MCB Calls for Immediate Release of Hostages In Iraq

21 Sep 2004

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) is shocked and horrified by the killing of the American hostage Eugene Armstrong in Iraq yesterday. We convey our condolences to the family of the deceased as indeed to all the victims of this avoidable conflict. Hostage taking, let alone beheading the prisoner, is not a practice that is permitted under Islamic rules of war.

The MCB reaffirms its call for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Iraq and the restoration of its people’s sovereign right to rule themselves.

MCB Deputy Secretary General Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, however, told reporters: “The recent spate of horrific kidnappings and savage beheading of hostages in Iraq has vindicated the well considered view that the continued presence of foreign troops in Iraq and aerial bombings of its cities and villages will engender more violent reaction and human suffering of incalculable proportions.”

The MCB registers its fullest support for the appeal made by the family of British hostage Mr Ken Bigley’s, both to the hostage-takers and the concerned authorities, to release all women prisoners who are detained incommunicado and without trial. Dr Abdul Bari said: “The fact that such a demand emanates from hostage-takers does not in any way diminish the human rights of these women or our own obligation to abide by international human rights law.”

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The Muslim Council of Britain (www.mcb.org.uk) is the UK’s representative Muslim umbrella body with over 400 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.

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