Over a hundred Muslim imams deny funeral prayers to London attackers

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In an “unprecedented” decision, more than 130 Muslim religious leaders have refused to offer funeral prayers for the terrorists who perpetrated the London Bridge terror attack Saturday. The decision is remarkable because funeral prayers are usually offered for the deceased regardless of their past actions.

Muslim community leaders voiced support for the effort to report extremist activities in their neighborhoods, and the decision by the imams and religious leaders not to say funeral prayers followed.

“We, as Muslim Imams and religious leaders, condemn the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London in the strongest terms possible,” the Muslim leaders said in a statement. “Coming from a range of backgrounds, and from across the U.K.; feeling the pain the rest of the nation feels, we have come together to express our shock and utter disgust at these cold-blooded murders. We are deeply hurt that a spate of terror attacks have been committed in our country once more by murderers who seek to gain religious legitimacy for their actions. We seek to clarify that their reprehensible actions have neither legitimacy nor our sympathy.”

The decision was praised by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who said he was encouraged by the imams’ actions which equated to their condemnation of the attackers’ souls. The Muslim funeral prayer requests forgiveness for the deceased.

The Guardian reported that Mak Chishty, the Metropolitan police commander of engagement and the highest-ranking officer in the department of Muslim faith, said that it is time for Muslims to “counter the scourge of terrorism, extremism and hatred that we have in our communities at present.”

Chishty added, “It is the Islamic duty of every Muslim to be loyal to the country in which they live. We are now asking questions to understand how extremism and hatred has taken hold within some elements of our own communities.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is Muslim, wrote in The London Evening Standard, “Along with the overwhelming majority of the Muslim population, I am disgusted by this act, I want to send a crystal-clear message around the world: The sick and wicked ideology of these evil extremists is no form of Islam that I recognize. I unequivocally denounce them and their twisted beliefs.”

The three terrorists who perpetrated the London Bridge attack have been identified as Youssef Zaghba, 22, a Moroccan-born Italian, Khuram Shazad Butt, a 27-year-old of Pakistani descent with known jihadist tendencies and Rachid Redouane, 30, who claimed to be Moroccan and Libyan.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the atrocity, the third major attack to occur in the U.K. in recent months. The string of attacks have caused political turmoil—in Britain and abroad—culminating in London’s mayor calling for the cancellation of a state visit to the U.K. by President Trump.

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