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“It is not right in God’s sight to obey men rather than God.”

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."