More than 130 imams and Muslim religious leaders from the UK released a statement Monday saying that they refuse to perform funeral prayers for the London and Manchester attackers who “defile” the name of Islam.
The leaders urged other imams to follow suit and not perform the “privilege,” of an Islamic funeral prayer (Salat Al Jannazah) to any of the attackers.
“Consequently, and in light of other such ethical principles which are quintessential to Islam, we will not perform the traditional Islamic funeral prayer over the perpetrators and we also urge fellow imams and religious authorities to withdraw such a privilege. This is because such indefensible actions are completely at odds with the lofty teachings of Islam,” their statement read.
The move is considered unprecedented, given the fact that the Islamic funeral prayers are usually performed for every Muslim – regardless of their actions.
And it comes as a reminder and a message from Muslims to the world, that terrorism has nothing to do with their religion.
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Following the attack on Saturday, Muslims and community leaders said they would redouble efforts to root out extremism in their communities.
Speaking outside Scotland Yard in London on Monday, The Metropolitan police commander for engagement, Mak Chishty, the highest-ranking officer of Muslim faith, called for “a step-change – a different direction and a different movement to counter the scourge of terrorism, extremism and hatred that we have in our communities at present”.
In a statement he read out on behalf of Muslim communities, Chishty added: “It is the Islamic duty of every Muslim to be loyal to the country in which they live. We are now asking questions to understand how extremism and hatred have taken hold within some elements of our own communities.”
The London attack, took place on Saturday and saw three terrorists – later shot by police – ramming into pedestrians at London Bridge and randomly stabbing people at Borough Market late on Saturday, leaving 7 dead and at least 48 injured.
A few weeks earlier on the 22nd of May, another terrorist attack hit Manchester when 22-year-old Salman Abedi detonated a home-made bomb in Manchester’s Arena concert hall, as crowds were leaving a performance by U.S. singer Ariana Grande.