Saturday, 2 June 2012


Habib Akram's First Person column appears in today's Leicester Mercury (though not on the paper's website).
We are proud to be marking Queen's Jubilee
Habib Akram on why British Muslims are proud to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee
As a British Muslim, I am proud to be a citizen of this country and to lead my community in Leicester in celebrations for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. That is why our mosque will be lit up for the extended Jubilee weekend and will display a large banner congratulating Her Majesty.
Every Ahmadi Muslim who lives in Great Britain is an extremely loyal citizen of the country and loves it. This is because the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) instructed us that the love of one's country is an integral part of one's faith.
Our mosques throughout the UK will say prayers for the Queen as part of a programme of activities to mark the occasion.
Many members of my community from Leicestershire have already taken part in our own sponsored Jubilee walk around the Tower of London, which has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for British charities, including the Queen's Jubilee charities.
Our mosques throughout Britain are celebrating this historic occasion with street parties, programmes to feed the homeless and blood donor drives.
In the history of the British monarchy, there have only been two diamond Jubilees and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been involved with both.
We have launched 200 Jubilee buses in London - buses with congratulatory messages to the Queen from the community. Women in our community held a regional sponsored walk and a fete to raise money for the Jubilee charities.
We share in our country's pride and joy at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. We are proud of this country's values of tolerance and respect.It is our heartfelt prayer that may God [sic] continue to protect the Queen and we look forward to the festivities of the Jubilee weekend and to make those as inclusive as possible.
We are not unique in our belief that that we should contribute to the society in which we live to make it a better place for future generations - many other Muslim communities and other faith groups share these values.
The Jubilee provides a splendid occasion to remind us of our common values and the need to stand united against those that seek to cause dissension and rancour.
I look forward to meeting many members of the region's faith groups at our interfaith peace conference this year and hope and pray the goodwill and sense of community cohesion the Diamond Jubilee generates is a lasting one.
Find out more about my community at:

Dr Habib Akram is president of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Leicester

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