Press Conference: London Bridge Attack

4 June 2017

The Muslim Council of Britain held a press conference to discuss and speak out against the London Bridge attack.

The following is a statement from Harun Khan, Secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain:

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for attending at such short notice.

As you can see, we have Muslim community representatives from around the country who have come together today to speak out.

Last night we witnessed once again horror inflicted on our streets. This is the third time in as many months: they are truly shocking and we condemn them in the strongest terms.

Our prayers are with the victims and all those affected. We commend the work of our emergency services working hard to keep us safe and cope with the ensuing carnage.

We have four messages as a result of this outrage.

Firstly, we are angry.

Muslims everywhere are outraged and disgusted at these cowards who once again have destroyed the lives of our fellow Britons.

That this should happen in this month of Ramadan, when many Muslims were praying and fasting only goes to show that these people respect neither life nor faith.

Secondly we are resolved.

These people must have no hiding place.

We know that Muslim communities have been reporting wrongdoing which have led to arrests.

We will continue to give our full support to the police and authorities.

Today we issue a campaign to urge our mosques and associations to increase their vigilance.

Mothers, fathers and families are ripped apart when children or relatives whom they think they know suddenly go down this path to deviance.

It is in all of our interests to stop them.

We know that many of these people have previously led a life of delinquency.

It is often the case that the path towards extremism is outside of the mosque and at the margins of society.

We are all grappling with this hateful ideology.

This is an ideology that makes killing and hating cool, and uses the words of Islam as a cloak to justify it.

As one expert has said, this not a radicalisation of Islam, but Islamisation of radicalism.

All of us need to stand together, and for our part in particular, we can work harder to help our young people relate to this country and the faith which has the tools to make them modern citizens.

Clearly a handful of young people refuse to see the legitimacy of mosques, which is why they turn to agents of hate.

We need to strengthen our mosques, enable our Imams, our youth leaders and others, giving them the tools and know how to relate to young people and deal with the allure of Daesh.

We are resolved to work together to ensure our communities are stronger and are able to deal with this.

Our third message is to the terrorists and to those who are sympathising with them.

The is not Islam. This is not our Deen. This is not the way of our beloved Prophet.

The Quran tells us very clearly that one kills one person, it is though they have killed the whole of humanity.

Our beloved Prophet has always encouraged us to look after and be mindful to our neighbours and those around us.

The actions of these terrorists are completely, totally and utterly outside the rules and spirit of Islam. There is no justification for what these terrorists are doing.

And yet, in this month of Ramadan, the month of rahma, mercy from Allah. What these people have shown is anything but.

The level of our anger is such that some imams from a cross section of Islamic traditions say that these people should be denied an Islamic burial.

We understand from eyewitness accounts that these people did this ‘for Allah.’ What we pray for is that these terrorists and their supporters face justice from almighty Allah  in this life and the next.

Finally we have a message to our fellow Britons.

We saw in the response to the Manchester attacks the best riposte to the terrorists.

Acts of solidarity deny these evil people their aims to divide our society.

There will be useful idiots who do the terrorists work by demonising Muslims, advocating that there should somehow be ‘less Islam’, and by extension, no Muslims.

Let’s ensure the voices of hate on both sides do not get an airing.

Today’s attack makes us all angry, it make me angry. And we want want to do something about it.

That is why we agree with the Prime Minister that things must change. Enough is enough.

We are ready to have those difficult conversations, as equal citizens with an equal stake in this fight.

I am pleased that the Prime Minister is speaking about conversation: it implies that we must listen to one another and work together to be part of a truly United Kingdom.

Yes, the problem we are facing is a global phenomenon. These terrorists have claimed the lives of Muslims and non-Muslims around the world.

But we British Muslims must play our part.

We want to turn people’s minds away from this death cult.

We want to ensure families are not torn apart by being either victims of terrorist outrages, or finding out that someone they knew perpetrated such acts.

As ever we urge everyone to assist the authorities so that these criminals can be apprehended and brought to justice.

What will we do?

At the Muslim Council of Britain, we will be escalating our campaign to facilitate a grassroots response to the terrorist challenge.

We will initiate a new campaign now with mosques to report suspicious activity.

We will also extend our hand of partnership and cooperation to the government and Prime Minister, to work together keep our country safe.

And we will all extend our hands to our friends, neighbours and colleagues to be strong in solidarity against this hate.