Council of Britain urges Muslim communities to seek unity with fellow Britons
mosques and communities to be vigilant and avoid confrontation and report
Council of Britain will be encouraging community conversation on extremism
Muslim Council of Britain today urges Imams and mosques to exercise the unique
leadership skills at their disposal to call for calm and positive action at
Friday prayers later today.
Muslims up and down the country have stood up and condemned the murder of
Drummer Lee Rigby. Whatever the reasons, speaking out against the killing of a
fellow human being was the right thing to do.
that attack last Wednesday, there have been dozens of reports of mosques and
Islamic centres being attacked and vandalized. Individuals have reported abuse,
which is also reflected on social media.
weekend, there is a real risk of tensions rising with the far right extremists
threatening to testify to their message of hatred and division.
Reach out to
take heed at the many good practice stories coming in from local Muslim
communities up and down the country.
most famous of these come from the York Mosque, an MCB affiliate which has
reached national prominence as it diffused a tense
situation with dignity and wisdom (hikmah). When far-right protestors took to
the streets outside the mosque, the York mosque leadership and members went out
to the protestors and invited them in for tea and a game of football.
is an example which we are sure others are emulating and we hope more mosques
will take their cue. As much as we have
had hate and ill-will directed towards us, we have also had many of our fellow
Britons reach out to us to affirm that Lee Rigby’s murder was not done in our
name. This is the time now to unite as Britons.
Be vigilant and report
is paramount, first and foremost, to report any attacks to the police. We urge
those affected to call 999 and report the incident immediately. Likewise, we
urge police authorities to record these incidents with due care and subsequent
police is the first port-of-call. But those affected may also wish to report to
the many third-party reporting bodies who can relay the incident on their
behalf. We list the organisations who do this below.
also take the necessary steps to protect your institutions. Our guidelines can be found here.
Let’s talk about extremism
though British Muslims have once again affirmed that Lee Rigby’s murder was not
done in their name, condemning it in the strongest possible terms, we still
need to determine why such acts occur.
Prime Minister has established a taskforce to examine the issue, and is
suggesting that this may be about Islamic practice, and the control of mosques
and Imams. Others speak of foreign policy, the alienation of young people and
the lack of engagement they have to society.
do not possess all the answers, but we recognise that these arguments have been
argued over one too many times – within the community and in wider society. The Muslim Council of Britain’s
initial response to the Prime Minister’s proposals can be found here.
we call on now is for a proper intra-community conversation to explore this
issue. That conversation may well result in a greater appeal to government to
recognize and deal with the issue of foreign policy – as many are indicating to
us already. But we also hope it will lead to practical, community-led
initiative that will allow us to deal with this problem and then move on to the
other issues that affects our lives and Britain today.
organisations to approach to report Islamophobic hate crimes
Islamic Human Rights Commission
The Muslim News
of the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby
Press Conference on the issue
to Mosques and Institutions
Response to Prime Minister’s Task Force