Ahmadiyya Muslim Community cyclists get ready for Ride4Peace charity challenge

Cyclists from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in training

Cyclists from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in training

First published in News
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Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Cyclists belonging to the Morden based Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (AMC) are gearing up to take part in a 600-mile cycle ride from Glasgow to London.

Exactly a month before the Tour de France, 25 cyclists from across south west London will set off from Glasgow on the Ride4Peace, stopping at 13 mosques and a WWI memorial to pay their respects to the fallen 110 years after the conflict began.

Adam Walker, AMC national press secretary, said: "They are pushing themselves to the limit for two reasons. Most importantly, they are on target to raise £100,000 for the British Heart Foundation and Humanity First.

"They also hope to dispel some of the false stereotypes propagated against Muslims by right-wing groups, through demonstrating some of the positive contributions being made by proud British Muslims."

The cyclists will set off from the Bait-ul-Rehman Mosque in Glasgow on Sunday, June 1 at 7am.

Their route will take them through Hartlepool, Bradford, Huddersfield, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, Oxford and Feltham, before returning to Morden.

Supporters are invited to see them return triumphant at the Bait-ul-Futuh Mosque, in London Road, at 12.30pm on Saturday, June 7.

Mr Walker said: "We had a similar centenary ride in 1989 that was from Bradford to London (to celebrate the founding of the movement).

"This year marks 100 years of the community in the UK. Therefore, we thought about replacing it but our community has expanded considerably so we have decided to do it from Glasgow to London."

The Ahmadiyyas are a Muslim community devoted to promoting what they believe are the true teachings of Islam, of peace in every aspect of life, which they say have been corrupted by Muslim fundamentalists.

Cyclist Anas Rana, a research scientist from Lower Morden, said: "The way I understand Islam is it is a religion of harmony that no matter what creed or religion you follow you try to to help your fellow man and try to help each other to achieve greatness.

"We live in the UK and support the UK so we wanted to give a message of hope that we can change the way Islam is perceived and lived in the UK."

There are about 30,000 members of the Ahmadiyya community in the UK, with 15,000 residing in London.

Their international leader, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, is based at Southfields Mosque.

More information about the event can be found at ride4peace.org

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