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Oxford Muslims condemn suicide bombings



Suicide bombers who kill innocent people in the name of Islam are brainwashed individuals who are misusing the Koran, the Islamic holy book, say Oxford Muslims.

That was the message from the organisers of an open day at Manzil Way mosque, off Cowley Road, on Saturday to explain their faith.

Dr Raghib Ali, one of the organisers, talked to visitors about "Muslimic terrorism" and said: "What these people have been doing has nothing to do with the teachings of Islam and goes completely against what we are doing.

"The Koran says to take an innocent life is one of the greatest sins. These people who go around claiming to kill people in the name of Islam can never be justified. They take a verse of the Koran out of context and apply it to blowing up people on the Underground. They have been brainwashed."

About 40 people took a tour of the new mosque, which is still being built, and learned about how Muslims worship and practice their religion.

Altaf Hussain, chairman of the management committee at the mosque, said the open day was an opportunity to reach out to the wider community.

He said: "We want people to get involved and find out what we are about. If somehow we managed to put up unseen barriers, we can break them down."

The event was well received by visitors of mixed faiths, who said they wanted to learn more about the religion.

Jim Baynard-Smith, of north Oxford, who is a Christian, said: "It is very important to have interfaith trust and we need to be respecting each others' faith.

"There's a lot of misunderstanding and stereotypes and that's what we have to get away from."

Anglican Francis Fryer came to Oxford from Banbury especially for the open day. She said: "We should know about what it involves and I was curious to find out more."

Dr Ali is one of six young Muslims who formed a "da'wah" group in June to explain the true teachings and principles of Islam to the people of Oxford.

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