Sir Iqbal Sacranie: ‘There can never be justification for killing civilians’

But obviously there can be, Sir Iqbal: it not only happened in Britain on July 7, but in Iraq almost daily, in New York on 9/11, in Madrid on 3/11, and on and on. Your words are comforting to jittery Westerners, as are those of many other self-styled Muslim reformers. But what exactly are you doing to convince young Muslims that there can be no such justification? How would you respond to Dr. Hani Al-Siba’i‘s assertion that in Islamic law there is no concept of civilian in the Western sense — an assertion that I have seen confirmed in my own studies?

The Independent interviews the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain (thanks to Sr. Soph):

Sir Iqbal says among Muslims there is still a pervasive sense of “disbelief” the bombings could have taken place at all, including among community workers who knew the culprits. The attacks, he says, were “a major eye-opener” for the community.

“Until now we knew there was this rhetoric, we knew there were pretty high emotions, but we never ever felt that would be translated into such evil and criminal actions,” he says. “Whether we were in the dark or a bit naïve, the reality is that it happened. We have to take this situation extremely seriously.”

Sir Iqbal said many Muslims were still in denial that their neighbours had carried out the attacks – despite overwhelming evidence. “Nothing is clear about what motivated them,” he says.

Oh, Iqbal. Nothing could be clearer. Don’t expect us not to have heard of jihad — even the defensive jihad that the groups who claimed credit for the bombing invoked as their justification.

He said one theory circulating in the bombers’ community is that they were doing a dummy-run through the Tube, and explosives were put in their back packs. From his talks in Leeds he had heard that “there is some sort of video at the moment being circulated on the internet. There were various mock trials taking place – a test, people saying ‘we just want to try you out’. Then the very same people are brought in and somebody planted bombs in.”

Sir Iqbal is adamant that it is incumbent on members of the Muslim community to help the police with their investigation – and report any suspicions about other “criminals” who may be considering violent acts. But he is worried that co-operation is being hampered because law-abiding Muslims are being treated as suspects – not only by the police but by the public.

“We are all being accused and sentenced as if we are criminals,” he says. “There are innocent families who have got nothing to do with the act of criminality who have been treated as though there is some criminality in themselves.”

There’s an easy way to take care of this problem: fight the jihadists instead of the police. Then everyone will know what side you’re on.

Sir Iqbal believes Muslim leaders must now do more to foster good relations with the authorities, perhaps through a “third party” mechanism for reporting suspicions, which can then be passed on.

To help build trust, Sir Iqbal convened a caucus of 100 leading Islamic scholars and imams, from throughout the UK on Friday evening to issue a statement unequivocally condemning the attacks. The gathering, the first of its kind since the fatwa was issued against Salman Rushdie, issued a clear message that bombing attacks on civilians does not lead to martyrdom.

The message to the community was clear: “The pursuit of justice for the victims of last week’s attacks is an obligation under the faith of Islam.”

But there remained a niggling ambiguity, after the press conference, about whether the imams equally condemned British Muslims who mount suicide attacks in Israel or Iraq. After a number of questions, Sir Iqbal issues the clarification that seemed to have been missing before: “The position as far as the council is concerned in terms of any innocents wherever they are in any part of the world – there can never, ever be justification of killing civilians, full stop.”

But who exactly is innocent? Who exactly is a civilian? Iqbal, you need to do some more clarifying.

Some Muslims have suggested that Israeli adults can be considered combatants as they may be on a military reserve list. Is he prepared to distance himself from this view? “Israeli innocent civilians are in exactly the same category as innocent Palestinians, as innocent Britishers. They are innocent civilians,” he says, without hesitation.

This is not enough. It still allows room for a very narrow definition of what constitutes an “innocent civilian.” Please define “innocent civilian.”

Sir Iqbal insists that British Muslim scholars have taken a lead in condemning suicide attacks. But he reveals that in the behind-the-scenes discussions before the statement was issued on Friday a distinction was drawn by some between military targets and civilian targets in the Middle East.

“I will tell you where the confusion gets into it. Where there is a war. Where there are soldiers, they try to kill the soldiers.” Then he adds, with a hint of frustration: “These sorts of explanations will get us nowhere. What is needed is to bring an end to this crisis.”

Sir Iqbal acknowledges that Britain’s backing for President George Bush over the Iraq war and lack of action over the conflict in Palestine is fuelling frustration among young Muslim men. The task is to channel anger into legitimate forms of protest, including the ballot box. He wants mosques to inform people about the means of legitimate protest to steer them away from violence.

“There are people who are really opposing the Iraq war – more Britishers than anybody else,” he says. “How do they go about it? They don’t go about it with bombings. They went into the streets, they went into letter writing, this is what we have been trying to say.”

There is no room for diplomacy on one issue, however. “If someone is inciting someone to commit acts of terror,” he says, “it is a crime.”

London bomber was "a good Muslim . . . he also wished to take part in jihad and lay down his life"
Sunnis in Britain Condemn London Bombings
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  1. says

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  2. says

    I knew there was an out clause.

    Law abiding muslims are being treated as suspects, which takes away their desire to help the police in their investigations.

    Nice circular thinking.

  3. says

    You know, the more this Sacranie fella keeps spinning the more he digs his own grave.

    I hope the royals are paying attention.

    A reader going by the nic “Sebastian” wrote a wonderful letter to the Daily Telegraph in London (

    Perhaps one of the royals read it? Why? Because the queen recently gave this clown knighthood.

    Knighthood was once a title with integrity. Sacranie has anything but. In the list of 24 new Knights Bachelor, Iqbal Abdul Karim Mussa Sacranie was knighted for services to the Muslim Community and to inter-faith relations.

    Inter-faith relations, oy, what a load of . . .taqiyya.

    Honours (knighthood) are sometimes subsequently removed (forfeited) if a recipient is convicted of a criminal offence. The way I see it, Sacranie intentionally mislead a foolish dhimmi audience when during his speech he cherry picked

    5:32 “… if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people”.

    Sebastian was dead on when he revealed:

    “If Sir Iqbal were to have continued on to the next verse: Chapter 5 verse 33, the Trafalgar Square crowd would have been enlightened with the following: “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter”

    Altogether quite a different message. ”

    In my humble opinion, during war, this type of intentional propaganda is criminal.

  4. says

    Sir Iqbal says among Muslims there is still a pervasive sense of
    "disbelief" the bombings could have taken place at all, including
    among community workers who knew the culprits. The attacks, he says, were
    "a major eye-opener" for the community.

    What a load of horseshit. This pabulum is just what liberal multi-kulti
    Westerners like to hear. And Iqbal knows it. Islam in the West is a unique parasitism
    that is out to kill the host

    "Name me someone who’s not a parasite An’ I’ll go out and say a
    prayer for him”
    – Visions of Johanna

  5. says

    Nice circular thinking.

    Iqbal= scuzzball

    Iqbal’s is a circular logic where terrorist Muslims commit vile acts and mass
    murder. Then Muslim Jack in the Boxes pop up to reassure naive Western Liberals
    that Islam is not to blame. Just a few arrant criminals are to blame who could just
    as well have been Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian. Once reassured the
    liberals go back to applauding diversity/multkulturalism, how Muhammad’s cult is
    a religion of peace


  6. says

    It is too late for this kind of thing. It is too late for a smooth man like Iqbal Sacranie, hoping to give the Infidels another spoonful of drowsy syrups to put them back into a deep dream, Abu-Ben-Adhem-like, of peace. But it’s too late. Itis to late to stop Infidel curiosity from having been aroused, too late to prevent intelligent Infidels, the kind who cannot be fooled from preventinglooking into Islam themselves, not in the manner of Richard Reid, or John Walker Lindh or Jose Padilla (the pscychically or economically marginal), or those who yearn for a Complete System, a Total Regulation of Existence, that they find so comforting, not those who yearn for the Community of Believers who will, with their special Arab names, and what seems in the non-Muslim world to be an exciting, closed world (like joining a secret club — an impulse to be found, in less dangerous forms, among young boys, or college students, or even those who join any group with a special vocabulary, a special handshake, and the rest of it), not those Trying To Satisfy a Spiritual Thirst That So Far All Western Offerings Have Failed to Assuage (Esmad Bey, a/k/a Nissenbaum, author of “Ali and Nino” was one of the originals, St. John Philby another; more recent examples of the Weiss-Schwartz Syndrome can be found here and there, though they are becoming slightly thinner on the ground, and those still stuck with wonderful Islam, having made their choice, say, ten years ago, are now in the embarrassed position of having to pretend that there is nothing wrong with that choice, it is just that Infidels — the most informed Infidels, by the way — are the ones who “misunderstand” it.

  7. says

    Spencer in his following words gets the logic wrong:

    “But obviously there can be [justification for killing civilians], Sir Iqbal: it not only happened in Britain on July 7, but in Iraq almost daily, in New York on 9/11, in Madrid on 3/11, and on and on.”

    Islam can continue to assert that there is no justification for killing civilians, simply by re-defining who is a civilian [i.e., which class of human being is exempt from being killed as an enemy & threat to Islam]. The terrorists of 7/7, 3/11 and 9/11 did not regard the victims as innocent civilians. If they were not categorized as innocent civilians, then the terrorists did not kill any innocent civilians.

    That’s the logic at work here. And this logic leaves Sir Iqbal’s pronouncement intact.

  8. says

    Amen Hugh. Taqiyya is so tired, and hopefully now it is being recognized by the masses and not just a few. I hope there is an explosion of hardhitting investigative reports that truly do expose Islam for what it is. Not everyone in the MSM is an idiot. They make money which tells me they cannot all be idiots.

  9. says


    the ability to make money has nothing to do with intellect, but rather the gullibility of those who will pay for the crap the MSM puts out.

    Yes there are investigative journalists who are indeed following the money trail back to the real story, but they are still voices in the wilderness. As the jihad gets closer and closer to home, the coin will slowly drop. Jihaddists do not grieve over injustice to Muslims (if they did, they would have been after Saddam themselves or after the heinous governments in Khartoum, Damascus and Tehran), but rather, as Christopher Hitchens put in in his July 8 opinion piece in the Mirror:

    “The grievance of seeing unveiled women. The grievance of the existence, not of the State of Israel, but of the Jewish people.* The grievance of the heresy of democracy which impedes the imposition of sharia law. The grievance of a work of fiction written by an Indian living in London. The grievance of the existence of black African Muslim farmers, who won’t abandon lands in Darfur. The grievance of music and or representational art. The grievance of the existence of Hinduism. The grievance of East Timor’s liberation from Indonesian rule. All of these have been proclaimed as a license to kill infidels or apostates, or anyone who just gets in the way.

    For a few moments yesterday [July 7], Londoners received a taste of what life is like for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, whose Muslim faith does not protect them from slaughter at the hands of those who think they are not Muslim enough, or are the wrong Muslim.”

    * Hitchens once co-wrote a book with Ed Said detailing the suffering of the Palestinians. He isn’t a great fan of Israel by any means but concedes its right to exist. I am starting to wonder if Hitch isn’t about as close as we are likely to see of a George Orwell of our time, but a journalist rather than a writer of fiction.

  10. says


    Orwell was both a fiction writer and a journalist.

    Hitchens in one of his articles used a great quote from Orwell, a quote that helps diagnose the psychology of anti-Western Leftists who happen to be Western themselves:

    ” The majority of pacifists either belong to obscure religious sects or are simply humanitarians who object to taking life and prefer not to follow their thoughts beyond that point. But there is a minority of intellectual pacifists, whose real though unacknowledged motive appears to be hatred of western democracy and admiration for totalitarianism. Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writing of the younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States…”

    — from Orwell’s Notes on Nationalism in May 1945.

  11. says

    Iconoclast writes: “Muslims ought to remember that once the West got its act together, Germany and Japan were flattened. The flattening of Islam is coming to a theatre near you – soon, Mohammed, doncha know?”

    Oh yes, it gratifies the emotions to walk with a swagger and spew bravado. But you are wrong my friend, if you think this problem will be solved via the “Japanese Solution”…(my take-off from CIA parlance in the 1950s, when the orchestrated imposition of Gen. Alfredo Stroessner upon the people of Paraguay inaugurated the conceptual paradigm called the “Paraguayan Solution”…the prototypical military coup…later to be employed with such chilling effect in Brazil in ’64 and Chile in ’73).

    Even in the unlikely event that Rep. Tancredo’s trial balloon were operationally employed…and Mecca and Medina were obliterated in response to a nuclear terror attack on the USA, the “Japanese Solution” would in no way end the struggle. It would only make it irrevocable; a literal fight to the death. America’s cities would burn as the Nation of Islam coalesced with Muslims of foreign origin to exact their revenge for the destruction of the “Holy” cities. The carnage would be unimaginable.

    But regardless of our response, make no mistake, the hit on America is coming, sooner than later. And Bin Ladin’s modus operandi has always been to embrace the spectacular. I don’t see a simple mall bombing or something of that nature…not as the encore to follow 9-11. No my friends, we are moving inexorably down the road to the use of WMDs. Thousands or even tens of thousands will die. The economy will nose-dive. Investors will flee America like rats jumping from a sinking ship.

    How will we respond? How should we respond? I don’t have the wisdom to answer such a question.

    I know only one thing for certain: even if the problems posed by terrorism are insurmountable, an honest exposition of Islamic intolerance is the one truly viable moral course of action for the West. Regardless of what occurs on the battlefield, we must begin doing something as a civilization that we’ve refrained from doing up until now. We must begin teaching Islam to our children much the way Communism was taught to the Post-War generation, as the very real threat to freedom and security that it is. We must begin to encourage apostasy on a mass scale from the ummah…openly highlighting the intolerance of Islamic theology and in particular, exposing the moral failings of the Prophet Muhammad himself as so poignantly revealed in the Hadith.

    In other words, we must bring the existential incompatability between Islam and freedom out of the op-ed pages and into the classrooms and the mainstream media. But this will never happen without a concerted effort at the highest level of government, and there is no indication that the Bush Admin. is anywhere near ready to take on the job.

    Sadly, it is precisely an attack of mass proportion that is the one thing that might just galvanize our public officials into a sober re-examination of our politically-correct, kid-gloves approach to Islam. But by then, it will probably be too late. The clarian call for revenge will be irresistible. Like the rest of you, I’ll want blood in the worst way.

    God help us all.

  12. says

    Hitchens asctually wrote a book called “Why Orwell Matters.”

    I’m in the middle of it right now. Good stuff.

    I must say, though Hitch is quite good, to my mind it is David Horowitz who is the premier voice of the center-right in today’s ideological/culture wars.

  13. says

    Metaxy: Thanks for the Orwell quote. How well he diagnosed the third kind of “pacifist”. I was aware that Orwell was a journalist. I was alluding to the fact that, so far as I know, Hitchens has never written any fiction.

    Cornelius: Why Orwell Matters sounds like a fantastic read. I will have to pick up a copy.

  14. says

    waterdragon, cornelius,

    The only thing I would add to that Orwell quote is that now in 2005, unlike in 1945, it is no longer “a minority of intellectual pacifists” whose “propaganda… [is] directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States…”

    It has now, in 2005, become the dominant majority — not so much in numbers of individuals, but in the reigning sociopolitical atmosphere.

  15. says

    Since Islam is protected by the ‘freedom of religion’, exactly how do you legally circumscribe Islam?

    Bush should be taking the steps he can:

    1) Fund and build as fast as we can a Fence/Barrier on our Southern Border, and select parts of the Northern Border
    2) Stop all inbound Muslim immigration (a moratorium to ‘get a handle on who is coming to our country’)
    3) Stop all Religious visas for Muslims. It’s discriminatory, but so what. They have proven they are really agents of terror.
    4) Severly restrict any Muslim family reunion immigration.
    5) Have ICE swoop into all the Muslim concentration areas. Any legal immigrant with violations, an express ticket out of the country. All illegal immigrants deported. Absolutely no or at most one appeal.

    There is a lot we can do that is legal. Why isn’t Bush doing it? Because, I fear, he believes Muslims are ‘good people’ and doesn’t get it.

  16. says


    I think in one place, your rhetoric is counter-productive. If we are going to persuade our dominant Leftists, we can’t use rhetoric like this:

    “3) Stop all Religious visas for Muslims. It’s discriminatory, but so what. They have proven they are really agents of terror.”

    This should be re-worded thusly:

    3) Stop all Religious visas for Muslims. Yes, it is discriminatory, but we are in an extraordinarly difficult situation where

    a) While we know the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful, we also know that the vast majority of deadly terrorists arise out of the Muslim orbit and are centrally motivated by the religion of Islam as they see it;

    b) The acts of Islamist terrorism have the potential to be random, unpredictable, erupt virtually anywhere, and horrible in outcome in terms of innocent lives lost.

    c) The acts of Islamist terrorism also tend to be easily camouflaged in the Muslim milieu because they tend to be, at best, countenanced by too many non-terrorist Muslims, or at worst, passively/actively hidden and aided by non-terrorist Muslims — and thus: the terrorists are symbiotically involved with the Islamic milieu on two accounts: 1) Ideologically — drawing from the same pool of religious texts & ideals; and 2) Sociologically — mingling, hiding & plotting in the heart of the Muslim milieu with at best ambivalent disregard, somewhere in the middle emotional support, and at worst actual aid.

    d) And lastly, but most pertinently: we cannot tell the difference between the majority of peaceful Muslims and the minority of deadly Muslims — until after the explosions have happened and it is too late.

    Because of (d) and its context of a-b-c, we regrettably must embrace the entire population of Muslims within rational law enforcement nets calculated to optimize our self-defense.

  17. says

    How sad, people must start to understand what will happen next, long live western ideals down with nuts of the non ideals of Islamic madness.

  18. says

    Call me thick!!!

    Whats this “MSM” reference? I’m googled out with “Men who have Sex with Men”, the “Maastricht School of Management” and the MSM Spelunkers Club (the oldest caving club in Missouri).

  19. says

    James Robbins over at NRO has an article today on muslim attitudes about the killing of civilians even children by muslims terrorists.Robbins points out that Zarqawi disagrees with those who say killing civilians is wrong.The article points out the twisted and evil mind of the jihadi. Here’s an interesting excerpt:

    So in al Qaeda’s utilitarian balance of evils, apparently anything can be justified, even randomly slaying the most innocent. It is an interesting calculus, most importantly because it is not based on principle but expedience. In seeking to shirk responsibility for collateral damage, Zarqawi simply admits that Muslims killing Muslims is evil, and shrugs it off. Bad break for the bystanders, but at least they are headed for paradise.

    Naturally a rationale this callous and opportunistic has raised some eyebrows even in radical circles. Zarqawi’s former mentor, Abu-Muhammed al-Maqdisi, who has sterling jihadist credentials, took Zarqawi’s argument apart in a lengthy interview. A Saudi cleric said that Zarqawi is in violation of sharia and that targeting Iraqis “is not honorable resistance and is even embarrassing.” Nevertheless, Zarqawi has fired right back at his critics, maintaining that in a holy war you do what you have to do, and hinting that while it is easy for armchair mullahs to pass judgment, he is out on the front lines. If they want to make a difference, they should strap on a bomb vest and join the party.

  20. says

    that iqbal guy is a real joke. he’s a stupid paki livinig in uk…everytime he talks, his voice somehow reminds me of the smelly pakis on the streets of delhi. what a fuck head trying to be SMART with his fatwas.

  21. says

    “I will tell you where the confusion gets into it. Where there is a war. Where there are soldiers, they try to kill the soldiers.” Then he adds, with a hint of frustration: “These sorts of explanations will get us nowhere. What is needed is to bring an end to this crisis.”

    SO IS HE SAYING THE 300,000 saddam[yellow coward found in a hole don’t shoot i’m a yellow coward] KILLED WE’RE SOLDIERS??

    Part of the American Tribe
    Squirrel Hunter
    Spider Killer

  22. says

    Tawfik Hamid, says that muslim leaders only condemn attacks because they don’t want to be subject to revenge attacks.

    Please read Page 4 Sunday Express UK and

  23. says

    Iqbal Sacranie is giving a public sermon to UK Muslims showing them how well it works. Every muslim who knows his koran is having a good laugh over the stupidity of unbelievers who are none the wiser.
    Qur’an 9:3 “Allah and His Messenger dissolve obligations.”

    Qur’an 66:1 “Allah has already sanctioned for you the dissolution of your vows.”

    Bukhari:V4B52N268 “Allah’s Apostle said, “War is deceit.'”

    One of the often repeated sermons is how Muhammad decieved his enemies in order to conquer them. Taqiyya.

    Qur’an 33:21 “You have in (Muhammad) the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern of conduct for any one to follow.”

    Indeed they do.

    Qur’an 47:24 “Do they not understand the Qur’an? Nay, on the hearts there are locks preventing them from understanding.”

    And until our leaders start understanding the Koran and what Islam is all about, We will continue to bury victims of it.

    Ishaq:548 “By Allah, the black mass has spread. Abu Bakr said, “There is not much honesty among people nowadays.'”

    Especially muslims who consider themselves at war with the rest of mankind. Taqiyya. combined with:

    Bukhari:V6B60N662 “Allah’s Apostle said, “Some eloquent speech is as effective as magic.'”

    It works on Tony Blair.