Statement on the British Parliament’s vote to recognise Palestine
The Association of British Muslims (AOBM) overwhelmingly welcomes the move in which British MPs voted with a clear majority in favour of recognising Palestine as an independent state at the end of a debate in the House of Commons.
AOBM congratulates the 274 MPs who upheld traditional British values of freedom, rule of law and justice by voting in favour of the motion calling on the British government to recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.
We believe that lasting peace can only be achieved in the region by achieving the goal of two-states founded upon the principles of tolerance, pluralism and inclusiveness.
The majority vote in the lower House not only represents the country’s national interest but it will also have a long term constructive effect on our reputation as a country in the comity of nations.
The majority vote has restored dignity to the Parliament and although the vote and the outcome are non-binding in strict legal sense, AOBM hopes that it will be a significant determining feature in shaping our foreign policy in the Middle East in the months up to the elections and beyond.
Zahid Ali Akbar, Human Rights Director, The Association of British Muslims
Statement on the Murder of Alan Henning by Da’ish
The Association of British Muslims (AOBM) received the disturbing news of the murder of Alan Henning with deep shock on the eve of Eid Al-Adha. Given the timing of the most recent in the chain of atrocities claimed by the Unislamic State known as Da’ish (cut-throats), it is beyond reasonable doubt that they have no regard whatsoever for Islam.
The religion of Islam not only forbids killing an unarmed person, it absolutely prohibits any type of killing during the holy month of Hajj. A state genuinely guided by Islam would guarantee safety and security to any law abiding person who requested it. Muslims around the world who pleaded for Alan’s life are appalled by the gruesome murder of their humanitarian friend.
As we mourn the loss of the best of British, we call upon the British government to work with their Iraqi counterparts to bring the perpetrators to justice, in order to secure the lives of not only local inhabitants, but all foreign aid workers who stay away from their homes to create a better life for those in need.
We call upon Gulf nations to redouble their efforts to crack down on supporters of Da’ish who provide patronage in the form of financial aid or theological grounds to terrorists.
As we hope for mercy and forgiveness in this holy season, we also remember Alan in our prayers and hope that his merits be increased.
The Association of British Muslims and our supporters stand with Alan’s family in this hour of grief, and extend our condolences to his family and friends.
Zahid Ali Akbar, Human Rights Director, The Association of British Muslims
Paul Salahuddin Armstrong, Co-Director, The Association of British Muslims
Happy Eid al Adha 1435 / 2014 !
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf speaking about ISIS
FATWA ON THE SO-CALLED “ISLAMIC STATE” (FORMERLY “ISLAMIC STATE IN IRAQ & SYRIA”)
WITH THE NAME OF GOD, MOST GRACIOUS, MOST MERCIFUL
FATWA ON THE SO-CALLED “ISLAMIC STATE”
(FORMERLY “ISLAMIC STATE IN IRAQ & SYRIA”)
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessings be upon His final messenger Muhammad.
Due to recent events in the Middle East and their impact on some people in Britain, we as imams and scholars based in the UK, would like to issue the following clarifications in the form of a fatwa:
1. There is no doubt that President Assad’s regime in Syria is oppressive, unjust and brutal, and has committed numerous atrocities against its own people.
2. The same is true of the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) or self-styled “Caliphate,” formerly known as “The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria”: it is an oppressive and tyrannical group.
3. By murdering prisoners of war, journalists and civilians, including mosque imams who
refused to endorse their campaign, and by enslaving the women and children of their
opponents, ISIS has violated international agreements such as the Geneva Conventions and conventions on slavery that everyone, including Muslims, have signed up to. God says in the Qur’an, “Believers, fulfil your covenants!” (5:1)
4. The IS persecution and massacres of Shia Muslims, Christians and Yazidis is abhorrent and opposed to Islamic teachings and the Islamic tolerance displayed by great empires such as the Mughals and Ottomans.
5. Based on all of the above: IS is a heretical, extremist organisation and it is religiously prohibited (haram) to support or join it; furthermore, it is an obligation on British Muslims to actively oppose its poisonous ideology, especially when this is promoted within Britain.
6. British and other EU citizens are bound by their duties to their home countries according to Islamic theology and jurisprudence: it is therefore prohibited ( haram) to travel to fight with any side in Syria, including non-state actors, since this is forbidden by laws in EU countries.
7. It is a moral obligation upon British Muslims to help the Syrian and Iraqi people without betraying their own societies: “If they ask for your help in religion, you must help, except against a people with whom you have a treaty.” (Qur’an 8:72)
Sheikh Mohammad Shahid Raza OBE
Executive Secretary, Muslim Law (Shariah) Council of UK. Head Imam, Leicester Central Mosque.
Sheikh Qamaruzzaman Azmi
Secretary General, World Islamic Mission. Head Imam, Manchester Central Mosque.
Sheikh Paul Salahuddin Armstrong
Co-Director, The Association of British Muslims.
Sheikh Dr Qari Mohammad Asim MBE
Head Imam, Makkah Masjid, Leeds.
Sheikh Dr Usama Hasan
Author, ISIS Fatwa. Former Imam, Masjid Al-Tawhid Mosque, Leyton. Head Theologian, Quilliam Foundation.
Mufti Abu Layth
Founder, The Islamic Council, UK.
Statement on the Humanitarian Emergency in Palestine.
Bism’Allah al Rahman al Raheem.
We express our deepest condolences to Palestinian families who have lost loved ones due to Israeli attacks in some of the most densely populated residential areas in the world. Whatever the Israeli government’s purported motivations, there is no excuse for killing children or bombing hospitals! Life is Sacred, a teaching common to all three Abrahamic faiths, and the lives of children especially Sacred.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has stated that the humanitarian emergency in Gaza, following a severe escalation in hostilities involving intense Israeli aerial and navy bombardment, has claimed the lives of at least 697 Palestinians, of whom 170 were children and 86 women. Over 3,993 people have been wounded and 140,000 have been displaced, currently staying at 83 UNRWA schools. 32 Israelis have lost their lives, including 3 civilians and 29 soldiers.
The Association of British Muslims expresses our most heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of all those who have lost their lives and call upon everyone to support and stand in solidarity with the People of Palestine. The Israeli government and IDF are demonstrating a complete lack of concern for the civilian population of Palestine, that verges on unjustified cruelty.
Israel claims to be responding to rocket attacks launched from Palestine, but a genuine response would be proportional to the threat. The returned fire from the IDF takes the lives of hundreds of Palestinians, including 170 children, unprotected women and elderly people. Over 697 people so far, and still counting…
We are living in dark times, with tragic events occurring in neighbouring Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere in the region. Like the Prophet, peace be upon him warned, the day has come where Jews and Muslims are fighting and Muslims are fighting each other, where everyone claims that they are on the path of “jihad” (struggle/striving), and no one really knows why they are killing one another. This is not the meaning or way of jihad, or even the modern concept of a “Just War”.
In these times of jahiliyya, widespread ignorance, corruption and confusion, it is absolutely imperative we make Education, Culture, Science and Spirituality our jihad.
In this most holy month of Ramadan, we join our Muslim brothers and sisters around the world, along with every concerned soul in our Human Family (Bani Adam), in prayer and remembrance of the children and innocent people who have lost their lives in Palestine, and those still suffering under the onslaught of military operations.
We pray for the restoration of Peace, Security and Justice in Palestine and call upon the Israeli government to end the war against Palestinians forthwith, including the blockade against Gaza. All sides must fully and sincerely commit to meaningful negotiations to find ways for an authentic sustainable peaceful solution.
Shaykh Paul Salahuddin Armstrong, Co-Director, The Association of British Muslims.
Mr Mohammed Abbasi, Co-Director, The Association of British Muslims.
Mr Muhammad Hamzah, Cultural Director, The Association of British Muslims.
Islam and Life: Danger of Takfiri ideology for Islam
The rise of Takfiri movements has caused outrage all across traditionally majority Muslim regions of the world and elsewhere. Tariq Ramadan discusses this frightening phenomenon with Paul Salahuddin Armstrong, Co-Director of the Association of British Muslims.
The letter Khalifah Ali ibn Abi Talib wrote to Malik Ashtar
While it may have been written 14 centuries ago, the letter Khalifah Ali ibn Abi Talib wrote to Malik Ashtar is just as, if not even more relevant to us today.
May Allah SWT help us return to the noble wisdom of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and his loyal companions, may Allah bless them.
Sheikh Daoud Rosser-Owen, on the AOBM
Sheikh Daoud Rosser-Owen, Amir of the Association of British Muslims (AOBM) summarises its history and objectives.
Our appreciation to Stephen Sizer, pastor of Christ Church, Virginia Water (see http://cc-vw.org) for recording this interview. (1 September 2011).