The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) issued a strongly worded statement Sunday in response to the stabbing death last week of British lawmaker Sir David Amess, who it called a friend of the Muslim community.
“The MCB’s position is clear in its condemnation of this cold-blooded murder in the strongest possible terms,” said MCB Secretary General Zara Mohammed.
“The perpetrators of this, and similar despicable crimes, should know that there is no justification for murder and the taking of innocent life.”
She continued by saying that the vitality of Britain’s democracy depended on the accessibility of its elected representatives.
“Within the past five years, we have witnessed two members of Parliament killed in the course of performing their duties,” Mohammed said.
“Those whom we entrust with public office must be able to serve their communities without facing such grave threats to their safety, and so we welcome steps being taken to ensure better security for them. The killers of both Jo Cox MP and Sir David Amess MP are not only united in their total disregard for the sanctity of life, but their desire to sow division in society. We will not let them succeed.”
Paying tribute to Amess, Mohammed said he was a friend of Muslim communities, who spoke “poignantly” about their relationship with him.
“He was always eager to support mosques and Muslim organizations in their work, attending Eid celebrations and the grand opening of Southend’s Essex Jamme Mosque,” she said.
Mohammed added that nationally, Amess championed many causes that resonated with many across society.
“Our hearts and deepest condolences continue to go out to Sir David’s wife and children, as well as all his family, friends, colleagues and community members whose lives have been touched by his tireless work.”
Amess, 69, was stabbed to death on Friday. He had been an MP since 1983.
Police arrested a 25-year-old man at the scene of the attack on suspicion of the murder. He is still in custody at Essex police station, and the police are not currently looking for anyone else in connection with the attack.
On Saturday, the Metropolitan Police said early investigations revealed a “potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism.”