Imams from across the UK, of various denominations of Sunni and Shia, have come together to urge British Muslims not to fall prey to sectarian divisions and to call on people not to travel to Syria or Iraq to fight in the escalating conflicts.
Qari Mohammed Asim, Imam at Leeds Makka Mosque, who played a key role in developing an open letter signed by more than 100 Imams from across major theological backgrounds, said: “The scale of the humanitarian disaster in Syria and the escalating violence in Iraq calls for an unprecedented response. As we near the end of the first week of Ramadan our message is simple, we have come together to urge British Muslim communities not to fall prey to any form of sectarian divisions or social discord.
“Here in the UK we are Sunnis and Shias, brothers in Islam – and brothers in Britain too. The conflict in Syria and Iraq can never change that no matter how bitter the fighting. We urge members of the community to echo this sentiment by adding their signature to this letter, joining the many others that have done so already.”
And Imam Shahid Raza from Leicester Central Mosque added: “Like everyone I am immensely proud of the response to the humanitarian crisis from communities across the UK. As the scale of the crisis escalates we need to appeal to our communities to ensure they are helping Syria and Iraq in the safest possible way and that sectarian divisions do not divide us here in the UK.” Read the letter here.