UK Muslims reject Al-Qaeda justification for attacks

The Muslim minority in Britain condemned Al-Qaeda claiming responsibility for the London attacks, rejecting its justification for carrying out the terrorist attacks by linking them to the atrocities committed in Iraq and the occupied Palestinian territories.

“Nothing can ever justify committing acts of terrorism against innocent civilians,” Inayat Bunglawala, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, told the BBC News Online Friday, September 2. “Holding all British people responsible for the Iraq war is just plain wrong – this country was bitterly divided and many millions, perhaps the majority, clearly opposed the war.”

In a footage aired on the Doha-based Al-Jazeera Thursday, Mohamed Sidique Khan, one of the alleged four bombers of the London attacks, said atrocities committed by the western countries against Muslims around the world drove him to bomb the London transport system.

“Your democratically elected governments continue to commit atrocities against my people over the world,” Khan, 30, said in English, Agence France Presse (AFP) said.

“Their support makes you directly responsible just as I am directly responsible for protecting and avenging my Muslim bothers and sisters. Until we feel security you will be our targets. Until you stop the bombing the gassing, the imprisonment and torture of my people we will not stop this fight.”

The video, accompanied by a separate message by Al-Qaeda’s number two Ayman Al-Zawahiri, was the first time the one of the bombers has been heard explaining the rationale for Britain’s worst terrorist atrocity.

Islam Online, 2 September 2005

See also BBC News, 2 September 2005 and IHRC press release, 1 September 2005