Mosques, Islamic organisations and Muslim leaders in Preston have described the “sadness and fear” felt by the community after the Quran was desecrated by two pupils at Fulwood Academy last week.
In an open letter they said that such acts “can quickly turn into violence and hatred against Muslims.”
They also offered support to Preston’s schools, saying they are eager to work with teachers “to help create dialogue and educate pupils” about Islam and tackle any misconceptions that might lead to further anti-Muslim acts.
This is the full statement:
“We are extremely saddened to hear of the incident at Fulwood Academy school last week, where the Holy Qur’an, the most important religious book the religion of Islam and Muslims across the world, has been desecrated by students on two separate occasions.
“The Qur’an is revered by Muslims as the word of God, which Muslims honour and hold in deep respect.
“Naturally, the desecration of the Qur’an results in sadness and fear amongst the Muslim community. We understand that this type of Islamophobia and hate which has led to desecration of the Qur’an, can quickly turn into violence and hatred against Muslims.
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“We hope that the students who tore up the Qur’an can come to understand why this type of action is wrong.
“We support the current action taken by the school and welcome the open and honest way the principal has dealt with these incidents.
“We would like to better understand what leads to young minds to be filled with anti-Muslim rhetoric and what can be done to challenge this in the future.
“We would like to offer our practical support to help create dialogue and educate pupils at schools across Preston to help spread the message that Islam is and has always been a religion of peace.
“We are proud of the interfaith relationships we have developed and continue to maintain in Preston, and we look forward to continuing to work with people of all faiths and none, to have a common respect and understanding for each other.
“We will continue to pray for the well-being of all staff and students who attend the school, and all the people of Preston.”
Faith Leader Mohammed Farook Kazi, Al-Ansaar Welfare & Education
Faruk Desai, Jamea Masjid
Imam Arif Polli, Eldon Street Mosque
Imam muhammad javed, Daarul Arqam Education
Imam Yunus Misbahi, Masjid e Noor
Imam Habibullah Munshi, The Suffah Institute
Imam Ismail Daud & Khalid Ibrahim, Quwwatul Islam
Imam Abdul Rasool Alwari, Raza Mosque Preston
Imam Ayyub Nakhsbandi, Noorani Masjid
Ayub Patel, Masjid e Falah
Imam Naeem Toorawa & Fayyez Ahmed, Masjid e Quba
Imaam Imtiyaz Kamal & Imaam Huzayfah Bhayat, Masjid e Saliheen
Moulana Ishak Patel & Hafiz Ibrahim Sufi, Madani Institute
Tahir Ali & Imam Hafiz Javed, Masjid E Aqsa
Imaam Riyaz Dola, Masjid Al Huda
Imam Ikram Patel & Imam Vasiyullah Bhayat, Madina Masjid
Abu Ahmed , City Mosque Preston
Moulana Elyas Desai, Maahadus Shuhada
Imam Juned Ingar & Imam Hafiullah bhayat, Zakariyya Masjid
Imaam Iqbal Bhana & Imaam Uwais Bentik, Masjid e salaam