LETTER: Muslims condemn killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich

I write this letter with immense sorrow and disbelief at the inhumane way a young man by the name of Lee Rigby was killed in broad daylight. As a Muslim, I would like to express my sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased.

Whatever political or other reasons the killers used for this horrible incident, I would strongly remind all communities that the decisions of a democratic government must be respected and those who are not happy have a democratic right to protest in a peaceful and democratic manner.

No one has the right to take the law into their own hands, no matter what the grievance is. I, for one, as do all other Muslims I know, condemn this killing unreservedly.

As British citizens our faith leaders and community leaders need to stand up responsibly and be very clear in our condemnation and not let people incite our youth towards justifying this act because of any wrong that is happening elsewhere.

However, I would also like to point out to those who will paint the whole Muslim community with the same brush that at the time this heinous crime was being perpetrated, hundreds of thousands of Muslim doctors, nurses and healthcare workers like myself were helping and caring in the UK, saving people’s lives regardless of faith, colour or creed.

Many Muslim surgeons were in hospital theatres saving lives at the exact same time and thousands of Muslim men and women were educating our children – teaching all of them to be good citizens, living side by side and treating each other with respect.

Some Muslims were cleaning our streets and hospitals, some were feeding the elderly. And many more Muslims were doing many other essential services, not forgetting the Muslims in the police and fire service and different military forces of the UK.

No amount of words, flowers and money can compensate for the loss of a son, father and husband that Lee Rigby was. The vast majority of Muslims are sharing this sorrow and clearly saying “not in my name”.

Actions speak louder than words and, at these sensitive times, all people need to work positively at healing, uniting and strengthening our communities.

A charity close to the deceased appears to be “Help for Heroes”, I would encourage all members of the community to support this perfect cause.

I for one, along with the law-abiding and peaceful people across all the communities, say we are united against all forms of aggression, extremism, intolerance and hatred of any kind.

Sajid Ali

Nelson