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Muslims Around the World Condemn Paris Terror Attacks

38Dr. Mozammel Haque

Before the Daesh or the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), as it is known, had even claimed responsibility for the shootings and explosions that killed more than 120 in Paris on Friday night, Muslims around the world took to social media to condemn the perpetrators and defend Islam as a faith of nonviolence, as it is reported by TIME magazine on 14 November 2015. Not much is known about the terrorists at this point, except for the fact that the ones directly involved are all dead. But early reports that the terrorists were speaking about France’s presence in Syria, that one yelled “Allahu Akbar” before opening fire in a crowded concert hall led many to conclude the attackers were Muslim. The attacks have started a new round of condemnation of Islam itself from long-time right-wing critics, Heather Timmons mentioned in Quartz, on 14 November 2015.
Muslims all over the world, from political leaders to ordinary common people, from religious leaders to Muslim organisations, from scholars to social media, openly and publicly came out to speak against the horrific terror attacks in Paris.
Muslims took to social media, Twitter and Facebook, to show support for Parisians affected in the attacks and to demonstrate that they want no part in the extremism and violence that terrorists commit in the name of Islam. Many referred to the hashtag£TerrorismHasNoReligion, £NotInMyName and £IAmAMuslim.
Reaction from Muslims Worldwide
Political Leaders
Leaders of several Muslim-majority countries spoke out. Indonesian President Joko Widodo, leader of the world’s most populous Muslim nation,condemned the “violence that took place in Paris,” and called for more international cooperation to fight terrorism. In an official statement, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the attacks a “crime against humanity,” reported in QUARTZ, mentioned earlier.
King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia sent a message of condolence to French President Hollande, saying, “We learned about the pain and the sadness of the terrorist attacks in Paris. … We express our condemnation for this repugnant terrorist act and offer our condolences to your Excellency, the French people and the families of the victims,” reported in Al-Arabiya.
Leaders of Arab countries called the attacks immoral and inhumane. Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister declared they were “in violation and contravention of all ethics, morals and religions.” The Saudi Foreign Ministry called for global cooperation to “root out this dangerous and destructive plague.”
Qatar’s Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah denounced the “heinous attacks” adding “these acts, which target stability and security in France are against all human and moral values”. Kuwaiti leader Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Sabah called the attacks “criminal acts of terrorism which run counter to all teachings of holy faith and humanitarian values” while the Saudi Foreign Ministry called for global cooperation to “root out this dangerous and destructive plague”. Reported in International Business Times.
Religious leaders
Muslim religious leaders and Imams of Mosques also condemned the horrific terror attacks in Paris. Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body spoke out,saying “terrorists are not sanctioned by Islam and these acts are contrary to values of mercy it brought to the world.” Reported in QUARTZ .
The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University, the thousand-year-old, highly influential centre for Sunni Muslim scholarship, called the attacks “odious” and called on the world to “unite to face this monster,” according to French magazine Jeunea Frique. There is nothing Islamic about such people and their actions are evil, and outside the boundaries set by our faith. (Jack Jenkins Tweet 501 on November 14, 2015)
“Humanity has witnessed tonight the horror, violence that we witness in this geography almost each day. I would like to express that such attacks have not been carried against a single country, region or continent, but the whole humanity, which accepts peace as a value and dignifies humanitarian values on Earth”, said Mehmet Görmez, head of Turkey’s Presidency of Religious Affairs – the highest ranking Islamic cleric in the country.
In the United Kingdom, the Imams of the following Mosques issued the following Press Release from the Islamic Cultural Centre and London Central Mosque on Saturday, 14 November 2015 under the caption Paris Attack – An attack against the whole of humanity
“Today all of us woke up to the horrific news of the barbaric attacks which have taken place in Paris.
“We are deeply saddened by this news and sincerely send our condolences to the families of the deceased. We pray to God to safeguard us all from such shocking terrorist attacks committed by these criminals wherever and whoever they might be.
“The perpetrators of this heinous act go against the fundamental teachings of Islam, which encourages the safe guarding of all human life.
“Allah says in the Quran: “Whoever saves a life it is as if he has saved the life of the whole humanity.” (Qur’an 5:32) This also means, whoever kills a life it is as if he has killed the whole of humanity.
“We, the Islamic Centres in the United Kingdom (signed below) strongly condemn the killing of innocent lives and strongly oppose the usage of Islam as the reason behind such un-Islamic acts.
“We are British and we will protect our society from the malicious misuse of Islam to hurt any citizens from our communities.
“In this time of difficulty, we urge people to stay calm and not play into the hands of terrorists who seek to divide our society.
“It is important to remember that these attackers show no bias between Muslim and Non-Muslims alike in their crimes and that we all stand together in solidarity against terrorism.
• The Islamic Cultural Centre & London Central Mosque Trust
• East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre
• Al Manaar – Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre
• Muslim Welfare House
• Mayfair Mosque
• Finsbury Park Mosque
• Al Muntada Al Islamic
• West London Islamic Cultural Centre “
Muslim Scholars
Professor Dr.  Tariq Ramadan
Tariq Ramadan, an academic renowned for his Islamic studies, a Professor of Islamic Studies at Oxford University in England and President of the European Muslim Network think tank said in a statement: “Absolute and immediate condemnation. They shouted, we are told, ‘Allahu akbar” (God [is] the greatest) to support and justify their inhuman actions. “With this they told a lie and a truth. Their lie is related to Islam and its message as not even one of its teachings, ever, can justify their actions. These acts are the result of minds inhabited by the worst, or minds without minds, manipulated or manipulators.” reported in USA TODAY.
Professor Tariq Ramadan said in a statement, Paris, the attacks.
While facing this horror, this blind violence, the killings and massacres in the streets of the French capital, our first thought goes to the victims, the injured, their families and friends. To them and to everyone, our condolences and the testimony of our sympathy.
“Absolute and immediate condemnation.
Professor Tariq Ramadan said, “They shouted, we are told, “Allahu akbar” (God [is] the greatest) to support and justify their inhuman actions. With this they told a lie and a truth. Their lie is related to Islam and its message as not even one of its teachings, ever, can justify their actions. These acts are the result of the minds inhabited by the worst, or minds without minds, manipulated or manipulators. The truth is that God, yes, in His grace, His love and His compassion is greater than their killing madness and that Islam will never end up being equated or amalgamated with their extremist violence.”
“The right reaction in France would be to join forces, to set a united front. A true united front with the government and all the institutions eventually understanding that the French Muslim citizens are trully part of it : they are not those alien “objects of analysis.” Finally the problem of the fractured national unity is deep and it is upstream of the attacks that, together, we need more work and education. To build together the future and not to react to tragedies. A united front also means the refusal, in the short and long term, of the political instrumentalization of these heinous attacks. This would be a victory, but alas, we already hear the whispers of predatory voices proving that, on this front, the defeat is consumed,” Professor Ramadan said.
b) Yahya Adel Ibrahim
Yahya Adel Ibrahim, an Islamic teacher and imam in Perth, Australia, said in a Facebook post: “This criminal barbarity is Godlessness. Terrorism has no faith & cannot be condoned by any means, rationale or ideology. We must commit to each other to defeat it. Godless cowards attack unarmed, randomly selected, innocent people. Terrorists are Sinful, immoral, barbaric criminals. My thoughts & prayers are with the innocent victims, their families and communities.” (USA TODAY)
Muslim Organisations
a) In the United Kingdom – MCB
Muslims have come out in united condemnation to stand apart from this evil. Many Muslim organisations such as the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in the United States have condemned the bloodshed in the strongest possible terms, describing the actions of the perpetrators as “outside the bounds of our faith.”
Muslim Council of Britain
Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) in the United Kingdom, an umbrella body that represents more than 500 organizations including mosques, schools and charities, described the killings as “horrific and abhorrent.” “My thoughts and prayers for the families of those killed and injured and for the people of France, our neighbours,” he said in a statement.
Muslim Council of Britain has issued the following press release under the caption Horrific Attacks in Paris: Muslim Council of Britain Responds:
Muslim Council of Britain’s Secretary General Dr Shuja Shafi issued the following statement:
“The attacks once again in Paris are horrific and abhorrent, and we condemn this violence in the strongest possible terms. My thoughts and prayers for the families of those killed and injured and for the people of France, our neighbours.
“This attack is being claimed by the group calling themselves ‘Islamic State’. There is nothing Islamic about such people and their actions are evil, and outside the boundaries set by our faith.”
“This week we have once again witnessed outrageous attacks be that in Beirut earlier in the week or Paris today – there is no justification for such carnage whatsoever.  We hope those responsible are brought to justice and face the full force of the law.”
b) In the United States – CAIR
In the United States, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim social justice group, quickly issued a press release rejecting.
“These savage and despicable attacks on civilians, whether they occur in Paris, Beirut or any other city, are outrageous and without justification,” CAIR’s statement read. “We condemn these horrific crimes in the strongest terms possible. Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of those killed and injured and with all of France. The perpetrators of these heinous attacks must be apprehended and brought to justice.”
CAIR is also part of a broad coalition of Muslim groups scheduled to hold a press conference noon Saturday to collectively condemn the attacks. The group is said to include representatives from CAIR, American Muslims for Palestine, Islamic Circle of North America, Muslim Alliance in North America, Muslim American Society, Muslim Legal Fund of America, Muslim Ummah of North America, and the Mosque Cares, reported USA Today, 14 November 2015.
c) Ireland
In Ireland, the Imam of the Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre and Chair of the Irish Muslim Peace & Integration Council, offered prayers for the victims and dismissed terrorist’s claims to Islam. “My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Paris and every other place on earth plagued by sick men with weapons and bombs,” Imam Umar Al-Qadri said. “Terrorists have no religion whatsoever. Their religion is intolerance, hatred for Peace.”
A Silent Vigil
Beyond words Muslim communities showed their solidarity through action. “It is remarkable to see the scale and speed of reaction from Muslim communities across the country. By this morning, Saturday, 14 November, 2015 – less than one day after the attack – a silent vigil had been organised by the Christian-Muslim Forum with support from the MCB and numerous other groups across the country. At 6:30pm, tea lights and blue, white and red flowers will adorn Trafalgar Square for the vigil,” reported by Miqdaad Versi in The daily, Independent, 14 November, 2015.
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Prepared on 18 November 2015