The Tragic Murder of Father Jacques Hamel in Normandy

The murder of Father Jacques Hamel, an 86 year old priest in Normandy yesterday was a disgraceful act and at a new level of depravity by the so called “Islamic State”. This man of faith was cruelly killed by individuals who in our opinion are devoid of any true faith or compassion.

The Greater Manchester Muslim Communities like many communities across the world take this opportunity in sending our condolences to the family and friends of Father Hamel. We stand in solidarity with communities across the world in saying that the actions of these terrorists will not divide us and that only peace will prevail. Such acts of terrorism aim to incite hatred and violence amongst the different communities in France and around the world – we must not allow such killers to succeed or to intimidate any society into changing its peaceful coexistence.
It is also important to note that it has been reported that these terrorists are “jihadists” or “Islamists”; we wish to make it clear as we have done on many occasions previously that these terrorist acts are criminal actions. This is not “jihad” neither do they have any basis from the faith of Islam. The actions of “Daesh” are indiscriminate and target all faiths and all people as seen by the murder of 44 people in Qamishli in Syria today.

We must continue to work towards eradicating hate and also remain vigilant at all times. We must further assist the police service with any information that can help to eradicate all forms of terrorism.

This statement is issued by the following organisations:

Stockport Muslims

Stockport Muslims are Muslims from the suburbs of Greater Manchester that work with all communities in developing mutual understanding and social cohesion. Stockport Muslims are committed to justice, tolerance and building a fairer society for all.
Bolton Council of Mosques: BCoM
The Bolton Council of Mosques (BCoM) has been uniting, and standing up for Muslims in Bolton for over 20 years. Its goal is to ensure that all Muslims have the opportunity to take an active part in building a better society for everyone who lives in Bolton by involving them at a grass roots level, and highlighting the vital contribution they make to the town. BCoM has 26 affiliated Mosques.

Rochdale Council of Mosques: RCM

The Rochdale Council of Mosques has been working with communities in Rochdale since 2003 and it has 15 mosques affiliated to it. Our vision is to develop successful, confident and united Muslims, who pursue their aspirations with respect and dignity in order to make valuable contributions to the economic, spiritual and civic life of Rochdale. Our work is about developing a framework for addressing issues affecting local Muslim people through effective partnership working, promoting harmony and unity between the people of Rochdale. We endeavour to consult, contribute, help develop and where needed, deliver services which meet the needs of the Muslim communities living in Rochdale. We also act as a gateway to service providers, enhancing access and participation of the Muslim community.

Manchester Council of Mosques: MCOM

MCOM represent over 70 mosques in Manchester with a combined congregation of over 80,000 people. MCOM aims to work for Manchester and beyond to be a great place to worship, live, work and prosper in. MCOM regularly issues statements and press releases to mosques and the wider society to build a just and harmonious society.

For more information, please contact:
Mr Yousef Dar (Stockport Muslims) 07833 494 088
Mr Ibrahim Kala (BCoM) 07525 048 346
Mr Dobir Miah (RCM) 07764 614 031
Mr Qadir Chohan (Chair of MCOM) 07904 092 748