Islam religion of peace but hijacked by extremists: British PM



New York: British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday termed Islam as a peaceful religion but said that some extremists have hijacked it.

Addressing the UN General Assembly, the prime minister said that the democracy and Islam can run together.

Further supporting the Palestinian cause, PM Cameron said, “We support their right to have a state and a home but wants Hamas to renounce violence.”

David Cameron launched his strongest attack on the United Nations over its inaction on Syria, declaring that the blood of young children is a “terrible stain” on its reputation.

The prime minister said: “The blood of these young children is a terrible stain on the reputation of this United Nations. And in particular, a stain on those who have failed to stand up to these atrocities and in some cases aided and abetted Assad’s reign of terror.

“If the United Nations charter is to have any value in the 21st century we must now join together to support a rapid political transition. And at the same time no one of conscience can turn a deaf ear to the voices of suffering.”

He said people who invested great hope in the Arab spring were also wrong to give up even in light of the bloodshed in Syria and the political uncertainty after the election of Islamist leaders in countries such as Egypt. Libya showed the mixed picture, the prime minister said, as he condemned the murder of the US ambassador Chris Stephens in a “despicable act of terrorism” while hailing elections to a new congress.

The prime minister said: “One year on, some believe that the Arab spring is in danger of becoming an Arab winter. They point to the riots on the streets, Syria’s descent into a bloody civil war, the frustration at the lack of economic progress and the emergence of newly elected Islamist-led governments across the region.

“But they are in danger of drawing the wrong conclusion. Today is not the time to turn back, but to keep the faith and redouble our support for open societies, and for people’s demands for a job and a voice.”

In his speech the prime minster announced that Britain was to provide £3m for a Unicef fund to help 500,000 refugees in Syria, more than half of whom are children, as winter approaches.

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