Imams and Islamic leaders have come out today in a united voice to unequivocally condemn the atrocious attacks that have taken place at the BachaKhan University near Islamabad, Pakistan.
This attack, perpetrated by the Pakistani Taliban, saw over 30 people killed and a further more injured after militants stormed the University campus. The militants were met with resistance from security forces and after a period of intense gun fighting, the situation was bought under control.
This is not the first time that the Pakistan Taliban has attacked a place of education as only just over a year ago, the same splinter group barbarically murdered 130 children in an Army Public School in Peshawar that shook both Pakistan and the world to its core.
Following this attack, Imams and Islamic leaders here in the UK have expressed their sadness and outrage at the targeting of innocent students who were in pursuit of education. Innocent students that were striving to be the best they could be so that they could take their country forward.
Imam Qari Asim, head Imam at Makkah Mosque in Leeds, is one of the Islamic leaders that spoke out today and is quoted as having said,
Targeting innocent civilians in educational institutions is satanic, and NOT Islamic.
Prayers and thoughts for 3000 students that were trapped and their families, in particular those whose lives have been lost. They are the martyrs who will be in Paradise and NOT the suicide bombers and killers, who wrongly believe to be killing people in the name of Islam.
The Terrorists are NOT following any version of Islam, as some people claim. They are simply Khawarij (ex-communicated); they are killers of innocent lives, who claim to be part of the Muslim community but the Prophet (peace be upon him) has said that they will not be following Islam and will not be in Paradise because of their ill-actions.
This tragic incident once again shows that Muslims have suffered considerably as a result of the rise of extremism, particularly in terms of the number of lives lost around the world but also through the rise in anti-Muslim hatred. The foul and divisive views of extremists will only be defeated through us working together, with mutual co-operation between all communities and international government agencies.
May Allah Almighty protect the whole world from all forms of terrorism and extremism.