The Malta Independent 18 November 2018, Sunday

Imam does not exclude Muslims having sympathy towards extremists, but says no terrorists in Malta

Neil Camilleri Friday, 11 December 2015, 14:43 Last update: about 4 years ago

The leader of the Muslim Community in Malta, Imam Mohamed Elsadi, said today that from the information he had there were no terrorists in Malta and that, if there were, he would be the first one to report them to the authorities.

The Imam was replying to questions by The Malta Independent after attending a demonstration against terrorism, which was held at the Paola Islamic Centre.

Asked if he knew about any extremist elements in Malta, he said there might be a few individuals who “sympathised” with them (terrorists) but insisted that they did not have aggressive tendencies or who would take part in terrorism. “We always try to guide people down the right path,” Mr Elsadi said.

During the short demo, which followed afternoon prayers, a member of the Muslim Community read out a message deploring the recent terrorist attacks, including those in Paris, Lebanon and the UK. “Those horrible acts were falsely proclaimed in the name of Islam and Muslims, while Islam prohibits the killing of innocent people irrespective of their faith or alleged justifications for such criminal acts.”

 

Don’t play into the hands of terrorists

“Terrorism has no religion or borders.  It has no justification and it does not serve any cause. The Muslim Community affirms that the terrorists are first and foremost the enemy of Islam and Muslims because they abuse of the Muslim faith.”

“By their satanic evil crimes, the terrorists expose Muslims, especially the minorities, to hatred, discriminations and sufferings. The terrorists are killing Muslims physically inside Muslim countries and killing them psychologically abroad.”

The Muslim Community called upon the International Community to join hands against ISIS and all other terrorists. “At the same time the international community should enhance its efforts to punt an end to the suffering of the Palestinian and Syrian people to wipe out any excuse for extremism and terrorism. We call upon all Muslim leaders to exercise social and political justice with their people and work vigorously to achieve national unity and stability in the Islamic countries in order to defeat terrorism.

The Muslim Community said it also believed that those who exercise hatred and intolerance towards peaceful Muslims because of terrorism are doing injustice to themselves and to the Muslims who are themselves victims of terrorism. “They are playing into the hands of terrorists and contribute in materialising their wicked goals to cause conflicts among religions and nations in order to recruit more people to support their satanic criminal project.”

 

Muslims experiencing ‘disrespect, intimidation’

Speaking to journalists after the event, Imam Elsadi said recent events had led some Maltese people to view Muslims in a different, more negative manner. Muslims, he said, had experienced discrimination, disrespect and intimidation.

“We always preached about respect and tolerance to our Maltese brothers but some people generalise and resort to disrespect and hate towards Muslims. I am very concerned about this. I hope that the other religious and political leaders to their utmost to show people that this is not the way. Hate does no one any good. We have to live together. Maybe we came here as refugees but we want to live here in peace.”

 

The Imam appealed to the Maltese people to distinguish between terrorists and Muslims and not to generalise. He also thanked Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil for “praising and supporting” the Muslim community. 

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