WORLD CAPITALS – Muslim organizations worldwide have condemned bomb attacks on three Nigerian churches during a Christmas Mass, saying the attackers do not represent true Islam.
"We condemn the unconscionable and inexcusable attacks on Nigerian churches and offer sincere condolences to the loved ones of those killed or injured,” the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said in a press release obtained by OnIslam.net on Monday, December 26.
"Only a strong demonstration of interfaith unity will show those behind the attacks that they will never achieve their goal of dividing society along religious lines."
The world was rattled on Sunday by news about three attacks that targeted churches in Nigerian capital Abuja, killing at least 30 people and injuring scores.
A radical Islamist group, Boko Haram, has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The radical group has been blamed for dozens of bombings and shootings in the north, and has claimed responsibility for two bombings in Abuja this year.
Voicing strong Muslim condemnations for the terrorist attacks, Islamic Supreme Council of Canada founder, Imam Syed Soharwardy, has spoken out against the church bombings in Nigeria.
"This is an extremely deplorable crime … It's not Islam. This is an un-Islamic action", said Imam Soharwardy.
“On the day of Christmas this terrorism is worse of its kind. The attacks on churches while Christians were praying and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ cannot be done by anyone who knows and follows Islam, the group said in a media release published by CTV Calgary.
“We remind the media and the people that the group who has claimed the responsibility, Boko Haram is a Wahabi group. We do not consider these people to be the true followers of Islam.”
“Islamic Supreme Council of Canada expresses deep sadness on the loss of innocent lives. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the worldwide Christian community in solidarity against this violence,” Imam Soharwardy added.
Meanwhile, the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada planned a Calgary memorial service for the victims of the Nigerian church bombings on Christmas day at Green Dome Islamic School and Mosque in the northeast.
The Muslim Council of Britain had said in a statement that faithful Muslims should not tolerate attacks on houses of worship, including those of Christians.
"There is nothing in our faith of Islam that can condone attacks on places of worship or on Christians as we have seen today,” MCB secretary general Farooq Murad said in a statement published by Express newspaper.
"The attacks take place at the most important celebrations for Christians, it is offensive and Muslims condemn such actions. It threatens the fragile state of relations between Muslims and Christians, which has been peaceful in the past,” he added.
"Sectarian attacks as we have seen in Nigeria and in Iraq last week are reprehensible - people who claim to carry out such carnage in the name of Islam are completely mistaken and are as much enemy of Muslims as anyone else."
In Malaysia, Pan-Malaysia Islamic Party (PAS) slammed Nigeria’s Christmas Day church bombings.
“PAS, together with the international community, condemns the church attacks in the strongest terms possible,” the party’s international committee chair Kamarudin Jaffar told Harakah daily on Tuesday, December 26.
“We also support the statement made by the Muslim Council of Britain condemning the attacks.”
Muslim scholars have repeatedly slammed terrorist attacks on civilians of any religion.
In 2008, thousands of Muslim scholars from across India denounced terrorism as a violation of Islamic teachings, calling it the “biggest crime as per Qur'an."
Another Britain-based Muslim scholar, Sheikh Tahir ul-Qadri, issued a 600-page fatwa in May 2011, condemning suicide bombings, kidnappings and the killing of innocent people as “absolutely against the teachings of Islam”.
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