EDITORIAL HOSTAGES The taking of hostages in return for political favours can never find justification in any religion. It is to be thoroughly condemned. Only through lack of knowledge would anyone blame Islam for the hostage issue in Lebanon. The world is well aware of the kidnappers and their apparent cause. It is also aware of the duplicity in the stand adopted against this issue by different countries. The views of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam on any form of terrorism for whatever reason has been consistent since its foundation. The views were repeated in a lecture on Islam’s Response to Contemporary Issues delivered by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Community, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Center in London on 24th February, 1990, when he stated: The word ‘Islam’ means peace. In this single word all Islamic teachings and attitudes are most beautifully and concisely reflected. Islam is a religion of peace. It advocates’ and promotes peace. Its teachings guarantee peace in every sphere of human interest and aspirations. Again: No religion with a universal message and with global ambitions to unite mankind under one flag can even momentarily entertain the idea of employing force to spread its message. Swords can win territories but not hearts. Force can bend heads but not minds. These principles have always been advocated by the Ahmadiyya Community which its opponents accused of not taking up the sword against the ruling British. The Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement reminded them of the futility of murdering wives and children of British officers. Such wrong and bloody concept of Jihad continued to prevail among some Muslims until they themselves saw the harm which such’actions were doing to the image of Islam. They interpreted Jihad to mean the peaceful striving to spread the message of Islam which was the interpretation given to the word by the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam. We do not deny that unfortunately there are Muslim terrorists and kidnappers as terrorists are also among Christians, Jews and adherents to other faiths. These acts, however, cannot be traced to the original teachings of Islam and to the Founders of other revealed faiths.