Muslims rally against Islamic extremism
London gathering of thousands intended to promote inclusive vision
By SYLVIA HU The Associated Press
Sun, Sep 25 - 4:54 AM
LONDON — Thousands of Muslims gathered at a rally in London on Saturday to fight extremism and promote a moderate, inclusive version of Islam.
The event’s organizers Minhaj-ul-Qur’an International say some 12,000 Muslims are expected at Wembley Arena. The event will be broadcast live to dozens of countries around the world.
The group’s founder, the Pakistan-born Islamic scholar Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, says killing innocents is forbidden in Islam and Muslims must integrate into the societies in which they’re living.
Some Islamic scholars have warned that a power vacuum in North Africa and the Middle East could lead to militant and extremist groups gaining ground in elections arising from the so-called Arab Spring.
"If these elements come into power, it will be a big disaster," Tahir-ul-Qadri told The Associated Press.
Minhaj-ul-Qur’an International says it represents a moderate vision of Islam that works for peace and integration.
A peace prayer was planned by religious leaders of Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and other faiths.
Britain has been involved in some of the largest international terror plots. On July 7, 2005, four suicide bombers killed 52 people in synchronized attacks on London’s subway system.
The men behind the 2006 transatlantic liquid bomb plot began their plan in Britain. A Nigerian man who tried to smuggle explosives onto a plane in his underwear studied in London.