British Muslim Leaders Warn Bush Could Undermine U.N.

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  • Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2003 08:50:30 -0000

British Muslim Leaders Warn Bush Could Undermine U.N.

British Muslim leaders warn Bush could undermine the UN in the way
Mussolini once undermined the League of Nations

LONDON, February 3 (IslamOnline & News Agencies) - Leaders of Britain's
2.5 million Muslims are hoping to mobilize popular support to prevent a
war against Iraq, warning it would simply provide so-called Islamic
militant organizations with new recruits.

Sheikh Zaki Badawi, once the imams of Britain's most prestigious mosque,
the Regent's Park Mosque, said many Muslims would feel a war against
Iraq to be unjust.

"It would provide recruits for extremists," he predicted, Agence
France-Presse (AFP) reported.

The Muslim Council of Britain, the largest federation of British Muslim
organizations, also opposes war against Iraq.

In a letter to British Prime Minister Tony Blair last month, the
Council's Secretary-General Iqbal Sacranie urged the Premier to use his
"restraining influence" with U.S. President George W. Bush.

"We urge the optimum use of your unique position to avert the
destruction of an important Muslim country, notwithstanding the odious
regime it happens to be caught up with," he wrote.

"There is real concern that community relations and interfaith relations
will be affected," Sacranie said. "We are worried, we are concerned."

The Muslim Council has been involved in planning anti-war demonstrations
in Britain, including a major one set for February 15. The Muslim
Parliament of Britain also supports the anti-war movement.

"We are very close to war. If another resolution is passed, it will be
the result of American pressure and coercion," said its leader Dr
Ghasayuddin Siddiqi.

This, he believes, "will mean the end of U.N. and international
legality." But he voiced his frustration at what many see as an
unstoppable march towards war. "Basically we feel we are hitting a brick
wall," Siddiqi said.

Sheikh Zaki Badawi, chairman of the Muslim Law (Shariah) Council, warns
Bush could undermine the authority of the United Nations in the way that
former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini once undermined the League of

"I think, in the Security Council, the U.S. can get its way any time.
When Mussolini invaded Abyssinia (in 1935) he ended the credibility of
the League of Nations. Bush could do the same."

However, the Islamic Liberation Party Hizb ut-Tahrir says the U.N. has
no right to decide the fate of a Muslim country.

It favors overturning Muslim regimes considered corrupt and wants
pressure to be put on Arab governments. A party pamphlet proclaims:
"Don't stop the war, except through Islamic politics."

"We believe the war will not be justified whether there's a second U.N.
resolution or not," said its spokesman, Imran Waheed.

He defended Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's right to the kind of
weapons the United Nations wants him to relinquish.

"There's nothing wrong with a Muslim country possessing weapons of mass
destruction, especially when it is surrounded by hostile forces such as
the United States, Britain and Israel," he insisted.

Hizb ut-Tahrir organized a demonstration outside Saudi Arabia's London
embassy Saturday to demand the closure of U.S. bases on Saudi territory
and an end to oil deliveries to the United States and Britain.

However, the party does not back the calls for a "jihad" that have been
made by some Islamic circles in Britain.

"If an independent Muslim did that, it would be his decision," Waheed

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