Muslims issue anti-terror guide
Aug. 15, 2004
ReligionNewsBlog.com • Monday August 16, 2004
Senior imams are publishing a guide for Muslims including advice on how to cope should there be an 11 September-style terror attack on the UK.
It warns an anti-Muslim backlash would be likely and sets out people’s rights.
The guide also urges Muslims to be vigilant against potential terrorists and to report any suspicions to police.
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) says the guide – Know Your Rights and Responsibilities – will eventually be sent to all Muslim households in the UK
There will be an initial print-run of 100,000, distributed through the MCB’s 400 affiliates – such as mosques and schools – in September.
Council spokesman Inayat Bunglawala told BBC News Online the idea for the pamphlet came in the wake of the Madrid bombings in March.
“Some of the senior members of the Muslim community met at the central mosque in Regents Park on a Friday at the end of March.
“Following the Madrid bombings they decided to send a letter to all mosques to urge Muslims if they heard anything about terror-related activity to bring it to the immediate attention of the police.
“There was a very real realisation that Britain must now be viewed as a premium target for terrorist attacks.”
He said, in the same way, the pocket guide would also urge Muslims to give information on any potential terrorist activities to the police.
“I know many Muslims have doubts about giving information about fellow Muslims to the police, many feel it is a dishonourable act. But information should be given as long as it is not maliciously motivated.
“Also, we know that following 9/11 some mosques, individuals and cemeteries were attacked.
“If, God forbid, there is an attack in the UK… It may well be that some groups use the opportunity to try and carry out attacks on the Muslim community. “
The booklet will include advice to Muslims on how to deter attacks on their homes and recommend that mosques install CCTV cameras outside and look out for suspicious packages.
Mr Bunglawala said the guide was common sense and reflected the “go in, stay in, tune in” approach to any terror attack included in the leaflet recently published by the government.
He said a number of other suggestions came out of the meeting, including a proposal that a sample ‘khutbah’ or speech be prepared to clarify the difference between “jihad” and terrorism.
Muslim leaders were aware that some people were trying to confuse Muslim youth, he said.
“The idea was to draft a sample sermon to clarify what terrorism is, and what jihad is.
“Jihad is a noble struggle to defend one’s homeland from external aggression, terrorism is indiscriminate targeting of innocents for some other cause.
“It is an Islamic imperative to help avert danger to innocent people.
“It’s important to distinguish between jihad and terrorism so it doesn’t allow some unscrupulous elements to mislead the Muslim community.”
Abdul Jalil Sajid, the imam of Brighton mosque, was charged with drafting the sermon, Mr Bunglawala said, adding he was unaware what stage it was at.
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