The Muslim Council of Britain today joined the widespread condemnation of plans to burn the Holy Qur'an to mark the anniversary of the heinous terrorist attacks that took place on 11 September 2001.
The MCB endorses the interfaith statement made yesterday in the United States which said "the threatened burning of copies of the Holy Quran this Saturday is a particularly egregious offence that demands the strongest possible condemnation by all who value civility in public life and seek to honour the sacred memory of those who lost their lives on September 11."
In this country fellow faith leaders have responded to that call. We are heartened by messages of solidarity such as those from the Archbishop of Canterbury who said, `the threat to desecrate scriptures is deeply deplorable and to be strongly condemned by all people.' And Chanoch Kesselman, Executive Coordinator of the UK Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations who said, "The Jewish community abhors and condemns totally the burning (and even the suggestion of burning) the Quran. As people who are known as 'al Kitab' Jews everywhere know only too well the dreadful consequences of the desecration of religious books. Where there no respect for the Book, there is no respect for the people.'
The Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain Farooq Murad said "the Qur'an is sacred to more than 1/5 of the world's population and all Muslims treat it with the utmost respect. This proposed burning would be highly offensive. We call on those planning this malicious and mischievous act to refrain from deliberate provocation and allow common sense to prevail".
"Those looking to burn the Holy Quran should take a few moments out of their busy lives to actually read the book. More Muslims revere and abide by the peace and solace that this book has to offer than by the hate and violence that extremists of all faiths and none would like to portray".
He added: "Such an action plays into the hands of extremists everywhere, we would do well to repudiate their message of hate by looking to the higher humanitarian principles that exist in the Qur'an. Our holy book places utmost value on the sanctity of human life by saying: If anyone saves a life it should be regarded as though he had saved the lives of all mankind. It honours Jesus and Moses as great Prophets and teaches respect of all religious scriptures".
The Muslim Council of Britain calls on local community leaders and Imams to play their part in illustrating the isolated nature of this case and redouble efforts to strengthen our ties.
Responding to Qur'an burning stunt - Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, spokesperson for the Muslim Council of Britain invites Pastor Terry Jones to a cup of tea to discuss his stunt to burn Quran:
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