Support for Imam Suliman Gani
Wifaqul Ulama Public Affairs (Department)
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh (Peace, Blessings & Mercy of Allah be upon You).
This statement is being issued on the 23rd of April 2016 and supersedes all previous statements on the subject.
Unequivocal support for Suliman Gani:
We begin with stating our general agreement with “Muslim leaders’ statement defending Sh Suliman Gani” issued on the 20th of April 2016.
We acknowledge the BBC tweet which corrected a statement made by a tv presenter, but do not feel this was a clear enough apology for the distress caused.
We (the British Scholars) know Imam Suliman Gani as a humble man who subscribes to pluralism and peaceful coexistence. His services to society in Britain include bringing together people within the community, a commitment to interfaith dialogue, his track record on this speaks for itself. Imam Gani has worked with people of all faiths and none, on issues related to civil and civic rights, due to his deeply held convictions in ensuring justice for all.
Daesh (IS) support?
We find it particularly abhorrent that our Prime Minister The Right Honourable David Cameron has spoken untruths about Suliman Gani being supportive of Daesh when the reality is the opposite. Suliman Gani has consistently opposed Daesh, participated in programs clearly expressing his opinion and categorically stated:
In actual fact I have never and will never support IS/Daesh, in fact I have consistently like all mainstream Islamic scholars not only spoken out but condemned IS/Daesh for the monstrosity that they are.
The desperate attempts by the spin doctors at the Prime Minister’s office at damage control, whilst trying to conflate the theoretical concept of an “Islamic State” with Daesh are regrettable. Islamic scholarship is a preventative measure against extremism. Daesh are in opposition to Islamic scholars like Suliman, preferring their own baseless and dangerous interpretation, rather than the traditional scholarship of Islam.
We appreciate that the Conservative party, want to retain the London Mayoral position. It is unfortunate that some within the party wish to stoke flames of Islamophobia, in order to garner support from specific sections of the population.
We regret that the Conservative party have decided to target a mainstream Islamic Scholar who took the lead in publicly denouncing and calling out Daesh for what it is, a Monster!
We regret that our Prime Minister The Right Honourable David Cameron has decided to alienate and divide people, by besmirching an established Islamic Scholar opposed to Daesh.
We would hope that the leader of the party will correct his false statements, and make it clear that the Conservative party will not stoop to such low levels in attacking a community to garner support in future.
We end this statement by reiterating our support for Suliman Gani. We support his right to defend his name, honour, reputation and to seek damages and compensation (where applicable).
David Cameron has apologised for “any misunderstanding” after describing a former imam as a supporter of the Islamic State group.
Michael Fallon has apologised for suggesting Muslim cleric Suliman Gani was a supporter of Islamic State.
During the BBC programme London’s Mayor: the Big Debate on 18 April 2016, presenter Andrew Neil said that Imam Suliman Gani was “a supporter of Islamic State” also known as Daesh.
The BBC wishes to make clear that this statement was not true and that he is not a supporter of IS.
Imam Gani opposes Islamic State and its activities which he has in the past condemned and campaigned against.
The BBC apologises to Imam Gani for the distress and damage this statement caused him.