in his address, His Holiness quoted extensively from the Holy Quran to refute allegations that Islam permitted any form of extremism or compulsion in matters of religion.

His Holiness also quoted chapter 23, verse 9 of the Holy Quran, which calls on people to fulfil their pledges and trusts. His Holiness said that he considered this to be a “universal principle” for all people and nations.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“All governments and international institutions have huge trusts placed in them and it is the duty of their leaders to ensure that they fulfil them with honesty, integrity and justice. It is the responsibility of governments and politicians to serve their people and to protect the future of their nations and they should never take this burden lightly.”

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Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“The primary objectives laid out in the Charter of the United Nations are “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”, “to live together in peace” and “to maintain international peace and security”. The UN Charter specifically states that its objectives are underpinned by a desire to save mankind from the mistakes that led to the two World Wars of the 20th Century. Having undertaken this huge responsibility, the United Nations must seek to fulfill its noble objectives and truly value the peace of the world as the most significant issue of our time.”

His Holiness concluded by reiterating his fears that the world was moving away from God Almighty and closer to a destructive world war.

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Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“The consequences of a (world) war do not even bear thinking about. The question we should all ask ourselves is whether we desire to leave behind a better world for our children and future generations to live in? Or do we wish to hand over a legacy of warfare, bloodshed and untold sorrow and grief?”

Earlier in the evening a welcome address was given by the National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Sweden, Mr Mamoon-ur-Rashid, followed by guest remarks from Swedish Parliamentarians.

Hillevi Larsson, MP, Social Democrats said:

“I do not understand why members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community are attacked because you spread a message of peace. For instance in 2010, 86 Ahmadi Muslims were killed in Lahore. What impresses me the most is that you never take revenge. The more hatred you face, the more love you give. The more war, the more peace you bring.”

Valter Mutt, MP, Green Party said:

“With peace everything is possible but without peace nothing is possible. You, Ahmadi Muslims do not only talk about peace, as some politicians do, but you are really working towards it.”

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Bengt Eliasson, MP, Liberal Party said:

“Let us mark this evening in the name of peace, understanding, democracy and equality. I thank the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for this chance to join in the course of peace and understanding.”

The event concluded with a silent prayer led by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad and later His Holiness personally met with the guests.

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