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Muslims say bombers are not martyrs

Sat., July 16, 2005

LONDON – Muslim leaders and scholars condemned the London bombings Friday but stopped short of criticizing all suicide attacks, with some of them saying those targeting occupying forces are sometimes justified.

The 22 imams and scholars meeting at London’s largest mosque said in a joint statement that the perpetrators of the subway blasts had violated the Quran by killing innocent civilians and that no one should consider them martyrs.

But some agreed later in comments to reporters that attacks that focus on occupiers can sometimes be considered a form of defense.

“There should be a clear distinction between the suicide bombing of those who are trying to defend themselves from occupiers, which is something different from those who kill civilians, which is a big crime,” said Sayed Mohammed Musawi, the head of the World Islamic League in London.

“The media in the West are mixing the difference between these two, and the result is that some of our Muslim youth are becoming more frustrated and they think that both are the same, even though Muslim law forbids killing any innocent lives,” Musawi said. He spoke at a news conference at the London Central Mosque after the leaders and scholars read a statement condemning the July 7 attacks.


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