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Last Updated: Friday, 23 June 2006, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK
Muslim leaders condemn terrorism
Birmingham Central Mosque
The edict was agreed in a meeting at Birmingham Central Mosque
Islamic leaders across Birmingham have issued a joint message against terrorism in a bid to tackle mistrust of Muslims in the UK.

Leaders of the 150 mosques in the city have backed the statement, which comes in response to the police raid in London's Forest Gate this month.

The religious edict makes clear the killing of innocent victims is against the principles of Islam.

It has been welcomed by the chief constable of the West Midlands.

The message is thought to be the first joint statement made by Muslim scholars in the UK against terrorism.

Activities regulated

It states: "That killing of innocent civilians is absolutely forbidden in Islam and anyone who contemplates or commits any such act, does so against the teachings of Islam."

The statement adds action has been taken to regulate the activities of every mosque to ensure worshippers are given a message of "calmness and civic responsibility".

It said the action of the UK Government in Iraq had caused anger in the Muslim community but there is a "resolve to guide the Muslim response in accordance with good citizenship".

Dr Muhammad Naseem, chairman of the Birmingham Central Mosque, said: "There is a perception that Muslims are a source of terrorism.

"Although individuals have made statements against terrorism people still say Muslims aren't denouncing terrorism."

'Positive announcement'

Terrorism is against the teachings of Islam, Dr Naseem explained, saying he was making the leaders' position clear.

"We hope this will improve the understanding between religious communities in the city," he added.

West Midlands chief constable Paul Scott-Lee said: "I am delighted by this positive announcement from our local mosques and fully support what is an important statement for all our communities."

It is planned that similar anti-violence messages from Muslim leaders across other UK cities will be issued as part of the initiative.

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