As someone born and raised in the UK, I am very much British. I am also a Muslim and I am proud of that fact, and doubly-proud that I am a British Muslim.Let me then go on to say how angry, sad, appalled, disgusted and outraged I am at the perpetrators of these attacks. These sentiments are shared by our entire community of right-minded people.
If, indeed, the perpetrators describe themselves as Muslims, then I would like to say that Islam or Islamic law in no way justifies such barbaric and insane acts that cause wanton destruction and death to innocent people; no moral code in the history of humanity has any justification for such diabolic actions. The only justification is in the sick minds of a few twisted and misguided people who we all would like to see locked up and punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Throughout the years we have enjoyed good community relations between various ethnic and religious groups and the various populations of these isles. The Muslims have made positive contributions to their local communities, towns and cities and to the country as a whole, both nationally and internationally.
Unfortunately, we, like other communities, have our fair share of misguided individuals who, for some unknown and irrational reasons, are well capable of perpetrating such crimes. The only word that I can use to describe such ?people? – and I use the term ?people? sparingly, for they are worse than animals, proven by their bestial and cowardly actions in London on 7th July 2005 – is “shayateen”, or “devils”, who clothe themselves in the garb and language of Muslims.
How is it that someone who considers his or herself Muslim will perpetrate such an act and initiate the invocation “In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful”, when what they are doing is the antithesis of graciousness and mercy? In fact, these people should use the invocation “In the Name of Al-Qa’ida (or any other such group), most disgraceful, most unmerciful”.
Graciousness and Mercy permeate Islam; everything in Islam is geared toward Mercy, Compassion and Graciousness and yet these diabolical individuals oppose this and we know that the Shaytan opposes what is good.
Al-Qa’ida are a political movement that uses the language and icons of religion for rhetorical purposes and to misguide and ensnare those who do not know their religion or those who feel disenfranchised and oppressed. Al-Qa’ida articulates religio-political rhetoric in a manner that polarises the world totally. It is similar in its rhetoric and polarisation to the current Bush regime. The world is not black and white, it is a spectrum of colours. We do not accept the Manichean “you are either with us or against us” principle that both Al-Qa’ida and our politicians use.
It is my hope that ordinary people will see these attacks for what they are and not initiate a backlash against Muslims, who are totally innocent of the crimes perpetrated. It is unfortunate that any terrorist act initiated by Al-Qa’ida is immediately conflated with Islam and Muslims.
There will be many racist and bigoted people hoping to make political and racial mileage out of these tragic events who will seek to drive a wedge between communities. My hope is that most people are intelligent enough not to jump on any bandwagons and continue the good relations we have enjoyed through the many years of community.
Our prayers and thoughts are with the victims at this time.
Mas’ud Ahmed Khan