Muslims to unite against ‘Muhammad Cartoon Contest’
In response to the ‘Muhammad Cartoon Competition’ announcement by Dutch Politician Geert Wilders, Muslims in the UK will wage a “Jihad of the Pen” by holding a ‘Muhammad Speech Contest’ at UK’s biggest Muslim Convention, on Saturday 4 August. The Convention is to attract over 30,000 Muslims from 90 different countries to learn about the peaceful teachings of Islam.
In 2005, the publication in a Danish newspaper of cartoons depicting the Prophet of Islam led to violent protests across the world. In 2015, terrorists killed 12 people at the Paris offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had printed cartoons of the Prophet also.
In contrast to such horrific violent reactions, many Muslims and non-Muslims, including the self-styled “Jihadi Jew”, Lee Weissman, are reacting by taking part in the speech competition organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. A panel of Muslim and non-Muslim judges will decide the winners at the competition and the ceremony.
One of the participants, “Jihadi Jew”, Lee Weissman, said:
“I am very aware that the “Muhammad” of the haters is so very different from Muhammad as understood by Muslims. To understand our Muslim neighbours, we need to understand their prophet as they see him. So why ME? Why should I teach about Muhammad? Ironically, seeing my unlikely face, the face of religious Jew, maybe people will listen out of curiosity and learn something in the process.”
Ibrahim Ikhlaf, organiser of the competition, said:
“The love that Muslims have for the Prophet of Islam is immeasurable and the offensive cartoons published in recent years have been extremely upsetting. Unfortunately, some misguided Muslims have expressed their feelings in the past by resorting to terrorism and murder. This is completely against the true, peaceful teachings of Islam and the example of the Prophet himself.
“We will be waging a Jihad of the Pen with our speech competition and will protest against Wilders’ hateful cartoon contest loudly, clearly and peacefully, as was the example of our beloved Prophet, peace be upon him.”
The competition has attracted numerous social media entries and many non-Muslims and Muslims will take part in person at the Convention, known as the Jalsa Salana. Some examples of the social media entries can be seen here and here. Entries on social media are using #MuhammadSpeechContest
Contacts For Security Access, Media-Room And OB Van Passes
Media wishing to attend Jalsa Salana or in need of further information should contact AMC press office on +44 208 544 7678.
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- Venue:Hadeeqatul Mahdi (Oakland Farm), Green Street, East Worldham, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 3AU
- By car:Free parking on site (One hour drive from London).
- Public transport: A free shuttle service will be operating from Alton Train Station (1 hour 7 minutes direct from Waterloo via Clapham Junction).
- Dates:Friday 3th August – Sunday 5th August
SUMMARY OF INFORMATION FOR PRODUCERS
Some Key Features of the Jalsa Salana:
- Hoisting of the Ahmadiyya Muslim flag alongside the Union Flagby the Caliph and National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK
- 300,000 naan: 300,000 naan (slices of Asian bread): All cooking is done on-site by volunteers. This includes the running of a bread factory that produces 300,000 rotis at a rate of10,000 an hour; the kitchen cooks kitchen cooks 270,000 meals(South Asian and European cuisine) across the three days
- 200 acres: The site is a Hampshire farm, which is turned into a global village in the two weeks prior to the event and taken down within a week. The facilities include accommodation, a kitchen that produces more than 270,000 meals and an international bookshop
- 5,000 volunteers:The gathering is organised exclusively by volunteers from across the UK (2,000 women and 3,000 men)
- 80 million people: All proceedings are transmitted to more than 80 million people worldwide and simultaneously translated into more than a dozen languages, via webcast and Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (MTA), the world’s first Islamic satellite channel
- The Caliph, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad delivers five speechesacross the three days
- Over 30,000 attendees: Largest Muslim Convention in the UK
- 51 years: Longest standing Muslim convention in the UK
- 100 countries: Delegates attend from more than 100 countries across the world (North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, South & East Asia, and Australasia)
- Pledge of allegiance to the Caliph: Pledge of allegiance to the Caliph with a participation of over 30,000and millions via satellite and webstream on Sunday
- Life-sized replica of the Turin Shroudof Jesus will be on display. World leading expert on the Shroud, Barrie Schwortz, will be a guest in attendance, who was part of the team that conducted the first in-depth scientific examination of it in 1978
ABOUT THE AHMADIYYA MUSLIM COMMUNITY
- The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community promotes the true teachings of Islam.
- In the UK, it has more than 100 chapters, 35 Mosques, including the largest Mosque in Britain, and the first Mosque in London.
- It is a peaceful Islamic movement that has, since its establishment in 1889, denounced all forms of extremism and promoted pluralism. It has been established in the UK for more than a century and has tens of millions of members spread across 209 countries.
- Its founder, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, claimed to be the Mahdi and Messiah prophesied in the Christian, Jewish and Islamic scriptures. He stood against all forms of cruelty, reaffirming that true Islam is a religion of peace.
- The community is today run under a system of Caliphate, which has been headquartered in London since 1984. The present and fifth caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad.
- The Caliph has addressed world leaders and the general public across the globe, consistently denouncing religious extremism, terrorist groups such as ISIS, the oppression of women, and all forms of cruelty towards humankind, animals and the environment.