“Storm clouds forewarning us of a Third World War are getting heavier by the day” – Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad says role of world leaders is to “bring people together rather than threaten to ban Muslims from entering their nations” during Calgary Peace Symposium.

On 11 November 2016, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad delivered the keynote address at the Calgary Peace Symposium, hosted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Canada.
More than 800 people, including over 650 dignitaries and guests attended the event including Canada’s former Prime Minister, Right Honourable Stephen Harper, the Mayor of Calgary, Naheed Nenshi and Irfan Sabir, Provincial Minister of Human Services. Also attending were various senior representatives of the First Nations community, leading academics and media.
Prior to the event, His Holiness held a meeting with Rt Hon Stephen Harper, during which the former Prime Minister thanked His Holiness for the continued commitment of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to spreading peace and for its humanitarian efforts.
During the main reception, His Holiness spoke of the increasing uncertainty in the world and warned of the risks of a Third World War. He condemned Muslim extremists and terrorists in the strongest terms and stated that their acts were completely against the teachings of Islam.
His Holiness quoted several verses of the Holy Quran and incidents from the life of the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) that attested to the peaceful teachings of Islam. His Holiness also referenced the writings of non-Muslim academics in relation to the teachings of Islam.
Speaking about the need for peace in the world, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
Everyone appreciates that the world stands in great need of peace and harmony, yet despite comprehending this, it seems as though people are unwilling to take the necessary steps to achieve it. Regrettably, in many parts of the world, far greater priority is being given, either directly or indirectly, towards asserting dominance and supremacy over others and satisfying a craving for power and authority.”
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:
“Some of you may question what a Muslim leader can say about establishing world peace, given that the disorder in today’s world revolves primarily around Muslim countries or so-called Islamic groups… However, before casting judgement, it is essential that people are familiar with Islam’s true teachings. No one should assume that the acts of extremists or terrorists are in accordance with Islam.” 
His Holiness spoke of how the failure of Governments to uphold the rights of the people and the subsequent rise of terrorism and extremism had led to the breakdown of a number of Muslim countries. He said the root cause for the lack of peace was the lack of fairness and justice.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Previously successful nations have been torn apart and immersed in calamitous civil wars. All of this conflict and warfare is based upon the fact that the majority of Muslims have forgotten the true teachings of their religion and are failing to fulfil the rights of one another. Rather than manifesting justice and integrity, they are motivated solely by greed and a desire for power. Tragically, the end result is that peace is being eroded, as restlessness entrenches itself amongst the masses.”
Regarding the standards of justice that Islam requires of Muslims, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“The Quran states that a person should be ready to testify against himself or his loved ones in order to uphold the truth. It is very easy to say that “I am ready to speak against myself”, however to practically live up to this standard is incredibly difficult. Yet, this is the target and challenge that Allah the Almighty has laid down to the Muslims, wherein He has said that true justice cannot transpire until a person is willing to set aside all personal interests.”
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:
“If practiced, this unique principle is the means of establishing peace, not just in Muslim countries, but in every village, every town, every city and in every nation of the world.”
The Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community explained the reason why early Muslims were permitted to engage in defensive warfare following years of sustained persecution. He said that permission was granted by Allah the Almighty in order to protect the right of freedom of belief of all people of all faiths.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“It is a great manifestation of the enlightened teachings of Islam that the Quran did not grant the Muslims permission to fight in order to protect Islam, or out of a fear that all Mosques would be demolished. Rather, permission was granted to protect all religions and all places of worship, whether churches, temples, synagogues, mosques or any others.”
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:
“The early Muslims did not risk their lives to defend themselves, but to shield mankind itself, and to uphold the universal values of freedom of conscience and belief. Those Muslims risked their lives in order to push back against the hand of oppression that sought to destroy the peace of the world.” 
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said the blame for the world’s conflicts could not be completely pinned on Muslims. He stated that certain non-Muslim nations had manufactured and sold weapons to Muslim nations, which were then being used to fuel wars.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Instead of bringing an end to the wars plaguing the Muslim world, the major powers are actually further igniting them. Rather than prioritising peace, they have continually sought to influence and even profit from warfare.”
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:
“The reality is that the wars taking place today are not fought for religious reasons but are being fought for geo-political purposes and for the sake of obtaining wealth and power.”
The Caliph continued by warning of the risks of another world war, which he said would prove “catastrophic”.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Storm clouds forewarning us of a Third World War are getting heavier by the day. The effects of such a war would last for decades to come. Generation after generation of children would, more than likely, be born crippled or with genetic defects due to the lasting effects of the radiation.”
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:
“It is the urgent need of the time for mankind to work towards safeguarding our future. Instead of only blaming Muslims for the global disorder, the world’s major powers should also take a step back and look at themselves. Rather than publicity-seeking politicians stating their intentions to ban Muslims from entering their nations, the world needs leaders who are sincere in their efforts to bridge the differences that divide us.”
Concluding, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Governments and policy makers should realise the immense weight of their duties as custodians of the world. They should strive earnestly to ensure that those who follow us are not born disabled or raised in a broken world, but are born healthy, happy and into a world of ever greater peace and harmony.”
Earlier, following a welcome address by Mr. Lal Khan Malik, the National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, various dignitaries took to the stage to welcome His Holiness to Canada.
The Mayor of Calgary, Naheed Nenshi said:
“The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been in Canada now for 50 years and it is a day to give thanks for all that the community does because this community, perhaps more than many others, understands that that fight against intolerance and small mindedness is a fight for us all. This community understands that building community together every single day ultimately enriches every single one of us.” 
Rt Hon, Stephen Harper, former Prime Minister of Canada, said:
“Throughout my term as Prime Minister, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was among one of the best partners that we ever worked with… As elsewhere in the world, Ahmadi Muslims in Canada are known for their devotion to peace, universal brotherhood and the will of God – the true principles, the core principles of true Islam. And for serving the greater good in so many ways, not just in Canada, but wherever Ahmadis live in the world. When you as Ahmadis take your public space in the public square and you proclaim, love for all, hatred for none, you are in the most essential way a partner, a neighbour, a friend for all Canadians.”
Irfan Sabir, Provincial Minister of Human Services, said:
“Over the past few weeks, in his travels across Canada, His Holiness (Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad) has been spreading the message of ‘Love for all, Hatred for none’. He has inspired Canadians with his courageous call for peace and compassion.”
Darshan Kang, Federal Member of Parliament, said:
“Those of us who have had the pleasure of meeting and working with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community know the tremendous contribution the Ahmadi Muslims have made in the Canadian society. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community stands apart in embodying those values each of us holds dear as Canadians.”
Following the conclusion of the event, His Holiness was also welcomed by a delegation from the First Nations community. The indigenous elders gave His Holiness a traditional welcome according to their customs and thereafter had a private audience with him.
The Calgary Peace Symposium was the final public reception of the current Canadian tour of His Holiness. During the preceding weeks, His Holiness has also delivered keynote addresses at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, York University, the Canada Peace Symposium and Mosque openings in Regina and Lloydminster.