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Last Updated: Friday, 8 October, 2004, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
Bigley killing widely condemned
Kenneth Bigley
Mr Bigley was kidnapped with two Americans on 16 September
The killing of British hostage Ken Bigley in Iraq has met with widespread condemnation in the UK.

A spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain said it was "appalled and profoundly saddened" by the "cold-blooded murder".

The council had sent a delegation to Iraq in September to try to win the 62-year-old's release.

Liverpool Walton MP Peter Kilfoyle said the hearts of the city's people "went out" to the Bigley family.

Muslim Council of Britain general secretary Iqbal Sacranie said there was "absolutely no justification" for the killing of a "defenceless individual".

This is a deed which is deeply repugnant and utterly reprehensible. We unequivocally condemn it and hope his murderers are brought to justice quickly
Iqbal Sacranie

"This is a deed which is deeply repugnant and utterly reprehensible. We unequivocally condemn it and hope his murderers are brought to justice quickly".

He added the killing was "completely and utterly rejected" by the vast majority of Muslims.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission said it was appalled by Mr Bigley's death.

Chairman Massoud Shadjareh said: "We send our deepest condolences to Mr Bigley's family, as we do to the families of all those killed in Iraq as a result of the war and occupation."

The condemnation was echoed by Akbar Ali, a Liverpool Muslim leader who had appealed for Mr Bigley's release.

They are giving a very, very negative picture of Islam
Akbar Ali

He said: "I think I can speak on behalf of all Muslims. We are very sad, we were all hoping he would be reprieved and representations had been made.

"This group are very, very ruthless people without aims or objectives, just trying to show the world how cruel and mindless they can be.

"They are giving a very, very negative picture of Islam."

Mr Ali said he did not fear a backlash against Muslims. "That little bit of shadow is always there but on the whole we are all sensible enough and we have been working together to understand what's going on in the Middle East, so there are no immediate fears."

Mr Kilfoyle said: "I just feel, like most people I think here, that our hearts just go out to the Bigley family in their tremendous ordeal."

Our hearts just go out to the Bigley family in their tremendous ordeal
Peter Kilfoyle MP

He stopped short of blaming the UK government for what had happened to Mr Bigley, saying ministers had found themselves in a very difficult position.

And he warned that the grief of the Bigley family should not be turned into "a political football" by those opposed to the war in Iraq.

He told BBC News 24: "I think most people are not looking for blame, I would hope but looking to offer the true level of sympathy and support for the family who have been through the most stressful period imaginable.

"There will be a time and a place to hold to account those responsible in all sorts of ways for polices with which we disagree but this is not the time or the place in my view.

"The only appropriate reaction is to show respect and sympathy for a very dignified Bigley family."





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