Originally Published on Cleveland.com (June 6, 2017)
The Khalifa of Islam, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, is the worldwide spiritual and administrative head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Under his leadership, our community has been at the forefront of combatting all radical (false) interpretations of the Qur’an. Through our bookstalls, flier distributions, peace symposia, mosque open houses, and Qur’anic exhibitions done throughout the world, we have laid our teachings bare for all to see.
In early May, I visited His Holiness, alongside a delegation of more than 150 other American-Ahmadi Muslim youth. I discovered the essence of Islam is compassion and service to mankind. This discovery wasn’t through mere verbal proclamations. I saw it in the smiling faces of those that received us. I saw it in the way they wouldn’t even let us throw away our trash, out of the spirit of hospitality. I saw it when I experienced the President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association UK, one of the country’s largest Muslim youth groups, walking in our sleeping corridors late at night just to make sure everything was running smoothly.
Where does the Khalifa of Islam reside? South London. From the reports, the perpetrators of the London attacks this past Saturday night were claiming to kill in the name of God. But why should we believe them? Or any of the other fringe extremists whose hearts are perverse? Why not believe us, and all the other Muslims, who have repeatedly delivered a message of peace through both our word and deed?