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A statement of concern from the Muslim community

The Muslim community in Britain and elsewhere expresses its deepest concern with the shocking news from Prague, and offers its support, sympathy and solidarity to the Muslim community in Czech Republic after police raids of their mosques during the main Friday prayers on the 25th of April 2014 [1].

Background

Mosques were raided by armed police during the only time in the week that the mosques are guaranteed to be full.  It has been reported that the armed officers forced the civilian congregation to remain seated for several hours, causing them to miss their obligatory prayers altogether, under threats of being shot by the armed men.  A secret video recording also showed the armed men intimidating the congregation, not even allowing them look at the supposed officers walking among them in the prayer areas [2].

Among those harassed were diplomats from the Indonesian embassy, who attended the Friday prayers.  After being detained for 90 minutes by police, the Indonesian authorities condemned the actions of the Czech officials.  Representatives of Christian churches and the Jewish community in the country have also spoken out against the raids [3].

No Freedom of Expression for Muslims Under the Draconian Pretext of “Extremism”

What is perhaps more outrageous is the reported reason behind such a heavy-handed harassment.  The police were combing through the entire mosques, to the extent that they were turning copies of the Qur’ān inside-out looking for an alleged ‘extremist’ and ‘racist’ book.  What was this book?  A Czech translation of The Fundamentals of Tawheed by Dr Bilal Phillips [4].

The seemingly arbitrary, farfetched interpretation of such a simple, ubiquitous book on basic Islamic beliefs as hate speech and racism is not only clearly ridiculous for anyone who has read the book, but extremely offensive.

The 55-year-old Czech citizen that organised the translation and publishing of the book was arrested and faces charges of “promoting hate speech”, a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

An Important Juncture for Czech Republic

We have already seen the actions of individuals and governments in physically harming or discriminating against Muslims in Europe, and enacting Draconian measures against them.  This incitement against Muslims in Europe—the vast majority of whom are peaceful, law-abiding citizens of their respective counties—is among the vile consequences of the malicious mistranslation and vilification of basic Islamic beliefs and practises.

We echo the fear of Muneeb Al Rawi, chairman of the Union of Muslim Communities in the Czech Republic, “that members of the Muslim minority in the Czech Republic might be endangered.” [5]  We have already seen the anti-Muslim sentiments of France [6] and Norway [7] turn into violence against unprotected men, women and children—in extreme cases leading to suicide attempts by the subjugated [8]—and we would hate to see this spread further.

Sheikh Dr Haitham al-Haddad, who visits Prague frequently, commented by saying: “We hope that the Czech authorities are not joining the global war on Islam that Tony Blair called for two days before this horrific incident, in his notorious speech at Bloomberg in London.”

He added, “These attacks are waking up Muslims and uniting them.  We hope that the Muslim community in Prague realise that they are going to face different challenges and they should be up to these challenges.  They need to be active on different levels and spheres in society.”

British Muslims’ Call

We urge the Czech Republic to look after its minorities and resist succumbing to the sinister rhetoric and frankly ridiculous propaganda of those who seek to disturb the peace in their society, that would paint such a harmless book on basic Islamic monotheism as some kind of modern Mein Kampf.

We also call on the Czech Muslims to remain vigilant against abuses and restrictions of their liberty by the state, while continuing to be upstanding and exemplary members of their wider communities.  They must not let such intimidation prevent them from carrying out their cohesive community and outreach work.

Source: www.islam21c.com

This statement was drafted on behalf of a number of Muslim leaders, activists and organisations, and published on Islam21c.  Please feel free to cross-post, share and add your comments of support.

Notes:

[1] http://www.praguepost.com/czech-news/38793-hundreds-of-muslims-protest-police-mosque-raid

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfaJX92Zu2c&feature=youtu.be

[3] http://www.ceskenoviny.cz/zpravy/police-raid-on-prague-muslim-centres-was-lawful-ministry/1077249

[4] http://www.onislam.net/english/news/europe/472073-czech-muslims-protest-police-raid.html

[5] http://www.praguepost.com/czech-news/38793-hundreds-of-muslims-protest-police-mosque-raid

[6] http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/06/19/pregnant-muslim-woman-miscarries-baby-veil-attack_n_3464409.html

[7] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14259989

[8] http://www.france24.com/en/20130827-french-muslim-girl-veil-attack-suicide-skinheads-islamophobia-paris-police/

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5 comments

  1. Wow you muslims live in a different world, dont you. Honor killings, genital mutiliation, rapes, disrespect to women, terrorism… And then you go talking about charity and that others have to embrace you. NO, the way you live and act among us is only getting back at you. And you dont behave well, you are not a good guests and you wont be welcome to stay. You have no respect for your host, and you will pay for it.

    • Let me guess, you’re ‘going on a march to make Britain back British’. You must be tired of the Muzlamic Iraqi law in London…

  2. wake up O’ Muslim and fight back!!!

  3. God has created diverse human beings to live in this tiny global village of one family. Creation by its very nature is diverse with different species, different communities, different cultures and languages. These differences represent the beauty and wonder but diversity is sometimes not fully appreciated, resulting in all sorts of clashes. The British society and Establishment must learn to respect and accommodate others, as if in a family.

    To all the haters in this world, if you want to know more about Islam read about Prophet Mohammad peace be upon Him and his household. Don’t depend everything on what you hear from people and especially media, because nothing’s easier than spreading out rumours. Yes I am a Muslim lady, but I have Christians friends, Jewish friends, Buddhist friends.. so we’re not anti-social and bullies… and Thank God we respect everyone because that’s what the Holy Quran tells us to do :) Here’s the story Mohammad PBUH is just a messenger not an inventor. Allah almighty sent Mohammad to make him introduce Islam to the people. Don’t insult Islam, normal Muslims like me don’t sit & talk to insult the other religions or the other people. This is wrong! Islam respects the other religions or EVEN people who don’t believe in anything.

    Before accusing all Muslims as terrorists, make sure you civilize yourself with true facts. Do not depend on media and rumours… You are all blinded with stereotypes.. so in other words, you are all ignorant ! Thank God our religion taught us how to respect peoples religion and opinions. Whatever you say reflects who you follow.. so thanks for proving us right :)

    Do you guys have ever read the history of Ustmaniyah Kingdom in turkey before the WW1? if u guys see the real history of Ustmaniyah kingdom, you will agree with all of his points. cuz the in that kingdom, they are not only Muslims, but also Christians and Jews and they were living in peace. UNTIL the world sees it as a threat to the world (bcuz of course they could getting bigger and bigger) they interrupted them and mixed them with politics. just saying though. if u r not convinced, read history

    ISLAM and Quran is against terrorist. Prophet Muhammad was driven from his city and moved to another city while being chased by non Muslims who hated him for preaching his religion, when he came to settle in another city, the enemies wanted to invade and kill him, that’s the only reason why him and his army fought, to protect themselves

    Spousal abuse is not just a Muslim issue, you know how many of your fellow white, non Muslim British men assault and abuse their wives? With their drinking levels it happens at an astonishingly high rate. Does it concern you?
    IA
    London School of Islamics Trust

  4. If the likes of meek Dr Bilal Phillips is subject to harassment for promoting to thought and understanding, then what hope the rest of us. The witch hunt against people for believing in God, performing prayers and giving charity is indeed outlandish.

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