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Espouse Olympic Ideals in Islamic Quest Says Leader

Convention Dates: July 25-27, 2008

The UK leader of an Islamic movement which runs Western Europe's biggest mosque in London will tell the UK's largest annual convention of Muslims that the Olympics offer an inspiration for followers of the faith.

30,000 members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community are expected to converge near Alton, Hampshire, on July 25-27 where the followers will reaffirm their pledge: Love for All, Hatred for None.

This year, with faithful from around the world converging to mark the centenary of the Caliphate that unites the global community established in over 190 countries, a strong call for unity and solidarity will be made.

Mr Rafiq Hayat, UK President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, said that the Olympics symbolised how people from around the globe could come together in common endeavour and to excel in the pursuit of perfection.

"Islam exhorts mankind to unite under the umbrella of one God Who created us all. We should rejoice in our common humanity and vie with one another in the performance of good deeds and in pursuit of pleasing our Lord.

"This is a message I will impart to the youth of our community. Allah rewards those who worship Him and perform good deeds. The test of our faith is not what we say about ourselves but what we can do for the good of others."

Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the worldwide leader (Khalifa) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, who will address the convention, said:

"Ahmadi Muslims follow the true peaceful principles of Islam in every aspect of their lives. We actively work in local communities to serve humanity by raising funds for charitable causes, participating in social projects and working inclusively with all people to develop and promote social peace."

This is the 42nd Annual Ahmadiyya Muslim Convention to take place in Britain. It will be held over three days (July 25-27, 2008) at a site near Alton, Hampshire, where a temporary village of marquees is to be set up to host the 30,000 visitors.
We are open to interviews, filming and photography before and during the convention. To obtain a press pass for the convention, email or telephone Dr Basharat Nazir, National Press & Media Secretary.

Ahmadiyya Muslim branch offices in all major towns and cities of Britain are also available for direct media contact.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the most dynamic denomination in modern Islam having spread to 190 countries within a century. The community represents the renaissance of Islam.

Our Motto: Love for All, Hatred for None

Our Beliefs:

In Islam and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the greatest prophet to bring the final and complete religion, Islam

In peace, good citizenship and loyalty, tolerance, interfaith dialogue, justice and service to humanity

That there is no compulsion in religion and that Jihad is a struggle to purify oneself and is not a means of violence on others: to believe in One God and do good deeds is the greatest Jihad

The Ahmadiyya Muslim community is distinct from other Muslims in the belief that Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) died on earth after completing his Divine mission and that he did not physically ascend to the heavens. Other Muslims believe that he is still alive and await the return of the same Jesus from 2,000 years ago.

Ahmadi Muslims believe the second coming of Christ was fulfilled in the person of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (peace be upon him), who had the spiritual qualities of Jesus as a Messiah of Peace.

Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, currently based in South West London, will host the annual convention and address the gathering on all three days.

Ahmadi Muslims are active in their communities; they raise tens of thousands of pounds for charities, have their own charity Humanity First that is serving humanity locally as well as in all parts of the world irrespective of colour, race or religion.

Ahmadi Muslims are the pioneers of interfaith dialogue. The community built the first mosque in London in 1924. In 2003 they opened the largest purpose-built mosque in Western Europe in Morden Surrey, which can accommodate more than 10,000 people. The community also operates its own 24-hour satellite TV station, MTA International, on Sky 787.

The Baitul Futuh Mosque181 London Road, Morden Surrey SM4 5HF Press Enquiries - Tel 07703 483 384 Email media@ahmadiyya.org.uk
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