22 May 2019  Hijri Date: 17 رمضان 1440
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Response to BBC report of 16th August 2018

Didsbury Mosque is an inclusive and diverse centre, which is open to all people from different backgrounds. Our Friday sermons are public.

On 16th August 2018, BBC released a report that is based upon a misunderstanding of a sermon delivered at the Mosque by the use of exerts taken out of context and we are in the process of obtaining legal advice concerning this report.

Such sensationalist reporting is not helpful to the Muslim community or the wider community, and only further damages good community relations.

The Friday sermon in question took place shortly after chemical weapons were used by the Syrian regime against innocent men, women and children of Aleppo. There was a nationwide appeal by most UK charities to collect donations for humanitarian aid for the victims. The Friday sermon was aimed at encouraging the worshipers at the centre to donate generously to such causes and to pray to God to help those victims of oppression. There would have been many such passionate speeches in support of the Syrian people amongst the Muslim community at that time. The term Jihad was used in its wider meaning “to strive and struggle” and in this case aid to those being oppressed. There was no call for any military action, the Arabic term is (Qital). Nor was there any comment which could in anyway be construed to suggest that Britain or British people should be targeted or attacked. The focus was on the behaviour of the Syrian regime and its victims.

Dealing specifically with Salman Abedi, there is no nexus between his criminal conduct or anything said or done at Didsbury Mosque. The Mosque unconditionally condemns Salman Abedi's barbaric criminal conduct as being offensive to all civilised norms and the spirit and letter of Islam.

Didsbury mosque does not encourage anyone to go and fight in any military struggle. We refute strongly any suggestion that there is a link or association between Imam Mustafa Graf's sermon and the criminal actions of Salman Abedi, or his radicalisation. Nor have we been made aware that the latter's grievance was related to Syria.

However, as part of our regulatory management duties, we have launched an investigation into the sermon to identify any issues raised by the BBC report.

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 Manchester Islamic Centre and Didsbury Mosque - UK
271 Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2WA | Tel: 0161 4342254/4544 | Fax: 0161 4480324 | E-mail: info@didsburymosque.com  
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