On 19 November 2012, Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, welcomed Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Fifth Khalifa and World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, to City Hall.
During the 45-minute meeting the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat and the Mayor discussed various issues, including the establishment of world peace, the true peaceful teachings of Islam, the efforts of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in fighting extremism and the persecution faced by the Jamaat in certain countries.
Praising the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat’s motto of ‘Love for All, Hatred for None’ the Mayor said that such a message ‘ought to be the foundation for London’. Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said that it ought to be the basis not only for London but for the ‘entire world’.
The Mayor congratulated the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat on raising more than £350,000 for UK based charities in the past year and also for its efforts in supporting the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Boris Johnson said the efforts of the Jamaat under the leadership of Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad were ‘truly wonderful’.
The Mayor also spoke of his delight at the various London Bus advertising campaigns conducted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in which Islamic teachings of ‘peace, justice and equality’ had been promoted.
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad explained the theological differences between Ahmadi Muslims and non-Ahmadi Muslims. He said the basic difference is that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat believes its Founder, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, to be the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi.
His Holiness said that after the demise of the Promised Messiah, the institution of Khilafat had begun and he himself was the Fifth Khalifa (Successor) of the Promised Messiah. His Holiness said that though he was a direct descendent of the Promised Messiah, Khilafat was not in any way a hereditary institution.
The leaders discussed the persecution faced by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Pakistan. Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad informed how he had spent 11 days in jail, prior to his election, on charges that proved to be entirely false. His Holiness described the conditions of the jail to be hostile and extremely overcrowded.
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said that in all areas Ahmadi Muslims were persecuted in Pakistan and due to State legislation and provisions they were unable to even exercise the basic civil right to vote.
The Mayor spoke of how he had found the address given Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad at the Peace Symposium 2012 to be ‘extremely thought provoking’. He said he had been interested to hear the view of the Khalifa about the risks of a nuclear war and world peace.
His Holiness said that he remained extremely concerned that nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of extremists and thus cause huge destruction to the world.
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad was pleased to see that a copy of the Holy Qur’an on the bookshelf of the Mayor had actually been translated into English and published by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat.
The meeting ended with the Mayor stating that he would continue to offer his ‘full support’ to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in all respects. Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad thanked him on behalf of the worldwide Jamaat and said he hoped the mutual friendship would continue to develop.
Following the conclusion of the meeting the Mayor escorted His Holiness to an outside balcony to view the London skyline. After an exchange of gifts both the Mayor and His Holiness answered questions for MTA International.