Muslims in Oxfordshire condemn Woolwich killing

MUSLIMS in Oxfordshire have condemned the killing of a serving soldier in Woolwich yesterday.

Dr Sheikh Hojjat Ramzy, director of the Oxford Islamic Information Centre, said he wanted to express his “utter condemnation and disgust” at the attack.

He said: “This was an act of barbarism and the people who have committed such a crime cannot claim their actions are justified by Islam in any way, or that they are justified by incidents abroad. This was a cold-blooded killing and such crazed individuals must be under the influence of evil which logic fails to explain.

“The Muslim Community in Oxfordshire and beyond are shocked and appalled by this brutal, inhumane, premeditated killing of an innocent individual.

“We send our sincere condolences to the family of the man killed, our heart and thoughts and prayers are with them.”

Imam Monawar Hussain, founder and director of The Oxford Foundation, said: "The Woolwich attack is horrific and utterly barbaric. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and colleagues of the victim and the wider armed forces family.

"As an organisation that works closely with serving and former Muslim soldiers through the British Armed Forces Muslim Association, we believe we can defeat fanaticism of the terrorists through being absolutely resolute in standing for values that our brave soldiers make the ultimate sacrifice for - the rule of law, democracy, justice and freedom.

 

"Terrorists will always lose because they have nothing to offer our world but hatred, division and violence - these being wholly abhorrent to the human spirit. We must therefore remain absolutely united in the face of this terroristic outrage."

Meanwhile a member of the British Legion who helps organise repatriations at Brize Norton also condemned the attack.

Steve Radband, whose son David, 27, has completed two tours of duty in Afghanistan and two in Iraq, said: “It is not good when you have got soldiers being killed in Afghanistan then coming home and being killed.

“I just don’t know how you’re going to stop it.

“They are terrorists. They knew he was a soldier.”

It comes as the Government's emergency response committee, Cobra, is to reconvene this morning to discuss security measures.

Prime Minister and Witney MP David Cameron will meet his top advisers to urgently address potential security implications following the murder in Woolwich.

On Wednesday night, Scotland Yard's police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe confirmed two men had been arrested and said officers from the counter-terrorist unit were leading the investigation into the "shocking and horrific" incident.

He said: "It is hard to comprehend the shocking and horrific scenes we have seen this afternoon on a busy street as Londoners went about their day as normal. We have launched a murder investigation, being led by the Counter Terrorism Command. Two men have been arrested in connection with that murder."

The arrests came after terrorism returned to the streets of the capital when two suspected Muslim fanatics attacked a man - believed to be a serving British soldier - in the name of "Allah".

One of the attackers behind the barbaric killing, near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, was filmed wielding a bloodied meat cleaver, saying: "We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you."

In the chilling footage the suspected killer apparently explains his terrifying actions. "We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," he is heard to say in the clip, obtained by ITV News.

"I apologise that women have had to witness this today, but in our land our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government, they don't care about you."

Security has been stepped up at military barracks across London. It is not clear whether that has been extended to bases in Oxfordshire.

Armed officers called to the terrifying scenes opened fire and shot the attackers, who were rushed to nearby hospitals, where one was said to be in a serious condition.

Prime Minister David Cameron described the attack as "truly shocking" while the Home Secretary Theresa May said it was "sickening and barbaric".

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