In a rallying cry against religious extremism, Muslims across the United Kingdom are denouncing Saturday night’s deadly attacks in London, calling the violence cowardly acts by people who hide behind a religion that is not theirs.
“Terrorism has no religion,” Imam Abdul Quddus Arif, of the local Ahmadiyya Muslim community, told HuffPost UK on Sunday, slamming the assailants’ twisted beliefs. “Basically, not in my name, not in the name of Islam. I want to make that very clear.”
His stern words of condemnation follow witnesses describing one of the night’s assailants as calling out the name of Allah amid the attacks. The militant group the Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the attack, which follows another attack credited to the group last month at a Manchester arena.
“Islam is not a religion as portrayed by these so-called Muslims. Islam is a religion that says if you kill an innocent soul it’s akin to killing the whole of humanity, and if you save an innocent soul it’s akin to saving the whole of humanity,” he said, amid prayers for the victims and first responders. “A true Muslim, he only has two purposes. One is fulfilling the rights of God, and second is to fulfill the rights of his fellow beings.”
Arif’s message was echoed by other Muslim organizations across the country, condemning Islamic extremism.
“It shouldn’t even have to be said, but this is not Islam. Their warped view of the world doesn’t belong here in our country. Frankly, it doesn’t belong anywhere in the world. It should die with them,” New Horizons in British Islam charity said in a statement.
Their warped view of the world doesn’t belong here in our country. Frankly, it doesn’t belong anywhere in the world. It should die with them." New Horizons in British Islam
The Muslim Association of Britain also expressed heartbreak with determination to stand up to acts of terror.
“As members of British Society, we must continue to condemn all acts of terror, and we must not allow these criminals to spread hatred and fear; and we must foil their attempts to divide us,” they stated.
Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, also expressed his revulsion at the attacks.
“Muslims everywhere are outraged and disgusted at these cowards who once again have destroyed the lives of our fellow Britons,” he said. “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.”