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13 October 2001

The Muslim News’s Report on the 13 October 2001 March

More than 20,000 people from various backgrounds, faiths and political affiliations, marched through the streets of London on October 13, calling for an end to the bombing in Afghanistan as well as peace and justice for the victims of the attacks. The demonstration was organised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) but was heavily supported by many Muslim groups such as the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain. The organisation’s Leader Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui said it was the duty of Muslims worldwide as well as other conscientious people to “make alliances with all oppressed people”. “We need to make sure we are in the front line and part of the movement affecting change; the whole Muslim world will be against Bush and Blair because they are the terrorists,” he said.…

Many people from outside London had attended the demonstration including a huge contingency from Birmingham. Salma Yakoob, Chair of the Birmingham Coalition to Stop the War described how the events of last month had changed her life as an observing Muslim living in the West. “Suddenly, I wasn’t seen as a citizen anymore but a terrorist”. Within the first week of the events in New York, a member of the public spat at Salma. “None of us can say now that we haven’t seen; if we don’t act now, we don’t care” she said referring to the unfolding tragedy in Afghanistan….”.

Salma importantly highlighted that no single or religious group was in majority at the demonstration but that a cross-section of the whole community was represented, and meant the anger at the bombings was not just coming from the Muslim corner. “If it was only Muslims that were here today, they would have called us terrorists but this is not the case,” she said.  

Alan Simpson, MP for Nottingham and a long time campaigner against war described the bombings as “turning rubble into more rubble”. He cited the fact that many of the bereaved relatives who lost loved ones in the Trade Centre were against the bombings as well. “We can pursue other methods because bombing is by far the worst,” he said.

CND spokesperson said that they “unreservedly condemned the US-led bombing in Afghanistan” as well as expressing the concern “about the implications for the progressive measures put in place to isolate terrorist organisations worldwide”.

By Mohammed Sajjad




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