Hartlepool leaders’ horror at savage killing of Woolwich soldier

Drummer Lee Rigby, 25, from the 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers who was named today as the soldier hacked to death in Woolwich.
Drummer Lee Rigby, 25, from the 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers who was named today as the soldier hacked to death in Woolwich.

HARTLEPOOL’S MP and town Muslim leaders today spoke of their horror at the “barbaric” murder of Drummer Lee Rigby - and say “no religion would advocate such atrocity”.

Iain Wright described the knife-wielding fanatics who stabbed father-of-one Lee Rigby, 25, from Crumpsall, Manchester, to death in broad daylight as “sick individuals” with “depraved, extreme views”.

Zeba Alam

Zeba Alam

Drummer Rigby was mown down before being brutally hacked to death in the street in Woolwich.

Last night his family paid tribute to the hero who was a “brother to everyone”.

Zeba Alam, 44, who is a Muslim and manager of the Salaam Centre, in Murray Street, Hartlepool, condemned the horrific attack – but said it was the work of twisted individuals, not the Muslim religion as a whole.

Zeba, who was born and raised in the UK and is a mum of Sonia, 24, and Nadia, 22, said: “What happened in Woolwich was truly horrendous, a vile act.

“But from a personal point of view I get annoyed because every time something like this happens people put it down to religion and use the term ‘Islamist’.

“No religion would ever permit something like this, it was a barbaric attack. But those who don’t know too much about religion immediately stereotype all Muslims as the same as these killers.

“All Muslims would condemn this, everyone would condemn something like this.

“It doesn’t matter what religion they are, it’s evil individuals who have committed this awful act.”

The town’s MP Mr Wright added: “This act has horrified the whole nation.

“No religion would advocate this sort of barbaric act.

“These are the depraved, extreme views of sick individuals and those who have extreme views of that nature can never be allowed to win.”

The suspects who allegedly killed Drummer Rigby were known to security services, it has since been confirmed.

Mr Wright has now called for the country to pay tribute to Drummer Rigby at National Armed Forces Day on June 29.

He said: “Members of the Armed Forces put their lives on the line every single day for our freedom and one gets killed like this in such a barbaric manner.

“The fact that a serving soldier was slaughtered in the street in the UK should bring an added poignance to Armed Forces Day and I hope the country demonstrates how strongly everyone feels about horrific acts such as the one in Woolwich.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said the country will be “absolutely resolute” in its stand against violent extremism and terror.

He said the best approach was to “go about our normal lives”.