Bradford imams issue statement against ISIS
Muslim leaders in Bradford have condemned terror groups such as ISIS, also known as Islamic State, and have called for unity against terror.
The Bradford Imams Forum has released a letter following a wave of attacks carried out or inspired by the militant group.
Just last Friday, an ISIS-inspired gunman killed 36 people on a Tunisian beach, mostly tourists. On the same day, a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a mosque killing at least 25 people in Kuwait.
The statement issued by the Bradford Imams Forum states: “We live in an era where life has lost all value. We are witnessing death and destruction around us on a scale not witnessed since arguably the Second World War brought about by governments, groups of people or individuals. The terror and corruption being spread across our World should not be tolerated. We all need to stand as one, upholding the truth and standing against falsehood.
“As British Muslims we are very fortunate in that we freely practice our faith and can worship God in the manner of our choosing. This individual liberty and freedom of choice is fundamental to our way of life. Our beliefs inculcate within us the values of democracy, rule of law, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. It is these beliefs and values which facilitate us, as British Muslims, to reach out to the citizens of Bradford, UK and the rest of the World throughout the year, especially in the blessed month of Ramadan.
“It is very saddening to see the death and destruction most recently on the beaches of Tunisia but also on the streets of Gaza, Syria, Iraq, London, Pakistan, Boston and Yemen to name only a few. We as British citizens should do all we can in putting a stop to this deadly destruction in a responsible and safe way from our home in the UK through the avenues available to us. We can see a number of groups claiming to herald ‘true Islam’ and can seem very attractive as a solution to the lack of spirituality and high level of consumerism we find, particularly in the West. However, do not be fooled by the mirage. Do not be fooled by an ideology which Traditional Islam has refuted over the centuries. Those who are thinking or taking steps in that direction are putting themselves and their families in harm’s way. Islam does not permit the killing of innocents or the killing of Muslims who we do not agree with. Islam is a religion to take people out of the darkness into the light not to extinguish the lanterns of peace.
“We hope that our government and fellow citizens would hear us when we say in unison;
“We condemn the killing of innocent people; irrespective of their ethnicity, gender, nationality or any other difference,
“We call on our communities, Muslims and others, to seek direction and instruction from their Imams rather than other sources,
“We call on our government not to see us as the problem, but rather the solution,
“We call on the media not to sow the seeds of hatred between different people but rather to cultivate love and harmony,
“We do not quietly condone any form of violence whether perpetrated against a human, animal, insect or plant,
“We call on the Muslim community to seek Islamic advice from the local Islamic scholars and not unreliable sources.”
Two days ago, mosques and imams from Dewsbury also issued a statement against ISIS.