The Norway Tragedy is a Lesson for Us All

25 Jul 2011

The Muslim Council of Britain today voiced its condemnation of the tragic terrorist attacks in Norway, a view shared by the majority of British Muslims. Farooq Murad, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said “It is now becoming clear that while the perpetrator of this senseless massacre was fuelled by a hatred of Muslims and their place in Western society, our thoughts and prayers should primarily be with the victims. They may not have been Muslims, but in Islam even the loss of a single life can never be justified, let alone so many young lives who had everything to live for.”

He added, “Naturally questions will focus on the perpetrator’s hatred of Muslims and the value of multiculturalism, together with his links to the far-right. We are encouraged that our Prime Minister has indicated this issue will be discussed today at the National Security Council. Violence from far-right extremists has been a clear and present danger to British streets for too long. It has often been ignored at worst or paid lip-service to at best as policymakers focus on violence emanating from a handful of Muslims – again whom many Muslims would condemn and would continue to remain ever vigilant against.”

“Evidence emerging from Norway tells us that the killer was influenced by the diet of Islamophobia from the wilder fringes of the far-right. But, when even Baroness Warsi voiced her concern about the rise of Islamophobia earlier this year, she was roundly criticised by her party and by the usual commentators who have made anti-Muslim prejudice the subject of their columns. Indeed it was these very same commentators and advisors to government who were quick to say that these senseless attacks emanated from Muslims, without consulting the facts.”

“For us to repudiate the horrors of Norway, it is important that we join the Norwegian people and echo the leadership of the Norwegian Prime Minister, that is, to stand up for what we believe in – humanity, democracy and equality. And in this we say that we believe in the positive role that people of all faiths, including Muslims, have to play in Western society. Above all we affirm that far from dying, multiculturalism is a force for good in building cohesive societies”.