Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Church Leader Praises 'Strong Response' of Muslim Groups ; Archbishops Calls for Unity between religionsSenior Imams Hit out at 'Senseless Depravity'

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Church Leader Praises 'Strong Response' of Muslim Groups ; Archbishops Calls for Unity between religionsSenior Imams Hit out at 'Senseless Depravity'

Article excerpt

THE leader of the Church of England has praised the response of UK faith groups following the Woolwich attack - as he also called for unity.

The Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev Justin Welby, speaking following a meeting with faith leaders in Leicester, said: "We've all been horrified by the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich "All of our prayers and mine are with his family, his colleagues and comrades and all those who witnessed this crime and those in the community who have been so affected by it.

"I want to recognise the response of churches, mosques and other faith and civil society groups as well as those of brave individuals who have done so much to bring our communities together at this time. The strong response of the Muslim Council of Britain and many other organisations has rightly emphasised that these acts have no place in Islam."

Nearly 100 senior British imams have signed a letter offering their condolences to the family of murdered soldier Lee Rigby and calling for communities to 'remain calm and vigilant'. The letter read: "We share the absolute horror felt by the rest of British society at the sick and barbaric crime that was committed in the name of our religion. We condemn this heinous atrocity in the strongest possible terms. It is a senseless act of pure depravity worthy of nothing but contempt. There can be no justification for murder."

The document was signed by 94 imams, including Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain.

It said that imams and Muslim organisations had spoken out 'over the evils of terrorism' for many years, but recent events showed they cannot afford to be complacent.

The imams also criticised some incidents which occurred in the aftermath of the killing.

They wrote: "Already we have seen extremists seeking to capitalise upon Wednesday's terrible act. …

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