In the Name of Allah the Gracious, the Merciful
17 June 2022
Message to 2nd Annual International Religious Freedom Summit
السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ
(May peace and blessings of Allah be upon you)
First of all, I would like to offer my sincere thanks and gratitude to Dr Katrina Lantos Swett and Mr Sam Brownback for their gracious invitation to me to attend the 2nd Annual International Religious Freedom Summit. Whilst I am unable to join you at this important event, my best wishes and sincere prayers are with you and I truly hope and pray the Summit proves to be extremely successful and fulfils its objectives of promoting and delivering true religious freedom in all parts of the world.
A peaceful and harmonious society, in which all communities and peoples are free to practice their beliefs without fear or impediment, can only be achieved if absolute justice and equality are the foundational pillars upon which that society is built. Indeed, without justice there can never be lasting peace and nor can true freedom be attained.
We live in a world that, increasingly, is akin to a global village where each country is a melting pot of various nations, races, tribes, faiths and cultures. Furthermore, the world is host to an array of different political systems and ideologies. Therefore, we must not let our differences divide us or to foster hatred and prejudice in society. Rather, we must individually and collectively raise our tolerance threshold and strive to ensure that justice prevails at all levels of society, both internationally and at a domestic level, and that the fundamental principles of freedom of belief and freedom of conscience are upheld and considered sacrosanct in all parts of the world.
Until there is absolute justice and until there is genuine tolerance for others ingrained in our nations and societies, I fear frustrations will continue to foment, opposing cultures and ideologies will clash, as has been witnessed at various dark periods of human history, and lead to extreme pain and torment for many peoples, including religious minorities.
Certainly, the objectives of the International Religious Freedom Summit are laudable and we must all play our respective roles in supporting any and all efforts towards establishing true religious freedom in the world. I am sure that all of the learned people who are attending this event will set aside all personal interests and work towards finding positive and meaningful solutions for governments and international institutions in order to bring about a real and substantive change for the better in society and to bring relief to the millions of people around the world who continue to suffer from grave persecution as a result of their religious beliefs.
Perhaps, the greatest challenge lies in the fact that, regrettably, the major powers of the world have often prioritised their vested political interests above and beyond what is moral and what is right. Until this changes, and until there is a genuine desire and firm resolve to fulfil the rights of all members of humanity, irrespective of caste, creed or colour, we will continue to see the religious and civil rights of innocent people be denied.
With all my heart, I hope and pray that governments and world leaders recognise that it is the need of the hour to set aside narrow and short-term political interests for the sake of the peace and harmony of the world. I pray that they come to adopt policies that truly enshrine freedom of belief as an inviolable principle so that our children and future generations are forever able to profess and practice their religious beliefs freely and without fear of oppression.
I pray that may Allah the Almighty grant the world’s leaders the wisdom and understanding to enable them to successfully tackle the great challenges of our time. Ameen.
With best wishes and prayers,
MIRZA MASROOR AHMAD
Khalifatul Masih V
HEAD OF THE WORLDWIDE
AHMADIYYA MUSLIM COMMUNITY