Birmingham Muslims Unite Against Terrorism
by HOPE not hate | Friday, 24 March 2017
- Over 250 Birmingham Imams, mosques and organisations pledge to combat terrorism by delivering a Friday #notinourname sermon to their congregations
- Leading Muslim organisations call on Muslims to unite and march against terrorism in Birmingham on Saturday 1pm Victoria Square
- Muslims highlight teachings of the Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad, which condemn violence and order Muslims to safeguard life
Following the horrific terrorist incident in Westminster this week, which resulted in five deaths and injuries to dozens of people, Birmingham’s Muslims have joined forces to condemn the act and unite against terrorism.
Over 250 imams, mosques and Muslim organisations across Birmingham, the UK’s second largest city, have pledged to intensify efforts to combat terrorism, starting today, delivering sermons to tens of thousands of Muslims in the city- condemning Wednesday’s attack in Westminster and calling on them to a rally on Saturday 25 March 2017 at 1pm in Victoria Square, Birmingham.
The campaign is organised by Salma Yaqoob, a former councillor in Birmingham, and Dr Waqar Azmi OBE. Using the Twitter hashtag #notinourname, we will see religious leaders address their congregations highlighting how the Qur’an condemns all forms of terrorism and the responsibility on Muslims to ensure they do all they can to safeguard the lives of all in their communities.
Having been claimed by ISIS, the Westminster attack was quickly followed by several arrests in a number of locations, including Birmingham, with reports also claiming that Khalid Masood, the attacker, had himself spent time in the West Midlands.
The link to the UK’s second largest city has led to loud opposition from Birmingham’s Muslims that the Westminster terrorist act is antithetical to Islam and opposes all teachings of the religion.
In an open letter counter signatories said:
“We in the Muslim community were shocked and saddened by the hatred we saw in the attack at the heart of our democracy. As a community we stand united in condemnation of those who sought to bring fear and division to the UK through this terrorist act. Now more than ever, it is crucial for community and faith leaders from across this diverse city to stand united against hatred and division.”
With Friday being a religious day for Muslims and consisting of the Jummah Salah (midday prayer), a particularly significant prayer which brings tens of thousands of Muslims in Birmingham to their local mosques to hear the Khutbah (sermon), mosques across the city will call on their congregations to protest against terrorists who hijack religion to serve their own political and/ or selfish ends.
Commenting on the campaign, Salma Yaqoob, who is rallying Muslims in Birmingham to speak up against the terrorist act, said: “We are horrified by the terrorist act which has led to the tragic loss of innocent lives and injured many others who were going about their daily lives. This act was not in our name. As Muslims, we strongly condemn all forms of terrorism and call on people of all faiths and backgrounds to unite against this evil that threatens our collective peace. No matter how hard they try to divide us, they will fail”.
The Friday Khutba (Sermon) that is being read in Mosques today:
We in the Muslim community are shocked and saddened by the attack in Westminster. As a community, we stand united in condemnation of those who want to bring fear and division to the UK through such terrorist act.
We know that our religion is a beautiful religion. We know that our religion is a religion of peace. Our religion does not allow terrorism. It does not allow the killing of innocent of people.
The Holy Quran says:
"Whoever kills a person unjustly is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life it is as though he has saved all mankind"
That is why when terrorism is carried out in the name of our religion we must stand up. And we must say that it is 'Not In Our Name'.
Our voice must be loud and clear. And we must demonstrate this by coming out. By being vocal.
If we don't then we allow the terrorists to speak on our behalf. We allow the terrorist to define our holy faith. We allow the terrorist to divide our communities.
That is why we have organised a Muslim Rally tomorrow Saturday 25th March at 1pm in Victoria Square Birmingham.
A Muslim Rally to say "Not In Our Name".
For all Muslims to say terrorists do not represent us.
For all Muslims to say terrorists do not define us.
For all Muslims and our children to say that we are represented and defined by the beautiful teachings of our Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H). For all Muslims and our children to say we are represented by our peaceful religion.
That is why we are appealing to all Muslims to please bring your family, friends and children to come tomorrow at the Rally to say terrorism is "Not In Our Name".
Please come tomorrow to the "Not In Our Name" Rally at 1pm in Victoria Square (in front of Birmingham Town Hall).
OPEN LETTER FROM MUSLIM COMMUNITY LEADERS
In light of the attack in Westminster, which was inspired by hatred and a desire to divide, Muslim’s across Birmingham will be joining together to call for unity and peace, to say “Not in Our Name” and to show that Islam is a religion of peace which does not permit terrorism.
Like many others all over the world, we in the Muslim community were shocked and saddened by the hatred we saw in the attack at the heart of our democracy. As a community we stand united in condemnation of those who sought to bring fear and division to the UK through this terrorist act. Now more than ever, it is crucial for community and faith leaders from across this diverse city to stand united against hatred and division.
We ask you to join with us at the "Not in Our Name: Muslims Unite against Terrorism" rally on Saturday 25th March at 1pm in Victoria Square Birmingham, B1 1BD to come together in solidarity to remember those who have lost their lives, to bring our city together in condemnation and to call for unity and peace.
In the words of Brendan Cox, whose wife was murdered by a terrorist, "We have to remember that the person who did this is no more representative of British Muslims than the person who killed Jo is representative of people that are from Yorkshire."
Stand with us to ensure that the best British values, of strength in diversity, are highlighted and celebrated, and show that together, Birmingham and the Muslim community can defy hatred and division.
With peace and blessings,
List of signatories
Central Jamia Mosque Ghamkol Sharif & Confederation of Sunni Mosques (representing over 150 mosques)
Hazrat Sultan Bahu Trust (representing 22 mosques)
Birmingham Central Mosque
Raza Mosque Aston
Birmingham Muslim Burial Council
Faizan-e-Rasool Education Centre
Masjid Al Falaah
Netherton Islamic Trust
Jamatia Islamic Centre
Euro Arab Foundation
Social Unity Foundation
Tunisia Community Centre
Salma Yaqoob (former Birmingham City Councillor)
Cllr M Afzal
Cllr Zaker Choudhry
Imam Ijaz Ahmad Shaami
Dr Waqar Azmi OBE
Imam Makhdoom Chishti
Imam Rasool Baksh Saeedi
Imam Muhammad Shafiq
Imam Ghafoor Ahmad Chishti
Tanveer Hussain Shah
Atiq Ahmed Mir
Mohamed Salah Nuur
Cllr Majid Mahmood (representing 22 Muslim Labour councillors)
Cllr Zaker Ullah Choudhry (Liberal Democrats