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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 July, 2005, 04:30 GMT 05:30 UK
Muslim leaders condemn attackers
Iqbal Sacranie
Sir Iqbal Sacranie said Islam could never justify the killings
Muslim leaders in the UK have reacted with shock to the news that the London bombers may have been British-born young people from their community.

The Muslim Council of Britain's secretary general, Iqbal Sacranie, said it had received the news with "anguish, shock and horror".

"Nothing in Islam can ever justify the evil actions of the bombers," he said.

Sir Iqbal said the "criminals" who bombed London needed to be distanced from the Islamic faith.

'Unjust association'

"They happen to be Muslims and it's not that Islam is the problem, it is those individuals, it is the criminality that is there," Sir Iqbal said.

He was speaking after police revealed they believed four men, three of them from West Yorkshire, had carried out the bombings and probably died in doing so.

Massoud Shadjareh, chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, said: "The criminality of anyone should not be associated with their nationality, ethnicity or religion.

"That sort of association is totally unjust and xenophobic and can create a great injustice by promoting prejudice that could fuel further violence against innocent people. A criminal is a criminal, is a criminal, full stop."

The Muslim Council of Britain said it had been planning an inter-faith national demonstration in protest at the bombs on London's transport network last Thursday that killed at least 52 people.

Tributes paid to dead at Tavistock Square
The attacks on London have caused public grief

"We are working hand-in-hand with other faith communities. It is crucial - our mission can only be successful if we are working with everyone else," Sir Iqbal said.

Police have tried to reassure Muslims they will crack down on those carrying out "revenge" attacks.

Five people have been arrested on suspicion of attempting to petrol bomb a Sikh temple in Belvedere, south-east London.

The Metropolitan Police's assistant commissioner Andy Hayman, said: "No-one should be in any doubt the work last Thursday is that of extremists and criminals.

"No-one should smear or stigmatise any community with these acts."

British Muslims' horror at developments

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