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    16 July, 2005

    Welsh Muslims speak out again

    Welsh Muslims have continued to speak out against terrorism and hatred this week. Dr Abdalla Yassin Mohamed lectures on the subject of Islam at Cardiff University and is director of the Discover Islam Centre, and said on Friday:

    Islam holds the sanctity of human life in the highest possible regard and shedding the blood of an innocent person is seen as a crime most heinous and repulsive. Our response to the bombers and to the bombings is, 'Not in the name of Islam. Not in our name'.

    Whatever our diverse ethnic or racial origins we stand together - committed to contributing peacefully and successfully to Wales.

    As Muslims we have a particular God-given duty to be loyal to Wales and Britain and abide by its laws.

    Meanwhile Welsh politicians have been anxious to support the Muslim community in Wales and demonstrate their opposition to attacks. Secretary of State Peter Hain visited an Islamic centre in his Neath constituency yesterday:

    I value the contribution the people of Muslim faith make to Wales. We must unite against the extremists.

    Whenever I have spoken to members of the Muslim community they have said they are just as horrified as we all are at this horrible terrorism.

    It's worth stressing the important work that the Muslim Council of Wales has done over the last few years to strengthen relationships between Muslims and others in Wales. They have sought to do this in original and innovative ways. Last year, at their dinner in Cardiff, they invited the very funny Muslim Egyptian-American comedian Ahmed Ahmed to perform. He had just won the first Richard Pryor ethnic comedian award at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival. It was an excellent performance, and I bought the CD. This features the same routine he did in Cardiff, as well as the joint performance he does with the Jewish American Comedian Rabbi Bob Alper, which they have performed together in both the US and the UK. Well worth looking out for.

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    Promoted by Leighton Andrews AM, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff CF99 1NA.

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