WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami on Friday condemned the September 11 attacks against the United States as an atrocity and said suicide bombers did Islam an injustice and would not go to heaven.
Three days before the fifth anniversary of the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, the Shi'ite cleric urged Muslims to work against "Islamaphobia," which he said had grown since Islamic militants flew hijacked aircraft into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.
Two crimes were committed on September 11 -- civilians were killed and it was done in the name of Islam, Khatami told the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a human rights group.
"We Muslims should condemn these atrocities even more strongly," he said.
"Terrorist, which means killing of civilians, is a human being that lacks morality ... (and) will not go to heaven" and those who do it in the name of Islam "are lying," he said.