Leeds Imam's plea for unity as "vile opportunists" spread anti-Muslim hatred after terror attack

A LEEDS Imam  has urged communities to unite following the London terror attack and not allow "vile opportunists"  who spread anti-Muslim hatred to win.

Qari Asim

Qari Asim , Imam of Leeds Makka Mosque on Brudenell Road, Hyde Park, said: "If the aim of attacks such as this is to divide communities and incite hatred, then it has failed. Taking the lives of innocent people does not follow the teachings of any religion.

“ We have already seen vile opportunists using the victims of the Westminster terrorist attack to spread anti-Muslim hatred. We must work together to defeat terrorism in all its forms.

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“I urge all communities of faith, and no faith, to remain united and even more determined to eradicate all forms of terrorism. ”

Commenting on the possible motives of the attacker, Mr Asim said: "They are misinterpreting faith for their own geo-political aims and they are craving attention.

"The terrorist would have known that he wouldn't have been able to get into Parliament House, but to create that scene of mayhem outside Parliament would create attention and sow the seeds of division between communities and raise suspicion and division between communities.

"We must not give in to the extremists by letting this incident divide us. I think they are trying to divide communities by creating this sense of fear and anxiety between communities.

"They want this opportunity to create and reinforce ant-muslim hatred. That gives rise to hatred but it also in return radicalises more people because if you hate people they don't like you either. It is a perpetual cycle of violence caused by the attacks.

"A primary school visited our mosque this morning. Through opening our doors we are raising awareness that terrorists are a fringe minority, they don't represent our faith.

"It is by positive action that we can make people understand that we all want the same thing. We are all united against all forms of terrorism.

Mr Asim added: " There is a danger that populist leaders or the far right will exploit the opportunity to create more hatred towards immigrants, towards ethnic minorities.

"People have to guard against that and ensure that if we give in to that, if we let hatred rule, then effectively we are letting the terrorists win, because that's what they want."