British Muslims Hope for Peace in Iraq and Syria

26 September 2014

Today, MPs will return to Parliament to discuss intervention in Iraq and Syria. While there may be multiple views about the merits of using our military once again in Iraq, Muslims are united in their revulsion of  the terrorist acts carried out by ISIS.

As the numerous heartfelt responses from Alan Henning’s colleagues have shown, Muslims  abhor the way ISIS has dishonoured Islam’s teachings of peace and tolerance.  Far from fulfilling the aspirations of freedom and justice in Syria, they have only made matters worse.

There will naturally be reticence about our country’s participation in this action and the inevitable repeated scenarios of Muslim civilian casualties from aerial bombardment.  We must be mindful that such actions will serve to bolster the message of extremists, who are looking to profit from attacks made against them and radicalising more young people.

That is why it is important that we be conscious of the humanitarian consequences of airstrikes and the need to uphold the rules of war.  The people of Iraq and Syria have suffered enough. Let us not make it worse.

It is important to engage all the regional powers and actors in the process of finding a political rather than a military solution, across sectarian and ethnic lines. Moves to engage the Iranian leadership as a partner in this process have been long overdue and our Prime Minister’s meeting with the President Hassan Rouhani is to be commended.

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Notes to editors

1. The Muslim Council of Britain is the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body with over 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.

2. Previous statements on terrorism from the Muslim Council of Britain

http://www.mcb.org.uk/tag/terrorism/

Previous statements on International affairs

http://www.mcb.org.uk/tag/international-affairs/