Mosque leaders condemn fatal siege

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Showing respect: Ahmadi Muslim youths wearing ‘Muslims For Peace’ t-shirts) at Martin Place, Sydney, scene of a coffee shop siege that left two hostages dead.

LEADERS from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association’sa mosque in Langwarrin “categorically and unequivocally” condemned the Sydney siege that led to the deaths of two hostages held at gunpoint in a cafe by Man Haron Monis.

Monis, who forced hostages to hold up a flag proclaiming “There is no god but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger” was shot dead after police stormed the Lindt Cafe early Tuesday morning.

In Sydney for a conference during Monday’s siege in Martin Place, Ahmadiyya spokesman Aziz Bhatti said Islam “categorically rejects all kinds of violence and killings of innocent people”.

In the wake of the siege police from Carrum Downs offered protection against “any negative behaviour or attitudes” to members of the Bait-ul-Salam (House of Peace) mosque in Langwarrin.

The police emailed the mosque they “wanted to ensure that if you experience or become aware of any negative behaviour or attitudes towards the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association or anyone connected to the association, that you alert us to this, as it will not be tolerated and we would like to deal with it as quickly as possible”.

Mr Bhatti said no members of the congregation had reported being subjected to any negative behaviour as a result of the siege.

“The association categorically and unequivocally condemns the terror siege in Sydney’s Martin Place,” Mr Bhatti said.

“Islam categorically rejects all kinds of violence and killings of innocent people and it teaches love of the country. Australia is our home and we will do anything and everything to protract our beautiful country.

“This is the pledge we take in our mosques that we will serve our nation to the best of our abilities and will not be hesitant to offer any sacrifice to protect our homeland, Australia.”

In an official press release Ahmadiyya community said it “fully support the law enforcement authorities”.

Fifty Ahmadi Muslim youths wearing ‘Muslims for peace’ t-shirts showed their respect for the siege victims where flowers were being placed in Martin Place and flags were lowered one of Sydney’s largest Ahmadiyya mosques, Bait-ul-Huda (House of Guidance).

“This city [Sydney] has been shaken by a tragedy. I’m shocked and strongly reject any atrocity on the lives of the innocent. Such actions are criminal and totally contrary to the teachings of Islam. We are grieved that such an attack is done in the name of Islam seemingly,” the community’s national president Imam Kauser said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent people involved and also with the families who saw this incredibly distressing situation unfold, along with the rest of Australia.

“From the depths of our hearts, we pray for the families of the two deceased hostages, the wounded and the other hostages.”

First published in the Frankston Times

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