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Last Updated: Monday, 12 April, 2004, 04:09 GMT 05:09 UK
Muslim leaders round on cardinal
Archbishop of Westminster
The cardinal said he agreed with Lord Carey
Muslim leaders have responded with anger to a senior Catholic leader's suggestion they had not done enough to denounce terrorism.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, head of the church in England and Wales, said he sympathised with the stance of the former Archbishop of Canterbury.

Lord Carey has argued that not enough Muslim moderates condemned attacks carried out "in the name of Allah".

The Muslim Council of Britain said the comments were "wholly unjustified".

In response to the cardinal's entry into the row, a spokesman said continuing to beat the Muslim community with the stick of terrorism would have a negative impact on inter-faith relations.

The cardinal had told GMTV that what Lord Carey said about Muslim leaders "was fundamentally true".

Lord Carey's assertion that too few Muslim leaders clearly condemned the evil of suicide bombers led them to accuse him of "religious prejudice".

Building bridges

But the cardinal said:

"He had highlighted something that needed to be highlighted."

A spokesman for the MCB said he was at a loss to understand the cardinal's comments.

"This denunciation has been duly resonated throughout the entire community," he said.

The Muslim Council of Britain recently took the unprecedented step of writing to every mosque, urging people to help in the fight against terror.

Lord Carey caused outrage with his lecture in Rome last month when he said regimes in Islamic countries were often authoritarian and committed to power and privilege.

He added people looked to Muslims to condemn suicide bombers and terrorists who destroyed innocent lives.

But apart from a few courageous examples, very few Muslim leaders clearly condemned the evil of suicide bombers, he claimed.


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