WAGGA’S Muslim leader has condemned the attacks in Paris as a crime against humanity.
Muslim Association of Riverina Wagga chairman Dr Ata u-Rehman joined a chorus of prominent Australian Muslims to offer sympathy for France and other nations attacked in recent days.
“We condemn these attacks, outrightly,” he said. “We have to make sure our voice is heard … we don’t want to associate ourselves, and we are in no way associated with them.
“In Islam, if you kill one human, it is as if you are killing humanity.”
Dr Rehman stressed that Islam was a friendly religion in stark contrast with the horror felt on the streets of Paris.
“Anything that is happening over there shouldn't be brought here to say we, the Muslims, are responsible for this,” he said.
Political leaders have upped the anti-Islamic State (IS) rhetoric in the wake of the attacks, with the focus now on what military changes, if any, will be undertaken in Syria. It was reported on Monday France dropped 20 bombs on IS strongholds in Syria as it deals with what it says is a war.
Dr Rehman cautioned against following US policy in relation to the Middle East.
“We should have our own policies that shouldn’t be dictated by someone else thousands of miles away,” he said. “If we enter Syria, it should be with the sole purpose of destroying ISIL, not like America’s presence in Iraq, which brought no peace to the region.”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.