American Airstrikes against Afghanistan and Sudan

21st August 1998

The Muslim Council of Britain condemns unequivacally all acts of terrorism, including the ones recently carried out in Kenya, Tanzania and Northern Ireland by individuals, groups or nations. We believe that nothing can justify the killing of innocent people anywhere.

We also strongly condemn last night’s American air strikes against Afghanistan and Sudan. The American action is a clear violation of international law and takes us back to the days of gunboat diplomacy when might was right, and the law of the jungle prevailed. What the terrorists did was wrong and what America did in retaliation against two Muslim countries who were not at war with America was also wrong and totally unjustified. The American air strikes have killed many innocent people, not only in Afghanistan and Sudan, but also in Pakistan.

We find it is strange that the British Prime Minister who gave a very firm, measured and politically correct reaction to the terrorism in Northern Ireland has not show the same reaction in giving his full and uncritical support of the American action.

It may be cynical to suggest that the haste of the American action was prompted more by domestic troubles of its President than any other national and international considerations. The action has most certainly helped the American President to shake off his domestic woes, at least temporarily, but is is a serious blow to the concept of the United Nations and international legality.