Muslims: London bombings don't represent Islam

By Errol Kiong

New Zealand's Muslim community has condemned the London bombings.

Sameer Youssef, of the Auckland University Islamic Society, said the act did not represent Islam.

"I don't think the acts would be supported by any Muslims. They're not representing Muslims at all."

Fellow Muslim Hady Osman said: "The religion has been hijacked by a group of people using it for their own purposes."

Federation of Islamic Associations president Javed Khan said the federation was sending its condolences to the British High Commission in Wellington.

"I am as distressed as anybody else would be now. It is something that we do not want to hear, that we dread. I feel for the people who have suffered this kind of atrocity. Whoever has done this horrible act should be brought to justice. They are complete terrorists. Nobody has got any right to take the lives of innocent people."

Muslims in London say they feared they would be victims of a knee-jerk revenge reaction.

"The whole world now will point at me and say I am an Arab and Muslim terrorist," said Zakaria Koubissi, a 29-year-old manager of a Lebanese restaurant in Edgware Rd.

"We expect to be harassed. It is a natural reaction, but people should know that Islam does not tell or allow us to kill innocent people," he said.

Around 1.6 million Muslims live in Britain, home to many Arab and Muslim opposition groups. - Errol Kiong, Reuters

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