As details of the horrific crime committed in Woolwich yesterday emerge and preliminary evidence suggests the involvement of a man motivated by an Al-Qaeda inspired narrative, we wish to bring to your attention the utter and universal condemnation expressed by Muslim leaders and organisations across the UK of this barbaric act of violence.
The Muslim Council of Britain issued a statement, as have members of the Woolwich Mosque. The Faiths Forum for London has also issued an interfaith statement from representatives of London’s many faith communities denouncing this cruel violation of the sanctity of human life in all religions in a ‘barbaric assault’ on a young man.
The inexpressibly brutal murder on the streets of south London by someone claiming to have a grievance against the British state cannot be justified or excused by any reference to Islam or to its noble teachings. The exploitation of the ‘poisonous narrative of extremism’ by the English Defence League, and initial reports of attacks on mosques in Essex and Kent, shows that this narrative infects those inspired by extremisms of different kinds.
As our Prime Minister has stated today, this heinous crime is “a betrayal of Islam – and of the Muslim communities who give so much to our country.
“There is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act.
“We will defeat violent extremism by standing together” and “by challenging the poisonous narrative of extremism on which this violence feeds”.
The Prime Minister’s words echo the statements issued by British Muslim leaders. They reiterate those sentiments which unite us all in our fight to defeat terrorism, that we must stand together in challenging the toxic teachings of those who deny our common humanity.
Our thoughts remain with the victim and his family at this time.