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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Meeting of the Parliament 11 September 2018

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, European Union Exit Preparations, Social Enterprise World Forum 2018, Business Motion, Decision Time, The Ecology Centre (Kinghorn)


Contents


Time for Reflection

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

The first item of business is time for reflection. Our time for reflection leader is Mr Fareed Ahmad, national secretary for external affairs in the national executive of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK.

Mr Fareed Ahmad (National Executive of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK)

Thank you for the opportunity to speak today.

In the name of Allah the gracious and merciful, my contribution stems from the words and guidance of His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the caliph and worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community.

The world is passing through precarious times. There is a rise in division, hate and injustice. Society has become polarised, nations have threatened one another, conflicts have become widespread and inequality has increased. The plight of people in the world’s poorest nations is truly desperate and their poverty is heartbreaking. They wake up each day wondering whether it will be their last. Hundreds of millions of people do not have access to clean drinking water; they make do, struggle and survive by using dirty pond water. The struggle for survival means that nearly a quarter of a billion children are deprived of education.

Today, their hardship is compounded by modern technology, through which they see the great disparity between them and the people who live in comfort in developed countries. That feeds resentment that is preyed upon by extremists, who entice them with money and the promise of a better life. Similarly, targeting illiterate youth gives extremists free rein to radicalise and brainwash, taking advantage of the fact that the rulers of those countries have more often than not failed their people.

Dear friends, those are not other people’s problems, as they directly affect global peace and security. Every effort must be made to raise the standards of the developing world. Poor nations must not be looked down on; rather, we should consider them as part of our family—as our brothers and sisters. By helping developing nations to stand on their own feet and giving their people opportunities and hope, we will help ourselves and safeguard the future of the world.

Perhaps that task falls more to people such as you who have the luxury of freedom and opportunity. In chapter 94 of the holy Qur’an, it says:

“So when thou art free strive hard”.

It guides mankind to achieve peace by the “freeing of a slave” and

“feeding in the day of hunger an orphan near of kin or a poor man lying in the dust”.

Those in power such as you are uniquely positioned to help create a better world. The question is, will you?

The founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad—peace be upon him—whom we accept as the promised Messiah, guided us and said:

“The principle to which we adhere is that we have kindness at heart for the whole of mankind.”

I put it to you that that, in truth, is a principle for us all.

Let us begin each day with such compassion in our hearts to help those in need, and let us end each day knowing that we have made a difference to end suffering, injustice and inequality, so that we bequeath to our future generations, wherever they may be, a world of peace rather than a world at war.