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UK muslims gather for rally against extremism
By SYLVIA HUI
Associated Press
2011-09-24 07:05 PM
Thousands of Muslims are gathering at a rally in London Saturday to fight extremism and promote a moderate, inclusive version of Islam.

The event's organizers 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 July 7, 2005, four suicide bombers killed 52 people in synchronized 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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Paisley Dodds contributed to this report from London.

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