British Muslims tell the terrorists they ‘failed’ on the tenth anniversary of 9/11

9th September 2011

UK Muslim community groups issue joint statement for first time on poignant anniversary

More than 50 Muslim community groups the length and breadth of Britain have united on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 to express their solidarity with victims of terrorism and to tell the terrorists that a decade on ‘they failed’ in seeking to divide society on religious grounds.

The message will be reflected today in Mosques throughout the UK, where Friday Sermons will be held to remember the victims and their families, as well as others affected by terrorism.

In the strongly worded statement issued by a diverse coalition of British Muslim organisations, the signatories claim that the terrorists’ violence has been counterproductive to their aims. “Those who seek to divide society have failed. Indeed their destructive actions have only brought communities closer together,” it states.

“Ten years on from the 9/11 attacks, our communities are growing stronger and more resilient. Communities have come together to find common ground and resolve differences,” it continues.

In a further rejection of terrorist means, the statement points out that the recent Arab Spring demonstrated the power of ordinary citizens standing in peaceful protest to secure greater political participation and freedom. It also draws attention to the recent riots in the UK and the social solidarity it engendered, stating: “We will continue to stand together in troubled times, not just against terrorism but against all forms of criminality that pervade our society.” It adds: “Only together can we defeat such problems.”

This is the first time such a large number of Muslim organisations have sought strength in numbers, coming together to use the opportunity of the tenth anniversary of 9/11 to express their sympathy for the victims and to look forward to the future with greater optimism. Among the organisations spearheading the initiative are the Islamic Society of Britain, Radical Middle Way and Inspire.

Dilwar Hussain, President of the Islamic Society of Britain said:
Terrorism is an evil that no Muslim should feel the need to defend, or make excuses for. Terrorists are not ‘on our side’ – they are in fact our opponents. They are an obstacle to our cause, which is to be a force for good, to spread peace amongst our people – all the people of this country.

Kalsoom Bashir of Inspire said:
Today we resolve with greater commitment to demand a world that does not rely on violence as a solution to its ills. We need to acknowledge our common bonds and to work with civil society and governments to make the next ten years those that are based on respect for our common humanity. It is only through actively working towards peace that we can rightly honour those that have died.

Fuad Nahdi, Executive Director of Radical Middle Way said:
The tenth anniversary of 9/11 should be marked as a time of celebrating the triumph of our humanity over the politics of hatred and violence. A decade later we should all be the wiser and work towards creating a world that is not dominated by the politics of despair and extremism, but strive for a future which has a stake for all – a future full of hope, compassion, love and mercy.

Click here to view the statement

Notes:
1. Inspire is a UK based award winning consultancy helping Muslim women to reach their full potential in life. Ultra-conservative theological interpretations of a woman’s role have become a barrier to many Muslim women today. Inspire challenges these interpretations with a progressive and contemporary interpretation of Islam within the context of 21st century Britain.
For media enquiries please contact Tahmina Saleem on +44 (0) 770 806 5150; email: [email protected]; website: www.wewillinspire.com.

2. ISB is a national not-for-profit community-based organisation set up in 1990 to support new generations of Muslims growing up in the UK. It seeks to evolve a uniquely British flavour of Islam and encourages Muslims to engage positively with the wider British society. Dilwar Hussain of the Policy Research Centre was recently elected the organisation’s new President.
For media enquiries please contact Julie Siddiqi, Executive Director, on +44 (0) 7956 132035; website: www.isb.org.uk.

3. Radical Middle Way are a grassroots initiative aimed at young British Muslims, founded following the 7/7 attacks. They aim to promote a mainstream, moderate understanding of Islam that young people can relate to and provide a safe place for people to ask difficult questions and explore challenging issues. By working alongside grassroots partners, they create platforms for open debate, critical thinking and deep spiritual reflection. They run public lectures, seminars, workshops and facilitate dialogue with Islamic scholars. They use religious and intellectual arguments to form a counter narrative and have national and international reach, having run programmes and events in the UK, Pakistan, Sudan, Indonesia, Mali and Morocco.
For media enquiries please contact Fuad Nahdi, Executive Director on +44 (0) 7791066572; website: www.radicalmiddleway.org.