Imams refuse to perform funerals for London attackers

More than 130 imams and other religious leaders across Britain have refused to perform traditional Islamic funerals for the three attackers who killed seven people and wounded dozens more in London.

"Their acts and willful dismissal of our religious principles alienates (sic) them from any association with our community for whom the inviolability of every human life is the founding principle," the group said in a statement released by the Muslim Council of Britain. "Consequently, and in light of other such ethical principles which are quintessential to Islam, we will not perform the traditional Islamic funeral prayer for the perpetrators."

The group urged fellow imams and religious authorities to follow suit, saying the perpetrators' "indefensible actions are completely at odds with the lofty teachings of Islam." The statement said the "vile murderers" seek to divide Britain and instill fear.

"We implore everyone to unite: we are one community," the statement said  "In the face of such dastardly cowardice, unlike the terrorists, we must uphold love and compassion."

Saturday's attack began when a van plowed into pedestrians on London Bridge, then drove to the nearby Borough Market where the attackers went on a stabbing rampage. Armed officers confronted three suspects, who police said were wearing "hoax" suicide vests, at the market. The attackers were killed at the scene.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, the third terrorist strike in Britain in less than three months.

The attackers "defile" the Muslim religion, the statement said. It commended police and emergency services for their rapid response and courage in risking their own lives to protect the public.

"Their response exemplifies the courage, humanity and honour we must exhibit in such difficult times," the statement said.

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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