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The Center for the Study of Islam Democracy

July 13, 2005

 

CSID EMAIL BULLETIN – July 13, 2005 

> CSID Condemns London Attacks
> MPAC Condemns London Bombings

> ISNA Condemns the Terrorist Attacks in London
>CAIR Condemns ‘Barbaric’ London Terror Attacks
> Free Muslim Coalition Condemns London Terror Attacks
>To Condemn Absolutely…and to exactly the Opposite of what they want (by Tariq Ramadan)
>Muslim Scholars, Countries, Condemn London Bombings
>Muslim Rights Group Condemns Terrorism, Condoles Britain
>Grand Mufti, Others Denounce London Bombings
>Terror is Worst Sacrilege Against the Qur’an

CSID BOARD Statement on Recent London Attacks
 

The Board of Directors of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) in Washington, DC, strongly condemns the terrorist attacks of July 7 on the innocent people of London.  These senseless attacks are in complete violation of the basic moral and ethical principles of Islam and of other faith traditions.  As Americans from different faith communities, we lend our voices of support to all those who have denounced these heinous crimes and maintain that there is absolutely no justification for them on any grounds.  Our deepest condolences go out to the British people who have lost loved ones during this national tragedy.  We extend our fullest support to all those working in concert to bring the perpetrators of these atrocities to justice.

The CSID Board of Directors:

Asma Afsaruddin (Chair)

Antony Sullivan (Vice Chair)

Radwan Masmoudi (President)

Akbar Ahmed

Asma Barlas

Yahya Basha

Irvin Borowsky

Najib Ghadban

Joseph Montville

Abdulaziz Sachedina

Louay Safi

Robert Schadler

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MPAC Condemns London Bombings

Thursday, July 07, 2005 11:00 AM

(Washington, D.C., 7/7/05) This morning, four explosions in central London’s public transportation system have killed scores of people and injured hundreds more.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council unequivocally condemns this brutality against the people of London.

Islam considers the use of terrorism to be unacceptable for any purpose.  Any individual or group that claims that these heinous actions serve as a redress for legitimate grievances is dreadfully mistaken. MPAC condemns the exploitation of people and issues, regardless of the perpetrators and their justifications. This assault is unmistakably an act of terrorism, an attack against humanity.

We at MPAC extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and the British people.  As Americans, we are familiar with the imminent and the long-term repercussions of terrorism.  Here at home, we stand in solidarity with law enforcement to maintain security, and we have every reason to believe that similar cooperation will take place in London.

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ISNA Condemns the Terrorist Attacks in London

July 7, 2005

Plainfield, Indiana- We note with deep sadness the unfortunate events of this morning in London, England. We condemn such acts of mindless violence that violate the standards of Islam, as well as, of all faiths.

It is regrettable to note that a short-lived website has allegedly claimed responsibility for this reprehensible act and that website purported to link itself with a so-called Muslim group. Such a situation does not bode well for Britain’s Muslims who maintain positive relations with their government and are active participants in British public life.

Irrespective of the sociopolitical implications, this act violates the Islamic principles of the sanctity of life and the safety and security of innocent civilians.

The British Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks has aptly stated: “It is not the weapon of the weak against the strong but the rage of the angry against the defenseless and innocent. It is an evil means to an evil end.”

The Islamic Society of North America expresses its fullest condemnation of this unwarranted act of terrorism and offers its condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. May God grant all the strength to bear this loss.

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CAIR CONDEMNS ‘BARBARIC’ LONDON TERROR ATTACKS

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/7/05) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today condemned this morning’s bomb attacks in London as “barbaric crimes.”

In its statement, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said:

“We join Americans of all faiths, and all people of conscience worldwide, in condemning these barbaric crimes that can never be justified or excused. American Muslims offer their sincere condolences to the loved ones of those who were killed or injured in today’s attacks and call for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators.”

The Muslim Council of Britain and other British Islamic groups issued similar condemnations of the attacks and urged Muslims to help in the recovery effort.

In 2004, CAIR launched an online petition drive, called “Not in the Name of Islam,” designed to disassociate Islam from the violent acts of a few Muslims. SEE: http://www.cair-net.org/asp/article.asp?id=169&page=AA

The “Not in the Name of Islam” petition states: “We, the undersigned Muslims, wish to state clearly that those who commit acts of terror, murder and cruelty in the name of Islam are not only destroying innocent lives, but are also betraying the values of the faith they claim to represent. No injustice done to Muslims can ever justify the massacre of innocent people, and no act of terror will ever serve the cause of Islam. We repudiate and dissociate ourselves from any Muslim group or individual who commits such brutal and un-Islamic acts. We refuse to allow our faith to be held hostage by the criminal actions of a tiny minority acting outside the teachings of both the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.”

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FREE MUSLIMS COALITION CONDEMNS LONDON TERROR ATTACKS

(Washington, D.C.) The Free Muslims Coalition (FMC), a national Muslim organization with

15 chapters world wide, condemns the London terror attacks and calls on the silent majority of Muslims to stand up against the terrorists who commit evil in their name.

Again, the world has to witness another terror attack where innocent people are killed, and lives destroyed.  Not surprisingly, a group calling itself “The Secret Organization of Al Qaeda in Europe” has posted a claim of responsibility for the series of blasts in London.

The statement of responsibility was published on a Web site that stated:  “Rejoice, Islamic nation. Rejoice, Arab world. The time has come for vengeance against the Zionist crusader government of Britain in response to the massacres Britain committed in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The heroic mujahedeen carried out a blessed attack in London, and now Britain is burning with fear and terror, from north to south, east to west.  We warned the British government repeatedly. We have carried out our promise and carried out a military attack in Britain after great efforts by the heroic mujahedeen over a long period to ensure its success.”  “We continue to warn the governments of Denmark and Italy and all crusader governments that they will receive the same punishment if they do not withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.”

This statement shows that the criminals who committed the terror in London are proud of what they did and they are threatening additional attacks in the future.   Moreover, notice that the terrorists use positive language to describe their crimes as if they were committing righteous acts.  The irony is that the terrorists of Al Qaeda, similar to other terrorists, genuinely believe that they are moral and that they have right on their side.

For this reason, the Free Muslims Coalition constantly argues that the war against terrorism and, in particular, terrorism committed by Muslims is an ideological battle that cannot be won without the help of Muslims themselves.  The Free Muslims Coalition was created to do just that but we need the help of other Muslims and other Muslim organization to counter the ideology of hate that comes from Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.

In May of 2005, the Free Muslims Coalition, along with the American Islamic Forum for Democracy led a Muslim March Against Terror in Washington, DC.  Many Muslim organizations refused to join us believing that such a march was not necessary.  We hope that the latest terror attacks in London will convince other Muslim organizations that Marches against terror and other expressions of oppositions to terrorism are necessary and essential.

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To Condemn Absolutely… and to do exactly the opposite of what they want

By Tariq Ramadan

The news about the attacks in London are a new shock. Our condemnation is, once again, absolute. The authors of such acts are criminals and we cannot accept or listen to their probable justifications in the name of an ideology, a religion or a political cause. With a strong and audible voice, we must express our condemnation and our commitment to struggle against such odious acts through prevention, education and a just and not discriminatory implementation of the necessary security measures.

The day after the festivities following the choice of London as the city welcoming the Olympic Games in 2012, these attacks take even a more abominable character. It would be naأ¬¨√òve to think that this is happening at random as the attacks in Madrid, perpetrated few days before the elections, were not a coincidence. At the very time of joy and happiness that unite and get together the Londoners , the goal is to maintain fear, to spread suspicion and to create fractures between the citizens of the British society in particular and of Europe in general. The objective is to break confidence, to oppose sides and to prevent us from succeeding while facing the challenge of ‚àö¬¢‚Äö√ᬮ‚âà√¨living together‚àö¬¢‚Äö√ᬮ‌ in free and pluralistic societies.

To the perpetrators of such horrifying attacks first, but also to the proponents of the ideology of fear, to those who will try to exploit these acts to propagate racisms, xenophobia, judeophobia, christianophobia, islamophobia or any kind of stigmatisation or exclusion; to all these people, with no exception, we must be able to respond together. After having condemned the attacks, we must do, on the ground, exactly the opposite of what they want us to do: we must promote education, mutual knowledge, a ‚àö¬¢‚Äö√ᬮ‚âà√¨living together‚àö¬¢‚Äö√ᬮ‌ based on common values. We must prove that if we are united to struggle against terror and violence, we also are committed together to struggle for universal values, for the respect of life and diversity, for democracy, for freedom, for justice.

When they want to spread doubt and suspicion, we must be committed together to build spaces of mutual respect and trust. This is our responsibility as citizens strongly determined to struggle against the horrors perpetrated by the authors of these attacks in order to promote our society’s common values and future. We must intellectually and socially do exactly the opposite of what the authors of these attacks want us to do emotionally. While the terror could paralyse us and close our minds, it is urgent that our critical conscience measures the stakes and helps us to act together and to open our minds.

At this very moment, we want to convey our deep and sincere condolences to all the victims’ families.

http://www.tariqramadan.com/article.php3?id_article=0374&lang=en

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Muslim Scholars, Countries Condemn London Bombings

Additional Reporting By Masoud Sabri, Sobhy Mujahid

CAIRO, July 7, 2005 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) ‚àö¬¢‚Äö√ᬮ” The deadly attacks that rocked London earlier Thursday, July 7, drew condemnation from scholars, officials and even individuals from across the Muslim world.

“We were dumbfounded by the grave news of the London bombings which killed tens and wounded hundreds of innocent people who committed no crime,” prominent scholar Yusuf Al-Qaradawi told IslamOnline.net.

At least 37 people were killed and hundreds others wounded when four blasts ripped through London during rush hour on Thursday.

Qaradawi stressed that these “black actions” run counter to the teachings of Islam which forbids the killing of civilians.

“Even at the time of war when state armies battle face to face, it is not permissible to kill women, children, elders, priests, farmers and merchants; people we nowadays call civilians.”

The renowned scholar offered his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and London Mayor Ken Livingstone, whom Qaradawi praised as “a man of justice who always defends Arab and Muslim causes.

Criminals

“Those responsible for London attacks are criminals who do not represent Islam or even truly understand (its message),” Tantawi told IOL.

Al-Azhar Grand Imam Sheikh Mohammad Sayyed Tantawi also denounced the bombings.

“Those responsible for London attacks are criminals who do not represent Islam or even truly understand (its message),” he told IOL.

Tantawi, who heads the highest seat of learning in the Sunni world, denounced the killing of civilians, including women and children, “without differentiating between combatants and non-combatants.”

On the possibility that the attacks were an attempt to press British Prime Minister Tony Blair to withdraw his troops from occupied Iraq, Tantawi said: “This is illogical and cannot be the motive for killing innocent civilians.”

Leading Lebanese Shiite scholar Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah voiced outrage, reported Reuters.

“These crimes are not accepted by any religion. It is a barbarism wholly rejected by Islam,” he said.

Popular Condemnation

Muslims interviewed by Reuters in several countries also condemned the London explosions.

“I really hope this is not the doing of an Arab or a Muslim because our values are 100 percent against this devilish crime,” said Syrian businessman Majed Ali.

“If my own brother had done this, I would disown him,” he said.

“Those responsible for this have no feelings or humanity,” said Hassan Bannona, a 47-year-old Saudi aviation worker.

“We feel for the victims as we have also been attacked in this way.”

Yemeni doorman Aref al-Haymi, 28, said the bombings showed criminals were everywhere.

“Everyone must cooperate to end this terrorism instead of accusing only Muslims and Arabs.”

Blair said earlier that the perpetrators of the London attacks acted “in the name of Islam”.

He stressed, however, that “the vast and overwhelming majority of Muslims here and abroad are decent and law abiding people who abhor terrorism every bit as much as we do.”

The Muslim minority in Britain vehemently denounced the blasts and offered all possible assistance in helping the emergency services.

http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2005-07/07/article07.shtml

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MUSLIM RIGHTS GROUP CONDEMNS TERRORISM, CONDOLES BRITAIN

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), an Islamic human rights group, condemns in very strong terms the bomb blasts which occurred in London on Thursday, 7th July, 2005. The explosions claimed more than 47 lives and left hundreds injured.

We are appalled at this callous massacre of innocent civilians. it is the height of barbarism, bestiality and man’s inhumanity to man. The end does not justify the means in any form. it drags the cross-cultural peace and reconciliation process a decade backwards.

We remind those behind the killings that targeting civilian populations is a most unwise decision. It is an irony of fate that among the victims are people of diverse backgrounds, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Europeans, Africans, etc.

The attacks have allegedly been claimed by the Al-Qaida Jihad. If this is true, we call on the leadership of this group to think over their violent methods. It has given Muslim sects the weapon to use against themselves as we have seen it happening in Iraq and Pakistan where Sunnis target Shiites with suicide bombing.

We affirm that this is definitely not Islam. Islam is peace and the Muslims of the world must promote peace. Qur’an 2:190 affirms that Muslims must not be aggressors.

MURIC appeals to Muslims in Nigeria to be good ambassadors of Islam and to desist from any action capable of tarnishing the image of the religion. They must not allow agents of sorrow and blood to hijack their good reputation. We call on Muslim youths to reject extreme doctrines which are not in consonance with the moderate and true teachings of Islam. We remind non-Muslims to resist the temptation to judge Muslims in Nigeria with the same yardstick.

We call on security agents throughout Nigeria to be on the alert and to give maximum protection to foreign interests in particular. Nigeria must not be turned into terrorists’ battle-ground.

Finally, we commiserate with the British on this great tragedy and pray that God will give families of the victims the strength to face the challenge.

Dr. Is-haq Akintola,

DIRECTOR,

MUSLIM RIGHTS CONCERN

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Grand Mufti, Others Denounce London Bombings
Mushtak Parker & P.K. Abdul Ghafour, Arab News

LONDON/JEDDAH, 9 July 2005 – The Kingdom’s grand mufti yesterday strongly denounced the deadly blasts that rocked London, saying Islam strictly prohibits the killing of innocent people. He also censured the terrorists for tarnishing the image of Islam by attaching their heinous crimes to the religion.

The explosions that ripped through central London’s transport system on Thursday, “targeting peaceful people, are not condoned by Islam, and are indeed prohibited by our religion,” Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

“Attributing to Islam acts of individual or collective killings, bombings, destruction of properties and the terrorizing of peaceful people is unfair, because they are alien to the divine religion,” said the mufti, who also heads the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars, Saudi Arabia’s highe st religious authority.

“Islam is a religion of reforms and righteousness. It envisages the progress of humanity and takes it from darkness to light. It also calls for respecting agreements and prohibits their violation,” the mufti said referring to accords binding governments. “Causing corruption on earth is one of the biggest crimes in Islam,” he explained.

Sheikh Abdul Aziz said respectable Muslim scholars all over the world have stated that such outrages bear no relation to Islam.

Meanwhile, Saudi Ambassador to Britain Prince Turki Al-Faisal issued a statement condemning the London attacks. “On behalf of the government of Saudi Arabia, I wish to assure the British people that our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the blasts that hit London Thursday morning,” he said.

Also yesterday, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) conveyed his condolences to the families of the victims. He sen t a message to Prime Minister Tony Blair expressing his “utmost indignation and outrage” and condemning, “in the strongest terms, the horrendous acts.”

Muslim World League Secretary-General Dr. Abdullah Al-Turki also condemned the criminal attacks. “On behalf of Muslims and Islamic organizations it represents, the MWL condemns the repugnant act of crime that targeted innocent civilians,” Al-Turki said, adding that Islam has prohibited the killing of innocent people. He urged the United Nations to carry out a coordinated joint campaign to cleanse the world of terrorists.

Sheikh Abdul Mohsen Al-Obaikan, a senior Saudi scholar and a Shoura member, said there was no justification, whatsoever, for the killing of innocent people. Speaking to MBC television, he urged all members of the Muslim community in Britain to cooperate with British authorities in tracking down the criminals behind the attacks.

“Any Muslim having information leading to the perpetrators is ur ged to pass it on to the British authorities. By doing so, we not only help protect innocent Muslims from random arrests and charges but also save them from being labeled as terrorists,” the scholar said.

Britain’s Muslim community is bracing itself for a possible backlash after Thursday’s bombings. Police confirmed a minor arson attack yesterday morning on a mosque in Leeds. The East London Mosque in Whitechapel, a stone’s throw from Aldgate, one of the underground station affected by the attacks, has received anonymous threatening letters.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, however, said “There has been no incidents at any of the London mosques.”

Muslim leaders such as Sir Dr. Zaki Badawi, chairman of the Imams & Mosques Council of Britain and principal of the Muslim College, and Sir Iqbal Sacranie, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, have both condemned the atrocities and urged the Muslim communities to cooperate with the aut horities in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Dr. Muhammed Abdul Bari, chairman of the East London Mosque, stressed: “We cannot let people who carry out such crimes ruin the cohesion we have built up in this community over many years. “This terrible atrocity should not be allowed to wreck all the hard work we have done,” he added.

Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi diplomat in London, said the best defense against such terrorist atrocities lies with the Muslim community in Britain. He urged the authorities to engage with its Muslim population to flush out potential radicals and preempt further such attacks. He confirmed that Saudi intelligence and security organizations were cooperating with their British counterparts in exchanging information and intelligence over the movements and involvement of known Muslim radicals.

The Muslim Social Forum (MSF), an umbrella organization made up of national and regional Islamic organizations and key advisory body for the po lice service, expressed its dismay, shock and deep sadness at the events that unfolded in London.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) also condemned the attacks. IHRC chairman Massoud Shadjareh urged Muslims to stay calm.

The IHRC is advising Muslims not to travel or go out unless necessary, and is particularly concerned that women should not go out alone in this situation. In the event of being attacked, IHRC urges victims not to retaliate and to report the matter to the police and other appropriate authorities.

– Additional input from Saeed Al Khotani in Riyadh

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Terror is the worst sacrilege against the Quran

Monday, July 11, 2005

BY ANISA MEHDI

The first thing I did when I heard the horrifying news from London last week was to call my cousin who was born in Britain and lives and works in the capital. Nigel’s dad and mine both left their homeland, Iraq, in the 1940s. His dad moved to England and mine came to America.

He told me everyone was fine: my aunt, my other cousins, their spouses and children. Fortuitously, Nigel had given his employees the day off, so no one was caught in transit. But they were emotionally shaken, disgusted and aghast, relating now all too keenly to the previously struck citizens of New York and Madrid.

Another friend of mine had left London only 12 hours earlier. But he’d been doing business on the street where the bus blew up. Other e-mails assured me my friends and colleagues in the news business were safe, each one with some story to tell. But more than 50 families are in the deepest mourning, and hundreds of others are worried sick about their wounded loved ones.

My emotions are complicated in the wake of this evil. I battle feelings of guilt — guilt by association because I am Muslim and Muslims are the likely suspects in this case.

I felt a similar guilt as a white person watching white policemen hose down black American civil rights protesters in the 1960s. There was a guilt reading reports of massacres in Bosnia and Rwanda when my great nation might have stepped in to stop the crimes and guilt at seeing it happen again in Darfur, again on my watch.

There is guilt seeing the destruction my tax dollars are bringing to my father’s homeland, Iraq. But being associated by faith with people who may be behind this unjustifiable bloodbath is the knottiest.

Most Muslim Americans I know are tired of defending our faith in the wake of ongoing terrorism claimed in the name of Islam. We keep reminding our fellow Americans that there are bad apples in every barrel. That with five Muslims in one room you may get six opinions.

We point out, too, that maybe, just maybe, we’re jumping to conclusions — although in my heart of hearts I am resigned. Yet Catholics from the Irish Republican Army terrorized Great Britain for years. And a Jewish terrorist assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin. Homegrown Americans blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

Remember that terrorism is political, not religious — and even if people who are Muslim are indeed the perpetrators of this atrocity, neither Islam nor the billion-plus Muslims in the world are all to blame. It’s just a few too many deranged and dangerous criminals who don’t understand that Islam is a religion of mercy. And that is something I do understand, as do most other Muslims.

Let me reiterate something I’ve written on this page before:

These crimes against humanity are in no way a “jihad.” They are in no way a struggle or striving to do God’s will. These are acts of what we call in Arabic “hiraba.” Terrorism. They are acts that defile Islam.

In the light of this tragedy in London, the stories about desecrating the Quran in American military institutions pale. Destroying or disrespecting a book, no matter how precious, cannot be compared with murder.

If Muslim individuals are indeed behind the slaughter of innocents in London, it is they who truly commit sacrilege against Islam’s holy book. They are the ones who are truly trashing the Quran.

Every Muslim individual and organization I know condemns these acts of terrorism.

Anisa Mehdi is a journalist and documentary filmmaker living in Maplewood. She specializes in religion and the arts.

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For questions or comments about the information in this bulletin, contact
Zahir Janmohamed at zahir@islam-democracy.org.

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Copyright 2004 Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy (CSID).
All Rights Reserved.

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