In several sermons delivered on March 25, European Imams condemned the Brussels terror attacks. Speaking at the Al-Muhajirin Mosque in Bonn, Sheikh Dr. Khaled Hanafi, head of the Council of Imams in Germany and Dean of the Europäisches Institut für Humanwissenschaften, said that the attacks were being used to demonize the Muslim community in Europe. Hanafi, who is a member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, said that there was a danger of double standards being employed, "with European blood deemed more precious than Arab blood." Sheikh El-Hussain Younous, Imam of Badr Mosque in Amsterdam, said that Islamic rule in Al-Andalus was benevolent toward non-Muslims and added that when the Sultan ruling Morocco had been asked to hand the Jews over to the Nazis, he had refused to do so.
Following are excerpts
Al-Muhajirin Mosque, Bonn
Imam Dr. Khaled Hanafi: We all followed the bombings and the bloody events that took place in Brussels this week. We condemn these events, which targeted innocent civilians - women and children. Some of those killed or wounded may even have been Muslims. My brothers, terrorist operations and violent attacks must be condemned, regardless of who carries them out and where they take place, because innocent people who have done nothing wrong are killed in them. We reject what happened in Brussels and in Paris, just as we reject the killings and terrorism taking place in Syria, in Iraq, in Egypt, and elsewhere in the world. The great danger is that the media and the international community will employ double standards, drawing a distinction between different cases of killing and of terrorism, rather than attributing the same value to the blood (shed in different places), with European blood deemed more precious than Arab blood.
These double standards are among the reasons for the crisis, and for the feelings of injustice among the youth and people in general. We all must agree upon the criminalization, prohibition, and rejection of such events, and upon never justifying them, under any circumstances. However, at the same time, the European countries must stop taking part in burying the hopes and dreams of young (Muslim) people and societies, and in the attack against democracy in some of these (Arab) countries, and must stop participating in or turning a blind eye to the killing of innocent civilians. As analysts say, this is one of the causes of the violent events that we are witnessing.
Another great danger with regard to these events is the demonization of all the Muslims in Europe, if indeed, it turns out that the perpetrators were Muslims, instead of confining the blame to the perpetrators themselves. This might lead to legislation and measures against all the Muslims in Europe. Many cases of violent killings and terrorism have taken place in Europe. You may remember the German co-pilot who committed suicide, killing all 150 passengers on board, including some Muslims. This heinous event was dealt with as an act committed by one individual, who may have had psychological motivations that we can understand, which led him to carry out this act, just like various other crimes committed before this. Why weren't any generalizations made or special laws enacted against a certain group in society, when the perpetrator was not a Muslim?
Badr Mosque Amsterdam
Sheik El-Hussain Younous: This event that took place - if its perpetrator is a Muslim - is rejected by the shari'a, by our norms, logic, and religion. If its perpetrator is not a Muslim, it is rejected as well.
Islam rejects this kind of criminal deed. Islam rejects unjust killings. If some people in the West attribute these acts to Islam, we say to them: The religion of Islam is innocent of such deeds. Islam is the religion of peace and coexistence.
The Muslims lived in Al-Andalus for eight centuries. Islam ruled in Al-Andalus for eight centuries. All those who adhere to other religions attest that their most beautiful and glorious era was under Islamic rule in Al-Andalus. The Jews who lived in Islamic countries - not only in Morocco, but also in Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, and Yemen - attest that they encountered nothing but benevolence from the Muslims. Those among them who are honest attest to that. Even in the days of Nazism, when Adolf Hitler, that tyrannical dictator, was killing and slaughtering... He was not a Muslim, of course... Some Muslim countries, including Morocco... They were asked to turn in the Jews living in Morocco to the Nazis. But the Sultan ruling Morocco back then refused to do so.
This is Islam. If the Westerners want to understand the truth about Islam, they should study it, rather than look at someone who carried out a bombing or who killed someone, and then pass judgment about Islam being a religion of terror. If the perpetrators of the attacks think that they are Muslims, we tell them that this is not Islam. What you believe to be Islam is not, in fact, Islam. Islam does not command you to do such a thing. We strongly condemn such an act.