Muslim leaders condemn those behind soldier killing

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Leaders at Hemel Hempstead’s mosque have spoken out to condemn the horrific attack this week on a young soldier in London’s Woolwich.

The community from the mosque in St Albans Hill say the killers, who hacked the 25-year-old father to death in broad daylight, have no place in our society.

General secretary Tabrez Khan said: “I think it is important to condemn it and to say we are not in support or anything like that because there is no way that anyone who takes an innocent life like that can have a place in our society.”

Since the execution on Wednesday - the first deadly terrorist attack in mainland UK since the 2005 London bombings - protests and attacks have been carried out on mosques elsewhere in the country and there are fears that there could be a backlash against British Muslims.

But Mr Khan said he and fellow Muslims in Hemel Hempstead are not worried about their own safety. “We always peacefully get on with all communities and we have never had any problems,” he said.

“My family has lived in this country since the early 1950s and we belong to this country.

“We are not giving out this statement because we are concerned about the mosque.

“Everything that goes on in the mosque is closely monitored. We don’t back anybody that goes down extremist lines.”

He said he has never come across extremists in the town but they have clear guidelines about alerting the authorities if such a case did arise.

Mr Khan said: “There is evil in every society which does not mean that it is to do with their religion. There is no place in Islam for such an atrocity and if an individual commits a crime it should not be blamed on an entire religion or society.

“People all over the world, of all faiths, should work together to eradicate this kind of madness and to co-operate with the law enforcement agencies. We should be vigilant to what is happening around us.”

He added: “Everybody is condemning it. It is nothing to really do with Islamic religion, it is just some twisted individuals.”

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