Incident Report – Woolwich Attack
Several Muslim leaders in the UK have come out to condemn the actions of two individuals who attacked and killed a British soldier in Woolwich, London.
In a video recorded by an eyewitness and broadcasted by ITV news, one of the attackers, identified by The Guardian as British citizen of Nigerian descent Michael Olumide Adebolajo, said that the attack was revenge for the deaths of Muslims by British soldiers.
The Muslim Council of Britain released a statement on its website strongly condemning the attack:
“This is a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam and we condemn this unreservedly. Our thoughts are with the victim and his family.”
“We understand the victim is a serving member of the Armed Forces. Muslims have long served in this country’s Armed Forces, proudly and with honour.”
“This attack on a member of the Armed Forces is dishonourable, and no cause justifies this murder.”
The council also urged vigilance and for Muslim and non-Muslim communities “to come together in solidarity to ensure the forces of hatred do not prevail.”
Paul Salahuddin Armstrong, Co-Director of The Association of British Muslims also published a statement on its website offering their “sincerest condolences” to the family and friends of the victim, recently identified as 25-year-old Lee Rigby.
Armstrong also stated, “Neither Islam nor any other religion sanctions what these evil men have done.” and that “Islam totally and utterly condemns murder and terrorism.”
He further said that there is nothing Islamic about the attackers and that the association hopes that “these murderers will be given the maximum possible sentence under British Justice.”
UK newspaper The Voice spoke to the secretary of the Muslim Association of Nigeria UK who condemned the actions of the attackers and added that “Muslim Nigerians are not like that. Islam is a religion of peace.”
In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s World at One, Minister for Faith and Communities, Baroness Warsi, said that she has been impressed with the manner in which the Muslim communities in Britain have spoken out against the attack.
Many more Muslim leaders from the UK and worldwide are coming out to condemn the horrific attack that occurred on Wednesday 23rd May at around 10pm Singapore time.
The victim, Lee Rigby, was reported to initially been run over by a car driven by the attackers who then set upon him in what eyewitnesses said to be a horrifyingly grizzly attack that left Rigby lying on the ground bleeding profusely.
Several witnesses also claimed that the victim was beheaded although authorities have yet to confirm it.
In the video, Adebolajo, while still holding on to what looked like a meat cleaver in his bloodstained hands, attempted to justify the attack as revenge for the deaths of Muslims in the hands of British soldiers.
“We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”, Adebolajo said as he continued his rant against the British Government and politicians and how the “average guy like you, and your children” would be the ones to die in conflict.
Adebolajo and his accomplice then charged at the police when they arrived around 20 minutes later but were shot down and placed under armed guard in separate hospitals.
(http://www.mcb.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2333:pr-template&catid=40:press-release) – Muslim Council of Britain
(http://www.aobm.org/) – Association of British Muslims
(http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/may/23/woolwich-attack-suspect-michael-adebolajo) – The Guardian identification of the suspect.
Muhammad Ilham Othman
An aspiring writer currently studying Journalism and Media Studies. One who is also constantly trying to better himself for Allah SWT.