12th June 2002
To: Imams, Chairs and Secretaries of Mosques and Islamic Institutions
As-salamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
All praise is due to Allah, the Sustainer of the worlds, and may peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets. We hope and pray that this letter finds you in the best state of health and Ima'an.
As you are aware, the ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan have caused justifiable concern amongst British Muslims. The Muslim Council of Britain has made it clear that we oppose the outbreak of war between the two nations. The consequences of a war would be disastrous for the entire region. The only real solution to the long-running dispute over Kashmir is for India to honour its international obligations and allow the people of Jammu and Kashmir to decide their own future. This should be done through a free and impartial plebiscite as demanded by UN resolutions (for more information see attached Press Release).
Muslim communities throughout the country should invite their MPs to mosques and other gatherings to convey this demand and impress upon them the strength of feeling about this issue. We would also urge you to contact your local newspapers and ensure that the Muslim viewpoint about this dispute is reported fairly and accurately. The suppressed voice of the innocent Kashmiri people must be clearly heard in Parliament and in the media. This is part of our duty to them. It is important that we utilise all the democratic means at our disposal to articulate our cause.
However, we may differ with the Hindu community in the UK about the future of Jammu and Kashmir but, it is imperative that we manage these differences amicably within the legal framework. We are quite concerned at the potential for troublemakers to exploit the current tensions for mischievous purposes, especially, though not exclusively, amongst our young people. We should do all we can to preserve a normal and friendly relationship with the British Hindu community.
We would like to urge our Imams to emphasise the need for peace and justice to prevail in their jumma khutbas. It is also important that we should not allow anyone to import or inject conflict into community life here.
Finally, please remain vigilant to ensure that good community relations prevail.
Meanwhile, if you have queries please do not hesitate to contact the Muslim Council of Britain.
Was-salaamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullah
Iqbal AKM Sacranie