Muslim leaders in call for action

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  1. -Cp

    -Cp Senior Member

    Sep 23, 2004
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    Muslim leaders in call for action

    Britain's top Muslims have branded the London suicide bombings "utterly criminal, totally reprehensible, and absolutely un-Islamic".
    A joint statement of condemnation came as 22 leaders and scholars met at the Islamic Cultural Centre, in London.

    The family of 18-year-old London bomber Hasib Mir Hussain said on Friday they were "devastated" at his involvement.

    Police in Egypt arrested chemistry student Magdi Mahmoud al-Nashar, 33, wanted in connection with the bombings.

    'Concrete steps'

    At the meeting in London, Muslim leaders said there could never be any excuse for taking an innocent life, it said.

    Earlier, the head of the Muslim Council of Britain said he wanted "concrete steps" to make sure such atrocities were never repeated.

    Sir Iqbal Sacranie, met Islamic and community leaders in Leeds, where three of the bombers were from.

    The statement said everyone must confront the problems of Islamophobia, racism, unemployment, economic depravation and social exclusion.

    "Islam prohibits both anger and desperation. Anger and desperation are haram (forbidden) and may lead to some people being targeted by people with a sinister and violent agenda.

    "There is, therefore, a great deal of positive work to be done with everyone in our own and wider community in order to channel the energy and talent of our youth, particularly into constructive avenues, serving God and society for the common good.

    "The youth need understanding, not bashing."

    Of the Muslim stance on suicide bombing, the leaders said: "There can never be any excuse for taking an innocent life.

    "The Koran clearly declares that killing an innocent person was tantamount to killing all mankind and likewise saving a single life was as if one had saved the life of all mankind.

    "This is both a principle and a command ... Those who carried out the bombing, the statement said: "Should in no sense be regarded as martyrs.

    Both Muslims and non-Muslims should help bring the people behind the bombing to justice, it said.

    "The pursuit of justice for the victims of last week's attacks is an obligation under the faith of Islam."

    'Shocked state'

    Earlier on Friday, Sir Iqbal Sacranie was reported to have met relatives of suicide bomber Mohammad Sidique Khan in Dewsbury.

    He spoke to a number of groups in Leeds and said it was important to listen to the concerns of Muslims in the area.

    "They are all in a state of shock, as we are," he said.

    Sir Iqbal said that steps had to be taken within the UK's Muslim community.

    He said: "The community across the country condemns such activities but beyond that, what have we been doing?"

    His comments came as Met Police commissioner Sir Ian Blair met Muslim leaders and said police would work with the community.

    'Evil influence'

    Police have now turned their attention to finding those who may have helped the bombers carry out last Thursday's attacks - in which 54 people died, including three bombers.

    They know three of the bombers were from West Yorkshire - Hussain, of Holbeck, Leeds; Shehzad Tanweer, 22, of Beeston, Leeds, and Mohammad Sidique Khan, 30, of Dewsbury - and are searching their homes.

    They are also searching the home of the man they believe is the fourth bomber, Lindsey Germaine, a Jamaican-born man who lived in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

    British police are searching a house in Leeds linked to the Mr al-Nashar, but have not formally named him as a suspect in their investigation.

    'Loving young man'

    Mr al-Nashar denied having any role in the attacks and said he was on holiday, Egypt's Interior Ministry said.

    He had told investigators all his belongings remained in the UK and he planned to return there, the ministry said.

    The family of Hasib Hussain said in a statement their son was "a loving and normal young man who gave us no concern".

    "Our thoughts are with all the bereaved families and we have to live ourselves with the loss of our son in these difficult circumstances.

    "We had no knowledge of his activities and had we done, we would have done everything in our power to stop him," the statement said.

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