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Prominent British Muslims Denounce Anti-Semitic Attacks

Sometimes something hopeful happens.   This press release was sent to us by Lord Mitchell, a friend and member of the House of Lords in the UK …

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:

‘’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. ‘’

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.

For media enquiries call 0207 182 7286 (outside office hours contact 07590 229 917)

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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

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