At last! The moderate Muslim speaks! Let’s hope that there isn’t more to this story that will appear in 2 weeks time in the Daily Mail. Personally, I would want to pay by cheque payable to the Royal British Legion directly, and then wait to see the cheque clear before I was content the money went to the right place. A tad cynical perhaps? But if this is as it appears, then fantastic. These guys deserve our support.
Here’s some cheering news that will warm the iciest of hearts.
Young Muslims are planning to turn up at London’s rail and underground stations in force – to collect money for the Poppy Appeal.
Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association will again be helping The Royal British Legion as a mark of good citizenship and a testament to the Islamic edict of demonstrating loyalty to your country.
They will also pay tribute to the valuable role Britain played in the fight against fascism – and the continuing need to be ever vigilant to the threat of extremism. The carnage caused by bloody extremists on the underground on 7/7 will give greater resonance to the charity campaign.
More than 100 volunteers from the group will be stationed at over 40 Zone 1 train and tube stations in the city of London on Saturday 29th October and Monday 31st October. They will be hoping to raise more than the £20,000 they collected last year.
This is part of a nationwide campaign by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to contribute to the country in different ways. This has included blood drives where Ahmadi Muslims give blood; charity walks; peace conferences and interfaith meetings.
The Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Muslims are obliged to be loyal to the country in which they live. Honouring those who fought to defend and safeguard one’s country is an important principle of Islam and in fact is an important principle of peace – especially when it is carried out with a sincere heart and for the sake of winning God’s pleasure.”
Fahim Anwer, President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association which has over 6,000 members in the UK, said:
“We are again delighted and proud to support the Poppy Appeal which provides financial, social and emotional support to millions who have served or who are currently serving in the British Armed Forces, and their dependents.
“As Muslims living in the country it is our duty to honour those who risk life and limb for the protection of all British citizens.”
I imagine they’ll probably receive somewhat less publicity than the small group burning poppies on Remembrance Day, but that’s the asymmetrical nature of news for you. “Muslim gives sweets to neighbours”, as the Ahmadiyya are fond of doing, is slightly less newsworthy than “Muslims make blood-curdling screams about holy war”.
The Ahmadiyya are an interesting case; a pacifistic strain of Islam who are persecuted across the Muslim world, and even in Britain. They are regular victims of threats of violence, and the level of intimidation seems to rise following violence in Pakistan. I recently walked past the Ahmadiyya mosque in Putney and it was pretty heavily guarded.
This is not the first time they have raised money for the poppy appeal, and not the first time they’ve made great efforts to reach out to the British population as a whole (you may have seen their adverts on the side of buses).
It’s just a shame that none of the major groups representing “mainstream” British Islam follow the same path. Instead every anti-terrorist measure is seen as an attack on Islam, and every question about integration proof of “Islamophobia”, that totally bogus neologism promoted by taxpayer-funded anti-racist bodies; furthermore, all hostility to immigration must be the result of “the Right-wing media”, as if British people would be otherwise ecstastic about vast social changes that have taken place without their consent.
I often wonder if the people working for the major British Muslim groups know how badly much of this goes down with the public at large, and how much is it increasing anti-immigrant feeling – which is a shame, because much of this would disappear if prominent members of those communities showed a bit more love, respect and gratitude to the country they live in. However, since the race-relations industry provides financial incentives towards grievances, it’s against their interests to do so, and so few sensible people come through.
So good on the Ahmadiyya for doing far more to bridge community relations than all the government initiatives, quangos, conferences and campaigns in the land, and for helping many former servicemen who made this a safe place to worship whichever god we chose. Love for all, hatred for none, as they say.