A Muslim leader in Stoke has condemned the latest terror attacks by extremists and called for people of all faiths to stand together against Daesh.
Imam Mohammed Amir spoke out as thousands gathered in France to mourn 84-year-old priest Father Jacques Hamel, who was brutally murdered in his church.
Imam Amir, who is the Imam of the City Central Mosque in Hanley, called for residents to defy the terrorists by showing love, peace, and unity.
“It was a brutal, inhumane, and disgusting attack on a beautiful individual of peace,” said Imam Amir.
Imam Amir said: “Lots of people ask me about ISIS and I have said that they are the opposite of Islam. They have killed civilians, and they have killed more Muslims than non-Muslims in the name of Islam. All they have in their hearts and mind is hatred.”
He said: “There is freedom in religion. Islam has existed for over a thousand years, and ISIS have appeared within the last 10″.
“They have meant that every Muslim is tarred with the same brush.” He also expressed his sadness people are becoming scared of his religion.
“I believe that because of the teachings of Islam I am a good person. But when I go to the airport, I am questioned because of how I look and because I have a beard. I feel low about myself, and I think, if only people knew who I really am”.
Councillor for Etruria and Hanley, Majid Khan said he believed recent atrocities, as well as the decision to leave the EU, had made some Muslims a target.
“We have seen verbal abuse and racist behaviour, particularly to taxi drivers,” he said.
“There’s no place for racism in the 21st century; people need to be tolerant.”
Source: Stoke Sentinel