Muslims hold Wembley peace event to condemn terrorism

More than 12,000 Muslims are attending a peace conference at Wembley Arena today.

The Peace for Humanity event is to be addressed by a leading Islamic scholar who will call for an end to terrorism and violence.

Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, founder of Islamic organisation Minhaj-ul-Quran International, which is behind the London conference, will issue a declaration for global peace, saying: “We reject unequivocally all terrorism because at the heart of all religions is a belief in the sanctity of the lives of the innocent.

“The indiscriminate nature of terrorism, which has in recent years killed far more civilians and other non-combatants than it has combatants.”

Video messages of support from deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband will be shown to those attending.

Mr Miliband said in his message that the “values of tolerance, understanding and of bringing people together” demonstrated by the conference was “exactly what our society needs”.

He said: “A month or so ago we saw the terrible riots that affected some of our major cities but what we also saw was the vast majority of people, right across this country, coming out, cleaning up and saying ‘no’ to the violence that we saw on our streets.

“It’s exactly that message of peace, harmony and working together that I know your conference is designed to promote. And indeed the way you come at the issues that you’ll be talking about today, your faith, is such an important part of British life.”

Mr Clegg said: “Your conference today is even more important than usual - coming together to talk openly and candidly about the issues that can divide people but crucially the values that unite us too, tolerance, human rights, peace, and belief in opportunity for all, a faith in young people and their potential to learn from our mistakes, from the mistakes of the past, to help tackle discrimination and prejudice, building communities that are strong, where we take on our problems together.”

A collective multi-faith prayer will be held at the event, and a campaign to get a million signatures to back the declaration for peace will be launched.

The vast majority of those attending are aged in their teens and 20s, a Minhaj-ul-Quran International spokesman said. They are from across the UK, while some of those attending are travelling from America, Australia and Europe.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has also given his support to the event, which is to be addressed by deputy mayor Richard Barnes, the Dean of Royal Air Force College Dr Joel Hayward, Sajjad Karim MEP, and Muslim scholar Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad.

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