North England Muslims term beheadings an insult to Islam, a cowardly act
LONDON: Muslims have condemned the murder of aid
worker Alan Henning, branding it a “cowardly and criminal act.” In a strongly
worded statement, the Muslims of the North of England said Henning had been a “local
and national hero” and called for justice to be carried out on his killers.
Muslim leaders said the beheading of Henning had been
carried out on the eve of the “great day of mercy” (Eid Al-Adha) in the Islamic
calendar, which set the terrorists apart from ordinary Muslims. And they
condemned the way in which the jihadists had toyed with the family’s emotions.
“The killing of Alan Henning was a cowardly and
criminal act of appalling brutality by a group who do not represent Islam at
all and in fact are an insult to the Islamic faith,” they said in a statement.
“The killing of Alan Henning marks the beginning of
the end of this group. We now call for justice to be carried out on the killers
of Alan Henning.” Naved Siddiqi of the Islamic Society of Britain, said there
were “very clear distinctions” between the jihadists and ordinary Muslims.
He said that what had sickened people most was the “way
in which they were toying with the family, giving them a glimmer of hope.” Siddiqi
said Muslim leaders were still trying to understand why young Muslims were
travelling out to Syria and Iraq to join Islamic State fighters.
He said he thought a great number were expecting to
find "some sort of utopia" and only by questioning them on their
return could the Muslim community understand why those born and brought up in
Britain were seeking to join the terrorists.
Dr Shuja Shafi, Secretary General of the Muslim
Council of Britain, said, "This reported murder is a despicable and
offensive act, coming as it does on the eve of the Muslim festival of Eid
Al-Adha. “It is quite clear that the murderers of Alan Henning have no regard
for Islam, or for the Muslims around the world who pleaded for his life.
“Alan was a friend of Muslims, and he will be mourned
by Muslims. In this period of Hajj and this festival of Eid, Muslims remember
the mercy of God and the emphasis God places on human life.
“Alan Henning's murderers have clearly gone against
that spirit of Islam. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.” Sara Khan
of Inspire, an anti-extremist campaign group of British Muslim women, said:
"The only thing that the killing of Alan has achieved is greater revulsion
for ISIS and the fact that more people from across our world, within our
communities, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, are united in their stance against
their barbarity and inhumanity."