Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, Assistant Secretary General of Muslim Council of Great Britain, gave the following address on the steps of Westminster Cathedral on #RedWednesday:
….Islam also acknowledges the rights of every human being to choose what they believe.. In the few minutes that I share with you, I hope to help us all to be able to distinguish between the actions of Muslims and the teachings of Islam.
We have what I believe to be the fundamental cornerstone of how society can function within a very short and a small part of a verse of the Qur'an in which it declares there is no compulsion in religion. Muslims are not allowed to force anyone to convert to Islam. So what we hear about false conversions is totally unIslamic.
In fact the jurists and scholars of Islam say that such conversion is invalid.
We hear of how God Almighty has actually designed this creation to be diverse and different - in terms of our colours, our tongues, our cultures and our religions. The Qu'ran actually declares that if God had so willed he would have made all of us the same. So the fact the we have amongst humanity, people who follow different religions and faiths and world views and none, this is a clear indication of God's grace on humanity in that he has made us all different.
There's a beautiful verse in the Qur'an which talks about our equality wherein God address all, saying 'All people I have made you from a male and a female. And I have made you into different tribes different nations different communities, so that you may get to know one another, engage with each other, interact with each other. Live together in harmony. And then he tells us if you want to know who is dearest, and closest to God in His eyes, the same verse continues to say indeed the closest to God in his eyes are those who are most righteous.
The message of Mohamed, (peace be upon Him), gave us a description of who is a Muslim. I would like to address this to the Muslims of the world. Sadly those who claim to profess to follow a religion that teaches peace and coexistence - their actions show otherwise. For most decent Moslems, for many decent Muslims around the world we suffer twice the pain - the pain of those non-Muslim faith communities that are persecuted and are persecuted by Muslims. We feel twice the pain.
And so I remind them: Listen to what your Messenger and your Prophet said. If you think you are a Muslim judge that by your actions and the statement of the Prophet who said a Muslim is that person from the harm and tongues other persons are saved. Another could be more categoric and clear. So if these evil people who think they are doing a service to Islam were to try and read the authentic teachings of the faith they would realise how wrong they are. So I stand here today condemning their evil actions - which are totally unIslamic and unacceptable and I stand here in solidarity particularly with Christian communities around the world who are persecuted - especially those who are suffering at the hands of my brethren, my fellow Muslims. I am deeply ashamed of their actions.
And I also stand here in solidarity with all the other faith communities, wherever they are who are persecuted - including Muslims who are persecuted around the world that humanity - when they understand the true teachings of whatever values they are taught - whether they are religious or human values. No one will accept that people are persecuted and attack simply for professing a particular faith or believe. we remember in our prayers those who are suffering. May God Almighty ease their suffering and may God Almighty guide the perpetrators of the atrocities and stop them from the evil that they are committing and guide them to the path of peace harmony and co-existence Amen. Thank you
Update: Watch the video on ICN's Facebook page.
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) is a national umbrella body with over 500 mosques, educational and charitable associations affiliated to it. It includes national, regional, local, and specialist Muslim organisations and institutions from different ethnic and sectarian backgrounds within British Islamic society.
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