European Muslim organisations react to terrorist attacks in Manchester

Condemnations coming from Muslim individuals and groups in the UK and in Europe have multiplied after the attacks in Manchester. Like their national counterparts, European Muslim organisations have expressed their firm condemnation of terrorism. 

On May 23, reacting to the terrorist attack in Manchester, the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe, based in Brussels, released a press statement. The Federation insists on the need for concerted efforts in the face of terrorist attacks which target the entire society :

Similarly, the European Muslim Union, based in Strasbourg, has also expressed its dismay and called for European Muslim communities to contribute to the prevention of radicalism in their midst :

“With dismay and shock, the European Muslim Union received the horrible news of another attack on the public in an European country. This latest attack, on a concert venue in the English city of Manchester, took the lives of more than 20 people and injured several others. EMU expresses their deepest condolences to the family of the killed persons and hopes for a speedy recovery of the injured.

Notwithstanding the identity of the perpetrators and their possible ideological and organisational background, this and earlier acts of nihilistic violence in European cities are the hallmarks of the latest and yet worst bread of terrorism which is even devoid of any kind of discernible goal or content. As such its only aim seems to be the stirring up of hate and resentment in the European societies and their respective components.

EMU states unequivocally: the European Muslims reject in their overwhelming majority any kind of criminal acts and their underlying ideologies. Furthermore, the protection and wellbeing of a peaceful public sphere and equal access for everyone to it is in their best interest. Therefore, EMU calls the European Muslims and their communities to remain vigilant against extremist groups, their actions and to maintain their absolute refusal to give them any support – even if only by not taking their danger seriously.

EMU calls on the Muslim communities in Europes and their most capable leadership to invest more energy, knowledge and resources in the prevention of any kind of radicalism in their midst. (…)”. (May,23)

These condemnations, made through press statements or via social networks, are expressed with the strongest terms and leave no doubt on the strong rejection of the terrorist attacks.

 

Sources :

http://www.emunion.eu/jupgrade/

Union of French Mosques condemns Manchester attack

The Union of French mosques released the following statement regarding the recent Manchester attacks:

“The Union of French Mosques (UMF) condemns with the greatest vigor the terror attack carried out in Manchester, Monday May 22, leaving 22 victims, including children and a little 8 year old girl, as well as teenagers. Many of those hurt are in critical condition and for some, the injuries are life-threatening.

The UMF extends its sincerest condolences to the victims’ families and hopes for a prompt recovery for those hurt, and wishes to express its support for and solidarity with the British people.

Only a few days before Ramadan, a symbol of peace, sharing, solidarity and compassion, the terrorist group Daesh carried out this craven and despicable act against all of humanity, which is a new affront to Muslims around the world and their faith.”
Paris, May 23, 2017

CFCM condemns Manchester attack

The French Council of the Muslim Faith released the following statement regarding the attack in Manchester:

“Two months after the attack on Parliament and Westminster Palace in London, the United Kingdom was once again hit on May 22 by a despicable terrorist attack in Manchester.

The French Council of the Muslim Faith condemns with the greatest vigor this craven and barbaric act that has caused over 22 deaths and left more than 60 wounded, of which there were many young people.

The CFCM extends its sincere condolences to the victims’ families and hopes that those who were wounded will make a swift recovery, as several were severely injured.

Following these tragic events that have touched the United Kingdom, the CFCM wishes to express its compassion and solidarity with the British people during these difficult times.”

Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

The CFCM Board.

 

 

UK Communities Secretary says Muslims need to do more to stop radicalisation

In response to the recent terror attacks in London and Manchester, UK Conservative Party politician, Sajid Javid argued that Muslims have an added responsibility to limit extremism than that of other British residents. Javid is a Muslim himself and services as the Communities Secretary.

He argues against the “well-meaning” idea that the attacks have nothing to do with Islam, saying that the Muslim community needs to do more “soul searching” to find the links between Islam and terrorism.

He believes the only people who can stop terrorism are young Muslims speaking out and showing that “this is not their fight and they want no part of it.”

 

Manchester terrorist turned from drug-user to suicide bomber

Salman Abedi, the Manchester terrorist attacker, smoked cannabis and dropped out of the University of Salford (where he was studying for a business degree). Some  of his friends say he may have been involved in gangs before he became radicalised. After quitting university, he worked at a bakery.

Some experts are seeing this trajectory  as a  somewhat typical  shift from crime to  terrorism. Because criminals are accustomed to violence, according to some, there is a smaller jump to political violence.

At one point, Abedi flew an  ISIS flag from his Manchester home but the police did not interview.

Abedi attended the Burnage Academy for Boys between 2009 and 2011 but the school did not make a statement because of the status of the investigation.

Neighbours were not very familiar with Abedi but noticed a recent increase in the religiosity of his appearance. Friends from school said that he was ‘fun’ until he went to Libya in 2011. Abedi reportedly had just returned from a trip to Libya a few days before the attack.

Abedi’s cousins were arrested as well and two of them were recently released.

UK Communities Secretary says Muslims need to do more to stop radicalisation

In response to the recent terror attacks in London and Manchester, Muslim Communities Secretary Sajid Javid argues that Muslims have an added responsibility to limit extremism.

He argues against the ‘well-meaning’ idea that the attacks have nothing to do with Islam, saying that the Muslim community needs to do more ‘soul searching’ to find the links between Islam and terrorism.

He believes the only people who can stop terrorism are young Muslims speaking out.

German Muslim leaders react to the attacks in the UK

Muslim representatives in Germany have condemned the recent attacks in Manchester and London.

Especially the events of Manchester gave rise to expressions of shock and anger, as the targets of Salman Abedi’s suicide bombing that left 23 dead had been a pop concert by US singer Ariana Grande and its mostly very young audience.

Responses of the large associations

Germany’s largest Islamic association, Turkish-dominated DİTİB, issued a press release condemning the attack and any other form of terrorism, as well as expressing the organisation’s condolences to the families of the victims.

The chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (ZMD), Aiman Mazyek tweeted: “In deep sorrow I look to #Manchester. We pray for the bereaved, injured, their relatives. Many child victims to be feared – terrible.”

Bekir Altaş, secretary general of the Islamist-leaning Islamic Community Millî Görüş (IGMG) also took to twitter: “#PrayForManchester! Aghast and shocked! In our hearts we are with all victims and their relatives.” The chairman of the Islam Council (IR) issued a similar statement.(( http://www.islamiq.de/2017/05/23/religionsvertreter-trauern-mit-manchester/ ))

Rehashing a well-rehearsed ritual

Representatives of Germany’s Church communities also voiced their condemnation of suicide attack in Manchester. Shortly afterwards, on May 23, the leading Catholic and Protestant clergymen of Berlin held a private vigil with the Great Imam of Al-Ahzar, Ahmed al-Tayyeb, commemorating the victims.(( http://www.bild.de/regional/aktuelles/berlin/grossimam-und-bischoefe-gedenken-der-terroropfer-51881922.bild.html ))

At the same time, these statements did not – and in some sense could not – go beyond the by now well-rehearsed tropes of outrage that are being used after every attack. The demand that Muslims and their representatives must dissociate themselves from the suicide bombing hung in the air, and they duly complied.

This is not to claim that these demands the corresponding statements of Muslim leaders were made in bad faith. Yet it does underline the fact that there is little by way of a genuinely meaningful public conversation on attacks such as the ones that occurred in Manchester and London. Instead, in an involuntary expression of their helplessness, all sides continue to shelter behind the familiar ritualistic assertions.

Muslim organisation organises interfaith vigil

A Muslim organisation in Manchester, the Ramandan Foundation, organised an interfaith vigil in St Ann’s Square for the victims of the Manchester terrorist attack. The ceremony included a message from Pope Francis, read by the regional head of the Catholic Church, the Bishop of Salford John Arnold. There were also speeches by other religious leaders from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim backgrounds.

Muslim ‘heroes’ in the wake of Manchester Attack

Muslims ‘heroes’ were prominent in the initial response to the Manchester attack. This article highlights the stories of three Muslim men who made a  difference.

Tawqeer Rashid is a surgeon at the Manchester Royal Infirmary. After the crisis, he was called in at 1am and worked straight for 14 hours. He reported serious injuries and was shocked at the “level of depravity” necessary to carry out such an act.

Another Muslim man, Sam Arshad, owns a local taxi company, Street Cars. When his company started to receive calls from desperate families, trying to escape the area, he decided to direct his drivers to provide free rides from the stadium.

Zaffer Khan, who owns a restaurant, Bukhara, near the stadium provided free food and water to victims and emergency response workers.

There has also been a Muslim organisational response as Human Appeal, a Muslim charity, had raised £15,000 for victims and families between the attack and 27 May.

Manchester mosque organises ‘peace walk’ with children and families

The North Manchester Jamia Mosque organised a ‘peace walk’ to show Muslim revolution at terrorist attacks in the name of Islam and to respond to criticism that the Muslim community has not done enough to combat extremism.

The march was in response to the terrorist attack in Manchester at the Ariana Grande concert. The targeting of children in this attack was particularly important to the organisers of the march, so many Muslim children marched in response. Hundreds of families participated. The march concluded with a vigil and flower-laying at the area outside of the Manchester Arena.