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DEWSBURY, England - The 100 or so Muslim community leaders who gathered recently at the Taleem Community Center in this northern town no doubt knew Shahid Malik - one of the country's four Muslim members of Parliament - would take a strong line.
Just days after the July 7 bombings in London, the police identified Mohammad Sidique Khan, a Dewsbury resident and the son-in-law of a prominent community leader, as one of the bombers. The three others came from just up the hill in Leeds.
Within hours, top security officials and the press bore down on this largely middle-class community. Right-wing groups that have led anti-immigrant campaigns in Dewsbury seemed ready to go on the offensive.
Mr. Malik, who represents Dewsbury in Parliament and is the only British-born Muslim in Parliament, had come to tell Muslims at mosques and community centers here of the harsh new reality they faced.
"The extremism in our community," he told the Taleem audience, "is now our problem."
Originally posted by skippytjc
Now all we need him to do is convince all the others before he is assassinated...If he truly means it that is...
Originally posted by mpeake
Wow! "The extremism in our community is now our problem." What a powerful statement. I sure hope that the rest of the Muslim leaders around him follow
The following is the full text of a fatwa issued by the British Muslim Forum, with the approval of more than 500 UK Muslim clerics, scholars and imams, on Monday 18 July:
We wish to express our sincere condolences to the families of all the victims of the London attacks. We pray for the swift recovery of all those who are recovering from injuries.
There are many questions emerging from the London bombings. One of the most important questions is what does Islam say about it?
To answer this question Muslim scholars, clerics and Imams from all over the UK have been consulted to issue this formal legal opinion (fatwa) so that Muslims and non-Muslims can be clear about Islam's stance on such acts.
On behalf of over 500 clerics, scholars and Imams the British Muslim Forum issues the following religious decree:
Islam strictly, strongly and severely condemns the use of violence and the destruction of innocent lives.
There is neither place nor justification in Islam for extremism, fanaticism or terrorism. Suicide bombings, which killed and injured innocent people in London, are haram - vehemently prohibited in Islam, and those who committed these barbaric acts in London are criminals not martyrs.
Such acts, as perpetrated in London, are crimes against all of humanity and contrary to the teachings of Islam.
The Holy Koran declares:
"Whoever kills a human being, then it is as though he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a human life, it is as though he had saved all mankind." (Koran, Surah al-Maidah (5), verse 32).
Islam teaches us to be caring towards all of Allah's (God's) creation, not just mankind. The Prophet of Islam who was described as "a mercy to the worlds" said: "All creation is the family of Allah and that person is most beloved to Allah who is kind and caring towards His family."
Islam's position is clear and unequivocal: murder of one soul is the murder of the whole of humanity; he who shows no respect for human life is an enemy of humanity.
We pray for the defeat of extremism and terrorism in the world.
We pray for peace, security and harmony to triumph in multicultural Great Britain.