Perils of Veto Power on Global Peace: The Ahmadiyya Khalifa Addresses UK Peace Symposium 2024

“Let it be clear, therefore, that where a veto power exists, the scales of justice can never be balanced.” – Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad

Perils of Veto Power on Global Peace: The Ahmadiyya Khalifa Addresses UK Peace Symposium 2024

“Let it be clear, therefore, that where a veto power exists, the scales of justice can never be balanced.” – Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad

MARCH 12, 2024

On 9 March 2024, the Worldwide Head and the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba delivered the keynote address at the 18th UK National Peace Symposium.

His Holiness said that over the years he has constantly expressed his views on how an end can be brought to all forms of warfare.

“Certainly history teaches us that internal conflicts can spiral into regional wars, often fuelled by the influence and interference of external powers.”

His Holiness said that in recent decades, we have witnessed the effects of the external interference of such powers. He noted: 

“Unfair political and legal economic systems that have prevailed in much of the world are triggering an ever-rising tide of inequality, which in turn is fuelling global instability and security.”

Over the years, politicians, intellectuals and members of the public have agreed with His Holiness’s assertion that we should strive for peace. However, some had previously said that His Holiness was wrong to believe that the conflicts would turn into a global war and the use of nuclear weapons.

“Many considered this to be unnecessarily pessimistic”, said Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba. For a long time, some people did not agree with His Holiness, either due to their idealism or habit of looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses or perhaps their inability to learn lessons from history. His Holiness said that perhaps they simply did not wish to accept the reality of what was staring them in the face. 

“They seemingly ignored the widening cracks that have been opening up” in recent decades. His Holiness said, “As they say, ignorance is bliss.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba said that today, as wars rage in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere, many people are now raising their alarm about the possibility of a global war in which the use of nuclear powers would wreak unimaginable levels of havoc and destruction in the world. “But despite this realisation, many still seem unwilling to consider what must be done to end these conflicts.”

His Holiness continued:

“As I thought about today’s event, I wondered whether there was any point in us gathering here again. What benefit was there for us to speak about peace and justice if those with the power and ability to influence change were determined not to hear us.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba said, “The stark reality is that even those institutions founded with the primary objective of maintaining the peace and security of the world are becoming increasingly irrelevant.”

Speaking about the United Nations, His Holiness said:

“For example, the UN has become a weak and almost powerless body where a few dominant nations yield all the power and easily override the views of the majority.”

His Holiness said that “instead of deciding each issue based on its facts and merits, nations have formed alliances and vote according to their self-interest.”

“Ultimately, critical decisions are made by a few privileged nations, in whose hands rests the veto power. Instead of faithfully serving the cause of peace and justice, they wield their veto like a trump card, whenever their narrow interests are threatened.” This is done regardless of whether their decisions cause scores of innocent people to be negatively affected.

“Let it be clear, therefore, that where a veto power exists, the scales of justice can never be balanced.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba said that nevertheless, despite all these reservations, he realised that he must use this opportunity to speak because Islam teaches Muslims to never waver in the pursuit of peace. “It teaches us to speak the truth so that, when held accountable before Allah the Almighty, a believer can truthfully claim to have tried his utmost to save His creation from destruction.”

Further, the Holy Prophetsa has stated that the greatest form of Jihad, a very misunderstood and misrepresented term, is to speak courageously before one’s leaders, especially those who are cruel. 

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba said:

“Certainly, if weaker nations or individuals like myself who have no political affiliation try to speak up, it is rarely appreciated, and those who do can face difficulties or risk sanctions. Despite this, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, based on the teachings of Islam, continues and will always continue to strive earnestly in the cause of peace and champion the rights of those who are powerless and are the victims of injustice.”

His Holiness said that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community will use all it has in its power to influence those it can to strive towards establishing peace in the world.

His Holiness noted that due to the inflammatory comments of some politicians against Islam, recently the question of Islam and wars has been raised.

None of the founders of the major religions, including Jesusas, Mosesas, Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, or any other prophet of God, ever taught their followers to disregard the peace of society and resort to aggression. Yes, in extreme circumstances, the limited use of force was allowed, but this was done with the sole intention of ending warfare and oppression.

Islam literally means peace, and every aspect of its teachings reflects this name. The Muslims were only given permission to fight in self-defence, and historically, they only fought back after enduring years of endless persecution.

In chapter 42 of the Holy Quran, Allah commands that where a person or nation has been wronged, they should never respond to disproportionality nor fall into seeking revenge. The verse states:

“And the recompense of an injury is an injury the like thereof; but whoso forgives and [his act] brings about reformation, his reward is with Allah. Surely, He loves not the wrongdoers.”[1]

Furthermore, Allah says it is better to forgive if it can lead to reformation.

In chapter 49 of the Holy Quran, Allah gives the solution to when two nations go to war:

“And if two parties of believers fight [against each other], make peace between them; then if [after that] one of them transgresses against the other, fight the party that transgresses until it returns to the command of Allah. Then if it returns, make peace between them with equity, and act justly. Verily, Allah loves the just.”[2]

Commenting on this, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba said:

“The objective should always remain to build sustainable peace underpinned by justice. It should not be that a third party takes advantage of the vulnerability of the warring parties by usurping their rights for his own benefit.” 

His Holiness said if such principles were observed by the UN and other relevant bodies, conflicts would be resolved far more swiftly.

“However, it will prove impossible for true peace to emerge so long as nations, either directly or through their powerful allies, can utilise a veto power.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba said that “the fate of the United Nations seems set to mirror that of its failed predecessor, the League of Nations. And if the system of international law, weak as it may be, completely collapses, the resulting anarchy and destruction is beyond our comprehension”.

Some people may have been conditioned to think that the Israel and Palestine conflict is a religious war, but it is a geopolitical and territorial conflict. As for the war in Ukraine, it is very evidently a geo-political war being fought for territorial reasons.

“I firmly believe there is only one way to end these wars, by ensuring that justice prevails and that whatever settlements are made are based on equity as opposed to what better serves the interests of external powers. Otherwise, there is no benefit to the UN or international laws and the only rule that shall hold weight will be the one that declares might is right.

“In terms of the Ukraine war, Russia has veto power at the UN Security Council, whilst, in effect, Ukraine also has one by virtue of its alliance with those Western nations who have permanent membership of the Security Council. How can a settlement be agreed, if both sides can effectively wield a veto?”

His Holiness said that, as for the Israel-Palestine issue, the veto power has only been used in Israel’s favour.

His Holiness said that Islam emphasises justice to the highest degree, and surely even non-religious people will understand the importance of such teachings.

It is often alleged that Islam is an extremist religion due to comments by certain politicians. It should be clear that the wars fought by the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa and his Khulafa were entirely defensive. Only after they were subject to years of severe persecution was this permission granted. His Holiness presented the following verse of the Holy Quran:

“Permission [to fight] is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged — and Allah indeed has power to help them.”[3]

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba expounded on defensive wars and said that there were stringent rules in place to make sure they did not exceed the bounds.

The Holy Prophetsa strictly forbade targeting civilians, making sure the scope of war remained as limited as possible, forbade desecrating places of worship of opponents, the previous practices of mutilation and said the dead bodies resulting from war were to be treated with care. Justice was to be upheld every step of the way. The Holy Prophetsa went so far as to say that in battle, the face should not be struck, and also that bases should not be set up in places that would cause distress.

These are the basic rules of Islamic warfare, and the Holy Prophetsa said that everyone was to uphold them.

Therefore, all nations involved in any sort of warfare must realise that any peace in the world can only be established by following these principles. Otherwise, we are on the precipice of war.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba quoted Professor Jeffery Sachs, who spoke of the injustices of Western nations and Senator Bernie Sanders, who spoke of the injustices of Israel.

His Holiness said, “During a recent interview, US Senator Bernie Sanders, who himself is Jewish, strongly condemned the actions of the Israeli government”.

He said that what Netanyahu and his government are doing in Gaza to its people is indescribable and unspeakable. We are looking at 25-26,000 people who have been killed already (this figure was when he made the statement, since then, the number has increased). Two-thirds of them are women and children. 65,000 people have been wounded, 70 percent of the housing units in Gaza have been destroyed, and 1.8 million people have been pushed out of their homes, God knows where they are going, he said.

Senator Bernie Sanders continued to say that there is a possibility of hundreds of thousands of children starving to death in Palestine, and the US, with its financial support for Israel, is complicit in what is happening. He said he would be damned if he were to give another nickel to Netanyahu in order to continue this war with the people of Palestine.

Talking about the endless brutalities in the world, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba expressed:

“I hope and pray that – before it is too late – the world comes to its senses and brings an end to the brutalities and wars taking place in the world.”

Talking about the future of the world and the responsibility of the world, His Holiness said:

“If we wish to save our future generation from being born with the ill effects of radiation caused by nuclear warfare, and desire to save them from deprivation and desperation… we must act with urgency and wisdom. Political leaders and those who have access to policymakers must take a long-term view of what is in the best interest of mankind, rather than being blinded by selfish desires to assert their superiority over others. We must all come together, setting aside national, political and other vested interests, for the greater good of humanity.”

In conclusion, His Holiness said:

“It is the need of the time that we must focus all our energies and efforts on establishing true peace so that we may live in a world of hope and prosperity, rather than a world defined by inequality, hatred and bloodshed.”

Courtesy: Al Hakam


[1] Holy Quran 42:41

[2] Holy Quran 49:10

[3] Holy Quran 22:40

1 Comment

Thalha · March 12, 2024 at 8:14 am

The world needs to hear this voice of peace and justice. MashaAllah.

May Allah be the helper of our beloved Imam!

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