Muslim leaders refuse to bury London Bridge attackers

Muslim leaders refuse to bury London Bridge attackers
2 min read
06 June, 2017
Over 130 imams and religious leaders said they have refused to perform the traditional Islamic funeral prayer for the Manchester and London attackers.
British Muslim leaders refused to perform prayers to bury the Manchester and London attackers [Getty]
More than 130 imams and Muslim religious leaders in the UK have refused to perform prayers to bury the Manchester and London attackers.

The Muslim Council of Britain released a statement on Monday with signatories, including imams, scholars and Muslim leaders decrying the attacks and refusing to carry out the funeral prayers.

The council described the move as unprecedented, stating that the prayers are normally performed at burial "for every Muslim regardless of their actions", but "our principles alienates them from any association with our community".

"Though at no time is it acceptable, that such ruthless violence was perpetrated during the season of Ramadan, in which Muslims worldwide focus on pious devotion, prayer, charity and the cultivation of good character, demonstrates how utterly misguided and distant the terrorists are from our faith and the contempt which they hold for its values," the statement said.

"In light of other such ethical principles which are quintessential to Islam, we will not perform the traditional Islamic funeral prayer for the perpetrators and we also urge fellow imams and religious authorities to withdraw such a privilege."

British police on Tuesday identified the third attacker in the weekend terror assault that hit London as 22-year-old Youssef Zaghba – an Italian of Moroccan descent.

Zaghba was identified a day after the police named his accomplices as Khuram Shazad Butt, 27, a Pakistan-born Briton, and Rachid Redouane, 30, a self-described Moroccan-Libyan dual national. 

Police also said they had made an overnight raid in east London and arrested a 27-year-old man early Tuesday. Twelve people arrested earlier have since been released.

Butt "was known to the police and MI5" but there was no intelligence to suggest the attack was being planned, the Metropolitan Police said. 

Zaghba was "not a police or MI5 subject of interest," it added, an assertion that seemed to conflict with accounts in the Italian media.

Criticism immediately flared about how Butt was able to carry out the attack.

He had notably featured in a Channel 4 TV documentary entitled "The Jihadis Next Door" and, according to the British media, numerous people alarmed by his views had gone to the authorities.

According to Italian media reports, Zaghba's status as a potential militant had been notified to the British and Moroccan secret services. 

The London attack follows the May 22 suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena by Salman Abedi - killing 22 people, including children - who was also known to British intelligence services.

Agencies contributed to this report.