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Opinion: 'The gunmen shouted about “avenging Muhammad”. How dare they?'

Here are the thoughts from the members of the Al-Mustafa Islamic Cultural Centre Ireland following yesterday’s massacre in Paris.

Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre Ireland

The following is a statement issued today by Shaykh Dr Muhammad Umar Al-Qadri on behalf of the members of the Al-Mustafa Islamic Cultural Centre Ireland. It is their reaction and response to the murders of 12 people in Paris yesterday. 

THE MEMBERS OF Al-Mustafa Islamic Cultural Centre Ireland wish to extend their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and the people of France on the savage and dreadful terrorist attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris yesterday. 

A Muslim policeman was also among the killed in yesterday’s attack.

We strongly condemn the attack unconditionally.

The killing of journalists in Paris on Wednesday was not only an attack on France but also an assault on Islam and the very freedoms that allow 30 million Muslims to prosper in the west.

Free speech is not a western concept: it is a universal craving of the human soul.

The gunmen ran away shouting that they were “avenging the prophet Muhammad”. How dare they? We cannot let the murderers define Islam.

In sixth-century Mecca, it was the prophet Muhammad who fought for free speech to proclaim one God as the creator of life and worthy of worship. The city’s pagans were his violent persecutors.

Unfortunately, there is a problem of extremism and radicalisation among a minority of Muslim Youth in Western countries. We have seen how some Muslim Youth have joined the IS in Iraq and Syria.

It is the responsibility of Islamic leaders to highlight the the Peaceful and Just message of Islam in which there is no space for extremism.

This Friday, the Shaykh will dedicate his talk on speaking against extremism and terrorism and conclude with prayer for those that have been killed. Also on Sunday the 11th January the Islamic Centre has organised a Conference on the Life of the Prophet of Islam.

In this Conference, the Shaykh will speak on how the Prophet of Islam reacted when he was insulted.

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Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre Ireland

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