5 July 2016


Today is the last day of one of the bloodiest Ramadans we have ever witnessed. With attacks in Bangladesh, lraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the US and Yemen this month alone, the global jihadist insurgency is undeniable.

As the holy month draws to an end, we stand with Muslims all across the world to mourn over their tragic losses to jihadist terrorism and remember those whose Eid will be a time for sadness rather than celebration. Quilliam expresses its deepest condolences to all victims of this month’s atrocities; our thoughts are with their families and friends.

The attacks this week show that the first victims of this global jihadist insurgency are Muslims and we commit to doing more to provide accessible theological refutation to Islamist terrorist indoctrination. For most Muslims yesterday’s bombing of the highly symbolic Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Mosque in the holy city of Madinah was like a stab in the heart. Meanwhile, families in Bangladesh were still burying their dead, and Iraq was in the midst of their three days of national mourning of the 165 deaths of this year’s deadliest attack. Quilliam’s diverse theological team is outraged at the brutality occurring during Ramadan, targeting Muslims and holy sanctuaries.

Sheikh Dr Usama Hasan, Head of Islamic Studies at Quilliam, says: “The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, is for all Muslims one of the holiest sites. The attack on it illustrates that Islamist terrorism is an assault on Islam itself.

From Orlando to Madinah, these attacks have demonstrated the false Islamist narrative that Ramadan is a month of Jihadism as opposed to the Islamic teaching that Ramadan is a month of fasting, charity, generosity and godliness. The danger of Islamist extremism is clear: when Islam is subverted and reduced to a political project, even the most sacred symbols become twisted to ‎suit political objectives.

ISIS and other Islamist extremist groups are fuelling inter-Muslim and anti-Muslim hatred by spreading their toxic interpretations of Islam, which have destroyed thousands of lives during this holy month. We strive to undermine the ideologies and narratives responsible for these deaths and ask for your support of our theologians who work hard every day to advocate a version of Islam that is compatible with a peaceful, democratic and pluralistic society.

Haras Rafiq, Quilliam’s Managing Director, says: “We cannot simply pray for peace but got to fight prejudice and intolerance by promoting pluralism”.

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