More than 300 people attended the historic address by the Khalifa of Islam, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, at a reception in his honor on May 11.
U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass was among the elected officials and community leaders of various faiths who extended welcoming remarks during the afternoon event.
His Holiness delivered the keynote lecture inviting Americans and all people to unite against extremism, intolerance, and terrorism.
“The very meaning of ‘Islam’ is peace, security, and giving a guarantee of protection against all forms of harm and evil,” said His Holiness.
“The Qur’an has clearly stated that Islam is a religion of peace that has nothing to do with terrorism or extremism.”
He also unequivocally condemned the act of terrorism in Boston, offering, “My sympathies are with the victims of the Boston bombing. We condemn that attack in its entirety.
“I believe in that One God who is the Lord of all nations, all races and all religions, and so it becomes impossible that I could ever develop any hatred in my heart for any nation, any race or any religion.”
His Holiness stated, “Today, when we the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community raise the slogan of ‘Love for All, Hatred for None’ as a means to establish global pace, we do so directly in fulfillment of the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the practice of the Holy Prophet [Muhammad].
“The Holy Prophet [Muhammad] was so consumed by his desire to serve humanity,” said His Holiness, “that if any person, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, called him for the mission of serving humanity, then he would most certainly join them in their effort...”
Also, he implored all people to view Islam through the lens of justice, not through the acts of extremists. “True justice and fairness requires that rather than judging Islam in a prejudiced manner or by making false assumptions based on hearsay,” said His Holiness, “a person should study the religion and try to develop an understanding of its teachings before criticizing it and [Prophet Muhammad].”
His Holiness concluded his address by imploring world leaders to hold fast to the tenets of absolute justice in all affairs, to unite against extremism and intolerance, and warned that failure to do so invites a third world war.
The Khalifa of Islam is the worldwide spiritual and administrative leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Islam’s leading figure to promoting peace, condemning violence, and fighting for universal human rights.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a dynamic, reformist and fast-growing international revival movement within Islam. Founded in 1889, the Community spans more than 200 countries with membership exceeding tens of millions. Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, established in 1920, was among the first American-Muslim organizations.