Community leaders in East London have refused to say prayers for the terrorists shot dead in the London Bridge terror attack on Saturday night.
Members of the East London Mosque have hit out at the actions of Khuram Shazad Butt, Rachid Redouane, and a third terrorist, saying their actions go against the core teachings of Islam.
Some 130 imams and religious leaders have now said they will not carry out the prayers that are normally said for Muslims, whatever their actions.
They said: ‘Consequently, and in light of other such ethical principles which are quintessential to Islam, we will not perform the traditional Islamic funeral prayer over the perpetrators and we also urge fellow imams and religious authorities to withdraw such a privilege.
‘This is because such indefensible actions are completely at odds with the lofty teachings of Islam.’
The chairman of East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre, Muhammad Habibur-Rahman, urged people to reject division and prejudice, and to report both extremism and Islamophobia.
‘Once again we come together, to stand united against those who try to divide us.
‘The cold-blooded murder of innocent people in London on Saturday evening will not succeed in driving us apart.
‘I have a clear message to those who perpetrate terrorism: you are against the very core teaching of Islam and of our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
‘Your misguidance will lead you to destruction, and God willing you will utterly fail in your evil aims.
‘We stand apart from you and your corruption of the religion of Islam. Terrorism has no faith.’
Sufia Alam, manager of the Maryam Centre, said the organisation has already had reports of Muslim women being verbally abused on buses.
‘We urge all our Muslim women attending the workplace and religious places to report any kind of hate crime they may face,’ she said.
Bishop Adrian Newman said: ‘Our community here in London was not attacked by Islam.
‘A tendency to scapegoat Islam or our Muslim neighbours should be unequivocally rejected.’
Commander Mak Chishty from the Metropolitan Police read out a statement on behalf of the capital’s Muslim community.
It said: ‘This terrorist attack is an attack on all communities, including Muslim communities.
‘Every time a terrorist attack takes place Muslim communities either face or fear a backlash against them.
‘The Muslim community appeals to all sections within their own communities to root out the scourge of terrorism which hides amongst their own people and masquerades as Islam.
‘The Muslim community is alarmed and concerned that this attack by three people … would have required planning and yet was not reported.
‘It is the Islamic duty of every Muslim to be loyal to the country in which they live and we are now asking questions – to understand how extremism and hatred has taken hold within some elements of our own communities.
‘Terrorism and extremism is hurting Islam. Muslims must do more to stop such attacks from happening again and we want to know how we can play a greater role in the future.’