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UK Muslims gather for rally against extremism

Thousands of Muslims gather at a broadcast rally in London Saturday to fight extremism and promote a moderate, inclusive version of Islam

AP , Saturday 24 Sep 2011
Dr Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri
Dr Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri is the founder of an organization called Minhaj ul-Quran International (Photo: AP)
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An event organisers known as Minhaj-ul-Quran 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 like Tahir-ul-Qadri have warned that a power vacuum in North Africa and the Middle East could lead to militant and extremist groups gaining ground in upcoming elections caused by 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-Quran International says it represents a moderate vision of Islam that works for peace and integration. Later Saturday, the rally will feature what it calls a collective peace prayer, led by religious leaders of Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and other major faiths.

Britain has been involved in some of the largest international terror plots. On 7 July, 2005, four suicide bombers killed 52 people in synchronised attacks on London's subway system.

The men behind the 2006 trans-Atlantic 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.

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