Muslims call Sir David Amess murder an ‘indefensible atrocity’

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Tea

he murdered Sir David Amesey A joint statement from all mosques in Southend condemned it as an “unforgivable atrocity”, as police said the attack could be linked to Islamic extremism.

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Faith leaders said the MP – a married father – was “a sincere friend to our Muslim community” and participated in major events including weddings, the inauguration of the mosque and the launch of the city’s first Muslim Scout group.

Sir David, 69, was stabbed to death while he was meeting constituents Belfair Methodist Church Friday in Leh-on-Sea.

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The 25-year-old man, arrested from the scene on suspicion of murder, is in custody at the Essex Police Station.

Scotland Yard’s deputy assistant commissioner Dean Hayden, the country’s senior-most counter-terrorism official, formally declared the incident a terrorism and said a preliminary investigation had revealed “a possible motivation linked to Islamic extremism”.

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In a statement published on the Essex Jamme Mosque website on behalf of “all Southend Mosques”, he said his thoughts and prayers were with Sir David’s family, friends and colleagues.

“The killing of Sir David was an unforgivable atrocity, committed on the grounds of a place of worship, and we strongly condemn it,” the statement said.

Sir David Ames outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster

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“This act was done in the name of blind hatred, and we look forward to bringing the perpetrator to justice.”

Members of Southend’s Muslim community paid tribute to Sir David, with Essex Jamme Mosque Joint Secretary Ruhul Shamsuddin describing the MP as a “pillar of good and support for our community”.

“It was really senseless violence against a wonderful person,” he said.

Home Secretary Priti Patel on Saturday offered flowers at the church where Sir David Ames was killed (Essex Police/PA)

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/ PA Media

Iftikhar Ul Haq, Imam, UKIM Southend Mosque and President of UKIM Southend Mosque, Dr Arshad Ghori said Sir David was “always accessible, showed great kindness to communities and was always there to offer support”.

Ibrar Azam, secretary of Faizane Medina Masjid Southend, said he was “saddened” by the death of Sir David.

Meanwhile, an Iranian opposition group has paid tribute to Sir David, describing him as a “human rights champion” and an “enemy of many dictators”.

Hossein Abedini was among several members of Iran’s National Resistance Council who laid flowers and photographed the parliamentarian near the church where he died.

Mr Abedini said: “Sir David had a very important role in supporting the Iranian people, the insurgency in Iran, the Iranian refugees at Camp Ashraf.”

As part of this, Sir David recently called on the government to ban Iran’s President Ibrahim Raisi, a staunch cleric, from attending the Cop26 global climate summit in Glasgow, Mr Abedini said.

Southend councilor John Lamb said Sir David had “helped many refugees”.

“There are some Iranians in London who have often helped with family and problems, even in their own country,” he said.

“They have great respect and admiration for him and they are as devastated as we are that this happened to him.”

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