The Muslim Council of Britain has said it will refuse to perform the traditional Islamic funeral prayer for the London Bridge terrorists even though the ritual is normally carried out for every Muslim, regardless of their actions.

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Rachid Redouane (left) Khuram Shazad Butt (right)

In an unprecedented move, about 130 imams have not only refused to perform the traditional Islamic prayer for the terrorists but also have called on others to do the same.

In a statement on social media, the group said: “Consequently, and in light of other such ethical principles which are quintessential to Islam, we will not perform the traditional Islamic funeral prayer over the perpetrators and we also urge fellow imams and religious authorities to withdraw such a privilege. This is because such indefensible actions are completely at odds with the lofty teachings of Islam.”

The statement added: “Muslim Imams and religious leaders condemn the Manchester and London terror atrocities and urge fellow Imams to refuse to perform Islamic funeral prayers for the terrorists”.

“We, as Muslim Imams and religious leaders, condemn the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London in the strongest terms possible. Coming from a range of backgrounds, and from across the UK; feeling the pain the rest of the nation feels, we have come together to express our shock and utter disgust at these cold-blooded murders.

We are deeply hurt that a spate of terror attacks have been committed in our country once more by murderers who seek to gain religious legitimacy for their actions. We seek to clarify that their reprehensible actions have neither legitimacy nor our sympathy.”

“These vile murderers seek to divide our society and instil fear; we will ensure they fail. We implore everyone to unite: we are one community. In the face of such dastardly cowardice, unlike the terrorists, we must uphold love and compassion.

Such criminals defile the name of our religion and of our Prophet, who was sent to be a mercy to all creation.

We commend our police and emergency services – with whom we stand shoulder to shoulder – for their rapid response, arriving at the scenes while risking their own lives to protect the victims and public. Their response exemplifies the courage, humanity and honour we must exhibit in such difficult times.

We pray for peace and unity, and for all the victims of terror both at home and across the globe, who are targeted, irrespective of their faith.”

Police earlier released pictures and named two of the three men involved in the London Bridge terrorist attack.

Scotland Yard said Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane, both from east London, carried out the attack.

Butt, 27, who was born in Pakistan but is a British citizen lived with his wife and children in Barking.

The second man named was Rachid Redouane, 30, also from Barking.

A total of 12 people were arrested during a police raid in Barking, London in the hours after the attack.