Monday, 8 September 2014: MEDIA STATEMENT FROM Markaz Imam Ahmad (MIA)
"The Daily Telegraph newspaper this morning accused the Markaz Imam Ahmad (MIA) in Liverpool of supporting terrorism by auctioning a 'jihadist' flag. This accusation is unfounded and defamatory. The News Corporation paper is engaging in the worst kind of sensationalism as part of a scare campaign to sell papers.
"The black and white flag being referred to is an important symbol in Islam which contains the first pillar of the Muslim creed, the testimony of faith (shahaadah) that 'there is no god except God and Muhammad is His Messenger'; and the seal of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him).
"This flag has been in existence for more than a thousand years, long before any terrorist organisation misappropriated it for its own political goals. As for the money raised at the fundraising auction which was held in late July was for the mosque and for no other purpose. In addition, the newspaper’s use of the term 'jihadist' is false and inappropriate.
"The unusual combination of an Arabic word with an English suffix negatively stereotypes the noble Islamic concept of striving for what is better. The frequent misuse of this term by sensationalist media only serves to promote hatred of Muslims and Islam.
"The MIA serves to promote peace and harmony amongst Muslim Australians specifically and with the wider community in general. We work tirelessly to educate young Muslims about the beautiful ideology and teachings of Islam."
“We reject any attempts to tarnish the good reputation of our centre and pledge to stand firm against the current wave of Islamophobia. We also believe that scapegoating and fear mongering has the serious potential of radicalising disaffected youth,” said the head of MIA, Sheikh Abu Adnan.