A London Imam has said that there is not a single mosque in Britain that promotes extremism or violence.
Imam Yunus Dudhwala, Head of Chaplaincy & Bereavement at Barts Health NHS Trust, told Yahoo News: ‘To my knowledge, there is not a single mosque in the country that preaches hate, violence, or extremism.
‘It’s the Internet. It’s foreign policy, identity, and previous criminal behaviour that we need to address.’
His statement comes as the Muslim Council of Britain released a letter signed by 132 imams, scholars and leaders of Islamic organisations, condemning the deadly terror attacks in Manchester and London.
Imam Yunus, a signatory, said the letter was a ‘grassroots effort’, and that the UK government needs to work more closely with the Muslim community to combat terror.
He said: ‘When the government doesn’t talk to Muslim leaders, then they are going to get their strategy wrong.
‘The conversation needs to include the Muslim community. They do not engage with Muslim organisations at the moment.
‘It leaves a vacuum in knowledge that means the government’s own policies are not as effective.’
The letter condemned the ‘ruthless violence’ of the terror attacks in Britain, and said that the killers had ‘contempt’ for the religion of Islam.
In an unprecedented move the signatories also pledged their refusal to perform the traditional Islamic prayer for the terrorists.
Speaking about the attacks, for which ISIS has claimed responsibility, Imam Yunus said: ‘There have been three attacks in three months and there now has to be a total condemnation.
‘But we, as imams, work across the country and we work with the community. Everyone is fed up with the atrocities that cannot be justified.
‘We feel so abhorred by what has been done. This statement is a grassroots effort – it hasn’t been written by PR people or a press secretary.
‘We wanted to make sure that people know we think what the killers did is unacceptable and disassociate ourselves from it
‘There are three million Muslims in the UK and I don’t want three attacks to tarnish or represent those millions of Muslims.
‘Those killers don’t represent the Muslims who are fasting during Ramadan; who are devoted during this month.’