British Imams & Scholars condemn Finsbury Park terror attack & Call for communal solidarity

British Imams & Scholars condemn Finsbury Park terror attack & Call for communal solidarity

This statement was initiated by some of the members of the BBSI.

We, the undersigned, an independent group of Muslim Imams and religious scholars, are heartbroken and appalled at the terrorist attack on worshippers outside the Muslim Welfare House in the Finsbury Park area of London.Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt condolences go out to the deceased, the injured, their families, and all those affected by this tragic incident.

At this time, we urge everyone to remain calm, vigilant, and safe, after the example of the local Imam and the leadership of the Muslim Welfare House, whose moral courage, decency, and restraint in the face of hatred and peril do them and the entire community credit.  They acted in accordance with the principles of our Islamic faith that advocates both the rule of law and that evil is not requited with evil but with goodness.

We are confident that the relevant agencies and authorities are treating this incident with the same urgency and seriousness as previous terrorist attacks, and urge that they be allowed to conduct their investigations and deal with the situation accordingly.  The perpetrators of this act must face the full force of the law for their crimes. We also commend the Government, the leader of the opposition, and the London Mayor on their unambiguous and swift denunciation of this terrorist attack.

Alongside other Muslim and non-Muslim groups from wider British society, we condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms. We wish to thank all of the different groups and individuals for their expressions of solidarity and offers of support. This is the fourth time in the last few months that murderers, whose actions are bereft of religion or humanity, have terrorised and killed innocent people in our society. These callous acts are designed to divide us on the basis of our varying beliefs by creating fear and mistrust between different communities.  As religious scholars and Imams, we firmly believe that the darkness of fear and hatred can only be overcome by the light of friendship and togetherness. The best response to these hate-filled acts is to affirm and celebrate the fact that we live in a wonderful society made up of different faiths and cultures, where all can live in harmony and peace.

In light of the spate of violence we have witnessed over the past few months, we urge the government to seriously reconsider its approach to counter-terrorism and extremism. In addition to questions concerning policing and security cuts, the current strategy requires fundamental changes on both conceptual and prosecutorial levels. An effective strategy would do more to robustly acknowledge the multifarious causes of radicalisation and extremism, which include political grievances, perceived injustice, various forms of social exclusion, and perverse ideologies of whatever stripe.

It is also critical that labels such as ‘terrorism’, ‘extremism’, and ‘radicalisation’ be more clearly defined on the basis of mutual agreement and expert opinion if they are to meaningfully contribute to this discussion. The ongoing implementation of a policy built on vague definitions has led to unfair implications for decent law-abiding citizens, creating distrust between the Muslim community and authorities, and fatally obscuring the very real disease of hatred and fear that fuels the type of violence that we all seek to eradicate. (1)

We would insist that at its core, the process of accurate definition, diagnosis, and management must include the participation of Muslim scholars and leaders connected to the local community. In our capacity as religious scholars and Imams, we are committed to assisting the government in reconsidering their counter-extremism policies in order to ensure that it effectively addresses real problems rather than aggravating them.

As representatives of a diverse Muslim community, we also urge the government to take more serious efforts in addressing and confronting the problem of right-wing extremism and Islamophobia. The attack against worshippers at the Muslim Welfare House Mosque is one of numerous instances where we have been increasingly forced to confront a hate-filled ideology. This incident, as well as the recent first year anniversary of Jo Cox’s tragic passing, reminds us that right-wing extremism is a tangible threat to our community. It must be addressed and tackled robustly and effectively with the same degree of urgency and concern directed towards other forms of extremism. Ultimately, we all must work together to create and uphold a society whose members live together in harmony and with mutual respect, without fear or hate.


(1) For these concerns and more see, among many others, the report authored by the Joint Committee on Human Rights (2016); “Eroding Trust” (2016) by the Open Society Justice Initiative; and “Preventing Education: Human Rights and UK Counter-Terrorism Policy in Schools” (2016) by Rights Watch UK.

 

The signatories:

  1. Dr Asim Yusuf, Consultant Psychiatrist and Religious Guide, Nur al-Habib Foundation
  2. Shaykha Selina Begum Ali, Beacon Institute
  3. Imam Ajmal Masroor, Imam & TV Broadcaster
  4. Shaykh Usaama al-Azami, Markfield Institute
  5. Mufti Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf, Whitethread Institute and Zamzam Academy
  6. Mufti Amjad Mohamed, The Olive Tree Foundation, Bradford
  7. Shaykh AbdalHaqq Bewley, Bradford
  8. Imam Abdassamad Clarke, Norwich Mosque
  9. Shaykh Rafiq Sufi, Blackburn
  10. Shaykh Dr Umar Al Qadri, Irish Muslim Peace & Integration Council & Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre Ireland
  11. Shaykh Salman Younas, University of Oxford
  12. Shaykh Zuber Karim, al Makhtoum Mosque, Dundee
  13. Shaykh Sulaiman Ahmad, CEO & Founder Avicenna Academy
  14. Imam Yunus Dudhwala, Lead Chaplain, NHS Barts
  15. Imam Tahir Kiani, Birmingham
  16. Shaykh Shams Ad Duha Muhammed, Ebrahim College
  17. Imam Rehan Raza, Minhaj al Qur’an International, Scotland
  18. Dr Abul Kalam Azad, Director, Muslim Family Institute
  19. Dr Omer El-Hamdoon, President, Muslim Association of Britain
  20. Imam Mursalin Miah, Holborn Mosque, London
  21. Ustadha Rehana Sadiq, Chaplain and Counsellor
  22. Shaykh Fahimul Anam, Khateeb, Darul Ummah Mosque
  23. Shaykh Bilal Brown, Imam, Oldham
  24. Mufti Mohammed Umair Zulfiqar, Secretary General, World Islamic Forum
  25. Dr Ali Reza Bhojani, Al-Mahdi Institute
  26. Shaykh Abdul Mateen, Quwwatul Islam
  27. Imam Shah Muhammad Jahir Ali, Imam & Lawyer
  28. Imam Waleed al Madani, Manchester
  29. Imam Abu Ibrahim, London
  30. Imam Mohammed Abubakar Saleem, Imam Jamia Masjid Noor
  31. Shaykh Muhammad Idoe, Lecturer, Arabic Fahm Institute
  32. Shaykh Haytham Tamim, Utrujj Foundation
  33. Imam Abdul-Malik Sheikh, Imam & Social Worker
  34. Shaykh Ehsan Abdullah, Islamia Primary School, Director of Religious Studies
  35. Dr Imam Mansur Ali, Imam
  36. Imam Dawood Masood
  37. Imam Shafi Chowdhury, The City Retreat, Leicester
  38. Shaykh Bilal Khan, Freeman of the City of London & Co-Chairman of Dome Advisory
  39. Imam Noor Ahmad
  40. Imam Fadel Soliman, Bridges Foundation
  41. Imam Ahmed Desai, Imam at Masjid Quba, Bradford
  42. Mufti Siraj Saleh, Imam at Masjid Quba, Bradford
  43. Mawlana Abrar Ahmed, Teacher,  Lanarkshire and cumbernauld mosque
  44. Imam Zubair Farooq Akhtar, Teacher, Glasgow Academy of Scotland
  45. Dr Anne Dijk, al Fahm Institute
  46. Imam Mohammed Rahman, Newcastle upon Tyne
  47. Shaykh Idris Watts
  48. Imam Abdullah Hasan, British Imams & Scholars Contributions and Achievements Awards
  49. Mawlana Shams Tameez
  50. Mawlana Junaid Rafiq, Newham, London
  51. Shaykh Abdur Rahman Mussa, Founder of com
  52. Ustadh Arnold Yasin Mol, lecturer Islamic theology Fahm Institute
  53. Shaykh Khalil Laher, London
  54. Mawlana Ahmed Hussain, Oldham
  55. Shaykh Amer Jamil, Solas Foundation, Glasgow
  56. Saeed AlQadi, Eman Channel
  57. Shaykh Muhammad Ismail Bhuta, London
  58. Imam Tahir Talati, Imam Zakariya Academy
  59. Mufti Bilal Omarjee, London
  60. Shaykh Sa’d al-Attas
  61. Shaykh Khalid Fekry, al Noor Islamic Centre
  62. Shaykh Nadeem Ahmed Khan, Oldham
  63. Mufti Sajid Patel, Quwwatul Islam Mosque
  64. Mufti Liaquat Zaman, as Suffa Institute
  65. Imam Abul Barakat Hasan, Centre for Islamic Guidance
  66. Imam Anas Auditor, London
  67. Shaykh Zahir Mahmood, As Suffa Institute
  68. Shaykh Abdul Aziz Patel, London
  69. Shaykh Surkheel Sharif (Abu Aaliyah), Jawziyyah Institute
  70. Imam Mushammad Mustaqeem Shah, Abu Bakr Trust Walsall
  71. Shaykh Muhammad Nizami, London
  72. Shaykh Mustafidh Gani, Beyond Boundaries
  73. Mufti Mohammed Zubair Butt, Institute of Islamic Jurisprudence, Bradford
  74. Shaykh Imran Chaudhry, London
  75. Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat, FaithFull Education
  76. Shaykh Adnan Qurayshi, London
  77. Imam Luqman Amla, Masjid e Ali, Bolton
  78. Imam Zakir Ismail, Masjid Tauheed, Manor Park, London
  79. Imam Shah Talha Ahmed, Imam/Teacher at Forestgate Mosque, Imam Zakariya Academy
  80. Imam Bilal Toorawa, Masjid e anwaar, Blackburn
  81. Shaykh Imran Khan, Cambridge
  82. Imam Abid Khan, Cheadle Mosque, Manchester
  83. Imam Abdullah Rawat, Head Teacher & Secretary Musalla an Noor, Hackney, London
  84. Shaykh Abdul Hameed, Madani Schools Federation
  85. Imam Hassan Gloucester Masjid E Noor
  86. Dr Zahid Parvez, Markfield Institute
  87. Pir Ahmed Zaman, Naqshbandi Jamati Khalifa Majaz Ali Pir Syeda Sharif
  88. Shaykh Imtiyaz Damiel, Abu Hanifah Foundation
  89. Shaykh Muhammad Husain Kazi, London
  90. Ustadha Safiyya Bint Ahmad, Al-Muhsinat, London
  91. Imam Hamza Khandwala, Scotland
  92. Imam Mohamed Farooq Jambaz, Birmingham
  93. Qari Muhammad Siddique, Birmingham
  94. Imam Abdul Majed Nadeem, UKIM, Birmingham
  95. Imam Muhammed Tayyab, Birmingham
  96. Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, Birmingham
  97. Imam M Saeed ur Rahman, Blackheath
  98. Imam Arif Mateen, Boston
  99. Imam Mushtaq Ahmed Khan, Cardiff
  100. Imam Imtiaz Ahmed, Leeds
  101. Imam Irfanullah Irfan, Peterborough
  102. Imam Muhamad Rashid, Peterborough
  103. Imam Ali Mahmoud Ali, Walsall
  104. Imam Khalid Mahmoud, Walsall
  105. Hafiz Attar Muhammed, Wolverhampton
  106. Imam Muhammad Arshad, Burnly
  107. Imam Muhammad Iqbal, European Islamic Centre, Greater Manchester
  108. Imam Zafar Iqbal Awan, Manchester
  109. Imam Syed Naveed Ahmed, Nelson
  110. Imam Abdur Rasheed, Newbold
  111. Mawlana M Faridoon, Oldham
  112. Imam Miftah Uddin, Oldham
  113. Qari M Faiz, Oldham
  114. Imam Mohamed Azad, Bradford
  115. Mawlana Ubaid ur Rahman, UKIM, Bradford
  116. Imam Abdul Hakeem, Newbold
  117. Qari Mumtaz Ahmed, Neeli Mosque, Rochdale
  118. Imam Abid Salik, York Mosque
  119. Imam Rahmah Aziz Salik, UKIM, Hull
  120. Mawlana M Ishaq, Glasgow
  121. Imam Mohamed Jahanzaib Niaz, UKIM, London
  122. Qari Niaz Mohamed, London
  123. Hafiz Abu Bakar Sajjad, Masjid Ibrahim, London
  124. Imam Hassan Shah, UKIM, London
  125. Mawlana Inayat Khan, London
  126. Imam Mohammed Iqbal Awan, Luton
  127. Imam Shahid Ahmad, UKIM, Luton
  128. Imam Iftikhar Ul Haq, Southend
  129. Imam Ghulam Rasool Tipton, Hazrat Sultan Bahu Trust UK
  130. Imam Muhammad Delwar Hussain, Headteacher East End Islamic Centre
  131. Imam Qasim Hussain, London
  132. Hafiz Abdul Alim Kheratkar, Secretary Lancashire Council of Mosques
  133. Shaykh Mohammed Al-Hillli, Noor Trust, North London
  134. Hujjat al-Islam Shaykh Arif Abdulhussain, Al-Mahdi Institute
  135. Shaykh Jaffer Ladak, Imam, Milton Keynes
  136. Shaykh Sohaib Saeed, Independent Scholar, Scotland
  137. Imam Sa’d Shah, Derby
  138. Shaykh Sa’d al Attas, Ark Academy
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