9th October 2001
The Muslim Council of Britain declared its opposition to the recent US-led strikes against Afghanistan and said that they could only lead to the increased destabilisation of the region.
“British Muslims want justice to be done for the horrifying events of September 11th. These day and night strikes – which are already leading to innocent civilians deaths amongst the long-suffering Afghan population – will not achieve this purpose. In Islam, all innocent human life is precious. These attacks will only lead to further polarisation in the world. This will not be a fitting memorial to those who died in the September 11th atrocities,” said MCB Secretary-General, Mr Yousuf Bhailok.
“We are now hearing talk of ‘widening the war’ to encompass other Muslim countries. We fear that these events could spiral out of control. We urge world leaders to react with reason and awareness of the long-term consequences of their actions,” said Mr Bhailok.
The MCB believes that the phenomena of mass terrorism can only be resolved by examining and addressing the root causes of terrorism. These causes lie in the major injustices suffered by many peoples in the region, including the disenfranchisement of the Palestinians, the sanctions regime on Iraq, and the illegal occupation of Chechnya and Kashmir.
The MCB also advised British Muslims to voice their protest in peaceful ways through demonstrations and vigils.
“It is important that we maintain good community relations in this country. We must not allow others to exploit these attacks to disrupt and poison our relations with the wider community – many of whom also oppose this war,” said Mr Bhailok.