The murder of a soldier on the streets of Woolwich yesterday has been condemned as ‘savage and mindless’ by Muslim community leaders in the city.
A statement released to this newspaper by the KSI Muslim Community of Milton Keynes – also known as Granby Mosque – branded the attack as ‘barbaric’.
President, Shabir Sabur, also insists that such acts cannot be allowed to divide the nation.
The attack took place at around 2.20pm yesterday, 400 metres from the perimeter of the Royal Artillery barracks, in Woolwich, south-east London.
The assailants spoke to witnesses at the scene and posed for pictures and in videos. They said the attack was retaliation for the deaths of Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In mobile phone video footage first broadcast by ITV News, one said: “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you.
“The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
The two men remained on the scene, until armed police arrived. They were shot and apprehended, before being taken to two separate hospitals where they were being treated for their injuries under armed guard.
The statement from the KSI Muslim Community of MK said the ‘killing of an innocent person is in no way permitted under any pretext,’ adding that the Qu’ran states, ‘if someone kills one person they kill all of mankind’.
It adds that ‘criminals and terrorists must never be allowed to win’, before concluding: ‘For now, our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of the soldier murdered in cold blood on our streets.’
The statement in full reads:
We, KSI Muslim Community of Milton Keynes (also known as Granby Mosque) strongly condemn the barbaric murder that took place on Wednesday 22 May 2013, in Woolwich, London.
The killing of an innocent person is in no way permitted under any pretext, and there is no legitimate cause for such savage and mindless action. The Holy Qur’an (5:32)states that whoever kills one person, it is as though he has killed all of mankind.
We await the investigation of the Metropolitan Police to gather all the evidence, in order to find the motives behind this heinous crime. We strongly urge the Metropolitan Police to take steps to ensure that such crimes, which will impact on our country and cohesion, are resolutely dealt with.
Such acts committed by individuals or groups can never divide the nation. These criminals and terrorists must never be allowed to win, with all our communities and the nation united in our determination to fight off all forms of criminal and extreme behaviour and hate crimes, from whichever quarter it comes from.
For now, our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of the soldier murdered in cold blood on our streets.