Page last updated at 15:56 GMT, Tuesday, 19 July 2005 16:56 UK

Full text: Muslim leaders' declaration on bombs

Muslims protest against terror at a rally in Leeds
Muslims protest against terror at a rally in Leeds
A special meeting of Muslim leaders and scholars held at the Islamic Cultural Centre, Regents Park, London, on Friday 15 July 2005, and organised by the Muslim Council of Britain, endorsed the following declaration:

Along with all Londoners and the people of Britain, we are deeply shocked and saddened by the bombing attacks of 7 July 2005 that caused the loss of more than 52 innocent lives, wounded hundreds and disrupted the peace and order of the civic and community life of the metropolis.

We regard these acts as utterly criminal, totally reprehensible, and absolutely un-Islamic. On behalf of our communities and congregations, we express heartfelt sorrow and extend condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

We pray for the speedy recovery of the injured. We extend our sympathy to the entire British public, a nation to which we all belong by the grace of God.

'Principle and command'

There can never be any excuse for taking an innocent life.

The Koran clearly declares that killing an innocent person was tantamount to killing all mankind and likewise saving a single life was as if one had saved the life of all mankind. (The Koran, Al-Maidah 5:32).

This is both a principle and a command.

We are firmly of the view that these killings had absolutely no sanction in Islam, nor is there any justification whatsoever in our noble religion for such evil actions. It is our understanding that those who carried out the bombings in London should in no sense be regarded as martyrs.

It is incumbent upon all of us, Muslims and non-Muslims - to help the authorities with any information that may lead to the planners of last week's atrocity being brought to justice. The pursuit of justice for the victims of last week's attacks is an obligation under the faith of Islam.

'Reject extremism'

Islam is the middle path and the Koran designates Muslims as the ummatan wasata - the middle community.

Any form of extremism is to be utterly and completely rejected.

What we need, therefore, in our troubled world, more than ever before is to stick to the middle and balanced way of Islam.

We need also to remind ourselves, young as well as old, that the solution to our problems and concerns lies in following and adhering to the noble discipline of Islam and to the way of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and not falling prey to a culture of conflict and discord.

'Children alienated'

The social culture of Islam is based on the principle of inviting people towards good, courteously and wisely - with Hikmah and mawizah Hasana. (The Koran, Al-Nahal 16:125).

The Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him, was sent as a mercy to mankind and that is the ideal and norm that we ought to be following all the time.

The tragedy of 7 July 2005 demands that all of us, both in public life and in civil and religious society, confront together the problems of Islamophobia, racism, unemployment, economic deprivation and social exclusion - factors that may be alienating some of our children and driving them towards the path of anger and desperation.

Islam prohibits both anger and desperation. Anger and desperation are haram (forbidden) and may lead to some people being targeted by people with a sinister and violent agenda.

There is, therefore, a great deal of positive work to be done together with everyone in our own and wider community in order to channel the energy and talent of our youth particularly into constructive avenues, serving God and society for the common good.

The youth need understanding, not bashing.

'Spiral of violence'

We do naturally feel deeply for the sufferings, injustices and oppression the world over. Yet we also remind ourselves of the verse of the Koran, "O you who believe! Be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity and let not abhorrence of any people make you swerve from justice. Deal justly, that is nearer to God-fearing. Fear Allah. Allah is aware of what you do." (Al Maidah, 5:8).

We also call on the international community to work towards just and lasting peace settlements in the world's areas of conflict and help eliminate the grievances that seem to nurture a spiral of violence.

We also urge the media to refrain from character assassinations of our reputable scholars and denigration of the community.

We reiterate our resolve and commitment to work towards nurturing an identity that is true to its faith and its rights and responsibilities of British citizenship.

Finally, we pray to God Almighty to bless all the people of the world with His peace and mercy. And finally, Praise be to God, lord of all the worlds.

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