A large group of UK Muslim community leaders have condemned “in strongest terms” the recent terror attacks in London and Manchester, saying British Muslims remain united against “the cold-blooded murder of innocent people.”
“We are deeply hurt that a spate of terror attacks has been committed in our country once more by murderers who seek to gain religious legitimacy for their actions,” over 130 religious leaders said in a statement on Monday. “We seek to clarify that their reprehensible actions have neither legitimacy nor our sympathy.”
On Saturday night, three suspects killed seven people and injured 48 more in separate attacks in London before being gunned down by police.
The attack came days after a deadly bombing in Manchester, which killed 22 people and injured over 120.
The British police on Monday named two of the Saturday night attackers as Khuram Butt, 27, and Rachid Redouane, 30.
Noting that the attacks were carried out in the holy month of Ramadan, “in which Muslims worldwide focus on pious devotion, prayer, charity and the cultivation of good character,” the leaders said they would not perform the traditional Islamic funeral prayer for the assailants, because they represented a “perversion” of religion.
“This is because such indefensible actions are completely at odds with the lofty teachings of Islam,” they argued.
“These vile murderers seek to divide our society and instill fear; we will ensure they fail. We implore everyone to unite: we are one community. In the face of such dastardly cowardice, unlike the terrorists, we must uphold love and compassion,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, a group of speakers at the East London Mosque pledged to fight the “twisted narrative and their perversion” of Islam promoted by extremists.
“I have a clear message to those who perpetrate terrorism: you are against the very core teaching of Islam and of our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him,” said the chairman of East London Mosque and London Muslim Center, Muhammad Habibur-Rahman.
The statement was an indirect response to UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who had blamed the attacks on “evil Islamist extremism” and criticized some of the Muslim communities across Britain for their failure to integrate.