A MUSLIM cleric has spoken about extremism and community cohesion during a visit to Huddersfield.
Sheiykh Allama Moalana Shahid Reza Naeemi from London who is a senior Muslim cleric and who also advises the Government on issues linked to young people and extremism, said it was wrong for suicide bombers to commit atrocities in the name of Islam.
"The Prophet Muhammad teaches Muslims that you will not enter heaven until you are a believer, and you will never be a believer until you love one another and your fellow human beings.
"Yet how ironic and sad it is to see young men who tie bombs around their waists and then go out to kill 52 innocent civilians on London's public transport system wrongly thinking they will reach heaven. This is not Islam since the word 'Islam' means 'Peace'," he said.
"These people are using and abusing the name of Islam just like the Ku Klux Klan in America and the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa used the teachings of Christianity to promote racial hatre."
Mr Reeza Naeemi spoke at the Hanfia Mosque and Educational Institute on Bentley Street, Lockwood at an event celebrating Prophet Muhammad's birthday and the end of Ramadan.
It hosted an Eid-Milad-Un-Nabi and Eid-Ul-Fitr' Community Cohesion celebration event for senior police officers, local staff and head-teachers of Kirklees Schools, as well as Kirklees Council officers.
The Muslim cleric stressed clearly;
"Islam promotes love and harmony. The Islamic faith was one of the first religion's to focus on the theme of Community Cohesion by encouraging the concept of human love, brotherhood, tolerance and compassion".
Speaking about the present problems affecting the Muslim Community in Kirklees, Sheiykh Allama Moalana Shahid Reza Naeemi made it clear: "People have questioned the Islamic faith from the time of its birth over 1'400 years ago. Islam encourages people to ask questions if they should have doubts about anything. This is what freedom of speech is all about."
In response to a question about 'Jihad' or holy war from by a young Muslim school teacher, the Muslim scholar replied: "Jihad or holy war means 'the inner struggle' which a human being needs to overcome inside his or her heart. This means working hard and revising for your exams is Jihad, going into further education is a Jihad, looking after the sick is a Jihad, taking care of your elderly parents when they are no longer able to care for themselves is also Jihad, helping someone fill in their job application form is Jihad, and doing voluntary work in your own neighbourhood is a Jihad."
Waseem Riaz, Community Faith Officer for the Interfaith Kirklees – Faith Centres Project said: "The event is another new dimension to this ground-breaking faith education initiative.It is about contributing towards Kirklees Council's broader Community Cohesion strategy."