Thousands of Muslims held a rally in London on Saturday against extremism and to promote a moderate, inclusive version of Islam.

The event in Wembley Arena was led by Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, a respected Pakistan-born Islamic scholar, who gained recognition outside the Muslim world after he published a detailed fatwa — or religious ruling — against terrorism and suicide bombings last year.

“I want to address those who are lost, who have a total misconception of jihad I want to send them a message come back to normal life. Whatever you’re doing is totally against Islam,” he told the audience, which included families with young children and students.

Some Islamic scholars, including 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.

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