• Sunday, June 23, 2024

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UK imams condemn killing of civilians in Israel, Gaza

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

MORE than a dozen Muslim faith leaders in the UK have come together to “unequivocally” condemn the killing of civilians both in Israel and Gaza.

Hamas gunmen intruded into southern Israel earlier this month, killing around 1,400 people and abducting dozens. Gaza’s health ministry said some 5,000 people died in the retaliatory strikes by Tel Aviv as the situation triggered a fresh humanitarian crisis in the Middle East.

In a joint statement, Imam Qari Asim of the Makkah Mosque in Leeds and 14 other Muslim scholars said they denounced “Hamas’ killing and abduction of innocent people on the 7th of October 2023 as well as the Israeli military’s subsequent use of excessive force.”

“As we watch the heart-wrenching scenes of Al Ahli Arab Hospital burning, we are reminded that the killing and destruction against innocent men, women and children is deplorable and is contrary to the principles of justice and humanity that we hold dear in our faith.”

Hundreds of people died after an explosion destroyed the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza on Tuesday (17) with Hamas and Israel blaming each other for the tragedy.

The imams urged Israel to act with restraint and within the boundaries of international law.

“The complete siege on Gaza has resulted in immense suffering and recent actions are intensifying a humanitarian crisis of untold proportions upon Palestinians, who are not responsible for the actions of Hamas.”

The faith leaders appealed to the international community to pursue diplomatic and political avenues to end “all hostilities”.

They also condemned “all acts of Antisemitism or Islamophobia that have taken place on our streets here in Britain.”

“No one should feel unsafe in their own neighbourhoods and in this country. Mutual respect and dialogue between Muslim and Jewish communities at home and abroad, along with a shared commitment to peace, justice, and the safety of all communities are ever more important.

“We also affirm the right of communities across the country to show their solidarity and support for both Palestinians and Israelis caught up in this conflict, in line with British laws surrounding freedom of speech and protest.”

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