Oxford Muslim leaders condemn Lahore attacks

The leaders of Oxford's Muslim community respond to the Easter bombings in Pakistan

Muslim leaders in Oxford have condemned the suicide bombing that occurred in Pakistan on Sunday this week. 70 were killed and 300 injured at Lahore after a bomb was detonated at the city’s Gulshan-E-Iqbal park during Christian Easter celebrations.

It is thought that the majority of the victims of the attack were women and children, of which many were Muslims.

The founder of The Oxford Foundation Imam Monawar Hussain told Cherwell the attacks were “utterly senseless” and left him “deeply saddened.”

He added, “These were senseless and wicked attacks aimed at the Pakistani Christian community celebrating a significant religious holy day in the Christian calendar. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, friends and the people of Pakistan.

“As a father, it’s heart-breaking to witness the images of families and especially children playing, rejoicing and having fun, being cut down by such an horrific and callous act. As a Muslim, the Prophet’s words, ‘he who is not merciful to children is not one of us’ keep reverberating in my mind.”

A breakaway faction of the Taliban militant group, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, which once declared allegiance to IS, claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack.

Director of Cowley’s Oxford Islamic Centre Hojjat Ramzy said, “All Muslims condemn the killing of innocent people in Pakistan. We are praying for the families of the victims. Our heart goes to those who lost their loved ones.”

Since the attacks on Easter Sunday, Muslim communities worldwide have condemned the suicide bombing in Pakistan.

Oxford University Islamic Society told Cherwell, “The Oxford University Islamic Society would like to express its grief and shock at the heinous events of Lahore, and extend its heartfelt condolences and prayers to the people of Pakistan, and to all those around the world affected by terrorism. We note that the bombing, which targeted Christians and claimed predominantly Muslim lives, was an attack on Pakistani society, and we utterly reject this attempt to divide religious communities in Pakistan.

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“We pray for unity on the values of peace, compassion and mercy, and demand for the venerable Christian community in Pakistan the unconditional tolerance, respect and protection that is specifically postulated by Islamic teachings. All peoples around the world are involved in a common struggle against violence, and we support wholeheartedly any group working for peace and an end to war.”