Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Speaks at Major Islamic Convention, Condemns ISIS But Defends Islam

Stephen Harper, Canadian’s Prime Minister, delivered a speech to the Ahmadiyya community on Aug. 29th in which he clarified the difference between the Islamic State (ISIS) and Islam.

The specific event was the 39th Annual Convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. This is Canada’s largest national Islamic convention. It lasted for three days, Aug. 28-30, and was held in Mississauga, Ontario.

The Prime Minister referred to a recent act of terrorism committed by ISIS, a shooting in October of last year on Parliament Hill. He emphasized that Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Canada condemned the act in no uncertain terms. He also commended Ahmadis for their love and tolerance and expressed appreciation for their official campaign against youth radicalization.

This was a historic event in that this is the first time that a sitting Canadian Prime Minister has attended the convention. Mr. Harper has, however, attended other events sponsored by the Ahmadis, most notably a fundraising dinner for Humanity First, Canada.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper makes history, both by being the first sitting prime minister to speak at a major Muslim convention and by defending Islam. Photo credit: Twitter/Zia H Shah

Currently the prime minister has warplanes in Iraq and Syria actively bombing the strongholds of Islamic extremists. His speech was especially relevant in light of this. He told the Ahmadis that they were admired and respected by all Canadians.

The Ahmadiyya faith is a nontraditional sect of Islam. Orthodox Muslims consider it to be heretical because Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is recognized as their messiah and prophet instead of the Prophet Muhammad. It is estimated that there are 100 million Ahmadis worldwide. Members of the faith are subject to persecution in some countries, including Pakistan.

The Ahmadis’ motto is “Love for all, hatred for none.”

Ahmadis hold their annual conventions in more than 28 countries.

When Canada established the Office of Religious Freedom in 2013 it was launched in Vaughan, Male at the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

Sources:
http://www.worldreligionnews.com/religion-news/islam/watch-canadian-pm-on-islam-faiths-message-of-peace-not-terror
http://www.torontosun.com/2015/08/28/harper-delivers-speech-at-canadas-largest-national-islamic-convention
http://thedailyvoicenews.com/2015/10/04/ahmadi-mosque-reopens-in-london-after-fire/

Video: YouTube/RabwahTimes

Featured image: Screenshot of https://twitter.com/ZiahShah1/status/637635709369778177


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