Islamic leader from Newham says 7/7 terror should be fought with peace
- Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima
Ten years on from London’s July 7 Islamist bombings, the president of the borough’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Association spoke of the need to fight extremism with love and peace.
Basharat Ahmad, 55, works with other Ahmadiyyas to spread their motto “love for all hatred for none” and believes the attack, which killed Plaistow’s Shahara Islam, was not Islamic.
“Islam is a religion of peace, what is happening in the name of Islam is un-Islamic,” he said. “Our Ahmadiyya community has been in the UK for 100 years promoting peace. Islam does not have any place in terror, Islam is against all of these things.”
Shahara, 20, had been on her way to work at the Co-operative Bank in Islington when a deviation from her usual route due to train bombings resulted in her sitting on the Number 30 bus – across the aisle from terrorist Hasib Hussain.
The suicide bomber’s detonation was the fourth of the day, killing 13 of the 52 victims.
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Her uncle, 25-year-old Nazmul Hasan, received a call from Shahara’s phone at 9.47am, which is when the bus was destroyed.
“I didn’t know anything was wrong,” he told the Guardian. “There was no voice, just the sound of people talking and a commotion in the street. Then it went dead.”
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After the bombing, he and Shahara’s father, Shamsul, searched eight hospitals for her before the family realised she was dead and released a statement.
“She was an Eastender, a Londoner and British, but above all a true Muslim and proud to be so,” it read.
Basharat said he doesn’t consider the Islamist bomber a Muslim.
“The Qur’an says one who kills a person or causes disorder in the land it is as if he has killed all of mankind,” he said. “Looking at the current global climate from the Islamic perspective people are very worried about Islam – but these acts don’t have any place in Islam. Islam promotes peace and tolerance. We can move together and we can convey the true message of Islam.”
Shahara was born at Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel after Shamsul moved to London in the 1960s to work for Transport for London. Her uncle Nazmul said the family was very proud of her.
“Everyone who knows her loves her dearly,” he told the BBC before her death was confirmed. “There isn’t a single person who could say a bad thing about her.”