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A Year On: Reflections and Concerns of British Muslims

10-09-2002

Press Release of Muslim Council of Britain:

On the first anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the Muslim Council of Britain reaffirms its sympathy for the relatives of the innocent people who were killed on that day. Those who planned and perpetrated those atrocities, regardless of their religious, ideological or political beliefs, stand outside the pale of civilised values.

"Islam commands us to be just and wrong no one. Terrorism is an evil and destructive phenomenon that inflicts pain and suffering on defenceless people. To eradicate terrorism it is imperative that we address the conditions that can give rise it. To combat terrorism effectively we need a united front against terror. Building bridges between nations and peoples must be an integral part of that strategy. Sadly, the world is instead being pushed towards more violence and division. Instead of vengeance we need justice and instead of rhetoric we need reason" said Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain.

One year on it is important to reflect on the outcome of the ongoing war on terror and its effect on communities around the world, especially Muslims. Rather then bringing communities together in a common purpose, the international scene is characterised by more violence and brutality and less freedom and human rights. We have lost sight of the distinction between legitimate freedom movements which enjoy popular backing which aim to overthrow oppression on the one hand and wanton acts of brutality that have no legitimate political aim or support on the other. The lack of a clear distinction has given a free hand to oppressive regimes across the world to brutalise Muslim populations and suppress freedom and self-determination. These actions are only likely to aggravate the people's sense of deprivation and alienation with world order.

British Muslims have come firmly under the spotlight over this past year. We would like to pay tribute to the community which has refused to be provoked in the face of verbal and physical abuse and acted in a dignified manner as a responsible and law-abiding community. And to our fellow non-Muslim citizens, we would like to extend our appreciation for their messages of support and goodwill towards the British Muslim community in the aftermath of the September 11th tragedy.

The Muslim Council of Britain strongly believes that fighting terror with greater and often extreme measures only plays into the hands of the terrorists who have no commitment to peace or justice. Terrorism is our common enemy and its eradication demands a united approach. We must deny terrorists the opportunities to exploit the social, economic and political problems that continue to blight our world. The real and long-term answer to the evil of terrorism is to give people their due stake both in the resources and the affairs of their world.

The Muslim Council of Britain reiterates its own commitment to the way of peace and pro-existence in its quest for the common good of all.

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