Muslim clerics will say no prayers for London terrorists

Muslim clerics will say no prayers for London terrorists

A group of 130 imams and religious leaders have refused to perform the traditional Islamic funeral prayer for the London Bridge attackers, identified here as – from left –  Youssef Zaghba, Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane.

The leaders said they would not carry out the ritual that is normally performed for every Muslim, regardless of their actions.

In a statement on social media, the group said:

Consequently, and in light of other such ethical principles which are quintessential to Islam, we will not perform the traditional Islamic funeral prayer over the perpetrators and we also urge fellow imams and religious authorities to withdraw such a privilege.

The statement added:

This is because such indefensible actions are completely at odds with the lofty teachings of Islam.

Religious leaders of all backgrounds have condemned the attack which killed seven and injured 47 on Saturday evening when three men rammed a rental van into pedestrians then randomly stabbed revellers in bars and restaurants near Borough Market.

A panel of speakers at the East London Mosque said they would work to combat extremists’ “twisted narrative and their perversion” of religion.

Said the chairman of East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre, Muhammad Habibur-Rahman:

Once again we come together, to stand united against those who try to divide us. The cold-blooded murder of innocent people in London on Saturday evening will not succeed in driving us apart.

I have a clear message to those who perpetrate terrorism: you are against the very core teaching of Islam and of our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

Your misguidance will lead you to destruction, and God willing you will utterly fail in your evil aims. We stand apart from you and your corruption of the religion of Islam. Terrorism has no faith.

But on his LBC radio show, Maajid Nawaz, above, founding chairman of Quilliam, a counter-extremism think tank that seeks to challenge the narratives of Islamist extremists,  insisted that terrorism and religion are undeniably linked.

Responding to a caller called Muhammad, who phoned in to say “Islam has nothing to do with violence. How can somebody say that Islam has anything to do with violence?”, Nawaz replied:

Well it has something to do with it, doesn’t it Muhammad? Not everything, not everything, but something. When the prophet Mohammed said: ‘I have been ordered to fight the people until they declare there is no god but God and Muhammad is his messenger’, that’s clearly got something to do with violence doesn’t it?.

Muhammad said he would need to know the context of the sentence before he could fully agree.

Maajid explained why the link between violence and Islam must be first acknowledged and then understood.

When listeners hear Muslims like yourself say it’s got nothing to do with it, they think that you’re trying to shirk responsibility and sidestep the very important task that faces all of us to challenge extremism within our mosques and our communities.

Of course, that may not be what you intended, but it sounds like that to listeners who are not Muslims, it sounds like you’re making excuses so as to not go about doing the work that all of us have to do, which is to challenge extremism.

Yesterday, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby said that throughout history religious scriptures have “been twisted and misused” by people to justify acts of violence – and that politicians should not just say:

This is nothing to do with Islam. I don’t think it is getting us anywhere, just like saying Srebrenica had nothing to do with Christianity.

16 responses to “Muslim clerics will say no prayers for London terrorists”

  1. CoastalMaineBird says:

    Well, they’ve recognized that there is a problem. Isn’t that the first step to recovery?

    Ptui !

  2. nogbad666 says:

    Tentatively hoping that this might be sign of corners being turned. Denying them the entry to paradise that they crave, through denial of funeral rites, is a good step. Also good to see signs of a recognition of the problem. Not there yet by a long chalk, but we should acknowledge good will and progress, however small. Also interesting to see Welby acknowledge a link between Christianity and the Srebrenica massacre.

  3. barriejohn says:

    There was some encouraging news from Pakistan the other day, which MIGHT discourage some from joining the jihadis. I suppose “every little helps”in this sort of situation!

  4. Bart says:

    This is because such indefensible actions are completely at odds with the lofty teachings of Islam.

    Lofty? Lofty? Whats lofty about any religion. Religions beggar, impoverish, stupefy, divide and destroy. All of them. But islam is the very worst.

    Islam is a pox on humanity. It is the very worst strain, a deadly strain, of the abrahamic religions. It has every thing to do with sectarian violence … the violence that leads wasters to indiscriminatly murder innocent people.

    There will be no end to the violence and wars until all religions are consigned to history as an aberation of humanity.

  5. Michael Glass says:

    It’s all very well to say that religion has nothing to do with X or Y or Z, but what if the religious texts support X and Y and can easily be interpreted to support Z?

    You can deny that the slaughter of witches was caused by this or that, but you cannot in all honesty say that Exodus 22:18 (Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live,) had nothing to do with the slaughter of witches.

    Nor can you deny that the many verses in the Old Testament (and several in the New Testament) support slavery.

    It’s the same with Islam. The connection between Islamist violence and the koranic verses that are used to justify these violent acts has clearly something to do with the violence in the text of the Koran.

  6. Trevor Blake says:

    Apparently the lofty teachings of Islam do not include the Quran, or over one thousand years of Islamic tradition and history. Fair enough.

    And as an aside, ‘shirk’ has a meaning in Islam…

  7. L.Long says:

    They wont pray!?!?! BFD!!!! Impress me by rewriting your book o’BS to remove the hate-bigotry-lies-violence, then I may not condemn isLame at every opportunity!!!

  8. Bart says:

    The bodies should be dumped at sea unceremoniously. This should become law in the uk for all terrorists who die in the act. Then their graves cannot become sites of pilgrimage and they will not be fastracked to an afterlife of debauched hedonism either.

  9. lonborghini says:

    So 130 religious leaders refuse to offer ineffectual prayers on be behalf of three dead guys, to a nonexistent deity. Prayers, whether offered or withheld, go nowhere and accomplish nothing. They may as well offer a vulgar hand gesture, or not. It only demonstrates that they don’t really give a shit.

  10. John the Drunkard says:

    Well, its rather little and rather late. But at least they’re pulling back publicly. They still can’t unwrite the suras and hadith that the killers acted upon.

    Its nice that most Christians disapprove of slavery. But they should not be allowed to pretend that the Bible doesn’t say anything against it, and much for and about it.

    Improvements in religion can’t be expected to hold unless the monstrosities they’re shedding are acknowledge and, somehow, rejected from inside the religion.

    The ‘book’ religions seem incapable of doing that.

  11. 1859 says:

    I don’t think it is an exaggeration to claim that the greatest blood spilt over the last two thousand plus years was either directly or indirectly linked to differences in religious belief. Yes, there have been secular, political wars, but on the scale of cruelty and slaughter, religion must wear the bloodiest of all crowns.

  12. Brian Foster says:

    All religions suffer from the fact that they are predominantly “ancient” .. tribal, feudal, and exhibit MALE DOMINANCE. . .
    The books were man made and need updating , all the violent scrappy shit needs removing
    Better still, forget them completely and GET REAL.

  13. barriejohn says:

    We need more people like Maajid Naaaz, and more initiatives like the following. Ex-terrorists have been interviewed on TV in recent days, and I am an ex-fundamentalist myself, so we know that minds can be changed. We need not be fatalistic about the future, and shutting down the internet or denying people human rights is not the way forward, though it plays well with Daily Mail readers.

  14. 1859 says:

    @barriejohn: Agreed – it’s the ‘we’ve got to get tough
    attitude’ that does not see the long term consequences of such methods. Mrs May may want to tear up human rights laws to protect people but does that not play right into the arms of what the terrorists want? Some very careful thought needs to go into this before we react blindly to events.

  15. Interesting how the Muslim clerics seem to feel that prayers for the dead terrorists imply absolving what they did. We must remember that Catholicism always does Requiem Mass for its religious child molesting clergy and for terrorists such as IRA members. The outrage is that the enablers of the evil will attend the Mass and get communion thus they will feel holy and one with the Church. They receive a placebo for the evil they help to happen. Jesus said that truly holy people do not do things to show how holy they are. Communion implies that you accept you are free from serious sin and the Church should too – even if you are riddled with evil.