- (PHOTO:Ministry of Defense)
The head of the global Anglican Communion has released a statement on the recent brutal murder of British soldier Lee Rigby.
The Right Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, said on Friday regarding Rigby's murder that Christian and Muslim leaders in the United Kingdom have been helping to bring reconciliation. "I want to recognize the response of churches, mosques and other faith and civil society groups as well as those of brave individuals who have done so much to bring our communities together at this time," said Welby.
"The strong response from the Muslim Council of Britain and many other organizations has rightly emphasized that these acts have no place in Islam."
Welby also mentioned his involvement with the interfaith British organization the Christian Muslim Forum, which was founded in the 1990s and comprised of leaders from both faiths. "As Patron of the national Christian Muslim Forum I know that the Forum is offering support and encouragement for these meetings to happen and I continue to hold all those working in these efforts in my prayers," said Welby.
"This is very much a time for communities to come together."
Last Wednesday, Lee Rigby, drummer for the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and father of a two-year-old son, was attacked and murdered by a pair of Islamic extremists in the Woolwich district of London. The two perpetrators beheaded and mutilated Rigby at a busy street, claiming their allegiance to Muslim countries where Britain has deployed its military. According to The Associated Press, both suspects were already under surveillance by British authorities for suspected ties to terrorism.
Since the murder, others have been arrested by British officials for their connection to the very public killing of Rigby.
Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, co-chair of the Christian Muslim Forum and Assistant Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said in a statement that the Muslim community was "appalled by the horrific murder in Woolwich."
"The murderers chanted slogans during their heinous crime claiming to do it in God's name. Far from it. As our Prime Minister rightly concluded, this is a betrayal of Islam," said Mogra.
"I am immensely grateful for the leadership of our Archbishop during this most difficult time and thank leaders of all our faith communities for their support."