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Press release: Prominent British Muslims denounce anti-Semitic attacks
15 January 2008
More than 20 prominent British Muslims have signed a joint letter denouncing recent anti-Semitic attacks in Britain and calling on Muslims to help prevent attacks on Jews on the UK. The letter is being circulated widely and sent to all British mosques.
The letter comes as Jewish organisations in the UK and throughout Europe report a significant rise in anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish individuals, Jewish-owned property and synagogues in recent weeks.
The letter’s signatories include internationally renowned imams, writers, academics and community activists. The signatories also include members of all major Islamic groupings including Sunnis, Shias, Deobandis, Barelwis, Salafis and Sufis.
The letter said:
â€˜’The ongoing killing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza by Israeli forces has angered us all. However, this does not, and cannot, justify attacks on our fellow citizens of Jewish faith and background here in Britain. â€˜’
Usman Raja, a former supporter of jihadist groups and now a martial arts trainer and a youth-worker tackling Islamist extremism, said:
“On the streets the outrage among the Muslim youth is reaching fever-pitch. Attacks on perceived Jewish targets are on the increase and we can’t let this continue.
“For centuries, the relationship between Muslim and Jews has been a relationship of family. It is unfortunate that only in the last few decades we have seen political circumstances combine to tear this family relationship apart.
“We urgently need to re-humanise our relationships with the Jewish people. We can’t allow conflicts in the Middle East to create barriers between us and our fellow citizens.”
Copies of the letter are being sent to around 1,200 mosques and Islamic centres around the UK.
All the signatories have signed in the letter in their personal capacities. The letter will be released on Friday 16 January 2009.
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TEXT OF THE LETTER:
In the Name of God, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful
16th January, 2009
Dear Fellow Muslims,
We are deeply saddened to hear about anti-Semitic assaults on British Jews, and a recent arson attack on a London synagogue. Although the perpetrators are yet unknown, we unreservedly condemn attacks on innocent British citizens and the desecration of all places of worship.
The ongoing killing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza by Israeli forces has angered us all. However, this does not, and cannot, justify attacks on our fellow citizens of Jewish faith and background here in Britain.
Most Muslims are completely against such behaviour. However, we call on all Muslims to continue to remain vigilant against attempts to bring our own faith and community into disrepute. British Jews should not be held responsible for the actions of the Israeli government.
Yours in Islam and peace,
Shaikh Abdal-Hakim Murad, Cambridge
Shaikh Mawlana Shahid Raza, Leicester/London
Shaikh Sayyid-Mohammed Musawi, London
Shaikh Ali Qadiri, Barking
Shaikh Mufti Barkatulla, London
Shaikh Dr Musharraf Hussain MBE, Nottingham
Shaikh Dr Usama Hasan, London
Shaikh Bilal Abdullah, London
Shaikh Aftab Ahmad Malik, Bristol
Shaikh Irfan Chishti MBE, Rochdale
Dr Tahir Abbas, Birmingham
Navid Akhtar, London
Parvin Ali OBE, Leicester
Kamran Fazil, Birmingham
Rokhsana Fiaz, London
Ed Husain, London
Azeem Ibrahim, Glasgow
Maajid Nawaz, London
Dr Zahoor Qureshi, London
Usman Raja, Berkshire
Yasmin Sheikh MBE, London
Zeshan Zafar, London