Westminster attack: Statement from the British Muslim Forum

Following the tragic events in London, the British Muslim Forum, which is chaired by the Principal of Jamia Al-Karam, Shaykh Muhammad Imdad Hussain Pirzada, issued the following statement.

Westminster attack: We stand united in condemnation and resilience

The British Muslim Forum strongly condemns the terror attack that took place on Wednesday 22 March 2017 at the heart of Westminster in London. Four people lost their lives in this tragedy, including the terrorist, with many more injured. Our hearts go out to the innocent victims of this heinous crime, their families and loved ones and to all who have been affected. We pay tribute to PC Keith Palmer who lost his life in the line of duty as well as the whole Metropolitan Police and the emergency services in handling the incident with bravery and courage.

There is no justification for such an attack whatsoever. It is a cowardly act of indiscriminate violence and terror. An attack at the Palace of Westminster is an attack on all of us. The British Muslim community shares in the grief being felt by the nation and stands in solidarity with the whole of the United Kingdom in condemnation as well as resilience. Such acts cannot divide our nation. This is a great nation; London is a great city; and the ‘Mother of all Parliaments’ stands resiliently firm. We honour the leadership shown by the Prime Minister Theresa May, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, and the Acting Deputy Commissioner and Head of Counter Terrorism Mark Rowley over the past 24 hours as the nation comes to terms with this tragedy.

British Muslims will be standing shoulder to shoulder with Londoners tonight at Trafalgar Square in solidarity with the victims. The British Muslim Forum calls on its member mosques and Imams around the country to mark tomorrow’s Friday Prayer with prayers of peace and solidarity, and the distance of such acts of hate and bloodshed from Islam and the Muslims; with a further message of continuous support and cooperation with the authorities in rooting out the menace of extremism and radicalisation.

BMF spokesperson and senior Imam at the Leeds Makkah Mosque, Imam Dr Qari Asim MBE, said: “London has witnessed horrific and depraved acts of murder. We must be clear that those who take innocent lives are not following the teachings of any religion and have no regard for any religion or humanity. This vile attack is an attack on all of us, regardless of race or religion. We must stand united against such extreme, evil and distorted ideologies and work together to defeat terrorism in all its forms. The aim of terrorist attacks such as these is to divide communities and incite hatred amongst people of different beliefs and backgrounds. We have already seen vile opportunists using the victims of the Westminster terrorist attack to spread anti-Muslim hatred. I urge communities to remain united and even more determined to eradicate all forms of terrorism. I am deeply saddened by the loss of lives at Westminster and express full solidarity with the victims of the terror attack. I convey my sincere condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives.”