24 May 2013
Visiting the site of the horrific attack in Woolwich recently, Dr Shuja Shafi, the Deputy Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, led a delegation of community leaders including Tariq Usmani, Chair of Greenwich Islamic Centre, Julie Siddiqui, Vice president, Islamic Society of Britain and Saeed Ahmed, Greenwich Independent Police Advisory Group, all laid flowers and paid respects to Drummer Lee Rigby.
On the occasion, speaking to the BBC, Dr Shafi spoke about the importance of ‘showing solidarity’ and said he “mourns the loss of a bright young man, a father, a husband and a brother”.
He also addressed the nature of the attack, which appeared without any warning as a “matter for concern. We need to really, deeply think about what can be done.”
As tensions rise as a result of the barbaric murder in Woolwich on Wednesday, the Muslim Council of Britain convened a meeting with a diverse range of faith leaders to speak out against the attack and to call for calm.
Farooq Murad, Secretary General of the MCB said at the meeting: “This action will no doubt heighten tensions on the streets of the United Kingdom. Already, there were reports last night of mosques being attacked in Essex and Kent. And the English Defence League, went to stoke hatred in Woolwich last night. They tell us they say because a British soldier was attacked, but as the pictures show, they ended up attacking the police.”
The Muslim Council of Britain has also communicated with its affiliate network and mosques to alert them to the threat of reprisals from the extreme right and convey united sympathy for the victim’s family. Mosques have been urged to take positive steps and stretch a hand of friendship to fellow Britons.
Also speaking at the MCB conference Mr Saeed Ahmed, a community organiser from Greenwich conveyed his condolences to the family of the victim and also commended the work of the local Police in assuring communities and calling for calm.
The MCB is heartened by the messages of understanding and reconciliation sent to the MCB by faith leaders. We urge Muslim communities to reach out to fellow Britons and testify the true reality of our faith. We call on all our communities, Muslim and non-Muslim, to come together in solidarity to ensure the forces of hatred do not prevail.