UK imams will come together tomorrow to condemn the recent atrocities in Manchester and London and make clear that there is no religious justification in the taking of innocent lives.
Imams, at an event near London Bridge, will pay tribute to those killed in the terror attacks and speak out strongly against those who commit them. A statement condemning extremism and terrorist violence, endorsed by 500 British Imams from all over the UK, will be read out publicly.
The Imams also set out what they will be doing within their communities and mosques to challenge, robustly and precisely, the perverted interpretation of Islam that is put forward by ISIS and other extremist groups. The Imams will also urge people to continue to report to the authorities anyone expressing sympathy with violent extremism.
They will reiterate their commitment to not accepting terrorists in life or death by refusing to perform funeral prayers for terrorists.
Imam Qari Asim, spokesperson for the British Muslim Forum and Imam of the Leeds Makkah mosque, said: “We want to send a clear message to any Muslim attracted to violent extremism. This is forbidden by your religion. There is no justification in Islam for taking innocent life. If you follow this path you are stepping away from Islam to a dark and godless place. Your views are not welcome in our mosques or in our communities. This is not a path to heaven – think of the pain you will cause, the lives you will destroy. Please, think again.”
Shaykh Shahid Raza, a trustee of the British Muslim Forum said: “Most Muslims in Britain know full well that the extremists are not good Muslims. But we know that there are individuals and organisations trying to sell a perverted version of Islam to impressionable young people. We want to make very clear, as Islamic scholars and leaders, that they are wrong. The violent and hate-filled views they hold are not Islamic.”
Notes to editors
The British Muslim Forum (BMF) is an independent, national representative umbrella body of Mosques, Muslim institutions and community organisations in the UK. The BMF seeks to promote coordination, engagement, consultation and cooperation regarding matters affecting British Muslims as well as the wider British society.
For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact:
Imam Qari Asim on 07816667282