London Bombing: Hackney Muslims to Set up Task Force with partners
Hackney's Communities United in Condemnation- Hackney Muslims to Set up Task Force with partners in the aftermath of the London Bombing
July 18, 2005:
A packed out hall of around 150 people united to condemn the London terrorist acts and to show solidarity with the people of London yesterday at the North London Muslim Community Centre (NLMCC) in Hackney.
The event organised by the NLMCC was supported by various mosques and community organisations in the borough and had multi faith speakers and audience.
Speakers at the event were Dr Daud Abdullah (Assisitant Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain), Munaf Zeena (Chair of North London Muslim Community Centre and Council of Indian Muslims UK) Meg Hillier MP (Hackney South), Jules Pipe (Elected Mayor Of Hackney) Shaikh Mufti Yasin (Imam and Islamic Scholar), Rev. Marjorie Brown, Rabbi Hershul Gluck and Chief Superintendent Simon Pountain (Hackney Borough Commander.
Munaf Zeena said after the meeting "the turnout we had today was from a very mixed community that represents the diversity of London. We are committed to fight terrorism and not let that get in the way of peaceful community co-existence. We all stand for that and this meeting represents us as a united people of
London." (Transcript of the presentation by Munaf
North London Muslim Community Centre Limited
66-68 Cazenove Road; Stoke Newington, London N16 6AA UK
Tel: 020 8806 1147 Fax: 020 8806 6859 Web: www.nlmcc.org.uk email: email@example.com «
Munaf Zeena is also Chair of the Council of Indian Muslims (UK) which is affiliated to the Muslim
Council of Britain and he serves on it's Europe and International Affairs Committee. He is also Co-Chair of the Muslim-Jewish Forum.
He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Speech delivered by Munaf Zeena,
Chair of North London Muslim Community Centre and Council of Indian Muslims UK at Public Meeting, Sunday 17 July,
2005 at 2.00 pm at
North London Muslim Community Centre, (Hackney)
We have shown our unity and our strength, as one people. We are together as the people of Hackney and in solidarity with the people of London in condemning this terrorist act, an act that cannot be the faith of any religion.
We are together and we send a strong message to the terrorists that seek to divide us into Muslims, Christians and Jews. You have failed to divide us and win your false battle.
Those terrorists in London last week, that acted in the name of faith or not, are not from amongst us. They commit such heinous crimes against the whole of Humanity and how can we be with them? That is un-imaginable.
Where we seek to serve our diverse communities; where we seek to protect our communities; so that we can co-exist in safety and in peace, they seek to destroy us all for all that we stand for. And they will test our patience, our tolerance and our resolve. But we must not falter. We must all be committed to fight this evil together.
We must all introspect. As Christians, as Muslims, as Jews, as servants of the Public, we must ask ourselves if we have done enough? And if we are thoughtful, we will find much that we can do better. Just look deep within ourselves and ask the question, if I had put that little bit of extra effort in our young people could we have saved the life of someone's loved one, someone's father, mother, husband, wife, child, brother or sister.
Muslims are in the spotlight, as we have been for some time. But 1.6 million British Muslims cannot be guilty of crimes perpetrated by four people who were acting for themselves or in the pursuit of an in-compatible ideology. The message is clear. That whatever their motives, it was not a religious one. Their methods are totally contradictory to Islamic teachings. 22 Islamic Scholars of different sects that met for a press conference at Regents Park Mosque have confirmed this.
All Muslims have wholeheartedly condemned these crimes against Humanity. But few have tried to link the Issue of Iraq to the London Bombing; I say to them that, that there is no justification in trying to create a link to Foreign Policy and the act of the four London bombers is in-defensible. Two wrongs don't make a right, in any case.
And when the religious guidance is clear that to utilise such means that were adopted by the London Bombers is against the teachings of Islam then an attempt to justify the action by a Muslim is, in my view, an expression of defiance of the teachings of Islam by the person who is seeking to make a justification. Those people must think about this issue very carefully.
I share many things with the bombers. I too was born and bred in this country. I too was born in Yorkshire. I too am educated as much as they were. I too received religious education, I too have a family, I too have worked with children. I too have visited Pakistan. I too have worked to raise the plight of Muslims. But I am not a terrorist. In fact, I am the complete opposite for I seek peaceful means to problems. What has made them go the other way? We need to analyse and have an inquiring mind so that we can prevent the evil terrorist from spreading their poison.
We must help overcome evil before evil overcomes vulnerable young people. The threat is serious. And all of us need to take more responsibility. We should face the challenges head on. If we fail to do it, we have everything to lose and by then it may be too late.
I hope that I have been able to put the case to you. But condemnation and sympathy are only the first steps. We the Muslim community have to accept that whilst those bombers were not acting in our name they did come from the Muslim community. And we have to work to ensure that we minimise the risk of that happening again with our young people. We must find ways of minimising that risk. We, the Muslim community, must work in partnership with governmental agencies, to find the answers and also to remove some of the negative image that has resulted from a knee jerk reaction. We have nothing to hide. Our doors, our hearts and our minds are open and I ask for your support so that Hackney Muslims and it's partners can lead the Nations Muslims and the nations people by showing an excellent example of communities working together. The Hackney Muslim community has a solid foundation with the many and varied Muslim organisations in the Borough. What the people of Hackney have achieved has yet to be copied by others. We have experience, we have the knowledge and we should lead, by example.
I hope to have some discussion with our key partners in setting up a task force immediately so that we can look at issues together and report back to all of you. The Nation expects and we must deliver.
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