Muslim Council of Britain on the Woolwich Verdict

19th December 2013

* Murder of Drummer Lee Rigby was cold, calculated murder

* A dishonourable act that has no basis in Islam

* We must all stand up to ensure the murderers aim of sowing division and hate in our British society is not realised.

Ahead of the verdict to be passed in the case of the Drummer Lee Rigby murder, Farooq Murad, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain issued the following statement:

“The murder of Drummer Lee Rigby was truly a barbaric act. Muslim communities then, as now, were united in their condemnation of this crime. This was a dishonourable act and no cause justifies cold-blooded murder.”

“Once again, we convey our sympathy and condolences to the family of Lee Rigby, and we commend their dignity they have displayed ever since this tragic act took place.”

“The attackers of Lee Rigby should reflect on their actions and seek repentance from the Almighty. They have made yet another family to mourn for their loved one, they have tried to sow division in our society and they have, once again, besmirched our great religion of Islam.”

“They claimed that their act was done for those suffering in wars in Muslim lands. But it is my contention that the vast majority of our affected brothers and sisters would have nothing to do with this phoney act done in their name.”

“As the murderers now prepare to spend a very long time in prison, we must all work hard to heal the divisions caused by this act. There was an exponential increase in hate crimes against Muslims, with mosques and Islamic centres attacked and vandalised, while Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred were readily accepted in sections of our mainstream press.”

“Thankfully for all the hate, and division, there were also large pools of solidarity and support across the country. People of all faiths and none came together not only to condemn the murder, but also speak out against retaliatory attacks against Muslims.”

“Our response to extremism is to build solidarity across faiths. Extremism breeds not within communities, but in their gaps and margins. In places where the webs and safety nets of community that sustain dignity, self-worth, autonomy and solidarities fail.”

Notes to Editors:

1. The Muslim Council of Britain (www.mcb.org.uk) is the UK’s representative Muslim umbrella body with over 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.

2. Background: MCB’s response after Woolwich

a. Muslims Condemn Attack on Soldier in Woolwich

b. Secretary General Calls for Fresh Thinking on Extremism

c. Muslim Council of Britain responds to Announcement of the Prime Minister’s Taskforce on Extremism

d. Make Tea, Not War: British Muslims Urged To Open Mosques To Public

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