JNN 09 July 2014 London : British Muslim Imams of Mosques from across the UK, of various denominations of Sunni and Shia, came together to urge British Muslims not to fall prey to sectarian divisions and to call on people not to travel to Syria or Iraq to fight in the escalating conflicts.
Qari Mohammed Asim, Imam at Leeds Makka Mosque, who played a key role in developing an open letter signed by more than 100 Imams from across major theological backgrounds, said: “The scale of the humanitarian disaster in Syria and the escalating violence in Iraq calls for an unprecedented response. As we near the end of the first week of Ramadan our message is simple, we have come together to urge British Muslim communities not to fall prey to any form of sectarian divisions or social discord, 5pillarz.com website reported.
“Here in the UK we are Sunnis and Shias, brothers in Islam – and brothers in Britain too. The conflict in Syria and Iraq can never change that no matter how bitter the fighting. We urge members of the community to echo this sentiment by adding their signature to this letter, joining the many others that have done so already.”
And Imam Shahid Raza from Leicester Central Mosque added: “Like everyone I am immensely proud of the response to the humanitarian crisis from communities across the UK. As the scale of the crisis escalates we need to appeal to our communities to ensure they are helping Syria and Iraq in the safest possible way and that sectarian divisions do not divide us here in the UK.”
Here is excerpts from the letter:
“Today is an historic occasion with representatives from across British Muslim communities coming together to show a united front and commit to engaging with their communities to advise and protect our young people who might be thinking about going to Iraq or Syria. We are proud to have played a role in supporting this important initiative.”
“The month of Ramadan is a time of reflection and compassion for humanity. The ethos of this month is to demonstrate generosity and solidarity especially towards those who are less fortunate.”
As the crisis in Syria and Iraq deepens, we the under-signed have come together as a unified voice to urge the British Muslim communities not to fall prey to any form of sectarian divisions or social discord.
Ramadan, the month of mercy, teaches us the value of unity and perseverance and we urge the British Muslim communities to continue the generous and tireless efforts to support all of those affected by the crisis in Syria and unfolding events in Iraq, but to do so from the UK in a safe and responsible way.