Woolwich: Muslim groups unite against attacks

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Muslim groups have united in condemning the attack in Woolwich as un-Islamic.

The Muslim Council of Britain said the killers’ use of “Islamic slogans” indicated they were motivated by their faith but “no cause justifies this murder”.

They spoke out as Prime Minister David Cameron and London mayor Boris Johnson met members of the local community, during a visit to Woolwich.

The Muslim Council said: “This is a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam and we condemn this unreservedly.

“Muslims have long served in this country’s armed forces, proudly and with honour. This attack on a member of the armed forces is dishonourable, and no cause justifies this murder.”

The council called for vigilance and solidarity between “all our communities, Muslim and non-Muslim”, and for police to “calm tensions”.

Paul Salahuddin Armstrong, of the Association of British Muslims, said the attackers’ actions had “removed them from Islam, because there is no grounds to justify attacks of terrorism”.

He went on: “If you go back to the Koran, there is no grounds for this kind of behaviour, no grounds for murder.”

Mohammed Shafiq, from the Ramadhan Foundation, said he wanted to “condemn the evil and barbaric crime”, adding the attack “was, at every level, evil”. He added: “London and our nation will come together and will not be divided. The terrorists will never win and succeed in their evil plans.”

Fiyaz Mughal, director of charity Faith Matters, said: “The cold-blooded killing of a serving British soldier is a crime that sickens every member of every community in the UK. We must come together, isolate those who believe that extremism and violence are acceptable, and work to ensure that they meet the full force of the law.”

Julie Siddiqi, of the Islamic Society of Britain, said: “We can’t allow the voices of Nick Griffin and the far right to become louder than ours in the coming days. It gives us even more incentive to speak out and come together and not allow people like that to divide us as a country.”

Two charged over attacks at mosques after killing

Two men were last night charged over separate incidents at mosques after Lee Rigby was murdered by Islamic extremists.

Police in Kent charged a 45-year-old man with religiously aggravated criminal damage and burglary in a mosque. And Essex Police charged a 43-year-old man with attempted arson after he allegedly walked into a mosque with a knife in Braintree, Essex.

The arrests come as fears grow the far-right nationalist English Defence League (EDL) could exploit the soldier’s brutal murder to boost their support.

EDL leader Tommy Robinson, has said: “Everyone’s had enough. There has to be a reaction, for the government to listen, for the police to listen, to understand how angry this British public are.”

Sikander Saleemy, secretary of Braintree mosque, said: “It was an appalling act of terror, but it wasn’t ‘Islamic’ in any way.”

Lucky Awale, a Muslim who witnessed the killing, said: “ “For incidents like this to happen in the name of Muslims, it sends the wrong impression to people like the EDL.”